I have a professional crush on my boss, should I tell my office when I’m vaccinated, and more

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

1. I have a professional crush on my manager

I’m a senior member of a team of 30 people. During this current working from home period, “Olivia” joined our company as a manager for our team. I really enjoy working with her. She’s a huge inspiration and I feel like I make a lot of progress as an employee and a human being when we work together. I feel like we really click and it makes me happy. I have kind of a professional crush on her, which makes me want to do great work to make her happy. I don’t think it’s romantic feelings.

I think Olivia enjoys working with me as well. During our one-on-one today, she told me she thinks about me 3,000 times a day, about things she wants to tell me. Thinking about that gives me butterflies, but also makes me a little apprehensive. Probably these are just mutual feelings of enjoying working together, but who knows? I really appreciate working with Olivia and I want to keep growing under her excellent guidance, so I’m wondering how I can make sure this stays inspiring and professional and doesn’t turn into anything distracting and tangled.

There is such a thing as a platonic crush, and hopefully that’s all this is on both sides. I say “hopefully” because since Olivia is your boss, it would be strongly against your interests (and hers) for either of you to develop romantic feelings for the other. It could really mess up both your professional lives.

Now, I might be misinterpreting, but you sound awfully open to it turning into something more — and also as if you think it would be out of your hands if that happened. But you keep things professional by … committing to keeping them professional. There’s no real secret to it; you just respect the boundaries that must exist with someone in your chain of command, out of respect for them and your coworkers. Appreciate her as a boss and as a colleague and stay very conscious of the boundaries you’re both obligated to have.

But if you just get along well, like working together, and find yourself motivated to impress her? Those are good things! Those things make work more satisfying and more fun, and that kind of rapport has the potential to do great things for you professionally. (Just don’t put her on a pedestal. Some day she may have to turn down your raise request, give you feedback you disagree with, or even lay you off. Hopefully none of that happens, but if it does, you don’t want it to feel extra devastating because it’s coming from her.)

2. Should I tell my boss when I’m vaccinated?

I was wondering how to navigate informing your boss and/or coworkers after you’ve received the vaccine. It wouldn’t be assumed that I qualify for the vaccine in my state, but I do and will be fully vaccinated in a month. Do I tell my boss? Wait? Never share the info?

I feel like it would help when making decisions about me going into the office as needed or other things that I or my boss wouldn’t want me to do unvaccinated. Of course I would still be masked and socially distanced, but with a slightly less heightened level of caution.

I also know there is an aspect of jealousy or an unnerving feeling right now concerning who is able to get vaccinated and who isn’t, so I’d like to be sensitive of that as well.

You’re not obligated to share that you’ve been vaccinated if you prefer to keep it private, but it’s perfectly fine to share if you’re comfortable with it and it seems relevant. If you’re willing to do more things now, especially if that would keep someone unvaccinated from having to do them, it makes sense to speak up.

It does mean potentially opening yourself up to questions about why you were eligible, and not everyone wants to share with colleagues that they have, for example, a qualifying medical condition (which is a good reason for people to stop asking). One option if you don’t want to share personal info is to say something like, “I’m pretty private about the details, but I qualified under the groups they’re doing now.”

3. When the person who hires you leaves after a few months

When I was offered my current job a few months ago, I asked HR up-front if the hiring manager who would also be my boss would be in that position for at least a year. Over the last several years, I’ve had two experiences where the person who hired me left the organization within a few months. Both times, the boss I liked and had hoped to work for for a while was replaced by someone who wanted to build his or her own team or had no interest in my work, and definitely no interest in my success there. In one situation I was laid off; in another, I was pushed out and my job was given to the boss’ friend.

As you can imagine, I’m careful about who I end up working for and their future with an organization. I’ve always found that the people I know who’ve succeeded at their organizations spend at least a good year or two with the person who brought them on board. And isn’t that one good reason to accept a job — you have a good feeling about who you’ll be reporting to? I’ve never accepted a job where I walked out of an interview thinking, “Oh wow, that was horrible.”

Well, HR said at the time that there was absolutely no way the hiring manager would be leaving and that he had even expressed that himself to HR. She more or less said I had nothing to worry about. So I accepted the offer. Well, three months later, he was let go and replaced a few days later by someone from in-house. (I think he was let go due to some conflicts with one of the top managers. My boss was very competent, well-liked, and pleasant to work for. It appeared he had a boss who did not like him and found a reason to get him out.) My new boss and I have met only a handful of times on Zoom. I think it will be okay, but I’m not too sure.

I feel duped and my first instinct is to start looking for a new job. I had a lot of great projects planned with the boss who hired me. He was happy to have me, he understood my skill set, spelled out a clear career path, and was willing to send me to seminars and bring me along on conferences to network (after Covid ends, of course). I don’t feel too hopeful about things like that with my new boss. If anything, I’m hearing about cuts and micromanagy limitations during meetings. He’s already looking to hire new people he may be more interested in cultivating. I haven’t been there long enough to have a safe place and feel confident in my role.

I’m trying not to feel negative. Still, after being through a similar situation twice already, I can’t help but imagine the writing is already on the wall with new hires and probably some restructuring planned. Can this work out without someone in my corner? Am I right to start looking?

I think it would be premature to start looking, or at least premature to leave. Give it some time to get to know your new boss and see how things play out. In particular, make an effort to talk with him more — ask to schedule a call and talk about your priorities and what you’re hoping for from your relationship with him. If you start seeing real signs of danger, then yes, start looking.

But the thing is, managers leave jobs all the time for all sorts of reasons. This one was pushed out, but he also could have left because a better offer dropped in his lap, or because of a health crisis, or his spouse getting a job somewhere else, or all sorts of things. That’s not something people will necessarily be able to predict when you’re being hired (it’s definitely not something you should count on HR to know or share). I wouldn’t assume you were duped; things change.

If you figure you have to leave every time a manager leaves, you’re ceding a lot of control over your career to someone else’s decisions. That’s not to say that it’s not disappointing; you’re right that a manager can be a big draw in deciding whether or not to take a job. But if you’re only taking the job because that manager is there, that’s very risky — because you just can never know for sure what other people will end up doing.

4. Can my boss make me change my working hours?

I work for a small company that for the last few years has been entirely remote. I work in customer service with one other person and we both work a very standard 8 am -5 pm schedule Mon-Fri. Our boss recently asked us to take turns shifting our schedules so that we take off 30 minutes early and then work that 30 minutes later that night or over the weekend, so that customers aren’t waiting as long for an answer to their emails. This request is rubbing me the wrong way because I have a family, and I want to work my standard hours and then not work until the next day. My boss is a workaholic who replies to emails late into the night and I think might have trouble understanding that most people don’t want to work all day.

Is this legal of him to ask? Both my coworker and I are salaried employees (she is eligible for overtime, I am not due to my slightly higher pay). Can I push back on this since we were both hired with assumption that we’d work standard hours or do we need to suck it up and be team players? I feel like if we agree to this modified schedule, it could be allowing for the possibility of even more expanded hours into the future.

Yes, it’s legal of him to ask or even require. Employers can decide to change your schedule at any point. But you can also push back against the request! You and your colleague can explain you have commitments in the evening and aren’t available for work then. (If possible, coordinate with her so that she doesn’t get stuck with the whole thing.) It’ll probably help if you suggest other ways to ensure customers don’t feel they’re waiting too long, even if it’s just an auto-reply letting them know when they can expect to hear back, or evidence that not many emails come in during those hours, or so forth.

5. Should you put union leadership experience on your resume?

Is my union leadership experience helping or hurting my resume?

I’ve spent the last year and a half searching for a work opportunity to launch one of several different possible career paths. In the meantime, I have volunteered and increased my responsibilities with my current labor union. The leadership and initiative is relevant to many of the jobs I apply for. How do hiring managers feel about union leaders, even if they cannot cite union involvement as a legitimate disqualifier for a job?

Depending on the kind of work you’re doing for the union, it could hurt you with some managers, who will think it means you’re more likely to be a rabble-rouser or otherwise difficult to manage. (You might decide you’re happy to screen them out, though.) Others won’t care, and others will appreciate the leadership and organizing skills involved.

{ 385 comments… read them below }

  1. more likely to be a rabble-rouser*

    I’ve been wondering a similar thing, LW #5, so I appreciate you asking and Alison answering! I’ll be keeping an eye on the comments here for others’ thoughts as well. :)

    1. Mellow Yellow*

      Personally, I’d see union leadership experience as a plus! But I’m very pro-union and a bit of a rabble-rouser myself. :)

    2. allathian*

      Yeah, and if you’re in a position where you can be selective about which job to take, it could be an easy way to screen out anti-union employers you wouldn’t want to work for anyway.

    3. What do we want? Anti-harassment rules to be enforced!*

      I think it’s really really workplace dependent.

      I ran for my union leadership a few years ago, largely to advocate for better anti-harassment measures within my public-sector organization.

      Unbeknownst to me when I chose to run, it was an amazing professional development experience. I took on responsibilities way above my day-job pay grade (great for later job applications), really learned how to speak to senior management on a more even footing rather than always being deferential, and frankly, learned how to negotiate like a boss.

      Coming out of it, I found that it generally helped my resume rather than hurt it, because it signalled that I was an employee that wasn’t just going to complain about things/a rabble-rouser, I was willing to take the professional, no-one-likes-this-solution and tedious, steps to actually change things.

      That said, I worked at a reasonably union-friendly employer. Several members of the senior ranks had previously been on the union leadership team as well.

      I don’t doubt that having that on my resume would put me out of contention with some employers; on the other hand, I am not sure I would want to work for them anyways.

      1. UKDancer*

        Definitely. I’ve a colleague who is a shop steward and he’s got a huge amount of benefit from the role. It’s really enabled him to progress and develop professionally.

        I think it may be something some employers don’t like but then if you want to occupy a role in the union, you’re unlikely to want to work somewhere that doesn’t like union activities.

        Obviously it hugely depends on where you are and what the rules are around union activity. I can only speak for my company in the UK.

      2. Caraway*

        This is exactly what I was going to say about my experience in union leadership! I worked my way up from member representative to union VP at my organization. I learned a ton about how to work with senior leadership, I got way more face time with our C-level execs, I helped figure out how to push for change that would help my fellow employees but still be acceptable to the organization. And although I am also very good at my actual job (which is of course a prerequisite), I just applied for and got a much higher-level position at my current employer, I think at least partly due to my union experience. So overall, my experience with being in union leadership was a huge plus.

        One thing I did when applying for my new job was that I was careful about how I described my experience. I used descriptions like, “worked collaboratively with organization leadership to advance employee relations,” and “sought creative solutions to meet the needs of both [union] and [org],” etc. The key here is that those descriptions are true – my union has worked hard to have a strong relationship with our organization, because we believe it leads to better outcomes for employees. I think if you can find a way to truthfully describe your experience that way, rather than “rabble-roused for personal benefit,” for example, it can be a definite boost for your career.

    4. Medico*

      I think it might depend on which union too. There’s three in my corner of the world and line of work- two are great, they want to make things work and work with the organisation and when they do have strike action it is a last resort, visible but it doesn’t compromise safety or patients, the third thinks being disruptive, sticking it to ‘the man’, throwing tantrums and causing as much chaos as possible is a great idea, even if it puts lives at risk.

      1. doreen*

        It probably depends on the manager’s experience with unions as well. I’ve belonged to thee unions – one was great, one was so-so and the third seemed to be full of people who took union positions to get out of doing their actual jobs. Because of my experience, I wouldn’t automatically think union leadership experience was good or bad – but I can see how a manger who has only worked with the third union could see leadership as a negative.

      2. Guacamole Bob*

        Yeah, unions vary a lot. Having a role with each of the three unions at our agency could mean very different things: a very contentious and adversarial relationship with management, a very productive relationship with management, or not much at all since the office employee union is small and not very active unless there was collective bargaining or a round of layoffs that year.

        If you add union activity to your resume, I might be sure to frame your accomplishments carefully or to talk about what you gained from the experience in your cover letter to give people a little context. Union job titles also don’t necessarily indicate what you actually did to people outside the union, so that context and explanation is a good idea regardless.

          1. TardyTardis*

            Although in the UK, there is probably better understanding of the title and what it entails.

    5. VI Guy*

      I think it also depends on what you are doing with the union. I can put a line on my resume about having worked with management to develop better policies for people who need accommodation based on the ADA. Not only is it a positive leadership example, but inclusion is a popular thing these days and often looks good. I’m not looking for work and am doing this to help myself and coworkers (not my career) but now that I think about it is likely to look good.

    6. Blackcat*

      Now, I’m in academia, which is a different beast. What I did was not put it on application materials, but I would discuss it if it came up in a question. Of the 3 interviews where I did discuss it, people reacted quite negatively in two, and extremely positively in the third.

      1. Hapless Bureaucrat*

        I think that’s a good compromise, for a lot of reasons. I’d say our organization has a decent relationship with the union but varies between unions and managers. For me as a hiring manager, union experience can be a plus for a lot of reasons. I’ve been union myself, I have a lot of value for it. I’d want to hear about it.
        But you’ve got to get past HR first, who evaluate all resumes and approve hiring and who don’t particularly like organizers.
        Who has more control over whether the environment as a whole is union friendly? That depends on whether you’re concerned about structural or day to day experience. But it’s hard to evaluate that during an interview if you didn’t get past HR.

      2. Academic Too*

        I had a significant role as a union negotiating rep for two contracts. I even won a national leadership award for that work. When I went for a tenure track position in a University across the country, I did not put this experience on my cv or discuss in anyway. My experience stood me well in my own hiring negotiations. For me there would have only been drawbacks in disclosing.

    7. Retro*

      I think the way someone writes the description under their union leadership role also says a great deal. If the description is filled with bullet points about sticking it to management, that’s a bad sign. But if it focused on very concrete goals benefiting the union members and collaboration with management, I’d see it as OP indicating they can navigate through potentially tense negotiations/situations with success and maintain relationships on both sides. That is an absolute win of a skill that I’d definitely value!

    8. norma rae*

      For both you and LW5: I’ve been out of college a little under 7 years, and 6 of those were spent as a staff member of a union. It’s definitely different than rank-and-file involvement, but I had no choice but to put it on my resume for other jobs because it’s the majority of my work experience. I really made sure to highlight how my work was relevant to the position, so I talked about it very differently when applying to other unions vs other positions. I recently got hired with my state as an Unemployment Adjudicator, and that was based on a resume and cover letter where I really emphasized staying organized with a lot of work, writing/interpreting legal language, grievance casework skills, and figuring out a situation and navigating tough conversations when doing Weingartens and grievances.

    9. Love for labor organizers*

      Working in the progressive policy/advocacy and activism space, I can say union organizing experience would definitely be seen as a plus. You might want to consider looking for jobs in that realm.

  2. Budgie Buddy*

    For OP #2 everyone in my office is happy for those who have gotten vaccinated or those who have family members who qualify and got vaccinated. In our case everyone who got their first dose was 65+ so there wasn’t really any question about qualification.

    People won’t necessarily be weird about it.

    1. Willis*

      Yeah, I think the key is to say you were eligible so you got the vaccine (although you don’t have to go into why). Plus the OP is mentioning it as a way to potentially make things easier for non-vaccinated coworkers, like by being the one to go into the office or something. That’s something most people would appreciate.

      What not to do would be talking about how you snuck ahead in line or brag/constantly bring it up in front of people who may be trying to get vaccinated and can’t…but the OP seems a lot more thoughtful than that!

      1. Karo*

        But just by saying you’re eligible, you’re announcing that you have a pre-existing condition (assuming you’re not a frontline worker, which your coworkers should be aware of). I totally get why the OP wouldn’t necessarily want to share that information.

        1. Kiko*

          Good point. OP could probably just say they got lucky and knew someone who had to get rid of an extra shot. It’s happening left and right so I doubt anyone would question it.

          1. Bear Shark*

            I’m not telling people I work with that I got vaccinated (because I *did* know someone who had to get rid of an extra shot before it expired) because someone already went off on a rant about people theoretically skipping the line by accepting an extra shot. Between that and the people on the anti-vaccine side it’s not worth the hassle.

            1. Amaranth*

              I’d also want to weigh the likelihood of my employer taking advantage of my vaccinated status. There can be a world of difference between giving your employer peace of mind when you stop in at the office, and suddenly being tapped for EVERY in-office or public facing task.

            2. wittyrepartee*

              Yeah! Throw that wastage shot in the TRASH! That’s useful.

              I’ve literally seen shots thrown away. It haunts me.

        2. Filosofickle*

          There are limited ways to qualify without having a pre-existing condition, so it’s not completely an admission of that. I know people who got them by accompanying their grandparent to their vaccinations and by volunteering at vaccine clinics. My brother was also eligible in his state “first responder” because he teaches CPR on weekends. (He didn’t pursue that, felt too much like a loophole to him.)

        3. Database Developer Dude*

          Not necessarily, Karo. My primary job has me on a project in a government office with some high ranking dignitaries in it, and they are vaccinating EVERYONE who volunteers, not because of any altruistic reasons, but because they don’t want the principals infected. *shrug* I don’t care…I’ll take it.

        4. Indigo a la mode*

          I’m young and healthy, but eligible due to my volunteer work with social services. There are lots of reasons someone could be eligible.

    2. Willis*

      Yeah, I think the key is to say you were eligible so you got the vaccine (although you don’t have to go into why). Plus the OP is mentioning it as a way to potentially make things easier for non-vaccinated coworkers, like by being the one to go into the office or something. That’s something most people would appreciate.

      What not to do would be talking about how you snuck ahead in line or brag/constantly bring it up in front of people who may be trying to get vaccinated and can’t…but the OP seems a lot more thoughtful than that!

      1. Mongrel*

        A lot of GPs in my neck of the woods are calling people near the end of day so as not to waste doses. For these sort of calls they’re trying to pick from the next vaccination tier down who can answer “Can you be here within the next half hour?” in the affirmative.

        We also have different health-care groups with slightly differing priorities; I was added to the shielded list and got an appointment from my surgery for the jab, two days later I got a letter from the NHS central authority to sort out an appointment with them. The missus got a text from the hospital in London where she had a short stay with a broken leg last year (we live near London).

        If asked you can just tell people you were invited in and that current advice is to not turn it down if that’s the case, look blank and shrug if they try to push it.

        1. Retail Not Retail*

          Yeah! Tell them about waiting lists if your health department has them if that’s how you got it. (My county does.)

        2. kittymommy*

          That’s how I got mine by the sheer fact that I’m within 5 minutes of the Health Department at 5:30 on a Friday. I do feel rather guilty though.

          1. Zephy*

            Don’t be. It’s more important right now to get as many people vaccinated as possible – focusing efforts on more vulnerable groups first is good, but if you had turned down your opportunity that doesn’t necessarily mean your shot would definitely have gone to someone in those more vulnerable groups. Herd immunity depends on having a certain number of people protected, not what order those people receive their shots in.

          2. Lime green Pacer*

            Please, please, please don’t feel guilty! The opportunity fell into your lap and was toatlly legit. I have family members in Tier 1B, Tier 2, and I’m Tier 4. I don’t feel you skipped the queue. Every vaccinated person is a step in the right dirction. Every wasted shot is an opportunity missed.

          3. Hemingway*

            Please don’t. You didn’t take that vaccine from someone else, it would have gone to waste, and the more people who are vaccinated, the better for all.

            1. Mongrel*

              It’s important to remember that there are a number of factors that led to the Medical Centre offering the vaccine to you.

              Once they’re removed from their storage environment they can’t be put back and now have a time limit on their viability. The Pfizer one can take some time to defrost to a usable state (30 minutes I think)
              Once they’re closer to their usable temperature they may need to be mixed with an additional solvent, which starts a shorter countdown for viability.
              Both the Pfizer and Astrazeneca may have a ‘spare dose’ available once their listed doses are administered.

              During the day you they can have a rolling “Use the oldest first” policy but near the end of the day you may well have doses left that can either be offered to whoever is closest or you can chuck it.
              You lucked out, don’t feel guilty

            2. wittyrepartee*


              He also helped keep exhausted staff from having to call down a list of people and wait for a half hour for someone to come at the end of a 12 hour day. I know that it sounds like that shouldn’t be a problem to get the shot to the most needy person, but after months of it, everyone’s burning out. Having someone be able to show up in 5 minutes is amazing.

          4. Amaranth*

            If you’d turned down a ‘use it or lose it’ dose then there is no guarantee the next person on their list would have been reached in time to make it down there.

            My daughter is 20 and works part time for the University so she was included in a scheduling email as ‘staff’. She thinks its ridiculous so I recommended she email and ask if its required but not to feel guilty if it is, she’d still be building global immunity which puts those around her at less risk.

          5. wittyrepartee*

            Echoing others. Don’t feel guilty. Wasting shots is horrible, and you were close enough to be able to get there at the drop of a hat. You getting the shot helps keep others safe.

            What you can do is help any elderly people you know sign up for shots. The online interfaces most places are using are incredibly hard for people to use.

        3. facepalm*

          I showed up at the end of a huge vaccine clinic and joined a small crowd of people not in the eligibility bracket who were waiting to see if there would be extras. I thought there was a good chance with so many people, that at least a few wouldn’t show up. We were very lucky there were extras and that we had the flexibility and privilege to be able to attend at an odd time during the workday. My work is still fully remote and I haven’t told anyone at work I got the vaccine. I want to work remotely as long as possible, and I worry if they knew I’d been vaccinated I’d be required to return early.

          I haven’t told any friends or anyone outside of my household, either. My state isn’t even vaccinating people with pre-existing conditions or educators yet, so I don’t want to face any resentment. Also, most people I know are “back to normal” and doing things like eating indoors or socializing with their friends without masks, and I’d rather not face the social pressure to socialize with them when they are engaging in risky and unsafe behaviors.

          So…I’m vaccinated but nobody except my wife, child, and the thousands of anonymous readers of this page will know.

        4. Kiko*

          Yeah, there are tons of ways for non-eligible people to receive the vaccine. I’m in my 20s, healthy, and know a decent amount of friends who have received it. While some of them are first responders, everyone else had connections. One friend is related to someone running their small town’s vaccine center and was desperate for patients, while my SO and I were eligible (and encouraged) to receive it through the hospital we volunteer at. And, as people have mentioned below, you can just show up at a center and get lucky.

          I wouldn’t think anything of a young person who said they got their vaccine (unless they were being boastful about it).

    3. BadWolf*

      I can say that I was recently ragingly jealous and annoyed when someone in my hobby group suddenly announced they’d been vaccinated (and is not in any of the groups my state is actively vaccinated). She was mum on how she got it. I’ve been feeling super stressed about getting my eligible parent an appointment. I realize the system is borked right now and I’m directing my anger in the wrong direction, but boy the feelings were intense for a couples days (I’ve since learned she was got a “need a warm body at the end of the day” person).

      Anyway, for reasons above, I could see why OP2 would be reluctant on the potential jealousy angle.

      1. Hemingway*

        I get this. I had the same reaction when my cousin who is 30 who does medical coding at home (and has always been at home) got it while my elderly parents were struggling to find one. Of course we know its better that more people get them and whatever distribution ways are working and I obviously don’t want it to go to waste, but I get that visceral feeling about it.

      2. I just hope to be vaccinated before 2022*

        My spouse got it because she is a medical professional, even though she works in a school setting in a district that was still 100% remote (at the time she got it). She mentioned it during a zoom call with my side of the family; more than one of them were visibly distressed because of her line jumping. Now those people’s turns are coming up and my wife is complaining about them getting the shots when there are still unvaccinated elderly. She has speculated that they are lying about being smokers so they can qualify under the category of “two comorbidities.”

        People feel very strongly about this topic. Sharing your vaccination status could be a good thing, but it could also have unexpected repercussions.

        1. wittyrepartee*

          It frustrates me when people (especially people in medicine who had early, easy access) complain about others line jumping. Having been vaccinating people for a few months- everyone needs this protection. Even the people who I think are lying, many of them have good reasons to need the shot. Like- retail workers pretending to work for grocery stores, parents of immunocompromised children who can’t work from home but don’t have a job that makes them eligible. We all need to be extending people as much grace as possible right now.

    4. Rachel in NYC*

      Some people in my office have been pretty open about qualifying for it. Or discussed volunteering- so they’d qualify.

      I think it’s a lot about your office temperament. And the purpose of the comments. (The qualifications comments – for example- had to do with whether anyone had successfully gotten an appointment, which are hard to get if you aren’t 65+ in my neck of the woods. You either need amazing timing or a magic fairy wand.)

      1. Aggretsuko*

        I’ve told my coworkers, mostly so they can be informed as to how it happened for me and where to go get it, since both my HMO and my employer aren’t able to do it for almost everyone. The drugstore, on the other hand….

    5. Sandman*

      This probably varies by state, too. Our state I think is doing reasonably well at getting shots in arms, and at least in my area it seems like the older people most adamant about getting the shot quickly have gotten. I’m seeing more people my age (mid-40s) being vaccinated now – there are a lot of qualifying roles and medical conditions. And it seems like this will just continue to be less fraught over time. I think it’s a “know your culture” thing, but the risk of it coming across badly seems relatively low to me.

    6. sofar*

      It’s similar in my office. Everyone’s on the company-wide Slack channel sharing their experiences with signing up and side effects. I think everyone’s just still excited about the vaccine. And I’m glad everyone is supportive, because that is also meaning flexibility among managers if people need to take a day off due to side effects (or to drive 2 hours to get a vaccine).

      It’s a bit controversial in TX overall, b/c it’s SO hard to get an appointment, even if you qualify, but my coworkers are sharing their tips and tricks for how they got appointments.

      I had only one weird encounter when someone casually said, “Well you and I are probably WAY down the list for being vaccinated.” And, to avoid weirdness later, I told them that, in fact, I am vaccinated due to participating in a trial. I’ve been pretty open about it overall because I am relatively young and healthy, and I don’t want to be seen as a line-jumper.

      1. Aggretsuko*

        My giant org has an entire Covid slack channel for this stuff and so far people are trying to figure out where to get it.

    7. MG*

      I wish I could say this has been my experience within my acquaintance group. I have seen some of the nastiest, hateful comments lobbed at people who post on social media that they got the vaccine, even from people I would not have expected. Unfortunately I qualify in my state with a pre-existing condition and when I told one of my best friends I had an appointment scheduled, she was livid and wouldn’t speak to me for the rest of the day. I think this whole pandemic has brought out the absolute worst in some people and it’s incredibly disappointing. I am afraid to share with my coworkers for this reason and will not be telling more than a few very close friends. It’s a case of “know your audience” but unfortunately we sometimes find out we think we know our audience better than we do.

      1. sofar*

        Yeah, my knee-jerk reaction has been a bit critical in some cases. A friend of mine qualifies b/c she’s a pharma exec (working at home permanently), but apparently that qualifies her as “health care worker” where she lives. And I was at first kinda floored she got vaccinated before the elderly.

        But … the way I’ve come to see it is, one more person getting vaccinated now means one less person gumming up the system when it opens to all. My husband qualifies based on BMI in TX and he was super hesitant about “taking” a vaccine when others are more deserving, but he scheduled an appointment now because his new job’s schedule may not be as flexible, and doing it now opens up a vaccine slot for someone in the general population in a few months (when, hopefully, supply will be better).

        1. wittyrepartee*

          This is absolutely a great way to think about it. The system is broken, we need to fix it, but any one person getting a shot is doing us all a favor. Your husband should get the shot, and then if he can- help someone else get the shot.

    8. AVP*

      This is so location-dependent! Where I live many people are eligible and can generally get appointments if you’re good at the internet, but some of the reasons you might qualify are a bit embarrassing or something you wouldn’t want to disclose at work (say, obesity, or a pregnancy you don’t want to tell your boss about yet). I like Alison’s script followed by the general “wow, that’s a personal question,” line of thinking you’d use to shut down any intrusive health/medical questioning.

      1. Drago Cucina*

        Location-dependent is an important point. It was a discussion point at the American Library Association Mid-Winter meeting. In some states while educators are classified as 1B, the librarians who work at academic or school libraries are still classified as 1C. Even though they’ve been required to be open, while classes are remote. Public librarians who are working with the public daily are 1C in most states.

        There’s “jumping the line” and then there’s a line that makes no sense. I got an end of day, last shot, vaccine. One more part in herd immunity.

        1. Gumby*

          Or a line that changes on what seems like a weekly basis. *cough*California*cough*

          Though, as long they didn’t use subterfuge, I am happy for anyone to get it. I am more annoyed at the state than at individuals just doing the best they can.

  3. scmill*

    OP #2: If you are comfortable sharing that you are already vaccinated, it may help others around you decide to get their shots, too.

    1. Zoe*

      Exactly. The more it normalizes it the better. I made an announcement to all my P/T staff today that my first shot appointment is tomorrow. They all qualify now along with me (food service) and I just said FYI and that I’d tell them how it went and how I felt, etc. They don’t have to tell me, but if I help one of them decide to do it all the better.

    2. Keymaster of Gozer*

      This is my personal view, I’ll share when I get vaccinated because I want to help normalise it. Additionally it might shut up a few people when I don’t suddenly grow 3 heads/get robot powers/show up on wifi!

      But, I’m also totally ok with telling people I’ve got an autoimmune disease, so I don’t have any need to be circumspect.

      1. TRexx*

        I would say that it’s okay to share you got vaccinated (if you are comfortable doing so), but not okay to ask others if they have been vaccinated at this point.

        1. Keymaster of Gozer*

          Oh I don’t ask others. I just like being upfront so people who may have been entertaining false views of the vaccines can see it’s not dangerous.

    3. Smithy*

      I agree with this. I think particularly as some are viewing certain qualifying conditions (BMI or smoking) as less worthy reasons than others – to normalize that folks should get them when they can is also helpful.

      The systems are messed up, the computer registration is very often benefiting those with better computers/WIFI/tech skills – but all of that doesn’t mean that individuals who can get the vaccine shouldn’t because it will somehow help more marginalized groups.

      1. Spotted Kitty*

        I got my first dose because of the BMI thing. I’m pretty healthy and felt a little weird about it at first, but hey, if the state thinks I’m eligible, I’m gonna go ahead and do it!

        1. Cat Tree*

          I’m eligible because of pregnancy but otherwise live like a hermit so my risk of exposure is low. I was hesitant to sign up but eventually decided to do so (actually getting the vaccine is a different story altogether). The way I see it, for each person who gets the vaccine, that reduces the strain on hospital ICUs. So if I get severe Covid because I’m not vaccinated yet, at least there will be a bed, ventilator, and health care workers available for me in the hospital. I realize that sounds morbid, but just a few months ago hospitals in my area were so full that it would have been hard for me to get care even for a non-Covid emergency. So it’s an improvement.

          And I hope I can get vaccinated by the time I give birth in a hospital, but even if I can’t my overall risk will be lower because many of the hospital staff will be vaccinated. And if there are complications, again there will be room for me in the ICU.

          Smokers, obese people, lucky people who showed up at the right time – others might be resentful but I’m just happy that my overall risk is decreased by each person who gets that shot.

        2. Name (Required)*

          I too became eligible recently for medical reasons. I don’t mind sharing that I have the medical issue to others, I can’t hide all my medical conditions (sometimes I have to be open those around me can be aware of signs and/or what not to do

          …but having the appearance of a normal “healthy” person, I feel have kept this close to the chest right now. I am sure there are going to be far more side-eyed reactions than not right now to this news, so I am not sharing it.

          OP2 I share your conundrum.

  4. anone*

    “During our one-on-one today, she told me she thinks about me 3,000 times a day, about things she wants to tell me. Thinking about that gives me butterflies”

    Oh dear, OP1, that sounds like a straight-up crush, and mutual (it’s really not a “platonic” thing to think about someone 3,000 times a day or feel butterflies when you hear about it). And…. awkward. Avoid alone time together. Be extremely committed to polite professionalism. Find other things to engage your attention and put your focus into. Let the feelings die out.

    I’ve had inappropriate crushes too. It happens. The person just happens to have that whatever-it-is that some part of you really yearns to connect with and be seen by. I’ve even had inappropriate crushes where I was like, “it’s not really romantic, it’s more a professional thing???” and the thing is that it’s not really a difference, because the tingly-warm-wow-this-person-is-so-great-I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-them-I-just-want-to-be-around-them-but-professionally!! is still a big stumbling block when it comes to maintaining a functional professional relationship. It’s too much. And it feels nice right now, but feelings with intensity like that are fun on the way up and hell on the way down (again, speaking from very personal experience of something quite similar).

    Give yourself distance. Tone it down. Don’t encourage the mutuality.

    1. Chc34*

      I’m wondering if OP is not usually attracted to women and so doesn’t recognize this for what it is, which I agree seems like actually just a straight-up crush.

      1. Sam*

        I picked that up too. Reminds me of being in high school and having friendly crush on a girl a few years above me. She was on the varsity team, I was on JV, and convinced myself that I just admired her sports skills and overall personality. As a now out lesbian, I can’t believe I didn’t figure that out sooner. Obviously the OPs situation is different but like others here, I’d recommend keeping those feelings in check since it’s your boss.

        1. Juniper*

          I had one of those! We would walk the same way after school, and I would awkwardly linger to try and leave at the same time, or slow down so she had a chance to catch up to me. At the time those feelings confused me, but looking back I definitely had a girl crush on her. In my case I turned out to be straight as an arrow so 20 years later I’ve come to appreciate that those feelings were a strange mix of respect, admiration, and wanting to be her more than be with her.

        2. Elenna*

          Oh, yeah, I’m remembering back in 9th grade when I thought one of the other girls was the prettiest girl in the class, super smart, super fun to be around, I literally spent time dreamily watching her… and somehow I did not realize this was anything but platonic admiration. Meanwhile I spent some time in high school being super confused about why I was sexually attracted to both genders but only had crushes on men, briefly wondered if internalized homophobia was involved, and eventually decided that I was bisexual but heteroromantic. Wasn’t until partway through uni when I developed a crush on a non-binary acquaintance that I realized, wait, I’m just pansexual and that was totally a crush way back when. :D

      2. Forrest*

        what I once referred on Livejournal as “the Eternal Lesbian Conundrum, the Be/F*ck Dilemma: do I want to be her or do I want to–” I was amazed when half the queer women on my friends list (n>20) went, omg omg is that not just me then.

      3. Cj*

        I wondered that also. I might have missed it, but I don’t see gender specified anywhere for the OP, and think it might be a woman.

      4. ThatGirl*

        As a cis woman who grew up in the 80s and 90s … so many teen-girl magazines of that era told me that it was perfectly fine to have a crush on a woman, but it probably meant that I admired them !! …. took me way too long to figure out I was bi, in part because of messages like that.

      5. Aggretsuko*

        Yeah, depends if it ends up being sexual, even if the crush isn’t their usual supposed gender preference.

        Though I do sometimes have friend/platonic/”love ya but this isn’t sexual” crushes on those of my same gender. Two of my friends have this mutually for me as well, so it all works out, even though in one case she and I are both straight and the other one is asexual, so none of us shall bone.

        But that said, this does remind me a bit of my actual crush person, who I tried to talk myself into saying, “It’s a professional crush!” (for our hobby, mind you, not work) when the feelings started to really kick me in the head watching what he was doing oh, so well.

    2. allathian*

      Yeah, I agree with you. Although to be fair, it’s going to damage the OP’s career anyway if they start avoiding being alone with their manager. In a functional, non-toxic, professional relationship it’s pretty essential to be able to have 1:1 meetings, for example.

      1. VI Guy*

        I don’t think time alone needs to be avoided completely, but definitely limited. The tendency when you have a good connection is to find opportunities to chat, and those can often be alone, so LW should aim to include more people. It’s the difference between eating lunch as two or with the team. I recently met someone socially who has a lot of overlap with me professionally, so we have met up a few times and talked quite a bit. The tendency is for people who like each other to want to spend more time together, and in this case they should strongly resist.

    3. Sherm*

      Yeah, if my boss told me that she thought of me 3,000 times a day, I’d be very uncomfortable, and the fact that you are apparently not, OP, should be cause to really think about what’s going on here.

      1. The Original K.*

        Yep. That’s romantic, and I would be very uncomfortable to hear that from a boss or colleague.

        1. c_g2*

          Or platonic. There are intense platonic crushes. The main difference is the interest in sex and/or romance.

      2. Let's Just Say*

        Yes, I wish Alison had addressed this in her answer because it seems like a weird thing for the boss to say! Of course a lot depends on context and tone – maybe it was obvious hyperbole and she was just excited about a work thing? – but it means LW should tread even more carefully in keeping boundaries on the professional relationship.

      3. Sparrow*

        Yeah, I was uncomfortable with that, too. To be very generous to the boss, I guess I can imagine an overly effusive person with a poor sense of boundaries saying something like that with non-personal intentions, or an instance where a boss (especially a new boss) might say something hyperbolic like, “You have really good insight on this – I feel like I have 3000 things I want to run past you every day!” But I think it’s clear that even if the boss did indeed mean it platonically, however unlikely that may be, statements like this could easily be misinterpreted and almost certainly would be misinterpreted by someone who wants to hear it differently.

      4. Aggretsuko*

        I don’t think this is a platonic crush for OP or their boss if it’s 3000x/day here. It sounds very mutual.

        I hope they can hold off until one of them gets away from the other, jobwise. This sounds intense.

    4. Derivative Poster*

      Agree with all of this. Furthermore, if your boss said she thinks about you 3000 times a day in a tone that left her motivations ambiguous, I question whether her “excellent guidance” is really that excellent. There are a lot of ways this could go wrong, your boss may not be guarding against those pitfalls, and the power imbalance is not in your favor. Proceed with caution!

    5. Anonbeth*

      I think it could be a platonic crush*, and the LW second-guessing herself about whether her own feelings are romantic won’t help her. But, I definitely agree with this part of your comment: “the thing is that it’s not really a difference, because the tingly-warm-wow-this-person-is-so-great-I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-them-I-just-want-to-be-around-them-but-professionally!! is still a big stumbling block when it comes to maintaining a functional professional relationship.”

      LW, a lot of the normal getting-over-a-crush advice will help you. Notice when you’re thinking about Olivia too much and send those thoughts away. Go into meetings with some agenda and try not to chitchat about anything too personal for too long. Give yourself a little mental mantra (“Olivia is a great manager and I enjoy working for her!”) to give your Feelings some direction. That sort of thing.

      *I don’t want to derail, but: as a queer person in one of the + categories, I’ve spent a lot of time reading and talking to people about how they experience various forms of crushes, interest, attraction, etc. Platonic crushes are definitely a thing some people experience very intensely. Other people, not so much or not at all. So there might be a range of reactions in the comments based on people’s own experiences. (I’m glad to see Alison mention them so matter of factly!)

      1. Queer Earthling*

        Yeah, my spouse is asexual and many of my friends are ace and/or aro, and “platonic crushes” are definitely A Huge Thing! Heck, I’m not ace and I’ve definitely had platonic crushes where I just really, really want to be someone’s friend or have them notice me and think I’m cool, and it’s no less intense just because it’s not romantic or sexual.

        But I think the general advice is good–to remember that they’re just a person and don’t put them on a pedestal as Alison said. Let the feelings fuel you to do well if they help motivate you, but don’t obsess, or try to make it a Thing. Focus your out-of-work energy on other stuff if you can.

        1. Llama face!*

          A common asexual term for a platonic crush is a “squish”.

          -Signed, an aro ace gal who’s had neither (and is grateful- they sound so embarrassingly awkward!)

          1. Queer Earthling*

            YES, I love the term “squish,” it’s so cute! I just didn’t want to turn my already rambly post into a vocabulary lesson as well lol

            They totally can be awkward though it is true.

          2. Sparrow*

            I’m ace but haven’t heard “squish” before! I’m totally going to start using it because it’s super cute.

      2. LTL*

        My thought on reading the letter and Alison’s answer was that, well, even if it is a platonic crush, shouldn’t OP still be very careful? Because regardless, it feels very intense. A mutually (or not) intense pull isn’t appropriate with your boss, romantic or otherwise.

        I mean, obviously OP can’t help their feelings, but I think the advice to commit to professionalism and be careful applies no matter what the nature of the crush. It doesn’t sound minor.

    6. Forrest*

      Yes– this was really over the boundaries of professional from Olivia. This is really the kind of comment you have to shut down and step back from, as hard as it feels to do!

      It’s exactly how you develop intimacy with someone– Oh hey, I noticed a thing about you; oh hey, I was thinking about you; oh hey, let me just keep demonstrating the ways in which you are taking up space in my head. In a situation where it’s good and OK to develop intimacy–the beginnings of a friendship or a romantic relationship– it’s wonderful and exciting when you say this kind of stuff and you can see from the other person’s reactions that they are pleased to hear it and it’s mutual, you feel good about it and you do it more and they do it too and that’s how a friendship (or a relationship) happens. In a situation where intimacy can’t develop– where you are manager and report, or it’s clearly romantic/sexual and you’re not available for that– you need to not initiate those moments of intimacy and not encourage them from the other person.

      This doesn’t have to be big stuff– if Olivia says, “Oh, I think about you so much!” and you do the tiniest stuff to physically distance yourself– literally move your head back, look blank or startled or weirded out, smile awkwardly, move the conversation on to something work-related very quickly — that’s probably enough to re-set the boundary. All of those things will make establishing intimacy *not a pleasant experience* for Olivia and deny the positive feedback.

      In my experience it is quite hard to cut yourself off from those nice feelings initially, because it does feel nice to have those moments of intimacy and mutual appreciation! But in a work context, it saves soooooo much awkwardness and difficulty further down the way.

      1. LW #1*

        Thanks! This is a very useful comment. In the moment I was kind of taken aback by Olivias comment and didn’t really respond. But after the meeting I started thinking about what she meant and having an internal reaction. I also distanced myself a bit to “reset”.

        I will add some more context because I see there is a lot of speculation in the comments. At the end of the meeting Olivia asked if there is anything else I want to talk about and when I said “no” she said she thought about me 3000 times a day, about things she wants to tell me, and she wrote some things down but couldn’t remember everything, so she also didn’t have anything else to bring up. Her leading style is very engaged and I’m sure it was hyperbole, but I still really reacted to the “3000 times a day” with mixed feelings. First “Wow, that’s a lot and makes me a little overwhelmed and confused”, then “She thinks about me=she likes me! Dopamine high!” and then “This could cause trouble, must write to Ask a Manager”.

    7. Not So NewReader*

      How often do we hear cohorts saying, “I think about you so much!”?

      Not often and there is usually surrounding context. “I am sorry for your loss, I think of you so often and hope you are okay.” OR, “How’s the new house/pup/kiddo? I think of you talking about this and it makes me smile.”

      No, OP, this person is fishing to see where things are at for you. I’d almost be suspicious that they have done this before with other people. But that’s just me. And of course this feels flattering and it’s a high/a kick of sorts. Kind of normal for the givens, actually.

      This is the point where you have to stop and think what do you want here, OP? What is missing from your life? You can go get another job and then see if this person wants to explore a relationship with you. But from what i have seen from couples around me, if you stay as you are now you can end up without the job AND without this person. The short term on this one can sound like a lot of fun, but the long term might be a disaster.

    8. Lunchtime caller*

      I think we’re taking the OP’s crush-tinted reading of that statement a little too far! I really doubt the boss said anything inappropriate—it sounds like it was much closer to “oh I keep a running list of tasks to turn into an email later—otherwise I’d be blowing up the chat when I think of what to tell you 3,000 times a day!” It was the OP who took it as “she thinks of ME, OMG!!!” Barring more information, that feels way more likely than some sort of A Simple Favor scenario.

      1. Forrest*

        Both readings are possible, I think– I don’t think there’s any reason to assume that OF COURSE a boss wouldn’t say anything so unprofessional, when bosses do in fact say extremely unprofessional things all the time.

        1. lunchtime caller*

          It’s not that I doubt any boss could be inappropriate, but more that in a scenario where the OP is desperate to latch on to ANY sign the boss is into them, all they came up with was this one lone statement (versus a pattern of boundary crossing, too much time together, sharing confidences, etc) and even that one (“she thinks about me!!”) was immediately following with “to tell me things”–so no, I don’t think the evidence lies in the direction of a sexually harassing boss trying to find out where the OP’s lines are. And I think it’s honestly not helpful for the OP to have too many comments insisting that actually, their boss likes them romantically, when they’re in a headspace where that very well may sound like “so go for it!!!”

          1. Forrest*

            Hm, I don’t think that it means that Olivia is sexually harassing LW or trying to consciously manipulate or test the boundaries. I read it much more as the kind of thing you say when you have great chemistry with someone — regardless of whether it’s friendship chemistry or sexual chemistry– and you’re just enjoying their company and the positive feedback you get from each other. And a lot of that is very hard to be specific about– it really is just tiny things like remembering to ask how that thing went last weekend, or seeking out eye contact when you know they’ll also be shocked/amused/eye-rolly about what someone else just said– just very small stuff that builds intimacy, but which doesn’t have to be sexual or romantic at all. Great friendship chemistry starts the same way, and if Olivia and LW were at the same level, this wouldn’t be any kind of red flag at all.

            It could be entirely in LW’s head, but it seems more likely to me that she is getting “hey, I like you!” vibes from Olivia, and from my experience, it’s actually more important to acknowledge when there is mutuality and work a little harder to shut down those moments. Assuming it’s one-sided can give you an excuse to keep the fantasy going!

            1. Amaranth*

              Also, I’m not sure we have enough context for the comment, it could be about moving desks or getting on slack, an exaggeration to lead into a need to createbetter communication options rather than waiting for 1:1. I’m not sure its a dreamy ‘oh, I think about you all the time’ that the LW seems to be hearing.

      2. Joan Rivers*

        In a one on one meeting w/your employee, saying you think of things to tell her 3,000 times a day is just a bit much, whether you mean it in a flirty way or the most platonic way.

        It stands out to me because it’s unusual. Maybe she means she’s scattered and stressed. Maybe she’s overwhelmed. But who talks like that?

        Maybe boss is just confiding stress to an obviously sympathetic person, but that person is taking it personally, romantically.
        Maybe boss is saying this in the context of her long list of things to do, but LW hears what she wants to hear. But it’s “showing vulnerability” or being histrionic to say 3,000 times.

        And I’d think boss would be aware of the flirty message that could send.

    9. Person from the Resume*

      Yes, yes, yes! The LW **might** have just a professional crush but the boss doesn’t. She has a romantic crush if she’s thinks about you 3,000 times a day, about things she wants to tell you. That’s a romantic crush and she’s crossed the line by telling you this in an effort to find out how you feel. It really looks like your boss is angling for romantic relationship with you. That’s so unprofessional!

      Looks like you’re the one who is going to have to keep it professional. Stick to work topics with her and no extra hangouts and after work time together.

      1. lunchtime caller*

        Really? Would it change your feelings if the context the OP dropped was “to tell you about the projects we’re working on” and not “sweet nothings, facts about my life, etc”? Because to me the OP is WANTS to think the boss loves them in a special way, above their other coworkers, and contributing to that reading is actually not going to dissuade them from this crush.

    10. HR Exec Popping In*

      It might very well be a platonic crush on both sides. But to help ensure it does not go further it is important for the OP to purposefully treating their manager like their manager. Doing so can help you both remember the boundaries. Ask for approval on things, request performance feedback, limit discussions that are too personal or intimate. Ask yourself if you would normally share something with your past managers. If the answer is no, then don’t do it with this manager.

    11. BadWolf*

      Some people are also “natural” exaggerators. Everything is big. Everyone is important. No idea if that’s the case for the OP. Since they’ve met working from home, OP may not have a great idea of how Olivia is with everyone. I definitely know people who routinely turn 1 or 2 into a lot. Helping me once or twice turns into “I helped BadWolf a ton”

      For the OP, remember that people’s work personas are usually not their whole self. Usually in a good way (for the workplace). Many people, myself included, while not trying to be robot, try to not bring drama to work. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve been working with a coworker and feeling how super wonderful they must be to suddenly listen to a call from home and suddenly Bam! Real person again.

      1. lunchtime caller*

        Yes, I appreciate this point! It’s not unlikely for someone to mean “oh I thought of a few things to tell them about the stuff we’re working on” when what they say is “OMG I keep thinking of stuff to tell you every other minute!” because they’re naturally a bit dramatic in their phrasing. Unless they’re actually trying to talk to you all the time…I would take that statement with a big grain of salt and consider if you (the OP) are looking for “signs” in a way that’s just feeding the flames of “I can’t help these feelings.”

      2. Sparrow*

        Yeah, I could imagine someone who tends to be hyperbolic and/or overly effusive saying something like this in a work context and not thinking it might be weird. But even if that’s the case, it’s a statement that’s very easily misinterpreted.

    12. In my shell*

      YES! OP 1 lost me at “… she told me she thinks about me 3,000 times a day, about things she wants to tell me.” If it were anyone but a boss that would be adorable, but… NOPE. AND it was during a boss/employee 1:1?! OMG. *danger ahead!!!*

      1. Amaranth*

        I think it depends on context, because this is during a 1:1 so if it was a reference to work topics, it makes sense even if hyperbolic. Then the answer is better options for office comms. If Olivia wants to share every time she sees a puppy, or a flower, or what she thinks about the movie she saw…yeah, thats a problem.

  5. Anononon*

    I was able to get vaccinated despite being relatively young (but otherwise eligible per my state’s guidelines). I told people I work with, and there hasn’t been any issues.

    1. Cj*

      Depending on your state guidelines, you may be eligible if you are a caregiver for an older or otherwise eligible person, so if I hear a younger person was vaccinated, I don’t jump to thinking they have a health condition themselves. And I also wouldn’t assume they jumped the line.

      1. anon-for-this*

        Yeah, although it can be a somewhat gray area. I’ve been able to get vaccinated, in a fashion that I suppose some people might consider “jumping the line,” and I do find myself being selective about who I share that with.
        I’m currently staying with my parents, who live in a smaller less populated county– where from what I understand, they’re actually having to work a bit to drum up enough people to come in and get vaccinated. My parents (over 65) had signed up for an appointment as soon as they possibly could, so when they got the call to come in for a shot, they said “hey our daughter is under 65 but she’s currently living with us, can she get a vaccine too” — and they basically were just like “sure, come on in.”

        A part of me does feel guilty about it — one of my aunts, who lives in one of the larger cities in our state, had a kidney transplant last year. She still hasn’t been able to get a shot because she’s only 64, and our state hasn’t opened things up to under 65 with underlying conditions yet — and in the area where she is, they’re still overwhelmed trying to work their way through the 65 and over tier.

  6. Artemesia*

    Crushes are pretty normal parts of life. I remember after losing my job in a merger, getting a position with a new hire in the old org and I became his right hand person in establishing his leadership of the organization. We hit it off and really enjoyed working together. We are both happily married and neither interested in an affair, and so we were both careful to maintain appropriate boundaries. I forced. myself to confront and then compartmentalize in such a way that any romantic interest was stomped on. I loved talking with him, building programs with him, helping in the decision process — it was great fun and it never became inappropriate because I simply refused to let my mind go there.

    Crushes can be fun. You have a choice about whether you encourage yourself to frame it as a personal rather than professional relationship.

    1. allathian*

      Yeah, this. I’ve never had a crush on a manager or supervisor. There are a few I’ve really enjoyed working with because they were great mentors and invested in my professional development. One reason for that is probably that I just can’t imagine having a crush on another woman and the vast majority of my managers have been women. Professional admiration is as far as I’ll go.

      I have had a few crushes on my peers, especially when I was younger and single. They were fun while they lasted, even if they were always one-sided. I’ve only had one crush on a coworker during my marriage. I still enjoy working with him, but I’m rather relieved that the crush is gone.

    2. Keymaster of Gozer*

      There was a manager who I adored, thought the world of, got really giddy about them coming into the office, constantly thought of, had a great rapport with…

      …then I saw him pick his nose in public and err consume it.

      Screeching tire sounds on that crush!

      That was 15 or so years ago. After I left the firm we actually became really good friends (lot of shared interests) and still are. But he’s not on a pedestal to me anymore! Frankly it’s a relief.

    3. Rhymetime*

      I met someone socially as a friend and in an unpredictable twist a couple years later, we ended up working at the same place and he was my boss. I found that I then developed a crush on him, but I knew it was inappropriate and made sure to keep my professional boundaries and not indulge the feelings. They faded on their own. I ended up getting a promotion and we were peers, and eventually became friends with his wife and kids, but by then the crush was long past.

      OP, make a commitment to put a stop to those feelings right now. They cannot go further. If you make that commitment to yourself, you can manage this.

      That said, I also know of a manager and a subordinate who became attracted to each other and their solution was for one of them to quit so they could enter into a romantic relationship. They made the right choice not to get involved while they were still working together, and they’re happily married now. That’s another solution should you and your manager end up going in that direction, but you absolutely cannot be romantically involved while your manager is in a power position over you.

    4. BusyBee*

      I agree with this! My boss just left the organization, but I enjoyed working with her so much. It was more of a “wow, this person is so cool, I want to be like them when I grow up and I hope we can hang out more!” kind of crush, but it was that same feeling of being excited to spend time together. We just worked really well together, our personalities gelled well, and it was a pleasure to collaborate with someone I respect so much. So I think this kind of platonic crush can be great and a lot of fun if you keep it professional, as you pointed out.

    5. Cj*

      The difference here is that you both married, and wouldn’t have started anything even if they weren’t your manager. It sounds like both people in this situation feel the same, and if they had met some other way may start a relationship. They only way to do that, though, is if one of them leaves their job. Or at least transfers to another department.

  7. PspspspspspsKitty*

    LW 5 – I’ve only had 5 years of experience in a production type industry that uses unions. This is in the US. It usually depends on the person itself rather than the experience. I’ve worked with unions. We had some great people that we tried to hire into management positions because they had great skills to work between the management and the union. I’ve also had nightmare experiences with the union that made work more dysfunctional. Because of my bad experiences, I would ask more questions, but it wouldn’t be a red flag either. For me, it’s the same as someone who doesn’t have the appropriate degree, not enough experience, or has job hopped a few times; I would ask more questions to understand why.

  8. Platonic Crush*

    I’ve had a platonic crush in a professional setting. It was like, “Wow, this colleague does amazing work and I can’t wait to see them and drive the company goals forward together!” At no time was it ever remotely romantic.

    LW1 – If it is just a mutual respect for your excellent work then, in my experience, nothing else will develop from it other than enjoying your professional relationship. If not, then I agree with Alison’s advice to consciously maintain those hard boundaries (so, no friending on social media or catching up 1:1 outside of business needs).

    If it gets very very obvious it’s a romantic thing, you need to get out of her chain of command – either by moving to another team, or finding a new workplace.

    1. Shirley Keeldar*

      Maybe OP can try to spread that professional admiration around a little. Are there other people in her organization or profession that she admires, not just Olivia? I’m sure Olivia is very cool, but maybe OP can also try to notice others she’d like to emulate. “Oh, Monica always gives such dynamic presentations, I could try to pep mine up a little” or “Fareed is always so responsive and helpful, I like that about him, maybe I could do that a bit too.” Just so her attention isn’t so concentrated on her boss.

      1. LW #1*

        Thanks! That’s an excellent suggestion. I actually really admire the work “Lauren” does and how she handles things.

  9. Privacy please*

    I disagree with telling co-workers you’ve been vaccinated. It could lead to people feeling pressured to reveal whether they’ve been vaccinated. If people aren’t/can’t get vaccinated they may be ostracized, etc. Peoples medical decisions should be private.

    1. PspspspspspsKitty*

      I disagree with this. I don’t think everyone has to reveal their vaccination status if they don’t want to, but there’s nothing wrong with talking about getting vaccinated. Those who have exemptions already know how to response to this kind of thing anyways.

      1. Autistic AF*

        This conversation reminds me of influenza vaccines – they were available at the office (back when we worked in offices) and most people signed up. I never did because I’ve had bad reactions in the past and would rather deal with them on my own time… It never came up. I acknowledge that there are COVID is a different beast, and there are some legitimate reasons for vaccine hesitancy (e.g. institutionalized mistreatment of minorities like the Tuskegee Experiment).

        In general, though, the stigma and ostracization Privacy please refers to is fueled by not talking about it. We normalize our differences and come to a better understanding by being open – it’s a complement to privacy, not an opposite.

        1. Aggretsuko*

          Nobody really cared about flu shots before officewise until everyone was required to get one this year. Mostly because we had one coworker whose entire logic for not getting one was “I’ve never had to before, why should I now?” and my poor boss had to figure out how to deal with that since “I don’t wanna” didn’t qualify for an exemption. In the end, that coworker isn’t allowed to physically come to the office in flu season, which she wasn’t going to anyway, so…all a wash, I guess.

    2. June Marie*

      I totally agree with this comment. Normalising the sharing of medical information is not something I think should be encouraged. People have a right to privacy in certain areas of their life, this is one of them.

      1. Homophone Hatty*

        I think that’s a bit of a stretch. Of course there should be no pressure to share medical information if one doesn’t want to, and no one should ever ASK, but making talking about any medical aspect of our lives, even something as simple as a vaccination, taboo seems like a massive over-correction.

      2. Trexx*

        Agree, no one is obligated to share medical info, some don’t mind doing so- and that’s ok with caution. Remember vaccination status is still part of private medical info. Managers who share vaccination status or any other private or protected medical info of their team should be reprimanded or terminated.

        Also, covid has been particularly emotional for many families, so knowing a coworkers status could cause unnecessary employee relations issues if some people cannot or won’t get vaccinated… which could subsequently lead to morale problems, potential bullying in the workplace, or at the very minimum highly confidential uncomfortable questions about someone’s medical condition or religious beliefs- both which are protected as well.

        The fact is the vaccine is not 100 percent effective (no vaccine is), and we still don’t understand possibility to transmit after receiving one- or the effectiveness against different strands of the virus coming out now globally. False sense of security is dangerous to others and yourself.

        Vaccinated professionals still have to wear a mask and follow cdc guidelines, so not sure what you are accomplishing by sharing this info…. please ask yourself that before sharing. Managers should be asking their team if they are comfortable traveling, coming to the office etc, NOT if they are vaccinated… managers beware of your line of questioning then re-read the cdc guidance.

        1. HR Exec Popping In*

          There is a big difference between someone volunteering medical related information and a manager asking for that information. It is perfectly fine for individuals to share this if they are comfortable doing so and want to share it. But they should not be asked to do so. And no one should be disciplined for wanting to share this information.

          If the OP believes it would be beneficial to share her vaccine status, that is fine. That is her choice and there is nothing wrong with it.

          1. Observer*

            It is perfectly fine for individuals to share this if they are comfortable doing so and want to share it. But they should not be asked to do so. And no one should be disciplined for wanting to share this information.

            I think that this is a point that’s worth emphasizing.

          2. Keymaster of Gozer*

            Yup, if I choose to share my vaccine status (and believe me I will) I shouldn’t be reprimanded or disciplined for doing so.

            Conversely I won’t ask my staff. I DO get to tell them to wear a mask or leave work. That I can and will discipline for.

        2. kittymommy*

          Well, it is not correct that everyone is required to wear masks. At least in the states mask mandates are not federally mandated (except for federal buildings/agencies) and a great many states do not have state-wide mandates. My state of Florida expressly does not have one and our governor has gone so far as stating that local mandates are unenforceable as they apply to individuals.

      3. Observer*

        Normalising the sharing of medical information is not something I think should be encouraged. People have a right to privacy in certain areas of their life, this is one of them.

        People also have a right to not have to hide stuff all the time.

        No one should be pressured to share information. But people should not be pressured to hide information or to pretend that most major areas of their lives just don’t exist for the vast portion of their waking lives.

        There is no contradiction between “It’s ok to talk about medical stuff to some extent” and “It’s ok to NOT talk about medical stuff.”

      4. Aggretsuko*

        Unfortunately, pandemic means that your health is everybody’s health and vice versa. Privacy concerns are …. less of an issue when your coworker who insists on not getting vaccinated might expose people.

        1. JM60*

          Exactly. I very much would want people who refuse to get a COVID vaccine when offered – aside from those who can’t due to medical reasons – to feel ostracised. There are enough people who are hesitant to get these vaccines that it may cause this pandemic to have a long tail, and will give the virus more chances to mutate.

          I realize that telling others you’ve been vaccinated may have the side effect of making those innocent people who can’t get vaccinated also feel ostracised, but I think that encouraging vaccinations among those who can safely get the vaccines outweighs that. In fact, those who can’t get the vaccine would benefit from herd immunity the most.

    3. allathian*

      Yeah, I agree up to a point. Although I’ve found that the anti-vaxxers are loud enough anyway that they’re probably unmistakable. And I can and will limit the contact I have with such people as much as I can.

      I have a few strong opinions and I’m not afraid to voice them. Everyone who can get vaccinated should get vaccinated, if only to help protect those who can’t do it for medical reasons. I have zero sympathy for people who refuse on any other grounds and I certainly don’t respect them at all. I certainly won’t mourn if they catch a dangerous disease and die.

      1. Nancy*

        Don’t get me wrong. If I can get it l will get it but I don’t have much faith in it. I am not an anti-vaxxer by any wild stretch of the imagination. I had all mine, my kids had all theirs.
        I thought the claims that the childhood vaccinations caused autism were bogus long before the person who published the study admitted the data was falsified.
        Th vaccines are not 100% effective. I think it will lull people into complacency and a false sense of security. There are already far too many people looking for any excuse not to wear a mask or not to practice social distancing and now they will have one. They won’t look at it as just another weapon in the arsenal but a magic bullet that will allow them to travel without quarantine, go mask-less and sit in crowds.

        1. Sweet Christmas*

          I’m a public health scientist, and there’s actually a lot of research showing that fears of this effect – “false sense of security,” also known as risk compensation – are overblown. The Atlantic had a great article about it (link below) with citations of several scientific studies that mandates of safety measures actually do increase adherence to the measure and overall safety.

          Besides, even if the vaccine isn’t 100% effective – which no vaccine ever is – that doesn’t mean it won’t work altogether. The purpose of vaccines is to reduce spread, and even if people do go out mask-less in crowded spaces, they are still less likely to get the coronavirus (and possibly less likely to transmit the virus to others). Yes, people are looking for excuses, because it’s been at least a year for a good chunk of the globe and social distancing is incredibly lonely and depressing! It’s only natural that people are looking for solutions so they can begin to enjoy some semblance of a normal life again.


          1. JM60*

            As far as vaccines go, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are very good when both doses are taken, with few vaccines being better. Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is almost as good. Between the 3 vaccines, none of the tens of thousands who got them in the stage 3 trials died of COVID, and so far as I know, they’ve been 100% effective against COVID death in the millions to get them after the EUA (after the full immunity kicked in).

            So yeah, they’re not 100%, but they’re pretty good. In order to keep it that way, we need everyone who can to get them so the virus will have fewer chances to mutate and become resistant to their immunity.

        2. allathian*

          Yeah, I agree with all of what you said. But if getting the vaccine means that the risk of developing either serious complications requiring hospitalization or long Covid are significantly lower with the vaccine, I’ll take those odds. Once everyone I care about has been vaccinated, I’ll be more comfortable taking some risks, because living in lockdown isn’t sustainable in the long term given its serious consequences for the economy as well as for people’s mental health.

          It’ll be a long time before I’ll be comfortable with international travel, but I’m just looking forward to going to a sit-down restaurant for a meal and getting my hair cut (masked, if necessary).

          Covid is going nowhere fast and as it keeps mutating into new variations, we’ll have to learn to live with it like we live with influenza, which kills between 200,000 and 600,000 people worldwide every single year (except 2020 thanks to Covid restrictions).

          1. Nancy*

            Absolutely, and if I can get it I will get it. (Right now where I am my demographic is a low priority.) I will still wear a mask and be distant.

    4. Allonge*

      I disagree – first, this is very low key pressure to disclose anything.

      But more importantly, this is going to be a topic throughout the year, until we get to a reasonable level of vaccinations in the general population. I am fully expecting the questions to Alison about ‘my coworker will not vaccinate’, ‘I need to work-travel to an area/country with low levels of vaccination’, ‘my coworker decided to vaccinate and gets all the good assignments because she is in the office’ and similar. It’s incredibly unrealistic that this will not be on the agenda for at least this year, and everyone will have to come up with strategies to manage their own privacy around it.

      And yes, that s*cks, like, a lot – as you say, we should not have to disclose private medical info.

    5. NewHerePleaseBeNice*

      Agree. I have an ‘underlying medical condition’ that makes me eligible (in the UK) for a flu vaccination every winter, and has also made me eligible early compared to my age group to be offered the Covid jab. I wouldn’t go announcing that I’ve had my flu jab, and I wouldn’t announce my Covid jab either. It’s medical information, and it’s personal.

      The extremely ugly but inevitable monster of ‘no jab, no job’ has reared its ugly head in the UK, mostly fuelled by the press who have managed to scaremonger most of the country into a frenzy of fear about many things (remember ‘you can catch AIDS from a toilet seat?’ It’s that level of screechery over here…) and the pressure to share private medical information is becoming a matter of ‘doing your duty’ which simply is not an acceptable way to business.

      1. Chilipepper*

        Hello NewHere,
        Slightly off topic, you have to have an underlying medical condition to get the flu vaccine in the UK? I don’t usually get it but in the US, or my area of it, it seems like everyone gets it and there are no limits.

        1. UKDancer*

          You need to fall into certain categories relating to age or health condition to get the vaccine without a charge from the NHS. So my parents get it free because of their age and my best friend gets it free because of her health conditions. I think carers and NHS staff get it as well without a charge but I’m not certain.

          Everyone else can get it but has to pay for it. It’s not very expensive (about £14 according to Boots website) but you have to pay yourself. My company pays for it for everyone who wants it and doesn’t get it on the NHS. So I get it because they’re willing to pay for it. If they didn’t pay I probably would pay myself but when I was younger and poorer I might not have done.

        2. Grey Coder*

          Everyone can get the flu vaccine each year in the UK. If you have an underlying condition (including being over 60 or so), you get it for free through the NHS. (This year the rules were more complex due to covid.) If you don’t get it for free, you can pay for it from a pharmacy. I have worked at places which paid for the flu jab for employees as well.

        3. Koalafied*

          That surprised me too! I’m a healthy young 30-something and I’ve gotten the flu shot every year since I turned 30 (I could have been getting them earlier but I was less concerned with preventive care in my 20s so wasn’t doing well visits back then). They also do them at all the major pharmacy chains and l think my employer has some kind of thing set up with our group plan insurance that makes sure everyone on our insurance can get a shot for free at any CVS or whatever if you want one and don’t have a GP you’d prefer to see.

          1. UKDancer*

            Yes most pharmacies in the UK do the flu jab but you have to pay for it if you don’t fall into one of the categories the NHS covers. They will only provide it without charge to people in certain age, health or occupational categories. As the NHS has limited resources I think it probably makes sense to prioritise the supply in this way so those with the greatest need get it without charge.

            For everyone else they either pay for it themselves or their employer does.

            So anyone who wants can have it but not everyone can have it free of charge.

          2. Miss Betty*

            I’m in the US and usually get it for free at work. Since I was WFH last year and the shots at work are done like a cattle call, I got mine at my doctor’s office instead. The shot was free. The fee to administer it was $25.

            1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

              Yup – also in the US and through my insurance am able to get the flu shot with no co-pay. My brother is able to get his free through his job – my SIL and their kids have a $5 co-pay per flu shot. In the US it can really be insurance dependant on whether it’s covered fully or you have a co-pay.

        4. Alanis*

          There is a list of people who get it for free from their GP (driven by age, long-term condition etc ). Anyone can walk into a pharmacy and pay 10 quid for it.

        5. NewHerePleaseBeNice*

          Hi Chilipepper
          As others have replied, the flu vaccine is only free on the NHS to those who are more at risk, so the over 60s and people who have certain conditions or work in certain professions.

          Otherwise it’s a pretty bargain-ous cost at local pharmacies – I think it’s, like, £15 (about $20) for those who don’ qualify for the free one, so lots of folk still do get it – but obviously people on low incomes and young people still in education tend not to have £15 to spare.

    6. Bagpuss*

      I disagree. I think it is fine if you *personally * don’t want to share the information, but the other side of that is that it is also totally fine if someone & *does* want to share.

      I think it is valid to remind yourself in that situation not to put pressure on others by asking if/when they will be eligible, as that could put pressure on them, of feel like pressure on them, to disclose medical conditions, but choosing to share your own personal information is up to you on an individual level.

      1. UKDancer*

        Definitely I think this is the best way to put it. You can choose to share your information and it might encourage others but you shouldn’t feel pressured to.

        Personally I was delighted to hear that one of my colleagues (who has a severe health issue) has been vaccinated now and that another one is due to be done next week. My age group hasn’t been called yet so I’m still waiting for my turn and I’m pleased for them.

        1. Anonapots*

          At my job we’ve been really open with getting it, but we also fall under one of the categories our state has identified as a Phase 1 group.

      2. LDN Layabout*


        There are already issues about vaccine uptake in a variety of settings and communities and quite frankly I will be very open about the fact that I am looking forward to the jab and will be doing so as soon as I am eligible to.

      3. EvilQueenRegina*

        Yeah, I think that’s where I stand on this issue – let people make their own decisions about what they want to share and who with.

        This question made me think of that recent post about “Jay” who “knew a guy” and got a chance to get vaccinated early and then said he felt guilty about it – I know it was raised there about whether or not he’d have been better keeping quiet about his, or whether he’d used the “know a guy” wording to disguise the fact that his guy was his specialist medical professional – even if that wasn’t his case, making people disclose is just going to end in people feeling they have to share more than they want to.

      4. Observer*

        I think it is fine if you *personally * don’t want to share the information, but the other side of that is that it is also totally fine if someone & *does* want to share.


    7. Harper the Other One*

      I think it should depend on an individual’s comfort with talking about this information – but it also depends on why they’re disclosing. OP doesn’t just want to tell people at work because they’re a supporter of the vaccine: there are specific work situations where being vaccinated lowers the risk of the employee involved.

      If it weren’t for the fraught nature of people wanting the vaccine but having to wait, this particular scenario is more like someone saying, “I’m a night owl, so I can take all the 2-10pm shifts.”

    8. Not So NewReader*

      To me, it’s kind of scary that people place such a high value on the vaccine. If if we are vaccinated we still have to be careful. I am leaning toward not disclosing because I don’t want to deal with carelessness. What I am seeing is a sense of “Oh this is over for me now! I have gotten my shot!” And I definitely do not want to be the only vaccinated person so therefore I get to do x, y and z that is not required of others. If it’s not safe for them, then it’s not safe for me either.

      I think a lot of people are treating the vaccine as if it is a magic eraser and I don’t think that’s a good idea.

      1. Koalafied*

        There was an asinine op-ed in WaPo recently from some guy who was arguing restaurants (currently operating at reduced capacity in the DMV) should be permitted to have “vaccinated nights” where they can open at full capacity indoors, but only for people with proof of being vaccinated. Among several dumb and contradictory supporting arguments he made was that the patrons who chose to go to vaccine nights would “only be putting themselves at risk” and I can’t believe that we’re nearly a year in now and people STILL don’t understand the basic concepts of community spread and asymptomatic transmission.

        1. Guacamole Bob*

          Also, does this restaurant not have staff? Servers, cooks? Are they not also people who might be put at risk by such a plan?

        2. Amaranth*

          They already are creating special vaccine passports in Europe to show that you’ve been vaccinated. Where I’d hope the passport process is fairly secure, I foresee a hot underground marketplace for whatever local certificate might get issued, especially in the US. When the vaccine is more available I’m curious if employers will require employees to get them and show proof in order to be/remain employed.

    9. anonarama*

      strong disagree! a key part of reducing vaccine hesitancy is showing the vaccine hesitant that its not a big deal, those who have been vaccined are okay, its safe. sharing vaccine stories is an important part of getting through the pandemic.

    10. Mockingjay*

      I think whether to share that you’ve been vaccinated with your workplace is heavily circumstantial. Depends on your company, relationship with teammates, local pandemic conditions/mandates, etc. Perhaps OP can discuss it with only her supervisor: “hey, I was eligible and got vaccinated, so I can come into the office and cover for people if needed.”

    11. Observer*

      It could lead to people feeling pressured to reveal whether they’ve been vaccinated.

      By that measure, no one should ever be able to discuss or disclose anything about their lives at work ever because someone might feel pressured. And that is not a healthy or reasonable way for most humans to operate. It’s also no more reasonable to forbid people from sharing information than it is to require people to share information.

    12. Anon for this*

      My mother was one of the first people in England to get the vaccine, because she was almost 90 and had an appointment at the clinic that week for something else.

      She happily posed for a photo, to be used in a human-interest story in the Jewish press, because she hoped it would encourage other people to get vaccinated when they could. [I’m anon for this comment because the above might be enough to identify me.]

      Then, this past Saturday, I happily said yes, pulled on clothes, and hurried over when my doctor’s office called to say they were squeezing out a couple of extra doses, if I could get there right away. And I’m telling other people, if they get that sort of offer, grab it: getting vaccine doses into people is good, and feeling guilty won’t stop the virus. I’m not sure I should have been the patient they called, but (a) I don’t know whether I was the first, or the fiftieth, to get that phone call in the last month, and (b) I think I can safely assume my doctor knows more about this than I do.

      I will still mask and distance, even after I get the second dose. All else aside, a stranger on the street won’t know I’ve been vaccinated, and one thing I can do is model pro-social behavior.

      1. wittyrepartee*

        When I was running down the street in the middle of the night trying to find takers for wastage vaccine, someone asked me if there wasn’t someone else more important than him who should get it.

        Me: “sure, but they’re not here right now.”

  10. Cool Papa*

    Letter Writer 4, I think this is a pretty reasonable request. I don’t disagree with anything Alison says. I just wonder if there’s a way to look at this as not being asked to give up a lot. There are a lot of places, I’d even go as far as to say most, that expect people to do quick weekend/evening work without any concessions. The typical 8-5 just doesn’t exist for most people anymore. It sounds like your boss is being understanding, and not adding 30 minutes to your workload, or even asking it to be a more substantial amount of time. You say you’re a small company. Unless you are extremely well-respected in a niche area, that’s a dangerous place to be. Larger companies might have round the clock customer service, or at least people who are trying to position themselves for the next step, and have no qualms about working late.

    1. L6orac6*

      A hard no from me. As what will happen is, it will start as 30 minutes, then 45 minutes and then become an hour or so. Then what happens if the customer service you’re providing takes longer than half an hour, do you stop then and pick it back up Monday, or do you finish it. Letter writer like most people will be thinking about it rest of the weekend.

      1. Amy*

        I’ve been working this schedule for years. I end around 4:30 and then usually pick up 15-30 minutes of work around 8pm.

        It’s never morphed in to long hours for me. For some it may, but I don’t think it’s an inevitability.

    2. Xenia*

      I’d like to know if this would involve true weekend work or if it’s a question of shifting the whole schedule; ie, 8:30-5:30 rather than 8-5. I’d also like to know what prompted the decision. Customer complaints? Just more customers? Or if it’s a product/service that would benefit from 24/7 support?

      My recommendation to OP would be to get a very clear idea of why the boss thinks this would be a useful change, as it would help either decide in favor or to effectively push back. I also agree with other commenters that nothing can really get done in a half hour block on a Saturday, so pushing back on that idea would probably be for the best.

      1. Glitsy Gus*

        I agree with this. Find out what he’s thinking as far as this shift is concerned and his reasoning behind it; a half hour each way to help alleviate customer complaints may work out better for everyone. Also, if you can look at the email log, take a look and see just how many emails are coming in during the off hours. Your boss may have a good point about the number of email sitting without a response for 15-63 hours.

        Now, having you two work more or weird hours may not be the only answer, but really look at the situation and see it from both sides before digging your heels in. There may be an option number 3 that none of you have come up with yet. Ultimately while you can push back, it’ll go a lot better if you push back with a well thought out alternative after really listening to why your boss is concerned enough to ask you guys to shift your schedules in the first place.

      2. Catherine*

        It sounds like what op4’s boss is asking for is for the OP to work 8-4:30 and then log in from home later (eg 7:30-8:00) to finish the last half hour, which sounds pretty disruptive and irritating.

        1. BRR*

          This is how I interpreted it and while the amount of time isn’t much, inserting work time into a chunk of personal time sounds pretty awful. You’d have to drop whatever you’re doing to log back on.

          1. another Hero*

            yeah I hate it and would absolutely push back hard tbh. it’s not that people urgently need answers, or they’d need to have consistent coverage for more hours. not worth disrupting my own time. (personally, I factored in the desire to go home at the end of the day and be done with work when choosing my field; the claim at the top of this thread that that just doesn’t exist anymore is I think a reflection of that player’s context, not a fact.)

            1. Self Employed*

              I am self-employed and work weird hours; I often research suppliers etc. after business hours if I’ve been busy during the day and I send the email then instead of waiting for business hours in that time zone. That doesn’t mean I expect to hear from them before the next business day!

      3. Ray Gillette*

        Speaking from my own experience, I work at a small US-based company that also has customers in several European countries. The nature of our product means we need to respond to customer service inquiries quickly – US-based customers typically get a response within half an hour. But that meant our European customers would have had to wait until the next business day for their inquiries. So until we were able to hire a customer service person in Europe, we would have someone check messages in the evening so that anything that came in would at least get a same-day response.

    3. BubbleTea*

      I think it enormously depends on what the company does. It can’t be an emergency service or they would already have coverage. I can’t think of a retail/wholesale scenario where half an hour in the evening could make any difference to the customer – if I’m chasing up my order for new shoes, I don’t expect a response the same day if it’s after 5pm.

      My job is pretty important to our clients, and sometimes clients are in – not precisely urgent crisis, but ongoing extreme difficulty. We still all finish work at 5pm and don’t work weekends. We’re not a crisis service and we don’t want to set up expectations that we will respond instantly at all hours, because we won’t do that consistently.

      Obviously this whole discussion is moot if LW’s manager decides to make it a job requirement, but that seems unreasonable to me.

    4. Tamer of Dragonflies*

      Yeah, this isn’t a great thing, but it is something that your employer can dictate. Use Alisons advice and push back in the ways that you can without jeopardizing your job, but understand that this may be a losing battle. I can commiserate with how you feel having had to change shifts with a days notice. (Think Wednesday-working 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursday- working 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.) Changes can be rough on family life, but ultimately, if this a hill to die on, it may be time to fire up the job search machine. Good luck and best wishes in your push back endeavors O.P.

    5. SarahKay*

      I actually think it’s a wildly unreasonable request. LW4 (and their co-worker) is being asked to interrupt at least 50% of their evenings for half an hour. That’s 50% of their evenings when they can’t just switch off their computer at 5 and relax for the day.
      I would start job searching if that was required of me. Yes, there are times when I work late to get things done, or to attend a late call, but they’re the exception not the rule. Now maybe I’m just lucky in my manager and company but I do feel like the more people say “well, this is just the way things are” and accept this sort of request, the more it creates a world where things are indeed that way – and I don’t think that’s a healthy way to live.

      1. Homophone Hatty*

        Agree. Unless they are extremely well-compensated, it’s massively unreasonable. And even then 50% is a lot. Being able to turn off from work is extremely important and a good boss and a healthy company will prioritise that for workers.

      2. asgard*

        I disagree completely. 30 minutes, some time later in the evening, is hardly a major interruption. And to top it off, they get to leave 30 minutes early on those days, so it’s not like it’s more work time during the day. They still only work 8 hours. It’d be one thing if this was in addition to an 8 hour day. But in this scenario you get home earlier, can do whatever chores you’d normally do (if any) earlier, or have more time to do them, or get 30 minutes to relax before having to do errands or chores or pickups. Heck it might even gives you time to do stuff off the clock you’d normally need to take a some time off for (like get a dr appt before 5). So, just log in some time after dinner and before bed, check email – answer if there’s anything there otherwise just stay logged in for the 30 minutes and then shut down. Easy peasy. It seems like a huge over-reaction to say it’s “wildly unreasonable or some huge disruption – it’s a minor readjustment at best, imo.

        1. twocents*

          It might not be for you, but it would for me. I’d spend the time between the afternoon and evening logins thinking about the fact that I have to log on again and I wouldn’t be able to just relax and enjoy my evening.

        2. A Simple Narwhal*

          I’m glad that it wouldn’t be a major disruption to you, but I can see how it could be a major disruption to someone else. If they use public transportation, that 30 minute early release might mean they don’t get home any earlier. Having to work the extra 30 minutes at night means they might never fully get to decompress because when they “leave” for the day, they aren’t actually done for the day. We also don’t know what their evenings look like – this could disrupt childcare/family/personal time, they might be working a second job, there’s a whole bunch of reasons that adding a 30 minute work chunk to their evening would feel like a major imposition.

          There’s a chance that it wouldn’t be a big deal to a lot of people, and I totally see that, but regardless, it’s a change to what the LW signed up for with the job, it’s ok for them to not be on board with it and want to pursue other options.

          1. Cascadia*

            Yes to this. I occasionally have evening meetings for work, maybe an average of once a month, and I find it very disruptive. In pre-covid times, I had to work my schedule around them – no happy hour Thursday, got an evening meeting. Can’t go to book club Thursday, got an evening meeting. I need a quick and easy dinner, because I’ve got an evening meeting. I can’t change out of my work clothes when I get home, because I’ve got an evening meeting. Some of these things still exist post-covid too, though my evening meetings are now on zoom. I’m a young person without kids and I would definitely not be thrilled about any job where I had to do that 2-4x a week. I know evening meetings are more of a big deal than just checking some emails, but it is disruptive to most people and is something you have to plan for. Basically, your time is not yours, and you have to shift how you do other things in your off time, to prepare to do more work.

        3. SarahKay*

          I can see that such a request would suit some people, and if it is a request, rather than an order then that’s fair enough. But for a lot of people it wouldn’t suit at all, and I am one of them. I would feel it hanging over me the whole time; I can’t just relax because I still have to start work again later, even if it is only for 30 minutes.
          Not only that, but logically, boss is likely to want it to be later rather than earlier, to minimise the overnight gap so is quite likely to specify a time when it has to be done, or at least a gap of x hours between going home and logging on, so now a big chunk of the evening has that ‘work still to do’ feeling hanging over it.
          And this is half of all LW4’s evenings; it really doesn’t feel to me like a minor readjustment at all.

        4. Anony-Mouse*

          Like other commentors, I can see how for some people, sure it would suit their schedule. For me, pre-covid, my evenings are booked solid. I’m out at an opera for three hours plus the drive into the city and back. Or I’m out with a friends getting a drink and watching the game. Or at home watching a movie/marathoning a TV show. It’s a huge imposition to login for 30 minutes in the middle of all that. Or, if I did it after my night was over, it would be too close to bedtime and work/work stress would be on my mind before trying to sleep.

      3. Kiitemso*

        I agree. I used to work customer service that was very much office timed and one of the only things that made the job manageable was the fact I could clock off with a good conscience.

        Those 30 mins are designed to clear the inbox, clearly and that might not be possible to do in 30 minutes. If OP is supposed to read through the emails and reply to what should be prioritized, that might also take more than 30 mins. It can be very hard to clock on for 30 mins, try to prioritize and then clock off. I would be stuck thinking about the work I saw but wasn’t able to do. Especially during the weekend! It would make anticipating Monday really stressful.

    6. justabot*

      I understand the pushback from LW #4, but just want to point out about the: “This request is rubbing me the wrong way because I have a family, and I want to work my standard hours…” Another colleague may not have a partner or children or a family and still want to have a work/life balance and want to work standard hours. They may have their own commitments and hobbies and obligations or just want to shut their brain off and be off the clock too. I think sometimes there is this underlying assumption that having a family should just be an obvious reason to not have to work outside of standard hours. When in reality, personal time is personal time, no matter what the reason is. And it’s also unfair if the burden then goes to someone without a family, even if they are getting overtime, unless they are asked and specifically want the extra hours. Otherwise it should be fair and their personal lives should be considered just as important, family or not.

      1. No Tribble At All*

        Agree, please don’t mention “I have a family!” When you talk about this with your boss. But logging in for half an hour every weekend is disruptive and rude, and this boss sounds like he’d expect several hours worth of work. Extra emails came in? They all deserve a quick response now.

        1. Amaranth*

          Thats a good point to make, because if the issues are so common it is a quick fix, then they can make a tech FAQ web page, autoresponders, etc. with a note that staff will follow up during business hours. Otherwise, what happens if there are a half dozen requests that each take ten, twenty minutes, or one request for an hour?

      2. Forrest*

        There’s also the flipside– I would much rather trim half an hour off my working day so I don’t have to rush for daycare/school drop off and pickup, and answer a couple of emails in front of the television after the kids are in bed. “I have a family” doesn’t really tell you anything about what an individual employee might want or need because we all manage our time differently.

        1. Amy*

          For many families of young kids, this kind of schedule works very well. I personally love it.

        2. NotAnotherManager!*

          Same – this would have been very helpful for us when our kids were smaller and in daycare/school after-care. I actually would have volunteered to do all the off a half-hour early, work a half-hour later shifts. Heck, it would have allowed me to volunteer more with my kids’ extracurriculars, too.

          Obviously disruptive for some people, but it may work well for others. This employer may want to ask for volunteers before conscripting everyone to the new schedule.

        3. A*

          Yes – this arrangement won’t work for everyone / be desirable for all – but ‘having a family’ doesn’t automatically translate to one or the other. My team is global based so we have to have meetings and calls across all time zones, including before and after traditional business hours (based on our time zone) – I have plenty of colleagues with young kids that make it work. Also have had some turn down job offers because it doesn’t work for them, just like we’ve had people turn it down who don’t have kids but aren’t interested in that kind of time commitment.

          The reasoning is irrelevant – either you can / want to make it work, or you don’t. Totally valid either way.

    7. Not So NewReader*

      In NY for some arenas this is considered a split shift. I am not sure at what point call in pay comes into play here either.

      OP, you’d be wise to check the laws for your arena. In some areas, employers cannot tell you to “leave” work and then come back and work just a half hour. They have to give you 4 hours worth of pay anyway. If you find such a law in your state, then you can say something to your boss, “I think we mean to be in compliance with the law so I am concerned because the law on this says….”

      I am with you on this one, OP. It sucks to leave work and then go back for an hour or less work later on. And there is hidden lost time such as time spent logging in or other start up work. You are basically being asked to start your day TWICE in one day. Where I work just getting the computer warmed up is at least 10 minutes and sometimes longer. This means that I am going to work for 20 minutes??? wow.

    8. HR Exec Popping In*

      I agree with Cool Papa and am a little surprised at how many commenters feel this is egregious. It is 30 minutes that are not incremental. I’m unclear on what all needs to be done but it sounds like the OP is being is asked to log into email and respond to a few customers. Sure the OP doesn’t have to like it, but it is a fairly reasonable request from the employer in my opinion. The OP is welcome to push back appropriately but they can not refuse to do it if they want to keep their job.

      1. meyer lemon*

        For me, it would depend on how onerous those emails are. If it’s just a matter of dashing off a bunch of quick responses to routine questions, it would bother me less. But if I have to do a bunch of research and dig into some complex questions, then I’d be fully absorbed back into “work mode” for half an hour, and would probably be less feasible to actually wrap up in half an hour.

        On the other hand, I really appreciate having the kind of job where I can usually just be done with it by the end of the day, and I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t want to give that up.

      2. Joielle*

        Yeah… sorry to the LW but I literally laughed out loud at the idea that it might be illegal to ask someone to answer emails for 30 minutes in the evening or over a weekend. It’s not even adding on to your 8 hour day! I can understand why someone wouldn’t PREFER to do that, but in the scheme of things, if that’s the worst thing about your job I certainly wouldn’t recommend quitting (or getting fired) over it.

        1. Al Gore Rhythm*

          It actually is illegal in France to ask workers to respond to emails outside of work hours, so not as laughable as you think!

    9. Archaeopteryx*

      Yes, unless you’ve had multiple customers complain about waiting until morning (or Monday) to hear back on an email, this doesn’t sound like a real problem he’s fixing. Email is asynchronous by design, even in a customer-service situation. People may be emailing in the evening or weekend because that’s when it’s useful for them to check it off their to-do list, or because they can’t do it while they themselves are at work. That doesn’t mean they’re expecting an instantaneous response. Depending on your job, maybe they are, but you probably would’ve noticed/cited frequent complaints if that were the case.

      I once emailed a business with a not-at-all-time-sensitive question about my order when they had a banner noting that they were out of office for a few days, figuring I could get my question in their queue and hear back when they were back. I got an email back that same day, that also pointedly noted that they were out of office, as if they were expecting customers to hold off emailing them until they were back! Not how that works, bud.

      Even if you do get the occasional complaint, the question is whether it’s a reasonable complaint. Someone could email you at 2am and get mad that they haven’t heard back by 3. That doesn’t mean you pander to them.

      1. Amaranth*

        I’ve never worked any customer support where you could bank on taking a set 30 minutes to deal with problems. That makes it sound like they occasionally get one or two emails after hours that aren’t especially critical, and LW could send a rote response and log out without any back and forth with the customer. If they do have situations that are critical, the boss should be doing a cost analysis on an on-call position, Which obviously is NOT what LW wants to suggest.

    10. PT*

      I agree, this is a completely reasonable request. It’s an odd thing to push back on, and it’s going to reflect very poorly on you if you do. Especially since your boss is letting you take the 30 minutes off earlier instead of just saying “You need to be checking email in the evenings” like most other jobs do for salaried employees.

    11. Engineer Woman*

      A different perspective here: it’s not uncommon for my spouse and I to “disrupt” our evenings for work – as do our colleagues. It’s not great but especially when you work with different geographies (just one of us) or it’s just expected that there are times you’ll need to work in the evenings in our tech-based industries. We are both salaried employees and routinely work more than 40 hours per week. I’d love to limit to 30min a few nights a week which could be planned around and are offset by earlier stop during the normal business hours.

    12. Crystal Lawrence*

      LW’s coworker being overtime-eligible while LW is not due only to pay rate sounds fishy as hell to me.

    13. Brisvegan*

      I think if this us a set time for checking emails every day/weekend, it doesn’t sound awfully onerous, as most people are saying. I would still find it very difficult to wind down, like the LW.

      However, it’s not completely clear if that is the case. Could the boss be expecting LW to check for emails regularly and answer any that came in at whatever time, taking the 30 minutes to cover this random activity? That’s how I read it at first, because I have had a bad boss (in the past and let go by my organisation) who would blow up about not getting email answers overnight or on weekends. If that’s the case, LW would basically be on-call 24/7. That would not be okay.

  11. Megan*

    OP3, that happened to me. I made the jump from not-for-profit to government, working in a specialised small field for a manager with over 25 years tenure who is excellent. I had worked with her closely at the not-for-profit and had spoken to her informally about the role many times. I was very excited to be working with her. Queue my first day and she announces she has retired and has two months left. I was pretty upset! Luckily a team member took the manager’s role while they recruited, and then she ended up being successful as well. I always knew in the long run that was the plan but I thought I’d have longer than 2 weeks with the original manager!

    As an side, we hired another team member about a year or so after I started. She had previously worked in the team about 7 years ago and was excited to come back. We had two core functions: llama grooming and sheep grooming. The day she started, she was told that llama grooming, arguably the more interesting, more fun, more specialised work, was being moved to a different government department and all we would be doing is sheep grooming. She was ropable, and said had someone told her during recruitment she would never have come back. I felt so bad for her and feel someone should have told her, as everyone knew. In the end she moved to the new government department to follow the llama grooming, and everyone else in the team left as well (some also to follow llama grooming, others like me to another government role) and the only one left is the manager.

        1. skipping girl*

          Not Aussie but have been here for about 5 years – and yes, it means furious, basically.

        2. Megan*

          Sorry guys!! And because I’m Aussie, its been nighttime thus I’m replying late.
          Yes, it means angry.

    1. HR Exec Popping In*

      I feel for the OP and have been on the other side of this where I was hiring people for my team and did not expect to moved into a new role shortly after. The reality is people change jobs for lots of reasons and while the OP can be disappointed by the change, they really should give their new manager a chance. I would hope that they didn’t accept the job solely because of who they would work for and there were other things about the job and the organization that attracted them.

  12. Cherry*

    OP #3 – I feel you! I like to put in a three strike rule for new managers. When working with someone new there is bound to be times where things don’t quite connect, ways of doing change etc. I give a new manager three months to find their feet and really see if I can work with them, during that time I given them three strikes for serious stuff (like pulling a project I loved and was half way through) to keep track of how things are really going. At the end of three months I normally have forgotten/forgiven all the same things and have established new ways of working. I’ve only had one manager that I needed to change jobs to get away from. Mostly this is a mental trick to feel like you’re in control (because you are! you don’t have to work there!)

    1. Workerbee*

      During those three months you’re giving strikes, do you monitor your approach/attitude toward your manager? I am wondering how you balance this, even if (especially if?) at the end of the three months, it tends to be just a wash anyway.

      Sure, you can pick up on quirks or get real hard evidence of idiocy, incompetence, etc. — I’m not saying lousy bosses don’t out themselves —but things like pulling a project you loved, if that was a real example? That stuff happens. It’s not cool, but often is a result of a chain of events or decisions above your manager’s pay grade. I guess if I were being evaluated like this, I wouldn’t want something like that secretly held against me.

      1. MCMonkeybean*

        I’m confused about what you are saying here. Your employees are going to hold you responsible for what you do to/for them, whether you want them to or not.

      2. EngineerMom*

        I think you’re assuming someone starts out disliking the manager from the start, and is using the 3 months just to find stuff to complain about.

        That doesn’t seem at all what Cherry is using that probationary period for. Cherry is starting out neutral, and only giving a strike if it’s something that’s really important to *Cherry* (which is completely legit – it’s her job, she gets to set the criteria for which she is content to remain in that position). Presumably, Cherry is a reasonable human who is genuinely interested in finding out if this new manager is a good fit for Cherry, and is continuing to have 1:1 conversations and adequate communication with the new manager.

    2. Lil Fidget*

      This is so interesting to me – I’ve never really noticed that managers prefer “their” people or don’t support those they inherited, certainly not this starkly. I wonder if it varies by field, I’m sure it must. I’ve certainly had changes in managers be – not for the better, but not really because of that.

      1. Artemesia*

        I was once in a situation where I had fought for a program that the current manager was not that high on and was proceeding when a new manager was hired who simply rejected the work of his predecessor and so suddenly even though the previous manager had opposed my program, the new one did on the basis that it belonged to the previous manager (and this new guy was a jerk who had to have pissed on each project personally or it was not supported). Such fun.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        I can’t imagine gutting a team if it’s performing well – just off the top of my head, the loss of institutional knowledge and internal relationships wouldn’t be ideal. (Obviously different if the team is not performing well and you’ve been brought in to make changes, but, even then, I typically have a watch-and-learn approach for the first 3-6 months rather than making changes immediately.) My current organization also has better than average retention, so gutting departments to bring in a bunch of “your” people isn’t really a thing.

        I inherited a team of 15 people about 10 years ago, and there were a lot of great people already on it. I met with everyone in the first few weeks on the job to get to know them, what specifically they do, and if they had any questions or concerns that I could address. I make sure they have the resources they need and that there isn’t any administrative/political BS in their way and let them do what they do best. Vast majority of those folks still work for me and are still great, and all but one that no longer work here were the weakest performers (the one exception left to take a different type of position with a former supervisor – we’re still in touch and they’re still great, just in a different field/organization).

        1. Lil Fidget*

          Yeah, for me inheriting good people would be a huge relief! I certainly couldn’t train everybody in new roles myself. But I know there’s a thing with “empire building” in other fields.

    3. EngineerMom*

      This sounds like a good way of approaching things – a sort of probationary period!

      My very first manager as a working adult was terrible, and I didn’t recognize it in time – spent almost 2 years working for that awful manager, ended up so burned out and insecure I was even doubting whether I wanted to stay in engineering, and didn’t go back to an engineering job for almost 2 years after that!

      I’ve only left a position once to get away from a terrible manager, and it was a decision I made about 3 months into that position. :-)

      (Took another 3 months to find another job, get through the interview process, etc., but that’s a different story!)

    4. wee beastie*

      LW#3, I agree. It’s tough going and a disappointment, and it’s fair to feel that, but it is one of those things in life we simply can’t control and have to make the best of. I’ve been on all sides of this situation myself and it’s just part of the reality that life and our jobs are full of change.
      It is also often true that some managers only feel comfortable working with people they chose. But I think there is a way around that. Or at least an attempt that can be made to fix that. But it’s also important to think about the larger hierarchy of the company. I’ve been at places where the leadership hired the new manager in order to shake things up or with the intention of leaving them alone to run it how they feel like. But I’ve also been in situations where’s leadership made plain to the new manager that they were happy with the team in place and wanted the new manager to carry that group forward and not unnecessarily rock the boat. I once interviewed with a leader who said “I want someone who supports the amazing team we have, not someone who makes them unhappy.” I know you are new, but I wonder if you have a way of getting insight into the bigger picture of what mandate this manager wasn’t given from their leadership?
      Either way, I endorse Allison’s suggestion to reach out to your new manager. Try to wear an attitude of enthusiasm at their fresh take on the work. One manager can teach us many wonderful things, but multiple managers teach us even more and make us more supple and flexible. If you show this manager a respectful and enthusiastic welcome, you are showing them that they don’t have to be worried you will be a difficult or unhappy employee they are stuck with. You give them a chance to see you as an asset who will work hard.
      When I got my current manager in a similar changeover, I made an appt to speak and said “welcome! I’m excited you are here and have been looking forward to sitting down with you. When you have time, I would love to know how I can make your transition in smooth and if you have thoughts about what you would like to see from me in my work so I can deliver for you.” Other possible phrasings might be “I welcome any thoughts or requests you have about how you and I communicate going forward so I can meet you where you need me to be.” Or even something more specific like “here’s a project I am working on, this isn’t how I have been handling it, but I welcome direction if you’d prefer it managed differently.”
      I approach this changeover situation with the belief there will be time to make my own requests based on what I need to be successful, but I think the initial 3-6 months are a time to show this new boss that I am a team player and not going to gum up their works.
      I once lost a boss I adored only to learn she wasn’t as supportive as I thought and hadn’t been teaching me everything I needed. Over time I realized my next manager was even better. I wish you the best.

  13. Zoe*

    OP #2 Literally everyone in my office is putting on their outlook when their appointments are. One of my coworkers actually said today she was waiting a bit and we were all like “cool!” Might be different as due to our jobs we are all still in the office, but I guess it depends on your coworkers? I don’t think anyone will be anything but happy for you.

    1. Lil Fidget*

      They will definitely be very happy if it means you want to cover more in-person stuff! I do know some folks who don’t want to mention their vaccination to their employer because they’re afraid they’ll be immediately taken off the work-from-home schedule and put in the office, which doesn’t really work for people who lost their childcare etc.

  14. Chocolate Teapot*

    3. I started a new job, and on the second day, there was a team meeting (we were spread out over different locations) and the Big Boss, who had been involved in my recruitment and who I was looking forward to working with, announced they were leaving!

    1. Artemesia*

      I was recruited to a unique graduate program halfway across the country. I had left my first husband and so it seemed like a good opportunity to move on. I quit my job burning all bridges there and moved to Michigan. The first words from the head honcho of the very distinguished grad program with many prominent grads was ‘boy did you make a mistake coming here’. I had signed a lease, I had no job and now the program was disintegrating because the director didn’t get promoted to Full Professor and so quit and went to another University. There I was with a nice scholarship, no real program and no way back. 50 years later, it is a small blip in the time line. Seemed pretty awful at the time. I ended up transferred to another grad program in another university the next year.

  15. Crusher*

    I currently have a crush on my boss. Something happened during work from home. I am not really in communication with anyone and he has been so nice I just began to have feelings for him. I know he is not interested in me and I am not looking for anything from anyone. He is married with children and he is just a nice guy being good to everyone during this pandemic. I feel like there is something wrong with me to be so ridiculous to start to have feelings for him. It is nice to like someone but also annoying because I feel a jealousy and like I hope he likes me better than other coworkers. All kind of weird and crazy.

    1. Harper the Other One*

      Brains are so weird that way! If it helps to hear it from someone else, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. This is so common that my husband, who works in ministry/counseling, had a whole unit int his degree devoted to the ways that people may respond when they have someone who is consistently kind and listens to them.

      Alison’s tips for getting over it are great, and you will get through!

    2. Reba*

      It’s so understandable that during an isolating time the main regular human contact you have would become very large in your feelings!

    3. MCMonkeybean*

      Nothing wrong with you at all! It sounds like you were probably lonely (working from home, not in communication with anyone) and that is a pretty normal response. As long as you don’t plan to do anything about it there is nothing wrong with feeling that way, and I bet it fades away once things calm down pandemic-wise and you’re able to interact with more people again.

      (Though definitely try not to let it affect how you feel about and treat other coworkers, that’s the only part that might get worrying)

    4. Archaeopteryx*

      People get crushes on people, it happens, and those feelings can be nice at first, especially considering the bland ennui of yearlong quarantine. Don’t beat yourself up about it! What you DO control, though, is how much you lean into those feelings and nurse them. When someone is a) your boss and b) married, it’s a very bad idea to fan those flames in yourself – best-case scenario, you’ll just get into an extended pining phase that isn’t any fun for yourself anymore and affects your life. You can acknowledge your crush without feeding it.

    5. LW #1*

      Thanks for sharing! Yeah, working from home is quite lonely even though I have my family. That could very well be part of it for me also. I don’t really spend time with my friends either, because everyone is just hanging out at home.

  16. learnedthehardway*

    OP#3 – I completely understand what you’re dealing with and worried about. I had the same thing happen in a job I took because the manager and I hit it off, and because I had been led to believe there would be future career opportunities in another part of the organization. (I was willing to do the role I was hired for, but in the longer term wanted to move into another area.)

    Four months after I joined, the manager announced she was leaving. The new manager turned out to be someone known for “empire building”, and got rid of me and a few other people to bring their own team in. (My client group in the company was infuriated. It was very vindicating, but the entire experience was awful.)

    Anyway, I would hedge your bets. Give the new manager a chance and see what their plans are, how they respond to you being there, how they see you fitting in to their team. Do your best work and really put in the effort. But also keep on networking, apply to roles if you see ones that you would really like to do. Just be upfront if you interview to say that you joined, expecting to work with Manager A, and that it turns out they left, and you are concerned.

    1. Eat My Squirrel*

      I agree with this. A few years ago, my super awesome supportive grandboss created a new position specifically for me, which was a promotion (he became my direct boss), the purpose of which was to help enact his vision of the future of the group. Then, before we had found a replacement for my old job (and thus before I got to actually perform the new job, though I had the new title and pay) he retired. He 100% knew he was retiring when he made the job for me. He figured it would all work out when his protege took over for him. Only his protege didn’t get the job, a woman from another group did.
      She. Was. HORRIBLE!! Not only did she not share the vision for the group, she didn’t understand my job, (nobody did really), so I could not get anything done because she never gave me the support I needed. I limped along in misery, making minor corrections to procedures instead of the sweeping changes we had envisioned, until finally I found another job. Then that group did a massive reorg, my decent boss was replaced with a raging micromanager who would throw you under the bus as soon as help you, and I got laid off.
      Thankfully, I have a good job now, with a good boss, but I’m definitely gun-shy about managers leaving, and I consider a good boss to be a temporary perk. I’m at the moment focused on 1: destressing from the reorg nightmare and resetting my expectations of normal work behavior, and 2: learning how to be awesome at my job so that if my boss leaves, *I* can be the new boss.
      Maybe it would help to know you’re not alone, this sort of thing happens to a lot of people, and all you can do is try to make the best of it and get out when it makes sense and you find something good. I hope the boss turns out to be not so bad after all.

    2. The Original K.*

      Happened to me too, although I wasn’t that keen on the guy who hired me (he was okay, but he doesn’t rank in my personal best bosses list). He announced a few months after I started that he was leaving because he got a better job out of state. The frustrating thing was that that led to a lot of senior management turnover; I worked at that company for three years and had four bosses, and the guy who hired me had been there for five years before he left. The team and I were definitely nervous that the next person would come in and wipe us all out. (That actually did happen, but not because of that boss – she left after a year, and there were two restructurings after that. The second one eliminated our team.)

  17. Kella*

    OP1 and anyone else interested: There’s a name for platonic crushes. It’s called having a squish!

    1. Saby*


      I think it’s such a cute term and I wish more people knew and used it outside the aro/ace communities!

    2. Web Crawler*

      I was waiting for somebody to say this. I get squishes so often- I just love people.

    3. nonegiven*

      I thought a squish was where you cram two names together like Brangelina instead of Brad and Angelina, I really hate name squishing.

  18. Katrinka*

    OP#3 – Even if HR knew that your boss was going to be fired, they absolutely can’t share that information with you. It would be a huge confidentiality issue.

    1. AndersonDarling*

      I think the better question may be “Do you frequently mix up teams and management?” and “What is the turnover with management positions?” The OP could even add that the manager they work for is a large part of their decision to take a new role.
      I took a new job because of the connection I made with the hiring manager, but then he left in 3 weeks. Then I worked for two misogynists that wouldn’t let me say more than three words before shutting me down. The original hiring manager couldn’t tell me he was planning on leaving even if I asked, but I could have asked the HR Recruiter how stable their organizational structure was. She would have been able to tell me that they mix up the org every quarter and half the company reports to new managers. I could have opted out if I knew I would be working in an unstable structure.

    2. ThatGirl*

      Yeah, that was my first thought — what decent HR is going to TELL you someone is likely on the chopping block?

      I mean, I understand wanting to know your manager will be around for awhile, but all you can really do is ask the manager how they feel about their job – and even then, things can change.

      At my last job, the hiring manager was actually let go (laid off) between my last interview and my offer, which threw things into a tizzy – but the team lead who I’d originally been told would be my co-worker then because my manager. And 8 months or so later, SHE was let go. I went through like 5 managers in two years in that position… none of them were bad managers, per se, but we got so far off-track from my original goals for the job that it was clear it was time to move on.

    3. NotAnotherManager!*

      Yes, though I think HR guaranteeing that the boss planned to stay was the wrong move, too. The response to that (in a non-contract work environment) is that people can choose to leave for any number of reasons, but Boss had been with the organization for X years or that there is minimal turnover in management positions or something less of a yes-absolutely response.

  19. Jascha*

    I have the flip side of OP #2’s problem and I’d welcome any insight. My company (UK) has asked us to inform them as soon as we are vaccinated (in a “this is mandatory” tone, although I’m reliably informed the actual legality of requiring an answer is a grey area). I don’t want to provide that information because I’m worried it will lead to being asked to take or cover assignments that put me at additional risk (and, if I get vaccinated early, the only reason will be because I’m medically at significantly increased risk already). I don’t want my employers to consider me “immune” and start exposing me to people and situations I would not choose for myself.

    Am I the only person worrying about this? Am I totally off-base?

    1. Akcipitrokulo*

      Also UK – yeah, that’s weird and overstepping. Talking to your union rep would be a good plan (and if don’t have a union, getting one could be wise – TUC website has tool to figure out which one is good for you – I’m in IT so defaulted to Unite).

      My work is pretty committed to keeping wfh where possible – and in IT I’m not foreseeing an issue. Colleagues are tending to share, but there is zero pressure to do so.

      1. Jascha*

        Thanks! I don’t currently have a union, but I had one in the past and could rejoin if needed. (I didn’t leave because I didn’t want to unionize – I left because I’m anticipating a near-term change in job duties that would make my former union no longer appropriate for my title and work.)

    2. Bagpuss*

      You’re right about it being a grey area – my understanding is that it is not illegal to ask, but that employers would need to be cautious about how they then used the information, to avoid discriminatation on the grounds of things such as age or disability, and that requiring existing employees to be vaccinated is likely to be tricky unless the employer can show a specific need (e.g. in a health care setting it may be reasonable, in order to protect patients)

      I think if an employer then asked you to take on tasks that might include greater exposure it would be reasonable to ask about the risk assessment they had carried out. However, if the situation was that you were not expected to do certain tasks due to being at higher risk, then at the point where your risk is dramatically reduced, it’s not necessarily unreasonable for them to review that

      1. Jascha*

        Thank you. The only high-risk activities typically present in my job are travel and personal contact in group settings (like training events or conferences). Anything else would be outside the scope of my usual duties. However, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing those things now even if I were fully vaccinated (and especially if, like much of the UK, I got the less effective vaccine).

    3. Keymaster of Gozer*

      They can’t make it mandatory for you to disclose that, but they can ask the question…if my understanding of uk law is accurate.

      It’s very much a ‘only share if you’re ok with sharing the info’ thing, definitely anywhere around my area. Personally I’d just say ‘I’m still waiting’ even if you have had the vaccine as that’s least likely to cause further friction from management. Sometimes a lie really is ok.

      1. Georgia*

        Yes if it’s not mandatory at your site- a prying colleague or boss does not get a free pass to your medical information or pregnancy status etc. None of their business.

        1. Jascha*

          Thank you for the information. Yes, they have asked, and yes, as far as I can tell it’s legal for them to ask. Nothing about my job would mandate disclosing the information, as far as I know – we’re not involved in health or social care or a related field.

    4. Very anon for this*

      Also in the UK. Our operational staff have been asked to register when they are vaccinated, because our chief exec is trying to arrange vaccinations for staff who haven’t yet had them.

      Also we ask healthcare organisations how many of their staff are vaccinated because we need to report on it.

      So it’s not a flat you can’t/shouldn’t do it.

      1. Another anon just for this...*

        I spy another ALB person here (possibly the same one I work for!)

        Are you also asked to register when you’ve had the flu vaccine? We’ve been asked to do both and being a healthcare regulator, I have no issue with that.

        1. Very anon for this*

          Yep, asked to register the vaccinations on the same program, cannot WAIT until I can do so. Hi, colleague! :)

          1. Jascha*

            I’m incredibly pro-vaccine and will always take any vaccine I am eligible for, from flu to COVID-19. I just don’t want that to be the excuse for exposing me to risk!

      2. Keymaster of Gozer*

        Fair point. Saw my GP today (we can’t do physical examinations over the phone..yet!) and asked him if their staff have to report that they’ve been vaccinated and he said yep, and all pharmacy staff etc.

    5. Anon for this*

      Have they said why they are asking?

      I think it’s reasonable to worry; and especially given that for us in the UK a lot of people seem to be saying they “are vaccinated” after only the first dose given the long gap between doses. So if your employer wants you to take more high risk assignments after the first dose I think that it would definitely be reasonable to push back.

      That said, is there any chance your employer could be reporting vaccination rates to the government/NHS to support the vaccination programme? For example if you have colleagues providing frontline health or social care. This doesn’t mean you would necessarily be included in this reporting if you aren’t in that kind of role though, or that you would have to tell them even if you were.

      1. Jascha*

        Thanks. They have not said why they are asking, but my organization is not involved in health or social care or any related field. As far as I know, we are not reporting vaccination rates to the NHS.

    6. EvilQueenRegina*

      Also in the UK, and I heard through the rumour mill (so I acknowledge that what I was told may not be exactly what has happened) about my employer asking people about their vaccination status and if people say they don’t want to get it they are being talked to about it, and people aren’t happy. (For context this involves front line social care workers who are in a priority group here).

      1. LDN Layabout*

        If you’re front line social care and you don’t want the vaccine? As opposed to /can’t/ have the vaccine?

        I have no issue with management talking to staff in that case. They’re working with vulnerable populations who are more at risk, and their actions are putting people who likely have little choice about their care at more risk.

      2. Bagpuss*

        I think in a health care situation it is directly relevant to the job and completely appropriate for the employer to be asking. Obviously they should be treating the information as confidential also people should not be being ‘talked about’ generally, but I think it’s one of the situations where it is valid for them to be monitoring it in order to keep their patients / service users safe.

        And, increasingly, as its’s known that workers in those fields are prioritised it will be reasonable for the patients to expect that those caring for them have had the vaccine, nd may affect the choices they make about what services they accept .

        1. Bagpuss*

          Sorry, I misread and thought that they were being talked about, not talked to! Talking to them about their refusal is fine – it means that they have the opportunity to raise any legitimate concerns and for the employer to provide them with more information / reassurance if they have worries

          And eventually , the employer may have to talk to them more formally if refusing means that they cannot do their job, as that may mean that the y have to be reassigned to a non-patient facing role, and ultimately may mean that their employment is terminated, if they can’t meet the requirements.

      3. Georgia*

        People may say they don’t want to get it to avoid talking openly about their private disability, medical condition etc.

        1. pancakes*

          I find it hard to understand why someone would prefer being seen as anti-vax to saying they don’t want to discuss their health, or avoiding being drawn into discussion about it. I suppose this depends on local fashion, but I would think much less of someone who suggested they’re anti-vax vs. neutral to positive about someone simply wanting to maintain their privacy, or not participating in the conversation.

          1. Georgia*

            It can also depend on cultural or religious norms, which are quite personal to an individual. It can also depend on the nature of their medical conditions. Some find it difficult to even talk about conditions that may come with quite a bit of stigma. Or if someone is newly pregnant, they may not be ready to say it due to their cultural norms or previous experiences. If someone says they won’t get the vaccine- I personally don’t just assume they are anti vax, that seems like a big assumption to make based on very little information, and isn’t that person’s problem.

            1. Jascha*

              I think I understand that perspective. I am strongly pro-vaccination, but there’s an element of the same feeling in that, if I got the vaccine ahead of the “standard” slot for my age group, I would not want to have to explain why and thus disclose private medical information. I’m fortunate in that, if I were “talked to” about my vaccine status, I would be able to say that I was strongly pro-vaccination and would not decline an offer. However, I also don’t want my employers to know exactly when I’m vaccinated because it’s likely to be the less effective vaccine and I’d rather not have that used to make me a human shield!

  20. Mary Richards*

    LW #2: it really depends on your comfort with your team (will this be received well or poorly?) and what it changes for you (can you take on work that someone else can’t or shouldn’t without a vaccine?). But I think most will be happy for you, and are far likelier to ask you about your experience than about why you qualify.

  21. Xavier Desmond*

    I’m aware that I will probably be in the minority here but I think it’s perfectly reasonable for an employer to ask if you have been vaccinated or not and encourage vaccinations where possible just as they can mandate mask wearing. For me, the health of the workforce comes before the slight loss of privacy. I will caveat by saying that, if someone cannot have the vaccine for a medical reason they shouldn’t be discriminated against but other than that I think it’s fair for employers to be proactive on vaccination.

    1. TRexx*

      Encouraging the vaccine is good! Asking your employees to share their information is a different thing entirely.

    2. Sandman*

      I agree. We’ve seen around here that some people put what they consider their personal freedoms above public health, and our family members have been put directly in harm’s way as a result. A vaccine means that their carelessness is much less likely to hurt my loved ones, and I’m very much in favor of that.

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

      I’m of two minds on this. I think this is a “need to know” situation. Most employers have no real business need to know, but some do. If someone works in food service, health care, education, etc. …employees are already required to share certain vaccination or test information — TB and hepatitis come immediately to mind — so there is already precedent on this. I work in an educational organization that has a health care facility as part of our organization, but I’m not a teacher nor a health care worker. I’m still required to report to my employer that I’m regularly tested anytime I come to campus, and I’m (this week, going to be) vaccinated — in fact, I’m getting my vaccine through my employer. I’m fine with that, because I knew that sometimes this type of information is expected of me when I was hired more than a decade ago. But if I worked at a landscaping company for instance, I’d have a different expectation and would not feel comfortable sharing any information beyond that I’m “fit for the job”.

  22. Demon Llama*

    OP #3 – I’ve just started a job where the person that hired me then left before my start date! It was a blow, because I was looking forward to working with him, and I’m working with a fairly new team with an interim manager while they hire his replacement. Them’s the breaks, I guess.

    I was struck by this point: “I’ve always found that the people I know who’ve succeeded at their organizations spend at least a good year or two with the person who brought them on board.”

    It sounds like you’re keen to build your career and develop, which is great! But as Alison says, don’t put all your eggs in your direct line manager’s basket. If you think the organisation as a whole is a good one, then don’t find a new job just because you’re not thrilled that your manager has changed. Instead, try to build relationships with managers and peers beyond your immediate line manager.

    I say this as a huge introvert who hates the classic networking scenarios, but you can do it by helping out on other projects or volunteering for cross-team initiatives. If you find another manager at your organisation that you admire, you can ask them if they would be willing to sponsor you or mentor you.

    The time I had a manager I loathed, it was those connections that got me a new, better role at the same company, with a manager I had already interacted with and was pretty sure was a good fit.

  23. Anon for this #534782*

    I got the vaccine as a “don’t look eligible person.” I definitely do not talk about it because of the awkward questions asked. Resentment is an issue even within my family.

    1. MG*

      Same here. I am only telling one of my sisters, because she’s literally the only family member I trust with that information.

  24. anon for this!*

    OP #3, I feel you. At my current job, my supervisor left fairly early on (& not to be discouraging but it’s been downhill with my job since then). They weren’t a big draw to why I took this position, but I really enjoyed working for and with them & my current supervisor/reporting structure just isn’t working- think crying after performance reviews/one-on-ones, miscommunication galore, every mistake I make meriting a lengthy explanation of why I’m wrong…
    As I’ve interviewed for other jobs, including ones in adjacent fields, I’ve learned from others familiar w the org I work for that this type of turnover is pretty common for us.

  25. Retail Not Retail*

    LW2 – Tell them if you’ve got an office with a friendly rapport! Include any mild side effects if you got them – my arm hurts a bit/little tired – or not.

    At least 2 of my over 65 coworkers got theirs recently and one, I’m happy for them and two, it’s good to be like “look I got the vaccine, nothing’s happening, get yours when you’re able” as the subtext.

    But I live in an anti-vaxx kinda area.

    LW4 – my boss desperately needed someone to work Sun-Thurs because all of those people had quit beside him. A genuine workplace need. He asked us two women first and we said no, citing obligations (church for her, doctors on mondays for me). Truthfully we didn’t want to work alone with him which led to a whole thing and he’s gone now. (One of the men switched.)

    This wasn’t even nebulous customer/exec preference. Someone has to work Sundays and Mondays! We still said no. (We work Tues-Sat)

    1. Retail Not Retail*

      We even talk about places running the best deals on flu shots (one store gives you a gift card and there’s no charge with work insurance!)

  26. The Other Dawn*

    RE: #4

    Although it sucks to have to log out 30 minutes early and then log back in at some random time for only 30 minutes, your employer is saying, “these are the new job requirements.” It’s up to you whether you want this job under these new terms. You can ask what’s behind this and whether it’s really necessary, but ultimately it’s your boss’s call.

  27. The Other Dawn*

    RE: #3

    Whether HR knew your previous manager was leaving or not, they’re generally not going to share that. This can happen at your next job, too, or maybe it won’t–you just never know what the future holds. Also, why do you think your previous manager was “pushed out”? Do you see it that way because you liked working for him and can’t imagine he was maybe having performance issues, or that he got a better offer elsewhere? If he told HR he had no plans of leaving, maybe that was true at the time. Or maybe he had an offer in the works and didn’t want to share with anyone–most people wouldn’t until they have an offer in-hand.

    I wouldn’t start looking for a job because of this. Give your new boss and chance and see how it goes.

    1. Person from the Resume*

      And even if HR knew there was a plan to force a manager out in the next few months, they are unlikely to share that information with someone they are interviewing. That information should only be shared with a limited number of people.

      The LW’s expectation that people know the future is unreasonable. Unless the manager has already given notice and is working out his final days, no one knows or is going to say that he’s leaving.

  28. Liza*

    OP3: give your new manager a chance before you look elsewhere. I’ve been through the experience four times of having my manager replaced by another manager (two of the times, it was within three months of when I joined the company).

    Two of those replacement managers turned out to be the best managers I’ve ever had, people who were good at their jobs and pleasant to work with. I was promoted while working for one of them. It’s true, one of the others was the worst manager I’ve ever had… but what I’m saying is this won’t necessarily be a disaster and might even turn out great for you.

  29. doreen*

    #4 – Although what your boss is asking is almost certainly legal, there may be other issues involved. Some places have minimum shift requirements or require extra pay for a split shift.( I assume these apply only to non-exempt employees)

  30. Roscoe*

    #2. I think the biggest thing we need to work on, as a society, is to not question why or how someone was vaccinated. If they want to share, they can. But if not, don’t question them. Asking about medical procedures is rude in every other instance, not sure why people think its ok now.

    I was lucky enough to be in a right place, right time situation. But I’ve been very selective of who I tell. Because I’ve seen how people act. And even if they don’t think I (or others) should have gotten it, this isn’t a time to be mad at recipients, its a time to be mad at the leadership in your state/county for how distribution was handled. I just saw in my state smokers are now prioritized, which I have my own feelings about. But I’m not going to be mad at a smoker for getting a vaccine

  31. Bookworm*

    #3: I have experienced a variation of this (except it was the *current* manager who had no interest in my success because she was done with the job and leaving 3 weeks after I started) and experienced this now. All of my direct supervisors have left because they were unhappy and while the overarching organization has remained mostly the same, they’re also not as invested or as interested (and I no longer have freedom or flexibility in my work and is factor as to why my supervisors all left). And now, after a few years here I am now fairly miserable because this isn’t what I signed up for, to be frank.

    I would wait and see how it goes with this boss. I totally understand your bad previous experiences and I also don’t think it would hurt to look or keep your options open. But sometimes these situations really can work out to your advantage. You never know. Good luck!!

  32. Firecat*

    #4 Ew. Entitled employers like this who think they are entitled to your off hours with just a few unreasonable shift adjustments typically get worse as time goes on.

    I had a boss pull something like this once. It started out as a “reasonable” their words not mine, request to split our time between evening and day shifts. Well it grew from “just a few months volunteer only” to “permanent requirement for the role”. I later found out that they had hired a night shift worker who was taking night classes MWF. I’m pretty sure the manager just didn’t know this until he was in the role and then panicked and rather then admit a mistake/misalignment of schedules tried to force all her employees to make up this issue. I later found out that even though we were all asked to cover MWF’s this guy only had to work T/Th – he was getting paid the 10% shift differential and we weren’t! When the semester changed he took another night class so could only work Thursdays in the evening. I volunteered early on to just work the night shift permanently for a while as this was way less hassle then alternating but was told – get this – “No because I hired Night Class guy for that.”

    Then they tacked on alternating weekend days that you were supposed to flex another day off with. Then they started pressuring us not to take “a day off” in the week when we are most needed. They quickly started acting like those of us who took the 3 day weekend approach by flexing the following Friday were somehow very unreasonable and borderline stealing from them. Then they banned people from taking that following Monday or Friday off so you could never have 2 day or 3 day weekends when you had this scheduled (and frankly the 3 day weekend was the only perk – also Monday’s and Fridays were the slowest days!).

    When I finally got out of that job it was M,Thrs 8am-5pm, Tues,Wed,Fri 12n-9pm, and every 3rd weekend work a Saturday from 6am-3pm. It was a nightmare and quickly all of my after work activies fizzled out because I was either too tired from working an evening shift or to hard to schedule around.

    The point of this story

  33. blink14*

    OP #2 – I’ve been totally open with my office about being vaccinated and my intention to do so. For a lot of reasons, including the need to be very isolated due to being high risk, I’ve been living for about the past year with my family in a different state from where my job is located. This actually qualified me as a resident in that state (also the state I grew up in and where my family has permanently resided for over 30 years), and I was able to get my first vaccine a couple of weeks ago, with the second dose scheduled for next week. This is probably about a month before I would’ve been able to get it in the state that I permanently reside in.

    I feel that, in general, its beneficial to anyone around you regularly to know that you are vaccinated. Both to promote that getting the vaccine is a good thing, but also from a safety and logistical standpoint that people should know you’ve gotten it. I will be open to anyone who asks me, even if they have a negative viewpoint of it, because it is so, so important to do it. Sometimes knowing someone who’s gone through the process can be super helpful to someone who feels scared or unsure of how safe it is.

    1. Keymaster of Gozer*

      Fellow high risk person!

      I’ve just got word mine is in a couple of days, so I’ve had to ask work for a couple of days off afterward because I KNOW I’m going to feel like death warmed up. My autoimmune disease has never reacted well to any vaccine – but I still get them.

      So, have told work. But given that I’ve been thumping my virology credentials everywhere for the past year they better not be surprised!

      1. UKDancer*

        So glad you’ve got an appointment, that’s great.

        Both my mother and a close friend have a bad reaction to injections in general and they both said this one wasn’t as bad as the reaction they tend to get to flu jab. I will keep my fingers crossed that it goes well for you and you don’t have a bad reaction.

      2. blink14*

        Same! I have my second dose next week and have blocked off 3 days. I was going to do it anyway, but my big boss suggested it right away to make sure I didn’t feel obligated to attend meetings or work on those days, unless I’m really feeling up for it.

        I have an immune disorder, and I’m one of the odd ones with this disorder that does actually do well with vaccines over time (my body retains antibodies), but I did feel super weird after dose 1. Could’ve been stress, but definitely felt strange pretty much immediately, and that lingered for about 24 hours with a minor migraine.

        Good luck! I’m so happy for anyone who is high risk, we all have taken such precaution.

  34. BeenThere*

    I have also had a professional platonic crush. I find myself wanting to impress them and I admire them; they are more of a mentor to me and I appreciate their approval and positive feedback. But I am concerned that LW#1 is crossing that line.

    1. AGD*

      Yeah, I had this sort of thing with a mentor too. This was a towering figure in my area, who has a good deal of influence and charisma, and always treated me well. I was dazzled by them and spent two years terrified and eager to show them what I could do and not quite willing to believe that they were up for giving me so much time. I spent a while wondering if I had a crush, even though the gender combination is not my usual. I ultimately concluded that no, it was just a combination of admiration, gratitude, and a very keen interest in following in my mentor’s footsteps.

      I’m more concerned about Olivia’s behavior than the LW’s here. Remarks suggesting that a mentor has a particular, heightened, personal interest in a protégé(e) are likely to tip the relationship into inappropriate territory (beyond even ‘close friends who met in the office’).

      1. LW #1*

        Yes, gratitude is a big part of it for me as well, maybe the biggest. Thanks for the comment! I don’t know if she has personal interest. I think her comment was hyperbole, but I was still reacting. I wrote more about the context in another comment.

  35. Y'all Come Back Now, Ya Hear?*

    OP 2 –
    My husband got vaccinated in the first round due to the sheer luck of me actually answering my phone at the right time. One of my oldest friends is a pharmacist and is helping with the vaccines in our county. She called and said, ‘We’ve had cancellations and we’ve called everyone on our waiting list. We’ve got one vaccine that has to be used in the next 22 minutes. Can y’all get here?’ I was eligible due to my profession in round two, so I won the argument on our 18 minute drive that he needed to go ahead and get it. I recognize the privilege we have due to knowing the right people and having the transportation to get there. I’ve now had shot 1 as they’ve opened round 2 – and we have openly shared our experiences with friends and colleagues.

    He was embarrassed to have it so early, but as the health professionals in our family say, you get the vaccine when it’s offered to you. Every little bit helps.

  36. J. Bearimy*

    Re: vaccination disclosure at work
    Totally agree with Alison’s answer here, but also want to add that it can really depend on the situation and who’s involved. Personally, my small office is still working remotely except for my boss who goes in, and he wants us all to come back “when more people are vaccinated”. I haven’t mentioned yet that I am because my whole household has not received the vaccine (and we’re about to allow a family member to recover from a surgery here, who has not been vaccinated), so I could still spread it to my family members even if *I* don’t get sick from it, and I could still spread it from my partner (who is not a high priority occupation to be vaccinated but is working in public right now) to my colleagues, and therefore, their unvaccinated family members. Also, one of my coworkers seems to be an anti-vaxxer on this issue (which I’m so sick of hearing about), and I’m not positive my boss completely understands that we could still spread covid while vaccinated and that some of my coworkers are taking bigger risks than others, which would put us all at bigger risk if we’re working in the same room again. I also don’t want to get the ball rolling on calling us back to the office for everyone just because as an office we’ve begun to be vaccinated (via me, the first one), because I know other coworkers want the safety of continued working from home for now, for themselves or to protect family members. If there was work I could do to keep others from having to do it, I would probably step up, but in this case, sharing it will likely get us (or just myself) on a return to office timeline almost nobody else wants right now. There are a lot of things to think about here in different workplace scenarios, even though generally I’m happy to let people know I got the vaccine.

    1. J. Bearimy*

      I should also clarify that I am looking forward to letting my anti-vaxxer colleague know that I did get the vaccine and loved every second of it, but just not in a way that’s going to force me back into the office before my entire household has the same level of protection.

  37. employment lawyah*

    1. I have a professional crush on my manager
    Well, do you think she feels the same way?

    Despite law, the reality is that lots of people meet their SO at work and it is possible that “the one” is your boss. It certainly happens!

    You’d need to plan for some career changes, but if it eventually becomes clear that the two of you are mutually interested, you can always look into an internal transfer which would clear you to date. I would be very cautious about dating while she’s your boss, though frankly the risk is more on her. That said, so long as you’re fully aware of the “I understand I will have to transfer if this goes well, and that I may be driven out of this goes badly” reality, you’re an adult and can make your own call.

    2. Should I tell my boss when I’m vaccinated?
    I would. yes, you may be asked to help out in some way because you’re more protected than everyone else, but that’s part of the social bargain that got you vaccinated early.

    3. When the person who hires you leaves after a few months
    Yes, I would start looking, but continue to focus on staying and making a career there.

    I wouldn’t start looking only because there’s a change, but you are correct to note that you short tenure means you have no cred with the existing folks. That may be an issue; only you know for sure.

    4. Can my boss make me change my working hours?

    Sometimes the change can be substantial enough that you can quit (or refuse) and still get unemployment. But a 30-minute change probably wouldn’t be covered and if you’re only working until 5:30 occasionally you’ll probably just have to live with it.

    5. Should you put union leadership experience on your resume?
    Yes if you’re applying to lead a union.
    No if you’re applying anywhere else.

    1. J. Bearimy*

      Being vaccinated makes an individual more protected, but not their unvaccinated household members. It should not be OK to put employees in riskier situations because they themselves may not get sick, when they could still spread the virus to others if they get it. Medical guidance on when you can be relieved of some pandemic protocols as a vaccinated person all takes into account contact with people who’s entire households are vaccinated, not just one person.

      1. I'm just here for the cats*

        So I understand your stance here but I don’t think anyone in this situation would be putting employees in riskier situation because they are vaccinated. The LW mentions that they would still wear masks and take appropriate precautions. So I think it’s more likely along the lines of some people need to come into the office because certain tasks need to be done in person. LW would be willing to come into the office more if others didn’t feel comfortable.

        1. J. Bearimy*

          Right, in this LW’s case it makes sense, but it won’t for everyone. Some of our employers want individuals coming back into an office where masks aren’t being worn all the time by everyone, as soon as we’re vaccinated. Some of us work for anti-maskers and employers who have not made going to work very safe. Some of us have medically vulnerable un-vaccinated family members and just going back into a public workplace is a greater risk than the ability to work remotely until a much larger percentage of the population is vaccinated. It’s just not going to be the same situation for everyone, especially considering how differently the vaccine rollout is going in each state.

          1. Keymaster of Gozer*

            I’m VERY afraid of companies starting a ‘well you’ve been vaccinated, so get back to normal operating practises, take that mask off and mingle with your coworkers again’ program. Because I know darn well some will.

    2. Keymaster of Gozer*

      >>I would. yes, you may be asked to help out in some way because you’re more protected than everyone else, but that’s part of the social bargain that got you vaccinated early.<<

      Errr. no. That's not really the effect of the main approved vaccines. The research is still ongoing as to how much they protect you from getting infected in the first place – we DO know that they drastically reduce the severity of symptoms.

      So we don't yet know if the vaccines can actually stop you from spreading Covid. There's also no 'social bargain' about being vaccinated earlier – that's bizarre. (I mean, I get mine early because reasons. Does that mean I'm obliged to do more work?)

      1. Keymaster of Gozer*

        (Btw for the curious: the reason why we don’t know if the vaccines prevent infection entirely is that it’s unethical and in most countries illegal to test a vaccine on humans by giving them the vaccine then injecting them with the real live virus to see if it works.)

        1. biobotb*

          It would also require pretty much daily testing to see if anyone who got the vaccine also later got the virus, which would dramatically raise the trial costs and the time commitment of the volunteers. There are some trials that have started to look at how much vaccinated people are at risk of still getting infected and being SARS-CoV-2 carriers.

      2. J. Bearimy*


        We don’t even have all the science around how much the vaccines can protect individuals and populations and they may not stop the spread. We will get there in terms of figuring that out. But for now, all of us non-vaccine-scientists-and-covid-experts need to not make decisions for anyone else based on an assumed amount of safety. 95% efficacy means a vaccine may not work for 5 out of 100 people. It’s not unreasonable to read the room and not speak up about being an early-vaccinated person if it’s not actually required of you for your job/field, and if you suspect your employer is going to assume you’re immune and send you back out into public spaces or make you start traveling.

    3. FridayFriyay*

      Absolutely disagree that getting vaccinated “early” entails a “social bargain” that obligates the OP to put themself (and potentially the unvaccinated people they live/pod with, if relevant) at greater risk. In fact, given that many people are who eligible in the priority groups are in those priority groups *because* of their increased risk. Protection at a population level doesn’t directly translate to protection at the individual level so unless the OP wasn’t eligible and jumped the line unethically (seems clear this is not the case from the letter) I don’t think having the vaccine obligates them to do anything differently than they would otherwise.

    4. LW #1*

      Thanks for the comment, but I don’t think it’s that kind of crush. Also I’m married and not looking to date anyone :)

  38. I'm just here for the cats*

    For LW #4 There are a few things I think you should consider. 1. you should talk with your coworker and see what they think of this arrangement, if you haven’t already. Perhaps they would like to work later in the day or wouldn’t mind working on the weekend. So before you do anything talk with them. 2 is there a legitimate reason why the boss thinks someone needs to stay later or work weekends? Are there customers who have complained about needing help and not getting it until the next day or until Monday. Is there a large amount of customers in a different time zone than you. It might be 5 pm eastern but do you have customers in pacific time where it’s only 2 pm? That could make a difference too.

    If anything could you ask your boss what the reasoning is behind the change?
    also if it’s just a short time, you working until 5:30 instead of 5 I don’t see what the big deal is? Unless you have to be out the door at 5 in order to pick up kids by 5:30 when daycare closes or some other situation like that is 30 minutes really such a big deal. Now if boss is saying at 10 pm you have to log in for 30 minutes to check emails, that’s different.

    1. meteorological spring*

      Yep, that’s exactly what the boss is saying. I don’t know about you but I would find it hard to relax and enjoy my time off if I knew I had to go back to work at 8pm for 30 minutes (and really, how much can you get done in 30 minutes? how likely is it that 3o minutes will creep into longer?)

  39. Luna*

    #4 – I realize I don’t have all the information, but I was kind of questioning the fact that your co-worker is eligible for overtime, but you are not due to a slight difference in pay. Overtime eligibility is based on a lot of things, including the nature of the job itself. If I were you, I’d look into it more. The US Department of Labor (if you are in the US) is a great resource for this.

    1. PJS*

      I was coming here to say this and was wondering if anyone else picked up on it. I’m surprised Alison didn’t address it. Pay has nothing to do with whether you qualify for overtime or not. It sounds like OP and her coworker might not have vastly different job duties and and they work in customer service. I’d be willing to bet that OP is supposed to be getting overtime too.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I assumed the issue is that they both qualify for exemption based on duties, but the coworker doesn’t make the exempt salary threshold. Sounds like what the OP is saying and makes sense to me.

      2. fhqwhgads*

        You’re probably right, but it is possible that both their jobs pass the exemption test EXCEPT for OP’s pay being below the threshold for exempt employees. It’s much more likely to be the other way around, given the way this sort of thing tends to go, but it is possible the pay is the only aspect that makes OP not exempt.

    2. Insufferable bureaucrat*

      Yes! I was coming here to say this as well! If you’re doing the same job and your coworker qualifies for overtime then you should too. There are a number of factors determining if you qualify and pay is only one of them.

    3. MCMonkeybean*

      Isn’t there a minimum salary you have to meet to qualify as exempt, in addition to the job duties? So if OP is just above that and their coworker is just below it that seems possible. Definitely worth a second look though since it seems so many companies have people misclassified as exempt.

      Though it also doesn’t sound like it really matters if they don’t currently work overtime, and if they shifted their schedule slightly that still wouldn’t be overtime it would just be the same number of hours structured slightly differently.

  40. Scott*

    Re:#2 Alison stated “You’re not obligated to share that you’ve been vaccinated if you prefer to keep it private.” but I’m not sure that’s completely true (in the USA). EEOC has made it clear regarding other vaccines (e.g., influenza) that employers may mandate employees receive a vaccination to provide a workplace free of health and safety risks. There is a Q&A about COVID-19 vaccines at eeoc.gov that is pretty clear an employer may require vaccinating which would imply you may be required to inform your employer.

    1. Facts and rights*

      Can’t wait to see all the lawsuits and workers comp claims from the mandates.

    2. Keymaster of Gozer*

      I think that’s mostly for health related industries or ones that deal with volunerable people though. I’d actually expect a hospital I go to to have its staff fully vaccinated against things that could kill.

      1. Scott*

        It is likely that would be the most frequent use of mandated vaccinations. OTOH, I’m still asking the legal counsel at my work whether my employer can compel me to inform them when I receive the vaccine since it is voluntary.

      2. Facts and rights*

        True, but even healthcare industries have to make reasonable accommodations for those who cannot get the flu shot – for example by requiring extra gear etc.

    3. Observer*

      Yes, but if the OP’s boss were mandating the vaccine, they would know about that. The OP’s boss is clearly not mandating it, so the OP has no *obligation* to share this information.

  41. HailRobonia*

    One of my coworkers, a young man, mentioned that he got his vaccine because he was at the clinic for another reason and there was a spare dose that would otherwise go to waste. While I agree that it’s a very good practice to not waste doses, I wish he kept it to himself. My husband has been trying and trying to get the vaccine – between his severe asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other health issues he really should be a priority recipient, but he isn’t.

    So basically I wasn’t in the mood to hear this young healthy dude basically boast about getting the shot.

    1. scmill*

      On the bright side, he’s less likely to infect YOU leading you to potentially infect your husband.

  42. Voodoo Priestess*

    OP #3 – I completely get it and it’s something I see in my industry as well. I agree to give it time first, you really don’t know what’s going to happen. Here’s some tips I haven’t seen posted yet.

    Ask your new manager lots of questions, but don’t “grill” them. What are their goals for the group? What are their priorities? Talk about what was done previously and ask how that aligns with what they’re thinking. Really listen and be open. The best way to start a relationship with a new manager is to really listen to what their vision for the group is.

    Don’t dig your heels in. Don’t judge prematurely. Starting off with “Well, Jane always said this” or “This is why I was hired” isn’t going to get you far. Be willing to listen and adapt. Or you can decide the new direction isn’t for you and then you can start searching. If you’re not willing to at least listen and figure out what your new manager prioritizes, your relationship with that manager is probably doomed.

    Ask for regular check ins while you’re getting to know each other. Make sure you’re clear on directions and follow up if you’re not. Being proactive will help them learn to trust you.

    From my experience, the reason most managers want to “clean house” is they’re either worried the old team will sabotage them or they want complete credit for anything accomplished. If you can communicate that you want the group to be successful and are willing to incorporate change/feedback, your manager won’t feel threatened. You might actually have an advantage by not being a long-term employee in this respect since you don’t have much history.

    Good luck! I hope it works out for you.

  43. Eff Walsingham*

    My cousin presents a fairly extreme example of a workplace crush. She grew up in Small Town, Canada, and works for the major international retailer, Bananapants, Inc. The pay is not great, and they keep changing her hours, but overall she’s reasonably content. Been with them for decades. There’s not a lot of opportunity in the area.

    Once per quarter, the Regional Manager comes to town. His job is to visit all the Bananapants outlets in his region, talk to key people, and find out how new initiatives are going over, why some stuff isn’t selling well in the area, etc. These visits involve dinner, apparently.

    Because families can be so, so nosy, people often ask my cousin why she is not married and has no children, especially seeing her dote on her nieces and nephews. She usually just smiles and says something vague, and changes the subject. But one time when we were shopping together before my own, rather “late” marriage (by hometown standards), she told me about the Regional Manager.

    How he’s interested in her opinions. How he knows how to use a knife and fork. How he lets her choose the restaurant (logically, since he’s from out of town). She said, “You’ve dated the guys around here.” It’s true. In high school, I was invited to most every action movie that came to our neck of the woods. Got very good at sprinting to the door at the end of the night. Trying to fend off hickies without lacerating anyone’s dignity or getting a reputation as a “tease”. Eventually I moved to Big City for my education; ended up married to someone who’d “escaped” pretty much the same town in a different province.

    Anyhoo, my cousin *really* looks forward to the visits of the Regional Manager. Thinks about what she’ll wear, researches new restaurants to suggest. She knows he’s very happily married, and admires the latest photos of his kids. But said that since she met him, no one local has had a chance with her. She says she’s quite content, no longer going on dates to please her family and fending off the awkward fumblings of well-meaning local dudes, because she knows what a man would have to be like in order to hold her interest. I don’t think she’ll move away. She adores her large extended family, who already think she’s too remote living in Town and not with her parents. But she values her freedom.

    And she would never dream of acting unprofessionally with the Regional Manager. She knows she has far too much to lose. I really hope he recommends her for a promotion, though, if he appreciates her judgement so much. Bananapants, Inc. is lucky to have her. But they’re not known for making good use of their talent.

  44. CommanderBanana*

    LW#1, I’d honestly be kind of freaked out if someone told me they thought about me “3,000 times a day.” Maybe I’m reading too much into it but that sounds…off…to me.

    LW#3, I feel your pain. At my last organization and my current one, the person who hired me that I would be reporting to quit right after I started. In the my last organization, I was left without a boss for almost 9 months and unfortunately my boss’s boss was an absolute monster. At my current one, the woman who hired me announced she was leaving three weeks after I was hired. It just sucks, and beyond asking and hoping that the person who is hiring you is honest, I don’t feel that there’s much you can do.

    1. meyer lemon*

      For LW1, I think it really depends on the context of the quote. It could have been as innocent as “Sorry, LW1, sometimes I feel like I have 3,000 questions a day for you about the lemur project!” or “You’re such a great employee, I can think of 3,000 things that come up every day that I know you have the answers for.” The number 3,000 just sounds like jokey hyperbole to me–I can’t imagine saying it sincerely. Or maybe not, but crush vision can warp these things.

      1. LW #1*

        Yeah, I think it’s hyperbole. I realize I didn’t give a lot of context, so I expanded in a previous comment.

  45. Amber Rose*

    While it’s good to enjoy working with someone and to like them as a person, be aware of that line between a fan and a stan.

    If you’re too obviously watching someone with stars in your eyes and they can do no wrong, you make people around you uncomfortable.

  46. Observer*

    #3- I’m kind of amazed that you are feeling duped. I get that this is not a great situation, but honestly what makes you think that HR knew anything but what they told you.

    More importantly, if you take that attitude it IS likely to harm you. It’s going to cloud your judgement about the company and your new manager. And if you do find yourself needing to job hunt again, that attitude is likely to come through even though I’m sure you’d never actually say “they duped me”. And that attitude is not likely to make you an attractive candidate.

    Alison’s advice is good – stuff happens. Approach the situation and your new boss with an open mind, but start looking if things don’t go well. But understand that no one fooled you or did anything TO YOU. Whether or not they handled your boss’ employment well is a separate question and if you figure out what happened there, I imagine you would factor what you learn into you assessment of the company.

  47. Just a Dude*

    I think someone may need to explain to me why being employed by a company gives them the right to make you work whenever they want. I currently don’t work weekends or evenings and I won’t.
    People need their time off and just because we are able to work from home at all hours doesn’t mean we should.
    The company doesn’t own you and all of your time.

    1. meteorological spring*

      Alison explained this in her answer: “it’s legal of him to ask or even require. Employers can decide to change your schedule at any point.” Was there more information you were looking for?

    2. MCMonkeybean*

      Why would they *not* have the right to decide what hours they need work done??? Setting your hours is a pretty basic thing most people would expect from their company. Certainly there are some jobs that allow for a lot of flexibility where people can set their own hours as long as the work gets done but that is not the norm.

      Your time is the main thing a company is paying you for. They certainly can’t *force* you work work certain hours but it is absolutely within their rights to request is and if the hours they need are not the hours that you want to work then they will just find someone willing to work those hours.

      1. Just a Dude*

        My point is that “changing your hours” should be reasonable. Going from 8-4 to 9-5 is reasonable. Saying, “You will work every weekend” is not.
        Too many people take too much liberty with people just because they need work. It may be legal but it isn’t moral.

  48. anony32839*

    #3. When the person who hires you leaves after a few months
    OP, I’m in a similar situation as you. Our department underwent a restructure and my boss who I have worked with for years left and our team was combined with another existing team. The manager seems to favor the employees on his original team even promoting one of them. In my experience, it is difficult to work with a manager who did not hire you. One thing I suggest is that when you job search, look at your potential manager’s linked in profile or ask how long he/she has been at the organization.

  49. gbca*

    OP#3 – it’s just impossible for anyone to know if they will be in a job a year from now. I came into a new job a couple years ago and had an employee who was very frustrated by the revolving door of managers he had (more due to internal restructurings than people leaving the company). I assured him I had no intent of going anywhere for a couple years, which was 100% true at the time. He ended up leaving the company a few months later, but it turned out that 10 months after I started there I got a completely unexpected internal opportunity that was absolutely too good to pass up. I was grateful I didn’t have to tell him I was yet another short-timer! In both work and life, you can’t predict the future.

  50. Student Affairs Sally*

    LW #3: I’m late to the party but I just want to throw in my voice about how to handle the situation about your manager leaving. In my last job, the woman who hired me retired about a year after I started, and the program I worked for got folded into another department on campus. Now, to be fair, my original boss was NOT the best, so I was actually pretty pleased when she announced her retirement; however, this didn’t dilute my anxiety over the fact that I would be reporting to someone who was an unknown quantity to me (I knew my new boss to say hi in the elevator, but didn’t have any knowledge of her as a manager or even a colleague). NewBoss was also on maternity leave for most of the time between the announcement and actual transition, so I didn’t have time to form a rapport with her in the meantime. I was very concerned that I could be going from bad to worse, and a couple of miscommunications early on made me even more apprehensive about this. But then, half of our team all left at the same time (some we knew about early on, others were very last minute) and the stress level in our entire office skyrocketed. If this had happened under my previous boss, it would most certainly have been a disaster, but my new boss really demonstrated incredible leadership, flexibility, and understanding during this time. We had slightly different communication styles and I still wasn’t sure if she liked me when I was going in for my first performance review under her, and the feedback that she gave was so validating but also constructive and helpful in my growth as a professional – and, even better, she asked for my feedback on her management and leadership after the Year of Craziness and ACTUALLY INCORPORATED some of the suggestions I gave. It was amazing. (In my performance review with my previous boss, the only feedback I got was that I didn’t socialize with other people in the office enough.) I worked for NewBoss for another 2.5 years and developed a great working relationship in that time, and learned SO MUCH from her. Now that I’ve moved on from that institution and working for a decent-but-not-great boss, I really miss my former NewBoss and how well we worked together. She wasn’t perfect and sometimes she made decisions I didn’t agree with, but overall it was a great experience to work with/for her.

    The tl;dr being, give YOUR NewBoss a chance. They might surprise you – and even if things start out a little rocky, they might ultimately work out great. It doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out for other opportunities and maybe send a few applications just in case things turn sour, but I wouldn’t have one foot out the door until you’ve given your NewBoss at least 3-6 months to settle in and get to know your office/team/you.

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

    #2 I’m of two minds on this. I think this is a “need to know” situation. Most employers have no real business need to know, but some do. If someone works in food service, health care, education, etc. …employees are already required to share certain vaccination or test information — TB and hepatitis come immediately to mind — so there is already precedent on this. I work in an educational organization that has a health care facility as part of our organization, but I’m not a teacher nor a health care worker. I’m still required to report to my employer that I’ve tested negative for COVID anytime I come to campus, and I’m (this week, going to be) vaccinated — in fact, I’m getting my vaccine through my employer. I’m fine with that, because I knew that sometimes this type of information is expected of me when I was hired more than a decade ago. But if I worked at a landscaping company for instance, I’d have a different expectation and would not feel comfortable sharing any health information beyond that I’m “fit for the job”. If an employer has never required health information for the job before, they don’t need it now.

  52. MsClaw*

    A few of you may remember my company’s weird policy that completely misinterprets HIPPA into thinking we’re not allowed to tell anyone at work whether or not we have or have had COVID. They’ve now decided we can’t tell them our vaccination status.

    But they *also* want some way to track how many of the staff (just not which specific) staff have been vaccinated, so they are trying to come up with some sort of anonymous way to track how many people have gotten jabbed.

  53. Regular Human Accountant*

    OP3: Several years ago I had a boss who I just loved; he was easy to work for, was not a micromanager, incredibly supportive, he was just great all around. Unfortunately I was one of the few people who got along with him, and he was pushed out very suddenly. I, too, wondered if I should leave, but decided to give my new boss a shot–he was an internal hire and I knew very little of him, other than he was a bit gruff.

    That new boss turned out be the best boss I ever had. He advocated for me for promotions and bonuses and raises, he was an excellent teacher and guide, he gave me plenty of opportunities to stretch and grow, and he made my career better than it would have ever been under the old boss. It doesn’t always go that well, but it’s worth giving it a chance. Talk to your new boss, tell them your goals and skills and make sure they know you want to work with them to improve and grow your department. Maybe you’ll get lucky, too.

  54. Daisy-dog*

    #2 – I have not read all the comments yet, so I do not know if this has been mentioned. Some employers are offering incentives to those who get the vaccine. That could include: up to 2 additional paid days off per shot (to account for potential side effects), small bonus payments, gift cards, etc. It may not be advertised yet if there is a slim population of people who are eligible in your company.

    Even if you don’t care about some incentives, the added time-off may come in handy in case you have limited sick time. Ask your manager casually if you don’t want to reveal how soon you’ll be getting the vaccine.

  55. Sometimes Charlotte*

    Originally I planned not to tell my boss I was getting vaccinated. I just didn’t want to have to “explain” my eligibility, even though I knew she’d never question it or be anything but happy for me being able to get vaccinated. I ended up telling her I had a vaccination appointment because if I had a reaction that necessitated taking a sick day (like I did when I had the Dtap a few months ago), I knew that she’d worry. When I told her about my appointment, I explained why I hesitated to tell and her and ultimately why I did. No one else here knows and I plan to keep it that way at least for the foreseeable future.

  56. dealing with dragons*

    to #3 – I showed up to my current job and got a new manager! It ended up working out – the old manager was promoted so someone else filled their shoes. That person is still my manager and it’s been great!

    Also, for #2 I got vaccinated even though I don’t qualify in my state under wasted doses protocols. I really get the feelings for worrying about jealous people or upset people that I cut the line somehow. It still feels surreal, and honestly I’m not even changing my behaviors so it doesn’t have a big effect on my day to day life outside of offering more protection.

  57. LMM*

    LW3, I’ve become quite cynical about the situation you wrote about, and appreciate your question and Alison’s answer.

    I left a job I’d been in for a decade (but was tired of the industry) to take a job where I LOVED the hiring manager. He left a month after I was hired, I worked with no boss for months, then I ended up with an interim boss who had no idea what we did and also turned out to be a racist who later got pushed out of the org for being a racist. Then my whole team got laid off because the org hired in someone new who wanted his own team.

    Needless to say, I’m definitely really cautious about sussing out how long people have been working above me. I wish I didn’t feel this way, but I’ve never felt more like the rug was pulled out from under me professionally than I did when that great manager left.

  58. Here we go again*

    OP #3 I had a hiring manager tell me exactly how many days he had left (about 9 months, he had a countdown on his phone) until he retired during my interview. He was just really excited about retiring. It shouldn’t raise red flags if the hiring manager has a good attitude, because people come and go from jobs all the time. A big reason why I took the job is because people worked there for 30+ years.

  59. Jungle Juice*

    I think if you want to share that you’ve received the vaccine, you should, but there should be no pressure on others to do the same.

    I don’t have plans to take the vaccine, as I have many concerns about it. For one, all vaccines undergo years of testing to ensure they are safe, this was not the case for the Covid shots. We don’t know what the long-term side effects are, nor the short term. Dr. Fauci said at a health summit in October the vaccines do NOT prevent you from getting covid-19 or prevent you from transmitting covid-19, they only lessen the severity of your symptoms (Pfizer/Moderna). These vaccines are still very much experimental. I have a friend who is a front line worker and had a horrific reaction to the vaccine that was not normal. A high fever which resulted him to black out for almost 20 hours. It’s worth noting that there is no inactive virus in the covid-19 vaccines, it’s a MRNA protein therapy. This type of protein therapy has never been approved in humans until now.

    I think people who want the jab should get it, but for those of us who want to old off for now, we shouldn’t be forced into having a conversation about our vaccine status.

    1. The Gollux, Not a Mere Device*

      We also don’t know all about the long-term side effects of COVID, except that they’re bad. I’d rather take the slight chance of a bad vaccine reaction, than the larger chance of dying, or of surviving the acute infection and being left with long COVID. A friend of mine has been dealing with that for seven months, and doesn’t know if she will ever be healthy enough to work again.

      There is no door number 3, with neither COVID nor vaccine, but a year’s supply of Turtle Wax.

      1. Observer*

        Well, we do know about quite a few of them. And, yes it can be very bad and affect people’s lives in a lot of difficult ways.

    2. Observer*

      For one, all vaccines undergo years of testing to ensure they are safe, this was not the case for the Covid shots.

      The actual base line testing for vaccines is actually not that much longer – it’s just MUCH more spaced out.

      We don’t know what the long-term side effects are, nor the short term.

      While we don’t (can’t) know about long term effects, we know quite a bit about short term effects. Keep in mind that the initial studies WERE as large as studies of prior vaccines, and we now have HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of doses that have been administered. As of the today (3/3/2021) we have 3 month or more of history on 13Million+ doses administered. If you look at 6 weeks worth of history, which is what is generally looked at when worrying about short term effects, we have over 54Million doses administered. It’s kind of lame to claim that we “don’t know” about short term effects. And it really speaks to the credibility of your argument.

      Dr. Fauci said at a health summit in October the vaccines do NOT prevent you from getting covid-19 or prevent you from transmitting covid-19, they only lessen the severity of your symptoms (Pfizer/Moderna).

      That’s actually not what he said. What he DID say is that we DO NOT KNOW whether it affects spread. That’s a VERY different thing. And it’s significant, because now, months later, we actually DO know a LOT more about how the vaccines affect spread. And what we know is that they definitely DO reduce spread.

      but for those of us who want to old off for now, we shouldn’t be forced into having a conversation about our vaccine status

      Yes. In fact, I think that people like you should be FORBIDDEN from discussing it. Because spreading blatant scarelore about vaccines is a really trashy thing to do, and it’s not something any reasonable employer should want happening at work.

  60. LW #1*

    LW 1 here. Thank you for responding to my letter, Alison! I understand that you may think I’m open to something more, because I was so reactive, but I really do want to keep working with her because I really like the way I’m developing professionally so far. I wrote the letter the same day she told me she thought about me so often. She didn’t say it in a flirty way, but it kind of flipped a switch for me. Since then it has calmed down and I have distanced myself a bit to “reset”. I’ve always had a strong internal response to feeling like people like me, which is probably childhood related, and it got me into a bunch of relationships with people I wasn’t really into when I was young. Anyway, I want to keep our relationship professional, but still enjoy the inspiration. The things that excite me are all work related and we have never talked about anything else. I’m also married, so even if it was romantic (which I don’t think), I’m not open to anything.

    I have had feelings like this before, so I’ve been trying to find what’s in common. First was my high school math teacher who was very inspiring and good at his job and also really believed in me and encouraged me to take part in math competitions (which I won). Then there was my art school teacher who was also really inspiring, ambitious and excellent at his craft. He also believed in me and pushed me to really develop a lot and that’s a big part of the career I have now. Those two times I was quite confused about my feelings and mistook it for a romantic crush. Thankfully my high school teacher was super professional and I was shy enough to not try anything, but with the art school teacher in my late 20s I did flirt with him and he flirted back, but then backed away and it was a hard time for me. In hindsight I’m quite embarrassed and really wish I could have seen it for what it was, that it was more the thrill of being inspired and learning and growing a lot combined with feeling seen and supported. I wish I could have just used the positive feelings as motivation.

    Olivia is also very inspiring, ambitious, talented and I feel that she believes in me and she encourages me to develop new skills and to work in a really structured way with my professional development, which I really appreciate. I feel safe to talk about things that are difficult at work so that I can tackle them better and I feel safe to try new things and explore and grow. I feel like I can do anything now :) I don’t want to remake the mistake from my past, because, as you write, I feel like together with my boss I can accomplish a lot and I’m really looking forward to keep working with her  

    I don’t know, but I suspect that all of the people I had this kind of crush on were also highly visually intelligent, like myself, and I can sometimes miss having people to connect with in that way. So there’s also that. I feel very intellectually stimulated when I’m interacting with Olivia and that’s a nice feeling too.

    Some commenters have wondered about my sexual orientation. I’m bisexual, but most of my relationships, including the one with my husband, have been with guys.

    Thank you so much to all the commenters sharing their own similar experiences. I really appreciate reading them.

  61. OP#3*

    I’m the OP for the third question. Thank you for all of the great feedback. I’m actually feeling a little better about the management change. I do think my new boss and I will get along, now that things have calmed down a bit. The main reason I reacted so negatively was that this happened at my last job and wow, it was such a disaster. I was hired by someone who had a similar skill set, understood my job well, and gave me a lot of freedom. And as he left he said “we found you a gem of a supervisor.”

    Turned out that management recruited a nightmare who was younger, less experienced and knew absolutely nothing about the line of work we were in. We were never comfortable with each other because of the knowledge gap. Rather than just allowing me to do my job and say thank you for helping her look good so she could build a good track record and move up the chain, she started competing with me, and then, she turned up the micromanagement. I realized too late that she wanted to move one of her lower-level buddies into my job (it was obvious because she was training him).

    The experience was so negative. I did not see it coming when I had first started there. It was a total 180, going from a great position with a good boss to someone I dreaded interacting with on a daily basis.

  62. Little Miss Sunshine*

    OP#3 4.5 years ago I took a new job in my organization and have been a hot potato ever since. 6 direct managers and 7 grand-bosses in that time. Some were duds, some were stars. Doing the “same” job for different people every 9-12 months can be exhausting. I still managed to meet my career goals by staying focused on myself and what I needed to do to be successful, and being adaptable to different management styles. Depending on the industry, frequent org changes can be the norm and the more you can role with it the better off you will be.

  63. Betsy S*

    OP #4 : what rubs me SO MUCH the wrong way about this request is that 30 mins at night is NOT the same as 30 minutes in the day. You’re essentially ‘on call’. You have to commit to being home that evening and not making plans; you have to disrupt your evening; you may get involved in something that takes more than half an hour. Plus the stress around having to go back to work, dealing with whatever’s in there, and then decompressing, could well be WAY more than half an hour,

    First and best option is to push back as suggested. Autoresponders are free, and not every customer WANTS an answer off-hours just because that’s when they’re catching up on email. Get some metrics.

    Another option – is it possible to hire a part-part-timer or would they be too hard to train? A 5- or 10-hour a week evening job can be a huge benefit to a retiree, or someone who has caretaker responsibilities.

    But if the boss insists, I think there are some ways to make it sweeter such as (random ideas, your carrot may vary):

    – get paid for a 2-hour minimum for answering emails in the evening, even if it is half an hour.
    – get to leave two hours early the day you do this.
    – get a paid comp day once a month

    There’s got to be something that makes this not ‘free’ to him, and that provides a basis for getting more benefit if the demands increase.

  64. Al Gore Rhythm*

    LW5: I worked in a support function for a while and my boss wanted me to start working weekends. I was NOT willing to do that, but before I made it about the schedule, I looked at when our tickets tend to come in. We averaged 3-5 tickets per weekend (that was Friday night after business hours, Saturday, and Sunday combined). That data alone changed my manager’s mind.

    It might be that you pull the data and it doesn’t work in your favor, but it’s worth a try!

  65. Bethie*

    At everyone of my government positions, lasting over 7 years now, the person who hired me left within 3 months. Maybe its me!? Just kidding.
    All of them took promotions in other government divisions. I guess that is normal practice, as in my state you cant really move up unless you move out. Although we have had some movement in my office and I have a 2 year promotion currently.
    But when interviewing I also looked to see how everyone on the panel got along, did they like or speak to each other? Because to me that is indicative of the culture. I went to one interview I wanted so bad, but all 7 (yes 7!) panel memebers didnt even speak to each other! No “hey!” or anything. Every job I have loved started with people on the panel who seemed to like each other. And that’s important for me for job staisfaction.
    My current job I have had 5 bosses in 5 years, due to movement. And overall, with the exception of one, the culture of the agency didnt change so things stayed awesome. The one I didnt like was just a little too micromanage-y for me. Which is not our culture. She soon left.
    So I look at the whole culture not just the manager. I have a team now (for 3 months) and have had 2 interviewsd for promotions in other departments. I could well end up leaving too. But I know any other manager in my division will treat my team as good as I do.

    1. OP#3*

      OP#3 again. Thanks for this advice. That’s such a great point, looking at how people get along. At my last organization, there was a lot of animosity between my micromanager boss and the rest of the staff and she’s one to show her true feelings with facial expressions (just-can’t-contain-the-eyerolls type of person), so I can’t imagine anyone interviewing with her on the panel wouldn’t pick up on the negativity. This was the sort of place, also a public org, where strangely, no one left. No one moved up and out. It would have been so much better if there had been more movement. I would have probably stayed. Sadly, at my new job, it was a boss a really liked who left, but isn’t just how things go. Last I heard, my previous boss, the miserable one, is still there.

      1. Bethie*

        Thank you for replying :) I hope things work out with your new boss – but if you decide to leave / look elsewhere I wish you the best of luck!

        One law firm I worked at they openly spoke very badly about the previous paralegal in the position. I was young and dumb, but that should have been such a big clue it was going to be hell on earth to work there.

  66. Ember*

    For #3, i empathize.

    1 of the reason why i left my 2nd job after only 11 months, i was actively searching agter just 3 months, was that i did not know my hiring manager was pregnant when she interviewed me. She took one year of maternity, which started literally 3 weeks after I joined. Also when she left, she did not properly tell anyone specifically to be in charge of me. So i ended up with bosses that do not know what i’m doing (technical excel work), doesn’t think its important.

    This happened to me again in my 3rd job, where my manager also took 1 year maternity leave. Although i havent left yet, i just feel incredibly “lonely” and abandoned. There were covering managers but they often overrule previous decisions made by that manager and I feel like it’s just them trying to seem more “intelligent”.

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