my friend is a bad employee, will attending an anti-gay college hurt me, and more

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

1. My friend has bad judgment about work — and we work for the same company

The company I work for has over 1,000 employees. I work as a manager and am in my late twenties. My friend, Bella, is a similar age and in a very different field. In the four years I’ve known her, Bella has gone through three jobs. I know she has anxiety and has had a traumatic brain injury in the past two years.

Last year, Bella left her old company, where she complained about a passive aggressive boss and anxiety-inducing workload, to join my company. I didn’t even know she had interviewed or joined until she announced it, as our home offices are on opposite coasts and our departments do not work with each other. I’m in a different department on a different coast with no overlap.

On her private locked Twitter, which I have followed for years, I’ve noticed her complaining more and more about her job and coworkers. Most recently, I saw she posted that she was planning on quitting if she had to work with a passive-aggressive manager again for a project. I don’t know this manager, nor do I know this situation. I do know that when you scroll her Twitter, it’s venting and angry but also appears to reflect some coachable work issues.

She’s complained about coworkers talking to her and wanting her to participate more and said that it triggers her anxiety. It totally could! But the culture at our company is very collaborative, which is stated up-front and in all of the on-boarding documents. We expect people to participate and bring ideas, etc. to meetings. You’re expected to get along with/talk to coworkers. Calling coworkers names, even without naming them, is not okay here.

She also complained that a coworker apparently pointed out she’s on Twitter a lot. The time stamp of the tweet was in the middle of the working day, as are most of her tweets.

We’re friends and if she wants to quit, she can. But I’m concerned that the passive-aggressive manager part is a pattern now, and perhaps it might be a her thing rather than all of her managers in the past few years being passive-aggressive enough for work to be untenable and to the point that she needs to quit, as well as the job-hopping.

Obviously, I need to block/mute/unfollow her Twitter, but I am unsure if I’m supposed to be a sounding board or maybe give a heads-up to her manager. Or let her know that her private, locked Twitter is not super appropriate for venting/ranting about work and I will need to step back from the friendship?

You don’t need to do much of anything here! Definitely don’t mention it to her manager. You saw Bella’s (private, locked) tweets because of your friendship and you don’t work closely with her team; there’s nothing here that requires you to talk to her boss. Do unfollow her, though, and let her know it’s better for your friendship if you don’t see the stuff she posts about work. You might also suggest that she disconnect from anyone else at work if she’s going to tweet about her job (including that person who commented on how often she’s on Twitter; since her account is private, they could only know that if she had accepted their follow request at some point).

If you want to preserve the friendship, you probably need a mental firewall between your job and Bella. If she ever asks for advice, you could give it (or if you think she’d be receptive you could try initiating a one-time conversation about what you’re seeing — although those can be very hard to pull off in an effective way) but it sounds like you and Bella are really different work-wise, and your friendship will be better if you keep work totally separate.

2. Will having an anti-gay religious school on my resume hurt me?

When I was an undergraduate student, I went to a religious school. They’ve been in the news for their anti-LGBTQ policies, including kicking someone out because they are gay and forcing an undergraduate student to go to conversion therapy. I obviously didn’t think about this when I was 18 applying for schools, and the school’s actions doesn’t reflect my beliefs. (For what it’s worth, I’m about five years removed from college.) Will this school hurt my chances of employment in the future?

It depends on the school and its reputation for academics. There are plenty of religiously affiliated schools with strong academic reputations (think Georgetown, Duke, Wake Forest, etc.). But there are a handful with terrible academic reputations because they’re known for anti-intellectualism and for valuing religious teaching over critical thinking (think Liberty University, Oral Roberts, etc.) From your description of events, it sounds like it’s probably the second category — in which case, yeah, it does risk being an issue. Employers can’t legally discriminate based on religion, but it happens anyway … and some will be skeptical of the quality of the education a school in the second category provided and/or will worry about how you’ll handle working with people different than you.

On your resume, lean into work accomplishments to outweigh that as much as you can, and make sure that in your interviews and cover letter you’re coming across as … well, the opposite of what people might be concerned about (so, for example, open-minded, inclusive, and rigorous in your thinking). If you happen to have done, say, volunteer work for racial justice or LGBTQ rights, including that kind of thing in a Community Service section of your resume could also help counter potential concerns.

3. Workers’ rights in a video game

My friends and I are obsessed with a video game and were talking about how the character is employed and what that means for their health benefits. Basic background, in the game it’s the future and most of the world has been destroyed by ghosts and rain that ages everything within minutes. So, no cars, planes, or infrastructure of any kind. Because of that, society relies on people like your character to deliver supplies, packages, etc. and you do it all on foot. You’re hired by the main company in the game (who also are essentially the American government too) to deliver packages and connect people at your delivery destinations to the internet. Think if the USPS were the only branch of the government left and they hired people to install the internet every time they made a delivery.

One of my friends said that the employees must have excellent health benefits because a) the company is big, b) it’s partly the government and the government always has great benefits, and c) the job is so dangerous, benefits are probably a main perk for employees to retain them. However, I’m arguing that most of the company’s porters are in fact contract employees and not actual employees of the company, which is evidenced by the fact that there are moments in the game where company reps say things like, “We have entered into a contract with [your character].” As contract employees, they are then responsible for their own benefits, taxes, etc.

My friend countered that they’re treated as employees and therefore entitled to the same benefits as actual employees. She points to the fact that your character is allowed to use company facilities and you’re given company-branded uniforms and company equipment to complete your job.

I countered back that that stuff doesn’t mean anything. What matters is what kind of work you’re given and what authority you have over that work. In the game you’re allowed to choose what packages to deliver or to even deliver none at all! You can also choose to recover other people’s packages and deliver those too. I believe that kind of autonomy over your work means you’re definitely a contractor and not a company employee. Who do you think is right?

I can’t say based on these facts; it’s not clear either way. U.S. law actually doesn’t have black and white rules to determine if you’re an employee or an independent contractor; it depends on the entirety of the situation. You’re right that they look at things like what kind of authority you have over your work, but that’s not the only factor — they also look at whether you use your own tools or company-provided ones, can do the work at a time and place of your choosing, and other factors. The IRS explicitly notes, “Some factors may indicate that the worker is an employee, while other factors indicate that the worker is an independent contractor. There is no ‘magic’ or set number of factors that ‘makes’ the worker an employee or an independent contractor, and no one factor stands alone in making this determination. Also, factors which are relevant in one situation may not be relevant in another. The keys are to look at the entire relationship, consider the degree or extent of the right to direct and control, and finally, to document each of the factors used in coming up with the determination.”

So it’s not clear-cut based on the details in the game. It does sound possible, though, that this company pays people as contract workers, but treats them as employees — which is illegal and could result in them owing penalties and back pay. In real life, you’d want a lawyer to look at it.

4. I’m being promoted but we haven’t talked about salary

My manager wants to transfer me to a new department, and they’re having me join meetings and do training. I am slowly transitioning from my previous role to the new role. However, when I checked the minimum salary that the position would make, it is more than twice what I am making right now. How do I bring it up to my manager that if I were to work in the new position, that I would like to be paid accordingly?

Approach it as if of course your salary will be raised and it just hasn’t been discussed yet. Say it this way: “Can we talk about my salary in the new role? I saw the range for the position is $X-$Y.”

Do be aware that some companies have a policy that they’ll only raise your salary by X% in an internal move, regardless of what they’d pay an external candidate in the same role (which makes no sense and is a good way to underpay people, build in salary inequities, and lose employees faster than they would otherwise). If you encounter that, here’s some advice on handling it.

5. Taking a vacation day during your two weeks’ notice

I am planning to give notice at my job very soon. I also have requested time off in a few weeks (just a Friday to attend a wedding in a different city) but given how conversations are going with the potential new employer, it’s very likely that this day will fall within the last two weeks in my current position.

Is it bad form to take this day off if it’s within my notice period? Should I volunteer to work one extra day so that I complete the full two weeks? I would be compensated for some unused vacation time if I don’t take it, so part of me feels like I might as well use it. I also know I could also put in my two weeks’ notice after I come back from the trip, but I may not have enough time to do that before the new position begins and I don’t think it would be appropriate to give, say, only a week’s notice before I leave.

It depends on your employer but generally it shouldn’t be a big deal. There are some employers that have policies that you can’t take time off during your notice period, but usually one day that was pre-planned won’t be a big deal (they’re more concerned about people taking big chunks of time when they need them for transition work). You can ask your boss though — it’s fine to say something like, “I’d like to set my last day for two weeks from today, which would be August 24. But I also have the day off on the 20th for a wedding. Do you want me to make my last day the 25th instead or is it okay to just do two weeks from today?”

{ 629 comments… read them below }

  1. Mike*

    #5, regarding vacation during the notice period: if you can, and you don’t think it’ll impact your work life negativity, consider giving more than 2 weeks notice. More is usually better for managers, and if you’re not going to a direct competitor they shouldn’t worry about having you around for 3 or more weeks. 2 weeks is a minimum to be considered in good standing, but again, more is usually better.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        First, plenty of employers do; that’s not an accurate premise. But more importantly, many people don’t have adversarial relationships with their employers and are happy to do more than the minimum to facilitate a transition, especially if they’re invested in seeing the work they’ve done move forward without bumps. They care about their work and their colleagues and they have warm, supportive relationships with their managers and feel they’ve been treated well. (I’d argue this is pretty common among people who have successful and fulfilling professional lives.)

        That aside, I disagree with the encouragement to give more than two weeks notice in the majority of cases. There are some jobs where that makes sense but people generally know if they’re in one of them. For most jobs, two weeks is reasonable and what’s expected, and giving longer isn’t necessary and can drag things out and keep you in a lame duck status for longer than is good for you.

        1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          That aside, I disagree with the encouragement to give more than two weeks notice in the majority of cases.

          I would be curious, if you don’t mind, Alison, to know what you consider to be the upper limit of notice to be?

          1. Allypopx*

            I don’t know about Alison but I gave three months once and it was a good choice (I had a huge job and I was able to name my successor and give her adequate training in a gradual, not overwhelming fashion). I trusted my employer and they were very supportive of me during this time.

            My last job I gave three weeks and ehhh I probably didn’t have to. I could’ve used that extra week as a break between jobs. It’s really contextual.

            1. Salad Daisy*

              In some cases, no matter how much notice you give your employer will not think it is enough. I gave 4-1/2 months notice because I was pregnant. Let my boss know I was leaving the day after I got a positive pregnancy test. They never looked for my replacement and when I finally left I was told I was leaving precipitiously (the correct word is precipitantly, I was not falling off a cliff).

              1. Martha*

                I gave like 6 months notice when I got pregnant with my 2nd kid and quit to be a SAHM. My boss had been AMAZING about my first pregnancy/maternity leave, and the least I could do was give him the max notice possible. He continued to be amazing until the day I left for good.

          2. Anon academic*

            I’m not Allison, but I’m in academia. People in high level administration often give many months of notice or even a year, as do tenured faculty. The hiring cycle for faculty is annual and most high level admin positions are as well. In some cases, folks even declare their retirement plans many years in advance, perhaps not publicly but fairly widely. People in these jobs know this stuff, though, and no one is giving a notice of just two or three weeks in this context.

            1. Seeking Second Childhood*

              A friend in academic IT gave a couple of months notice because of the university’s ultra-slow hiring process. He wanted to let them get a replacement with time for him to train. Replacement was immediately authorized–usually a long process. And then HR sat on the job posting –it went out 2 weeks before the end of his notice period. So they STILL didn’t get to do hands-on training. It was extremely frustrating for everyone.

              1. Rusty Shackelford*

                My experience in academics (state school) was that they will not hire your replacement until you’re gone. I don’t know if there was actually a law or rule that you couldn’t have two people employed in that role at the same time, or if it was just an employer policy, but overlap was impossible.

                1. Michelle*

                  In my experience at a state school, the budgets are set for only one position at a time. Two people can’t occupy the same position line, therefore no overlap.

              2. Aggretsuko*

                Yeah, my coworker gave 4 months of notice before retiring, and they still never managed to hire someone before she left. They usually won’t hire someone for at least a year after the person leaves, for Reasons.

            2. Jen*

              I’ve always worked in schools (both higher ed and k-12) and I’ve always timed leaving with the end of the semester or school year. In k-12 I feel like it’s especially pretty common to leave at the end of the year, the school then has all summer to find a replacement.

              1. Lynn*

                My husband is a high school teacher. When he retires, the school will get a full academic year of notice. That is because there is a deal offered wherein he gets paid extra for staying that next year after his notice date.

                Otherwise, I would agree-generally, notice is given at the end of one academic year. In his district, if someone knows they will be leaving, they will often give notice at any point within their last semester.

                1. Lynn*

                  And my job is a much more standard 2 weeks notice. I might give my boss an extra week or even two as I trust her and would want to give her whatever notice I could.

          3. ophelia*

            In my industry, it’s pretty situation-specific? Often, people leave to go back to grad school/get a PhD, and replacing them can take a while – it’s not unheard of for people to give notice in April/May for an August leave date in a situation like that. When they’re just changing jobs, 2 weeks is more standard.

        2. MechE*

          Alison, can you point to a time when the comment section made shift to this overall adversarial attitude towards an employers? It feels like there is overwhelmingly an air of “you owe them nothing, they’d drop you in a second, you’re just a cog in the machine” in here sometimes. I can only say that I’ve never encountered that nor have any of my friends and family. All of our employers have shown loyalty, caring, and understanding. Obviously my experience isn’t universal and others will have had different and worse experiences, but I wonder how you feel about this. What are your thoughts?

          1. Jackalope*

            I think it’s in part the nature of the blog. The whole point is to talk about work issues, which means that there’s a higher percentage than usual of people in bad work situations writing in. So that tends to color the discussion. Also, some of the people with the most loyalty have it misplaced – they might say something like they don’t want to leave their employer in the lurch because the employer just fired a bunch of staff for bad reasons (they were paid too much or something) and now they need the OP to fill three jobs at once while they do some lukewarm hiring attempts. So that factors in as well.

            1. Smithy*

              I also think that part of this misplaced loyalty comes from the reality that a lot of advice people get on jobs comes from parents/family and there’s becoming greater generational divides on the that advice being current.

              Like, my mom has worked in the same place for 30 years – so when she gives advice about job seeking, she only has an employer’s perspective. Which isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s both really sided to what she prefers when hiring and entirely devoid of the lived experience of being a job seeker. So I also think a lot of the louder voices on this subject often reflect their own process of having to unlearn their experiences.

              I gave three months notice once (that included a pre-planned three week vacation in the middle) and it was a real mixed bag. I wasn’t pushed out and in its own odd way ended up benefiting me far more than the organization. But I still wouldn’t recommend it.

          2. KK*

            I have a decent employer and some of my coworkers still think this way. We are free to and encouraged to use our vacation time and sick leave, they’re flexible when things come up.

            But one of my coworkers still wants about how we’re “being abused”, while one of my close friends was illegally classified as exempt, working 80 hour weeks, and put in charge of interviewing and hiring her own supervisor. Some people will never be happy.

            1. DrunkAtAWedding*

              I haven’t noticed a general shift either. I have noticed some posts seem more skewed to different viewpoints, so maybe it’s bias in the posts MerchE is looking at rather than across all the comments?

          3. nothing rhymes with purple*

            People are more aware that having an uncaring employer is not uncommon, let alone not unique to their situation and not their fault, so we are in general more likely to talk about the situation in specific cases and as a general trend.

            Also, concerning the limits of “this has not been my experience…”

            I personally have not been sexually harassed at work. I have been harassed at work multiple times; I have been sexually harassed multiple times; I know several people who have been sexually harassed at work (of multiple genders, no less). But I personally have not been sexually harassed at work. If I used that personal fact to cast doubt that sexual harassment at work happens, in specific incidents or as a general trend, I would be quite wrong to do so.

          4. Aggretsuko*

            Depends entirely on job, location, industry, etc. but a good chunk of places these days may not be caring employers. You’re very lucky.

        3. Kyrielle*

          Yeah, I worked slightly more than two weeks after my notice at my last job – in part because I had a modified schedule below 40 hours a week (not by a ton) and didn’t want to work harder my last two weeks but didn’t want to short them.

          But a) I’d been there for years and needed to properly transition stuff, b) they had treated me well and were good people, c) I really liked our customers and what we did, d) it wasn’t a full three weeks, and e) if they decided to cut me off earlier (they didn’t), I was going to shrug and enjoy the time off. :P

      2. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        Why should you give more than the minimum required when an employer wouldn’t?

        Leaving your former-employer-to-be in a better position should leave them with better memories of you for when your employment history is verified and references are given.

        1. MCMonkeyBean*

          And if you think there’s any chance you might want to come back, which I ended up doing! I gave my notice during a very busy time but I wanted them to still like me because I liked the company as a whole and it was the first place I worked after college–so I wanted to know what else was out there but also knew I might want to come back. I tried to make up for the busy period notice by giving three weeks and doing extensive documentation before I left. It helped me leave on a good note and when I did indeed decide to return, I didn’t go back to the same team but the recommended me highly to a different team who did then hire me.

        2. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

          When I left my previous organization, I gave ten weeks notice – I was leaving to move away and didn’t have a new job lined up, and I wasn’t worried about being pushed out early, because the team was already understaffed by literally half. My thought was that it might give my boss an opportunity to get me replaced before I left so I could train a replacement. As it is, they didn’t even get my position POSTED before I left and I spent the last three weeks I was there training different coworkers on different parts of my job to be able to at least cover for me. But I gave them every opportunity to be proactive that I could, and I know my actual manager appreciated it under the circumstances.

        3. meyer lemon*

          I don’t really agree with this line of thinking unless you have reason to believe your employer is going to push you out as soon as possible. But I think the main reason why most people don’t give lengthy notices is that in most cases, your new boss will want you to start soon after you accept the offer. In my experience, you don’t often have much flexibility with the timeline (although maybe that is less often the case at higher levels).

      3. James*

        Most careers are small worlds. I’ve worked with dozens of contractors, regulators, and clients who used to work for the company I work for. I’ve also worked with dozens of people in my company that used to work for regulatory bodies, or our clients or contractors. In one case there’s a company that’s both a client and a contractor (different sites, but same staff).

        People talk. If I do one of those “go out in a blaze of glory” style notices I’m almost certainly going to have problems when–not “if”, WHEN–I work with them again.

      4. Amber T*

        On the other side of things, companies could also be concerned about their own reputation in a given industry. I work for a financial firm where entry level positions in a specific part are high turnover by nature (you’re expected to stay only 2-3 years in this position, then move on), so we’re constantly looking for new talent, and competing for the best. The heads are very aware of our reputation, both from prospective employees and clients, and do more than the bare minimum when it comes to employee termination.

    1. Mannheim Steamroller*

      It’s analogous to “terminal leave” in the military: You give notice of your final on-duty date, and then use up your remaining PTO after that date.

    2. photon*

      I disagree. I recently resigned and gave 3 weeks notice. All the extra 3rd week did was cause weird handoff dynamics where we pushed back handoff for a while, and then I had a lot of boredom time in my last week where the company was paying me for nothing – I would’ve preferred the extra vacation week. I’m never giving more than 2 weeks again.

      Also, I don’t want to end up creating a treadmill here of unreasonable expectations. Think of it like tipping. Tipping was just supposed to be for good service, but then the default became 15%, then the default became 20% – all instead of just, ya know, paying workers a living wage by default. We just shouldn’t set up expectations to start growing. (Luckily, this has some back pressure, because new employers will expect you’re only giving 2 weeks notice.)

      1. Katefish*

        I too have had a very mixed bag with long notice periods. I once gave 7 weeks to a wonderful manager at my 2nd job (consolidating into 1 job at that time in my life), and it was great for both of us. I also had a terrible experience giving 3.5 weeks to a lousy manager. Ironically, it was to help my transition be less disruptive since I did so much there, but it was totally unappreciated and perceived as extending my time for more money. If you have a great manager, I’d still say go for it if you want, but you don’t have to. I haven’t had a bad manager in years, thank God, but I’ll never do more than 2 weeks for a bad one again.

      2. Julie*

        I don’t like extended periods of notice either.
        One job I quit wanted a month, even though they had hired my replacement already. My supervisor kept trying to push additional work order on me when the new person could have done it.

      3. Sambal*

        I gave a month notice at my last company and it ended up being a mistake. I thought I was doing them a favor since I was a one-man department. My manager even thanked me, saying “they’d be dead if I left in 2 weeks.” But it ended up being more of a one way street, and I was largely treated poorly on my way out.

        Most frustratingly was they had my job description up the day after I resigned, but shuffled their feet on my on exit, including a farewell party (every other employee who had left prior received one). They never planned anything for me since they were too frazzled trying to hire. I know it seems petty, but this was on top of a lot of ways I was ignored on the way out.

        They also tried to trick me into signing a non-compete on my last day, so overall it’s a no-no for me moving forward.

        1. Exhausted Trope*

          Reminds me of the last time I resigned from a job. My manager, who is a very good person, didn’t counter offer but accepted my resignation with grace. But there was no going away party, not even a card, when I left. No good luck wishes… nuttin.
          Contrast with coworker from same department who got cake and a gift. Kinda left a bad taste in my mouth…

      4. Koalafied*

        Yeah, I did a month when I was leaving a very small org (I was one of 4) and I’m still not sure in retrospect whether it was the right choice. It gave me only a long 4-day weekend between jobs and by year 2 or 3 as I realized I was likely to stay for a while, I realized I had squandered one of the few opportunities you get during a career to be truly free for a week or two with no obligations hanging over you and really wished I had taken the time for myself.

        Especially when I reflect back on how that month went…my boss was working remotely across the country from her summer home, things were kind of slow so all I really did was a very rushed hiring process for my replacement which wrapped early enough that I could have 3 days to train her, and honestly I was so mentally checked out that month I could barely motivate myself to do anything. Just knowing that I was almost out the door sapped all my motivation, and the intense 3 days of training capping off that weird slow/unmotivated month sapped all my energy just before I was to be starting a new job!

        I do think my org benefitted greatly from my long notice period, and I was treated well during that time – I was even still allowed to attend a professional development conference on the org’s dime during that month, so I was both away from work and costing the org money for my own career development that they wouldn’t benefit from. But ultimately the benefit of that conference was marginal (like any single conference) and I’m sure the org would have been able to function on a skeleton staff for 2 weeks if I had only given 2 weeks, so I tend to feel like when you add it all up, I wouldn’t do it that way if I had it to do over.

      5. alienor*

        I also recently resigned and gave 2 weeks, and honestly even that felt too long. I had started documenting things before I actually gave notice (I was interviewing with multiple companies and knew I would leave as soon as I got an offer), so that may have been part of it. But by the middle of the second week, I’d handed off everything I realistically could, I’d been taken out for a farewell lunch, I’d received a card from my coworkers, I’d cleaned out my desk, and I still had three long days left to drag out. You can only say goodbye so many times before it starts getting weird.

    3. SheLooksFamiliar*

      ‘2 weeks is a minimum to be considered in good standing, but again, more is usually better.’

      I think it’s more accurate to say 2 weeks’ notice is customary, not a minimum requirement, but I agree it’s a good practice. In some fields/functions, or in the case of negotiated arrangements or contracts, or other agreed-upon guidelines, there may be longer notice periods. When I worked in defense, a months’ notice was fairly standard for many functions. But for most folks, there is no compelling reason to offer more.

      See, if you’re already in good standing with your soon-to-be former boss, or want to leave a good impression overall, I think being available for occasional calls and one-off questions after you leave will do more to preserve that relationship than a 3-week notice. Also, not leaving things in a mess, doing actual work until your last day, wrapping up professionally, and being otherwise respectful to your team and boss – that’s what people will remember, not that you gave 2 weeks’ notice.

      If you stop working the day you give notice, or you do half-hearted work, or you hand over your work in sloppy condition? People will remember that, too.

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        Also, not leaving things in a mess, doing actual work until your last day, wrapping up professionally, and being otherwise respectful to your team and boss – that’s what people will remember, not that you gave 2 weeks’ notice.

        In a perfect word, I’d want two-weeks of notice to be roughly 8 days of working and a 2 day dressed rehearsal of life after the outgoing employee to flesh out any big omissions or failures in cross-training. I’ve seen too many people go 100% to the final minute, then everything falls apart the next day because no one tried following the instructions until it was too late to have the outgoing employee fix them.

        1. Jackalope*

          That is my nightmare! I had that happen once; the outgoing person gave me half-hearted training on her last day, and then disappeared, leaving me and one other person to handle it all with (at least in my case) barely a clue of what to do. It took months to get up to speed, and they were some of the most miserable months of work ever.

    4. Junior Assistant Peon*

      My experience with notice periods is that people who said “I quit!” and stormed out are remembered negatively, but a few coworkers gave one week notice instead of the customary two, and no one remembered that detail a few years later.

      This topic has come up before with holidays falling during someone’s notice period. Sure, it’s not ten full business days, but no one will remember you negatively or give you a bad reference because you had a pre-planned day off during the two weeks. It’s not expected that your replacement will be hired in time for you to train him/her; the two week period is just to allow time for you to document and hand off what you can.

    5. Bee Eye Ill*

      I work in IT and some employers adopt a policy of cutting you a severance check for the two week notice period and send you packing the day you give notice, primarily for security reasons. When you have full admin rights to all kinds of data, they don’t want you sticking around if you’ve got one foot out the door.

      1. Anon for this one*

        I have a “full admin rights to all kinds of data” type of job, and I’d feel quite insulted to be sent packing like that if I was leaving on amicable terms (e.g. moving to a different company for career progression, as opposed to being fired or mutual agreement) – you trusted me for 3 years with the keys to the kingdom but somehow think I’d sabotage the company on my way out just because I’ve decided to leave. I suppose ultimately it is just risk management but it is an insult to the vast majority of us ‘sysadmin’ types who would find it unethical to do something like that.

        1. Kyrielle*

          It’s also hilarious because if I assume someone is a bad actor who would love to do that, I also assume they are likely to have done it *just before* giving notice. Especially if they know the company will walk them out.

          On the other hand, if they want to skip the handoff period and pay anyway, well, at least the person resigning doesn’t come out the worse for it.

        2. Bee Eye Ill*

          I’ve only seen it at one place and it was a pretty large company but had a fairly high turnover. I would imagine the policy is based on a previous incident. When I gave notice, I was gone by lunch. I still had stuff to wrap up so that kind of sucked for them. The extra check was nice, though, right?

      2. turquoisecow*

        Not IT, but my former employer did this if you announced you were leaving to work at a competitor. Which I always thought was silly because if you were going to give away company secrets, you would probably have done so before you gave notice, so at that point it was kind of too late.

      3. A Feast of Fools*

        At my last company, anyone who was a Sr Manager or above was “perp walked” out within an hour of giving their notice.

        Of course, everyone that high up knew what to expect, so they cleared out their desks and their laptops of anything personal the night before, gave notice first thing in the morning, and then enjoyed a two-week, paid vacation.

        1. Lizzo*

          Were you in an industry that dealt with sensitive information, or where a disgruntled manager could’ve caused a lot of problems, e.g. flip a switch to shut down an entire website or block ecommerce activities?

  2. Louisa*

    For letter 2, I’m curious about in between schools that have a much stronger academic reputation than Liberty but aren’t as well known as Duke or Georgetown. Schools like this that come to mind are Wheaton, Baylor, and maybe even Brigham Young.

    1. Calliope*

      I think those are fine. All of those are legitimate, accredited schools where their accreditation status hasn’t been up for recent debate so people won’t think much about it. There is sometimes discrimination against LDS people, of course. but I think BYU is considered a strong academic program.

      1. D3*

        Discrimination AGAINST Mormons? That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time.
        Mormons are pretty accomplished in discriminating against other races, religions, LGBTQ, etc.
        You’ve got it completely backwards.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          Yes, there is discrimination against Mormons.

          This does not mean that Mormons therefore cannot discriminate against anyone. In the history of the world, very rarely has it been the case that “Group X was discriminated against, and so when they gained some power they were scrupulous about never ever discriminating against anyone else.”

        2. JG Obscura*

          It depends where you live. It’s pretty well known that Utah/Idaho Mormons have a different attitude of Us vs Them than Mormons who live elsewhere. I grew up outside of DC and had a number of Mormon friends. They were always friendly and respectful and definitely received more discrimination than they doled out.

          As a parallel, think about Muslims. Several Muslim-majority countries have laws against homosexuality and have a lot of misogyny. But would you say that Muslims in the US don’t face discrimination?

        3. StoneColdJaneAusten*

          I’m not Mormon but I’ve worked with Mormons and in the year or so I worked there, several of them made sure I knew that they considered themselves Christian and talked about how other Christians treated them as lesser. I’m not Christian and don’t really have a dog in the fight.

          1. byu grad*

            This lines up with my experience as a former member; Mormons have a persecution complex that stems from the original group’s experience in the 1800s, but the current population doesn’t seem to realize that it isn’t happening anymore and has not happened in a very long time.

            1. Martha*

              Atheist married to ex-Mormon here. It’s true that they have a persecution complex, but I also found that when I lived in Portland, OR it was considered “normal” to avoid them. Like if you found out that a coworker went to BYU you automatically didn’t invite them to hang out after work. People would go out of their way to include a coworker who covered or kept Kosher, but one whiff of LDS and you’re persona non grata. It was interesting, to say the least.

              1. CoveredInBees*

                I personally go on high alert with LDS and Jehovah’s Witnesses because of the importance of proselytization to them. I’m fully aware that it is important to other Christian groups, but these seem the most organized about it. As a Jew, both LDS and JW proselytizers have shown an added interest in converting me which I find offensive.

                Unless they’re approaching me about converting, I don’t assume this will happen, but it is on my mind and might make me respond differently to them.

                1. byu grad*

                  I totally understand this and you’re not wrong. Even outside the official missionary program, there’s a ton of that baked in–I remember there was a line “every member a missionary” which referenced the idea that you should be on alert at all times for any chance to invite someone to church, give them a book or mormon, share your feelings, et cetera, and I can’t tell you how many “faith-promoting” stories I have heard where someone was on a bus or something and ended up talking to a stranger and bringing them to church. All this to say–you are right to be wary!

              2. byu grad*

                that’s really interesting. Do you know why or if it was like after works drinks specifically? Wondering because Mormons can be pretty weird about alcohol

        4. biobotb*

          I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t some intra-Christian prejudice that’s directed at Mormons. I remember a high school US history class in which certain members were absolutely irate that the teacher had described Mormons as “Christian.” Their brand of Christianity did not consider Mormons to be Christian at all, apparently. Not sure how much that plays out in the working world; probably not a lot.

          1. byu grad*

            there definitely is, though I personally didn’t know about it until I was an adult, so the effect it has on your life probably depends on where you are. The person who explained it to me said it was something to do with the way the different denominations viewed God/the trinity iirc.

            Tangentially, I think Mormons do a lot of this sort of separation as well; until the 80s or so, it was a point of pride to be a “peculiar people”, they don’t do crosses, I grew up very specifically not being exposed to any kind of Christian media that wasn’t Mormon (and most of my friends had this same experience).

      2. quill*

        I would gently suss out the views of a BYU graduate, just because people are still being thrown out of the LDS church for saying “maybe gay people deserve rights” on a public platform.

        From what I’ve seen locally (moved near there recently) mormonism is making more strides against sexism (outside of university settings) than they are making any strides towards not being bigoted towards queer people.

      3. heartwood*

        I have to correct you, BYU is most definitely NOT considered a strong academic program especially where the sciences are concerned. I’m a Biochemist, and an applicant from BYU would not be considered where I work.

        1. SubjectAvocado*

          I think it depends on the program. Their business school programs are quite highly regarded, as well as (if I’m not mistaken) their language programs.

          1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

            From living nearish to BYU this is my impression as well – they have a few rigorous programs, but others are very suspect.

            1. SubjectAvocado*

              Same– I am from the mountain west region (I’m also LDS but didn’t attend; I went the state school route and am better for it) and they are at least regionally respected. Lots of higher-profile employers recruit from BYU, but some academic programs are definitely not great if you want certain outcomes. That’s been my observation of my friends’ and acquaintances’ experience, anyway.

        2. Grad*

          Not sure where you’re getting your info. There are *a lot* of BYU graduates working in the scientific field throughout the US including in academia and industry. Their scientific programs are strong and place a lot of students in prestigious grad and medical schools.

    2. tra la la*

      Accreditation is important. I know someone who has a bachelor’s degree from an unaccredited-at-the-time religious school and it was harder for them to get into a graduate program at an accredited school because of that.

      1. kiri*

        As a practicing Quaker who attended a Quaker college – they’re not quite in the same boat as other Christian-faith-affiliated schools. For one, the vast majority of Quaker educational institutions aren’t actively religious – they’re more “inspired by Quaker values” at this point (meaning they don’t require any sort of adherence to specific beliefs or practices, or enshrine those beliefs into policy). And Quaker values are by and large the exact opposite of the environment the OP describes! I have plenty to say about how it shakes out in practice (both within Quakerism and within my alma mater), but by and large Quakers are committed to social justice, activism, and inclusivity. No Quaker institution that I can think of would have anti-LGBTQ policies.

        1. UKDancer*

          Yes I’d be surprised to see any Quaker institution that wasn’t inclusive and committed to social justice as it seems to be a key part of the organisational values. I grew up around a lot of Quakers (because many of my mother’s friends were Friends) and they were all thoughtful, quiet people with a passionate commitment to equality and social activism. My mother’s friends were usually found at the forefront of the anti-war demos and trying to close Menwith Hill (nearby US air base).

          I can’t really imagine Quakers trying to evangelise people to do anything or tell them how to live their lives as they seemed to view it as being for each person to make the right choices for them.

          At least that was my take on the ones I grew up around.

          1. Koalafied*

            Yep, the Quakers don’t even have ministers or sermons to tell their own members how to live their lives. A typical Quaker church service involves everyone sitting in quiet contemplation together, and if someone feels moved by the spirit to share a revelation aloud, they can. After being in stillness for a while, everyone prays together for a while and there’s maybe some singing.

            1. 40 Years in the Nonprofit Trenches*

              Uhhhh… please expand your horizons to encompass evangelical/pastoral Friends, of whom there are MANY MANY more worldwide than there are of the liberal/”unprogrammed”/silent/non-pastoral/socially activist variety. In the US, George Fox College (OR), Friends University (KS), Malone University (OH) and even Earlham (IN) — to cite just a few — all fall on the socially conservative side of the Quaker spectrum and have varying degrees of exclusionary policies around LGBTQ+ people. In Kenya, the Great Lakes region of Africa, Bolivia and Honduras, infinitely more so. It’s a great big wide Quaker world: Friends World Committee on Consultation is a great resource for learning more.

              1. The New Englander*

                This was interesting to learn for me! I really thought up until now that most Quakers were the liberal/progressive types I’d met throughout my youth in northern New England whose services were the quiet contemplation type, and who were (I was told) doctrinally not that far off of Unitarian Universalists. Come to read on Wikipedia that 89% of the world’s Quakers adhere to the evangelical type of Quakerism. Go figure.

              2. Librarian1*

                Earlham is conservative? That surprises me. I applied there (but never visited campus, so maybe I just didn’t notice) and from what I remember they seemed fairly socially progressive?

          2. WorkingRachel*

            I…am sure I drove by your mother’s friends many a time back when we lived at Menwith Hill. Small world–I don’t see it come up very much out in “the wild”! (I don’t have skin in the Menwith Hill issue; just lived there as a kid.)

            1. UKDancer*

              It wasn’t a big thing to me either to be honest. I mostly thought it was quite amusing that this group of middle aged women kept going up and attaching themselves to the fences or heading off to demonstrate elsewhere with so much calmness and resolution. It was probably less amusing for the people living at whichever base they were protesting.

              One of the regular campaigners Lindis Percy is one of the most frequently arrested people in the UK. She must be 80 if she’s a day and still getting arrested. I think Menwith police probably groan every time she attaches herself to the perimeter fence. It’s very hard to arrest an octogenarian middle class grandmother without looking a bit silly.

    3. Dust Bunny*

      Also: Not everyone who attends or works for those schools agrees with their stances. I used to work for a woman who attended a reputable but pointedly religious college in her home state because she needed to be near family at the time (ill parent) and it gave her the best financial aid. She’s a lesbian atheist. She didn’t love the religious aspect but decided she could survive it for four years if it saved her that much student debt, and it had good academics.

      1. Flibbertigibbet*

        I agree, and do worry for people like this. I have a dear friend who is queer, agnostic, and working extremely hard for social justice in her personal and work lives. She went to a verrrrry problematic school for undergrad so as to remain housed with her family with whom she has a difficult and complicated relationship. They would have happily seen her homeless had she not.

      2. MassMatt*

        This is a good point, and I don’t want to dump on the OP since they are saying they do not support the anti-LGBT stance of this school. However, it seems strange to me that someone would enroll in such an institution and not be at all aware of the school having such a stance. This seems… clueless, even if we factor in that they chose the school 9-10 years ago. I mean, I went to school in the midwest in the 80’s and there were some people that had no idea there WERE any LGBTQ people, or at least, that there were enough to meet whatever arbitrary number you need to have human rights.

        There are also degrees of homophobia; many religious schools don’t make much of an issue of opposing LGBTQ rights while others are quite active (Mormons, for one, which has triggered an interesting backlash among the grass-roots). A school that fires LGBTQ faculty, or expels LGBTQ students, is further along on that spectrum.

        Forcing someone to do “reparative therapy” for being queer–well, that is completely beyond the pale, akin to torture IMO. I know several people that have been through it and it was without exception a traumatic and destructive experience. And of course, futile.

        But as to the LW’s question, IMO what school you went to fades in importance as you gain work experience, so unless your resume contains other conservative/anti LGBTQ employers, I doubt it will be too much of an issue outside academia.

        1. LTL*

          People have varying degrees of freedom on which college they go to. Money and location can be huge factors, as well as parental approval. I find it strange that some employers penalize candidates based on where they went for undergrad.

          If it was graduate school, I think, it would be a different story.

        2. Lizzo*

          The ability to enroll in the college of one’s choice–be it academic preference, preference for particular social views, preferred geography, etc.–is a very privileged choice. It assumes plenty of financial and parental support, among other things, and I’d say most college-bound kids don’t have the luxury of that privilege.

          1. MassMatt*

            I didn’t scold the LW for choosing such a school, I expressed surprise that even 10 years ago they were not aware of the school’s stance against the LGBTQ. Church (and religious school) policies regarding LGBTQ issues have been making the headlines for many years, it’s a hot button topic. Firings, expulsions, and forced reparative therapy (!) probably didn’t come out of a vacuum.

            1. CoveredInBees*

              Their experience of that group might have been limited to a more inclusive “love all thy neighbors” community. I went to two different Catholic schools as a kid (not Catholic) and each gave a very different experience of what Catholicism looks like. Or if OP wasn’t LGBTQ+, it might not have occurred to them to consider that factor or even look up school policies in the area.

        3. Canadian Yankee*

          “However, it seems strange to me that someone would enroll in such an institution and not be at all aware of the school having such a stance.”

          This probably happens less than it used to, but I know someone who went to a conservative, anti-gay, Christian undergrad school in part because he was in deep denial about his own sexuality, so the idea of praying away the gay was a bonus going in. By the time he graduated he had accepted himself and was obviously not anti-gay, but still he had that school on his resume. A lot of us become very different people in those four years between choosing and finishing university!

          1. banoffee pie*

            Yes, I’ve heard of that kind of thing happening. Good point. And obviously applicants don’t want to get into all that kind of personal business in a job interview

    4. Sylvan*

      I’d say BYU. They’re seen as legitimate unlike Liberty University, yet they’ve been extremely homophobic, including practicing electroshock and vomit aversion therapy on students in the 70s.

      1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        I think BYU would give me some pause, only from the entrance requirements. They are 95% LDS, as you need reference letters from your Ward House leaders to attend at a reasonable tuition level. It’s a difference of almost 25,000 a year for members of the faith vrs non-members.

        This would just give me pause from the how much diversity of opinions have you been exposed to at the college level.

        1. ABBBBK*

          But…are you really evaluating candidates based on how much diversity opinions they’ve been exposed to at the college level? That seems like a very specific metric. FWIW, I’ve worked with a lot of BYU grads at a very big company. Never thought anything of it.

          1. tra la la*

            This, exactly. My undergraduate college is fairly prestigious but was also very, very white and catered to elite prep-school kids. I experienced much more diversity at my lower-middle-class high school.

        2. meyer lemon*

          Well, I don’t think it’s fair to make assumptions about a candidate based on how much diversity of opinion they’ve been exposed to, which isn’t something you can really know anyway, much less their presumed religion.

          But I have to admit it would give me some pause to see a candidate affiliated with any organization that’s widely known for its bigotry. If it was just the one school and there were no other red flags, that wouldn’t be conclusive in itself, but if they went to multiple bigoted schools, or if other elements of their work or volunteer experience were at bigotry-aligned organizations, that could be a problem.

          1. Curious*

            Religion is a protected class under Title VII. There is a significant overlap between beliefs that you or I would consider bigoted, and what courts — in particular, the current majority of the Supreme Court — would find to be religious beliefs, and thus protected. And, as AAM would put it, we don’t want to violate the law.

            That doesn’t mean that you need to tolerate bigoted *actions*. But rejecting someone based on religious beliefs is not OK — at least, legally.

            1. serenity*

              I don’t think we need to wag our fingers at fellow commenters this heavy-handedly.

              The question posed by the OP is about reputation, which can be subjective and change over time and be based on a host of factors. There is a world of difference between the reputations of, say, Liberty and BYU and Baylor, but some of the schools mentioned by commenters here have been in the news in *recent years* (not decades ago) for some decidedly homophobic or racist practices. Being aware of that reputation is exactly what OP was asking about. It’s not wrong for commenters to mention that – it’s pretty relevant!

        3. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          In reply to the comments below my main – I would be asking similar questions of anybody who is coming out of a fairly closed or homogeneous culture group – because the place that I work is really large and diverse. I don’t want to offend anyone – but to be honest, I live surrounded by the BYU culture – and I’ve been completely isolated from every other coworker because I’m not part of that group in a prior workplace. I have a strong desire to avoid having that happen again.

      2. byu grad*

        I graduated from there about a decade ago and I’d say the homophobia was still very strong. From what I hear, it’s mildly better now, but still not a welcoming or inclusive environment for anyone who doesn’t fit a narrow profile.

    5. xian college grad (not liberty)*

      Liberty is still an accredited institution with PhD instructors and legitimate degrees. I wouldn’t be afraid to hire a Liberty grad for academic/educational reasons, but I would wonder about their stances on certain cultural/political issues if I had a liberal, diverse workplace.

      1. Anon.*

        Agree. If the lw could complete an LGBTQ ally training or something along that line and fit it into the resume or in a cover letter in a natural way, that could address the issue.

      2. Blackcat*

        “Liberty is still an accredited institution with PhD instructors and legitimate degrees”

        I think this depends on field. I know a friend in biotech who says a biology degree from Liberty (which avoids discussion of evolution) is worthless and gets a resume put in the trash. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s sort of standard.

        1. PeanutButter*

          My first degree was from an Evangelical lib arts college and Liberty was considered a joke among students/faculty even there. (The first day of my freshman astronomy class the professor basically gave a speech that if you wanted to do well his classes you were going to have to get real cool with the Universe being much older than 6000 years real fast.)

        2. Anononon*

          It’s not only that they avoid evolution – they teach young earth creationism. I’m not sure how much more anti-science one can get.

          1. Anononon*

            Oops, that could be wrong – it’s Bob Jones that teaches young earth creationism. I’m not sure about Liberty.

            1. DireRaven*

              They do. I got marked down many times for not toeing the young-earth creationism line.

              Although I like to think that maybe I planted a seed of thought in a classmate or two…However, they don’t necessarily start at university, Liberty has an entire educational system from Liberty University Online Academy (“homeschool” program from kindergarten on up).

              (And a lot of these sketchy “colleges” really prey on the military because they don’t necessarily require physical attendance so people can continue their classes no matter where they are in the world and don’t have to constantly drop and transfer)

        3. A Genuine Scientician*

          Same is true of Wheaton, actually. A biology degree from them is considered questionable within academic biology departments.

          The same does not apply to Lehigh University, which has one of the most well known Creationists in its biology department, because it has legitimate evolutionary biologists as well and still teaches mainstream scientific understanding of evolution. A biology degree from there is not viewed with an asterisk, at least among academic biologists.

          1. Blackcat*

            Yeah, I think there’s sort of a list of “Worthless biology degrees” that’s longer than, say, degrees in computer science.

          2. Aitch Arr*

            To echo my comment above (below?), Wheaton College in Illinois is not the same as Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

            1. Librarian1*

              I’m assuming we’re talking about Wheaton College in Illinois since that’s the very religious one.

            2. A Genuine Scientician*

              Yes. I had to confirm this myself a few years ago when a job posting came up for a faculty position at the Wheaton in Mass, to make sure this was not the terrifying one before deciding whether to apply.

      3. Hi there*

        Yeah, in my field, I truly cannot even imagine a degree from Liberty being taken seriously.

      4. RCB*

        When I’m reviewing resumes at work and see someone who has listed Liberty University as their school I stop reading and toss them in the No pile. Part of me knows that sometimes kids don’t have a say in where they go to school due to parental pressure, so they may not be fully on board with the ideology of Liberty, but it’s too big of a risk for me to take.

        1. Hi there*

          The risk is the crux of it for me, too. I would be concerned with the risk associated with hiring someone who, for example, believes that trans people are “just confused” and would refuse to use proper pronouns, etc.

          1. tra la la*

            But then wouldn’t you discipline or fire the person if that happened? It just seems like there’s a really fine line here between concern and religious discrimination.

            1. HQetc*

              Yeah, I think it’s challenging, not least because, as someone stated below, not every kid gets to pick their college, so if they can’t then get jobs, they can’t gain the kind of financial independence they need to get themselves out of that world (the Liberty U world, that is). But I do think, for me, it would necessitate some pretty significant probing in the interview. Because, yeah, theoretically I could discipline or fire them, but I also don’t want to expose my team to those hateful views in the first place, even if I do have the power to course correct after the fact. It’s nice to feel supported when you’re discriminated against in the workplace, but even nicer not to be discriminated against at all. (And to be clear, I am talking about LGBTQ+ and other folks being discriminated against in word and action because of who they are, not Liberty U-types being “discriminated” against for behaving hatefully and feeling the natural consequences of that behavior.)

        2. Le Sigh*

          I would encourage you to at least look over the resume and cover letter to get a fuller picture. I completely understand the risk (I am an atheist lefty who works in a field that Liberty U-types hate) and you need to think about your coworkers and work culture. But I have a good friend whose only way out of a very strict evangelical upbringing was to go to a school like Liberty and by going there, she escaped her home life, graduated, saw more of the world, and cut contact.

          Her situation is a little more extreme and there are plenty of people who attend those schools who do have the noxious views you’re wary of, and rightly so. But other kids go there, get older, change their views but can’t change where they went to school. If you see signs that there’s more to the picture than the degree and they otherwise would be a strong candidate, I’d encourage you to give it a second look.

          1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

            Up above I said I may have doubts, but I don’t know that I’d completely toss out the candidate. It would be a case of wanting to do some research and make sure the candidate in question is willing to treat everyone they interact with equally.

          2. Librarian1*

            Right, I’ve met people who have gone to Liberty who don’t agree with any of its beliefs anymore.

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

          Curious: isn’t this potentially a discrimination issue? Not really because the ideology itself as I don’t know much about that, but more the idea of automatically disregarding someone as a candidate just because of the ‘risk’ they are associated with a particular ‘religious’ institution?

          1. tra la la*

            Was wondering this too. The person I was referring to is pretty far to the left and went to an evangelical college because they were expected to by family. He later cut ties with his family, even took his wife’s last name (none of which you’d know from his resume). He did end up getting a graduate degree from a very prestigious university after getting a degree from a nonreligious school. Those degrees sort of “cover” the undergraduate degree, but in his case the issue was the lack of accreditation at the college.

            It’s one thing if you know that a particular department is substandard (i.e. biology from a school that teaches creationism) but I’m really not sure it’s OK to roundfile an application just because of the undergraduate college. People do grow and change.

            Also, I think BYU has a fairly good academic reputation; I’d rather see BYU than a for-profit college.

            1. turquoisecow*

              I’d think that in the case of jobs requiring degrees higher than bachelor’s, the grad school is more important than the undergrad. In the sciences especially, work at a more prestigious institution would indicate they were less influenced by any anti-science leanings of their undergrad.

              1. tra la la*

                Yes — though I remember that it was a challenge for him to get into graduate school with a degree from an unaccredited school. In his case, he was going into political science/history rather than science, and his research grew out of the conflict between his background and his own political stances.

          2. Butterfly Counter*

            Except for extreme circumstances, college students are adults for the majority of their time at university and not only have actively chosen to go to that school, they are paying to be there. Even with family pressure or ignorance of what that degree will mean for them in the future, they are still making an active choice in their lives to go to a university structured more around religious conservativism than science and education, and that’s what’s being judged, not their religion. Further, and has been stated, if I’m hiring a geologist, I’m not going to go with the one whose university tells him that the substances they’re studying can not be more than 7000 years old. Nor would I hire someone for a political science job that has only been exposed to Christian conservatism if I want to have someone with a diversity of political understandings in their experience.

            You chose your university. Even very religious people have a wide variety of options when it comes to universities. Therefore, rejecting someone because they’ve attended a religious university with poor records of pedagogy and indoctrination isn’t discrimination, it’s good business.

            Yes people can change. The CV would further need to show that change in order to influence the people hiring that the applicant has learned and grown over the years.

            1. tra la la*

              “They” are paying? What if their family is paying and will refuse to pay for college if the student doesn’t attend the college the family has selected?

              1. goducks*

                I was in that exact situation. My parents would only pay for me to go to a fundamentalist college. So I took out loans and did it all without their support.

                It suuuuuuuucked. But I didn’t share their beliefs (which I’d been raised in), and I was not interested in going to a school that treated women, LGBTQ and anybody who didn’t think like them poorly.

                It’s great when you can get someone to pay for your college, but it wasn’t worth it to me to go to a college that was like the one that OP went to. No way.

                1. Le Sigh*

                  I’m glad you were able to do this. But I also have friends who didn’t go to college at all or were limited to getting a 2yr degree via community college because their parents wouldn’t pay for school (for other, non-religious reasons) — and in the U.S., your financial aid package is tied to your parents’ income until about 24. If they had any options at all, it was private loans, and with even public 4yr universities in the U.S. leaving kids with six-figure debt these days, I get why they didn’t go that route. But it completely hamstrung them.

                  I mention all of this because I think it’s worth remembering that even with hard work and creativity, the choices parents make can still hold a kid back, even once they’re 18.

                2. goducks*

                  (end of nesting) @LeSigh-

                  I know, I lived this. I had to get private loans. I had to stop and start and change institutions 3 times and it took years to do it. That’s what I meant by it sucked. It was so, so, so hard.

                  But that’s why I don’t excuse the notion of just going along with an org that teaches bigotry, just because it’s easy. Would my life have been easier if I’d have gone along with all that to get a free education? Maybe, or maybe I’d have ended up with a crappy MRS and trapped. Or maybe I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror because I choose to participate in all that because it worked for me, despite that it perpetuates harm.

                3. Calliope*

                  I mean, that’s is great and very admirable. But not everyone has this all figured out at 18. People do change and grow after that.

                4. tra la la*

                  “Easy”? Really? I’m sure it’s hard as hell if you make the choice to go to a college like that because you don’t see other options.

                  I’m glad it worked out for you. But not every 17yo has the maturity or the gumption to do that.

              2. Filosofickle*

                I am mentoring a college student. In one of our first sessions, we were asked to discuss how we’d handle various scenarios including one where the student wants to transfer but fears losing their family’s support. She could only conceive of this meaning losing emotional support. I told her that some students might lose financial / practical support if their family disapproved of their choices and she was completely shocked. I’m so happy for her that she grew up in a family that would not do this to her! Not everyone is so fortunate. (That said, she’s on full need-based scholarship so she’s not depending on them either.)

            2. tra la la*

              Also, “Even very religious people have a wide variety of options when it comes to universities. Therefore, rejecting someone because they’ve attended a religious university with poor records of pedagogy and indoctrination isn’t discrimination, it’s good business.”

              Good business or not, it still smacks of religious discrimination. A student going to a religious college, particularly if their family is pressuring them to do it, is likely to go to one in their denomination. I.e. someone with a highly conservative evangelical background — say from a conservative, highly patriarchal family where everyone is expected to go to Bob Jones University because your father is a minister in that denomination — is going to go to Bob Jones University rather than a more rigorous Jesuit college.

              1. Butterfly Counter*

                Again, even with family pressure, the student is almost 100% likely to be a legal adult for the majority of their 4 year university education.

                And I’d also be wary of hiring someone so bound by tradition and unwilling to question the status quo. Part of our jobs is questioning authority and not blindly following what has been done for years just because the people who came up with those activities looked and thought like you.

                I’m very happy to hire people of any religion (or no religion) as long as they meet other criteria that are absolutely necessary to the job. For the jobs I’m involved in hiring for, a school like LU tends to signal that they don’t meet the other criteria. We reject people who don’t meet those criteria who come from non-religious universities, too.

                1. Thursdaysgeek*

                  They may be a legal adult, but FAFSA ties them to their parents until past the time they would normally graduate. Not having access to financial aid can very much limit the choices for even legal adults.

                2. Le Sigh*

                  I don’t know your background or experience with families like these, so I’ll caveat that upfront as I don’t want to assume.

                  They’re a legal adult, yes, but when they choose their school, they might still be a minor who has literally just become a legal adult. Emotionally, financially, and maturity wise, they have quite a lot of growing up to do. And I really think sometimes people really underestimate the intense pressure and control exerted on kids from these backgrounds (it depends on the family and community, but the kids I knew came from really controlled, sometimes abusive backgrounds).

                  It doesn’t make it right and I want to be clear, I’m hardly an apologist for any of this. I have no patience for these schools, I think their existence is toxic and terrible. I have zero patience for anyone who espouses these beliefs. And yes, some people realize from a young age all of this is wrong., which is great. Some people never come around or question it. And some people realize much later in life and need time and experience to get there.

                  People are still responsible for their choices, sure, and I work in a field that also side-eyes these degrees, for truly legit reasons. But sometimes if you come from this background, you have limited options and perhaps at the time this a 17 year old made this choice, it seemed like the best option. In the U.S., your financial aid package is tied to your parents’ income until about 24. And even public 4yr universities in the U.S. can leave kids with six-figure debt these days. So if you come from this kind of background, I can at least see why someone make make this choice, even if I don’t agree with it.

                  None of which is to say you have to hire them! But I don’t think it’s as black and white as some comments are making it out to be.

                3. tra la la*

                  “Bound by tradition” and “unwilling to challenge the status quo” could also apply to fraternities and sororities.

                  And again, you do not know that someone who attended one of those schools did so willingly. Not every kid has the — pardon the term — gumption or the emotional resources at 18 to rebel and make other arrangements. You also do not know if they were disciplined when they attended that school (I know someone who was).

                  The attitudes you’re describing may well show up in an interview, and then you’d know, but to reject someone out of hand because they attended a religious college and you think that means they might not be open-minded enough seems like a pretty big assumption. It’s entirely possible that a student could attend a college like that because their family demanded it and then flew the coop — much the way many people tolerate high school as best they could and then went off to college. You don’t know that just from seeing a particular college’s name on a resume.

                4. Butterfly Counter*

                  I don’t believe I’ve said I would reject people who went to a school like LU out of hand. For me, it’s more of an “Uh oh, let’s see what they’ve done since then…”

                  I do get what it was like to be 17/18 and picking a school. But I was also someone who transferred schools after my first year when I saw that it wasn’t a fit for me and was able to do this largely one my own. In this area, it’s pretty common to go to a local community college for the first year or two after high school, then transfer into one of the 4 year colleges to save money.

                  And I also currently have friends who attended a school akin to LU who not only are facing the problems of having that school attached to their degree, but also have come out as gay and are confronting the trauma not only inflicted on THEM as part of the university, but that they helped in a lot of ways perpetuate for other LGBTQ people. The rules and the policies of these schools actively hurt people and that’s something I cannot ignore.

                  As I also said below, for a number of businesses and job positions, having a degree from one of these universities is going to benefit the applicant more than hurt them. A graduate can embrace their education and go on in the same vein they were taught or they can do a number of things that show in some way that they have changed their minds or have welcomed new perspectives in their lives. These are things I actively look for when I see what can be considered as a “problematic” university. In fact, in a lot of ways, I can see how hiring a person from one of these universities where they also show they have experience with supporting groups often maligned by these universities could be a pro rather than a con when considering them for the job.

                5. tra la la*

                  (out of nesting) and yes, @Butterfly Counter, your words were “rejecting someone because they’ve attended a religious university with poor records of pedagogy and indoctrination isn’t discrimination, it’s good business.” That 100% sounds like you’d reject someone out of hand for attending a specific religious university.

                6. Koalafied*

                  @Butterfly, I’m glad to hear that. I think the confusion is because of the context of the thread you’re posting in:

                  RCB’s comment: When I’m reviewing resumes at work and see someone who has listed Liberty University as their school I stop reading and toss them in the No pile.

                  Captain’s reply to RCB: Wouldn’t that be discrimination?

                  Your reply to Captain: Except for extreme circumstances, college students are adults for the majority of their time at university and not only have actively chosen to go to that school, they are paying to be there.

                  In that threaded context it gave the impression that you’re arguing it’s not discrimination to automatically DQ a candidate over their religious school degree.

                7. Butterfly Counter*

                  @Koalafied: I wrote this post second and in another thread below this one, said I look at other education and experiences before rejecting a candidate or not.

                  In my MIND, I had already stated that I don’t just look at university when making rejection decisions, but people react to the threads as they see them with the context available right then. *shrug* I will try to be clearer in the future on these comments.

              2. Exhausted Trope*

                Yup. My father wasn’t a minister (but held every other church-related position) and I was forced to go to Bob Jones and yes, it sucked big time. I dropped out and finished elsewhere years later on my own dime.

              3. Little My*

                “Bob Jones” or “Jesuit” is a false dichotomy. There are plenty of private Baptist colleges (like Hardin-Simmons) that are in the same evangelical tradition as Bob Jones, but still teach evolution and didn’t have a ban on interracial dating until 2000 (!).

                1. tra la la*

                  Oh yes, I know this. I was just getting frustrated with the whole “Catholic schools are OK but other denominations aren’t” thing. And in my case, I actually do know someone whose father was a minister in whatever form of Christianity BJU represents, and so he couldn’t not attend Bob Jones — that’s what I was thinking of. To his family, a school like Hardin-Simmons would have been too liberal, for those reasons. I’m really not sure that he had a choice — my sense has been that he just hunkered down and got through it (got punished there for various things), but later on cut off his family.

            3. Le Sigh*

              I generally agree with you and also acknowledge it is somewhat field-dependent. A science-based degree from Liberty is probably a bigger issue than something like communications, which may have a bit more flexibility.

              And to be clear, even with my comment above, I am very likely to pass over resumes with degrees like this, but I usually take a full pass to see if there’s bigger picture. How long since they graduated? Where have they worked — are they jobs that indicate something changed? Are there other signs (volunteer work, freelance writing or work for progressive causes, etc.) that gives me more to work with?

            4. Lizzo*

              Your opinion about how and why students end up at a particular college reflects some extreme privilege. As pointed out in many other comments throughout this thread, many students are restricted in their choice for reasons that include, but are not limited to:
              – Finances: they can only go where they can afford, or their parents/the person who is paying has restrictions on which schools they will pay for.
              – Geography: the student cannot leave the area where they grew up due to family obligations/expectations.
              – Religious Beliefs: the student can only attend an institution where the religious affiliation aligns with their family’s religious choices.

              If you were able to choose where you attended school, and did not have to seriously limit your choices due to any of these (or other reasons), consider yourself extremely lucky.

              1. tra la la*

                Thank you. Yes. I was lucky enough to be able to choose, but a lot of kids in my high school weren’t.

          3. RCB*

            I don’t discard them because they are religious, I discard them because the school they go to doesn’t emphasize teaching truth, and does emphasize teaching bigotted viewpoints, and a lot of other viewpoints that are discriminatory, so I am not worried about discriminating against someone for their religion, I am worried about hiring someone who got a bogus education.

        4. Butterfly Counter*

          I am much the same, though I do try to see if there are other parts of the CV that “make up” for having a degree from Liberty like graduate work (required in my field) at a school with a different (better) reputation. I once reviewed a CV where the applicant had a Liberty U. undergrad degree with a Phoenix University MA. Just. No.

          What I’ve found is that people with Liberty U. degrees hire other people with Liberty U. degrees.

          1. DireRaven*

            Let me guess, any chance the applicant was former military?

            (A lot of “legitimate” colleges have residency and in-class requirements that military personnel can’t always meet, so they end up transferring a lot – and losing credits in the process – or enrolling in one of these types of schools)

            1. Butterfly Counter*

              For the particular applicant I’m thinking of, I don’t believe she mentioned military service in the rest of her application. But I am noting that military service and education might limit people’s opportunities. Thanks for the perspective!

              1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

                I knew one person where prior military was the only reason she wasn’t dragooned into Liberty University.

                But this is something that the pandemic has actually been a bit of a blessing for – as it has helped push some more reputable brick and mortar colleges into offering online programs that can benefit non-traditional and military students who have trouble being physically present.

      5. DireRaven*

        I have a Masters of Divinity from Liberty, with a chaplaincy concentration. (which I have never used and have removed from my resume, but will discuss if asked) My goal at the time was to be a counselor/therapist, and because my undergrad was in legal studies (from a state university, not religiously affiliated) and my undergrad GPA was “barely passed” (thanks, undiagnosed ADHD!) I couldn’t get in anywhere else. I was unable to financially afford to quit working my paid job in order to do the required (unpaid or very low stipend) internships for licensure.

        I have fond memories (/sarcasm) of being marked down for having “old earth/multiverse evolutionary” views and came out of the program a strong atheist (but can’t really say so because I live smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt).

        I just finished an MBA from a different Christian university located close to me, selected because of the availability of class schedules (I didn’t have to quit my job to attend because it was all evening classes). That was done for the GI Bill stipend to pay for my daughter’s tuition at the local state university, which to get the full amount, I had to attend at least 1 class per semester in person (the local regional state university only offered classes during business hours). (She’s still attending, so either I need a new program or a better-paid job)

      6. anon for this one*

        I would not hire a Liberty grad for very specific academic reasons. I have seen humanities syllabi from Liberty, and the education is absolutely NOT comparable to a non-evangelical college curriculum.

        1. tra la la*

          So…. their work history doesn’t count? Nothing in their cover letter counts? How well do you know what other colleges’ syllabi look like? Secular colleges are hardly monolithic. (Also, since we don’t generally put GPAs on resumes past a certain point, how do you know that someone attending a secular college did well there? I have a spotty undergraduate GPA but got stellar grades in my doctoral program).

          I understand the concerns, but if I’m on a search committee and I see Liberty etc., I’ll probably raise an eyebrow, but in my field candidates need to have at least a master’s degree and some relevant experience. The quality of their undergraduate experience isn’t going to be as important as their work experience and, in our case, further education.

          You can dress it up as “rejecting the quality of their education,” but it still amounts to judging someone on one data point in the candidate’s past. Which has to be discouraging to the OP.

    6. AY*

      I went to a Catholic university, so I’m wondering if my perception on this is skewed. But it seems to me that Catholic colleges/universities are more widely and readily accepted as strong academic institutions than evangelical and mainline protestant institutions. I’m sure it helps to have heavy hitters like Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Boston College. Is that the wider perception or am I just biased because of my own background?

        1. A Genuine Scientician*

          Agreed. (Also at a Big Ten).

          I’m a biologist — specifically I study evolution — which means a whole lot of my view on the matter is “Do they teach actual evolution, or not?” Which means that of the religiously affiliated schools in the US, in general: Catholic, Methodist, Episcopal, Jewish are generally (but not always) fine; Baptist and Christian-but-no-specific-denomination are generally (but not always) not.

      1. Anon academic*

        Catholic institutions have a strong academic tradition, and it is widely know, but there are also non-Catholic Christian institutions that have strong academic reputations. Some are less religious, with a religious tradition or affiliation (more on the lines of the Catholic institutions you mentioned), while others are more closely tied to specific denominations and / or beliefs. Many are SLACs known in their regions but not outside it.

        1. ThatGirl*

          Yeah, I applied to three SLACs and Ball State when I was in high school – one Mennonite, one Church of the Brethren, and the one I ended up at, which was founded by the Methodist church but is really very secular in practice. But both the Mennonite and COB colleges are well-respected and open to anyone who’s generally cool with Anabaptism

      2. SheLooksFamiliar*

        I don’t think you’re skewed or off-target. Former recruiters of mine in Chicago were shocked to learn that DePaul and Loyola are Catholic universities. They’re both well-known and respected for their exceptional academics and sports programs…heck, at Loyola, Sister Jean is a local icon, so maybe those recruiters weren’t paying attention. I think Loyola, DePaul, et. al., are long-standing institutions with great academics programs, and theology is not woven into the academics program like it is at, say, evangelical or ‘bible’ colleges.

        I wouldn’t decline a Moody or Wheaton grad because of their school, even though I might clench a bit. As an atheist, I’ve been accosted by several grads about my missing relationship with Jesus. And if my role needed classic education in specific subject matter – say, marketing or supply chain operations – I might not be able to progress their candidacy because those schools probably don’t offer the relevant curriculum. When a degree from an accredited university or college is the minimum qualification, that’s different. If an art history grad can do well in HR – and they can – so could someone from theology.

        1. luc alum*

          As someone who graduated from Loyola Chicago, this. It’s a Jesuit school, but I think the most it affects the academics is that you have to take two theology courses as part of your gen eds. And I took a course on Islam for one of mine, so it doesn’t even have to be Christian theology.

          Also, Sister Jean is a sweetheart. She just turned 102!

          1. SheLooksFamiliar*

            I love Sister Jean, and it’s clear the athletes love her, too. She’s a great ambassador for Loyola!

            I was a philosophy major in college – no one can tell if you’re good at it or not – and one of my profs said something I loved about the Jesuit influence in academics. He said the pursuit of knowledge and intellectual discernment of it distinguished the order from many others. Service above all else, always, but Jesuits didn’t take everything at face value. There was always discussion, reflection, and the application of logic along with a foundation of faith. The Jesuits I’ve met since then have born that out.

        2. ophelia*

          Yeah, I went to Georgetown undergrad, and like the other Jesuit institutions mentioned here, there was a requirement to take a couple of semesters of theology, but Catholic or Christian theology wasn’t required, and there wasn’t any attempt to integrate theology into any other courses (though I did have a couple of English literature classes taught by Jesuits). There were also multiple other religious groups practicing on campus (and plenty of students, like me, who came for the foreign service aspect despite not being religious at all). The one exception was that there was extremely limited access to birth control on campus, which in retrospect I think is a terrible position.

      3. Blackcat*

        I think it’s in large part because a lot of Catholic schools are old and large PhD granting universities. The size and the history has let them build up really strong reputations.

        It’s also my understanding that these Catholic schools–at least the ones you mention–don’t have any expectation that the faculty are Catholic or even Christian. A friend of mine is faculty at BC and is openly gay and has had zero problems with that. I also don’t know any Catholic school that forbids learning about evolution in biology education. I’ve heard of Catholic high schools teaching evolution in a sort of intelligent design approach or a “this is what some people think” sort of way. But it’s not verboten in the same way as it can be at conservative protestant schools. Honestly the main thing I hear about these schools doing that’s “Catholic” is refusing to help students get birth control. But overall, the schools being “Catholic” seems to not really factor into many peoples’ decisions to attend or work at a lot of the big Catholic schools because the religion is not infused in the every day activities of the students.

        Quaker schools are similarly not that religious, and there are lot of very good schools founded by Quakers or that are still Quaker. But the biggest Quaker-founded school I can think of–Johns Hopkins–did ditch the Quaker affiliation pretty early on in its history. The other Quaker schools I can think of are all smaller liberal arts colleges.

        1. PeanutButter*

          My Evangelical lib arts college (not Wheaton, but the same smaller religious lib-arts mold) gave me Depo shots at the campus health center and taught evolution in all the science classes. I remember a lot of us talking about how terrible we felt for students at “repressive” Catholic schools back then. XD

        2. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

          “It’s also my understanding that these Catholic schools–at least the ones you mention–don’t have any expectation that the faculty are Catholic or even Christian.”

          I can confirm this. Got 2 degrees from a Catholic university in the 80s. My best undergrad teacher was a practicing Hindu, and my thesis adviser was Muslim.

        3. Homebody*

          Actually, Catholics do believe in evolution! It’s one of those things that is taught but the Church is fine if you choose not to believe in it…it’s more of a Christian culture thing than actual dogma. Can’t speak for other Christian religions though.

          There may be exceptions, but like you said, most Catholic universities are fine with having non-Catholic faculty, including openly gay or anti-religious. The religion is there for you if you choose it, but it isn’t forced upon anyone.

        4. Anonymous Professor*

          I am queer, pro-choice, far-left politically, and tenured in the Religion Department at a Catholic university. (Not a Jesuit one either — mine is in the Vincentian tradition, which is social-justice oriented, with a preferential option for the poor and marginalized.)

          Our undergrads must take 2 religion classes, but most of those class choices focus on the academic STUDY of religion, not the practice thereof. (There are some Catholic Studies classes students may choose as well.)

          I can assure you that the education offered at my university is top-notch.

      4. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

        IMO when it comes to Catholic colleges it’s more important the congregation. A Jesuit affiliated school is considered more open minded and usually have a longer track record than others. However, their reputation varies field to field.

      5. DataGirl*

        I can’t speak for all Catholic universities but the ones I have looked at were founded in the Jesuit tradition, which is all about educating the whole person. I think that’s significantly different from a school that has religious indoctrination as the primary goal.

        1. Hogsmeade AirBNB*

          Yep, this. I’m an agnostic who attended Fordham, and Jesuit education heavily encourages educating the whole person and questioning what you’re taught/what you believe.

        2. Simply the best*

          They’re also pretty pro science and religion working in tandem. As an example, in my area there is a commercial that has been broadcast pretty frequently made by the Jesuits about how being religious doesn’t mean you turn away from science, so Christians should go get vaccinated.

      6. Hogsmeade AirBNB*

        I think Jesuit/regular ol’ Catholic makes a difference. I’m a Fordham grad, Jesuit educations are held in very high esteem (as they should be)

      7. MechE*

        I don’t know that I’d paint mainline protestant schools with the same brush as evangelical schools. For example, Duke is Methodist, Gettysburg is ELCA, Davidson is Presbyterian, Trinity is Episcopal, Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School and Franklin College are ABCUSA, Chapman University is UCC, TCU is DOC. Those schools are a far cry from the Liberty Universities and PCCs of the world.

        1. Blomma*

          Yup, I attended an ELCA associated liberal arts university that placed a big emphasis on ‘liberal.’ We weren’t required to attend Sunday services or chapel. The extent of ‘required’ religion were prayers as part university ceremonies and we all had to take two religion classes (and one of those had to be from a non-Christian tradition). Definitely a different experience from Liberty U!

          1. MechE*

            I was formerly UCC (apathiest now) but my congregation will always hold a warm place in my heart. It kills me to see all of Christianity painted with such a broad brush, especially when the mainline protestant branches are pretty dang liberal. They are mainline for a reason.

          2. Lizzo*

            I’ll add that many liberal arts schools today have religious affiliations that only extend so far as determining the denomination of the campus minister. Then again, there are a few where the church maintains significant control over things that happen on campus. (I know of one school where the church made the decision to fire the campus minister because she chose to officiate at a LGBTQ wedding off-campus; this, despite the fact that she was a beloved member of the community and her views were very much in line with the student body’s views, but apparently not aligned with the views of the old conservative white men who were in charge of that decision.)

        2. quill*

          I attended a lutheran school. We had to take 2 semesters of religion. One was “history of world religions” and one was choose your own adventure – pick history of any religion unless you were a divinities student looking into the teaching and practice of your target religion.

          I did religion of the ancient greeks and romans. I also vividly remember the dressing down a classmate got for suggesting that we should avoid learning about eastern religions (specifically islam, but buddhism, taoism, etc. also came up.)

      8. quill*

        Usually they’re older, accept non-catholics, and don’t teach religion to every student, so that helps.

      9. StoneColdJaneAusten*

        I went to Georgetown and you almost couldn’t tell it was a Catholic school at all. There was one guy who had a big list of reasons why it wasn’t Catholic enough and a list of suggestions for improvement. (You know how Catholics love lists of suggestions for improvement.)

    7. BigTenProfessor*

      While finishing up my PhD, I (a Jewish person) applied for adjunct jobs in my area, mainly in business stats or similar. There are a huge number of jobs for this because it’s a very hated class to teach (but that’s another story).

      One religious school asked me for a letter of reference from my clergy, an essay about my faith walk, and three ways I would incorporate the teachings of Jesus in my classroom.

      Another asked me briefly to respond to their core values that included Christian faith.

      A third never even brought up their religious founding.

      I ended up at the third, but I would have been just fine at the second. The first, though…I don’t even see how they are realistically preparing their students for the real world if they only allow people exactly like them.

        1. SheLooksFamiliar*

          With the proliferation of evangelical mega-churches, their eternal media presence, and mindblowing financial health, I gotta wonder if someone is asking WWJD.

          1. Legally a Vacuum*

            Excellent point. Lesson 14: How make a flail and knock over some tables when making key points.

    8. MechE*

      Baylor is a pretty well known school, if not for their academics, for their athletics. Their men’s basketball team just won a national championship. Their women’s team is a perennial contender. Their football team is always in the news (not always for great reasons).

    9. Web of Pies*

      #2, search for Fundie Fridays on YouTube, she *JUST* had an hour+ conversation with a Liberty graduate named Luke Wilson.

      He DID have trouble getting into graduate school (Vanderbilt) but it is possible. If where you went was someplace like Liberty, then yes, it is going to hurt you, because people are going to worry about what you’re like to work with. Are you going to evangelize to your coworkers? Are you going to create a hostile work environment for gay coworkers? Interviewers are going to wonder these things even if they don’t (or can’t) ask you about them.

      Luke did exactly what Allison suggested which was to lean into discussing why he was a good match for the grad school and emphasizing opinions that contrast with those of Liberty. I’d say once you get farther away from it with more work experience, maybe drop the college name? Do people care about degrees after like 15+ years of work experience? I personally wouldn’t.

    10. Web of Pies*

      My feeling is that OP is definitely at an evangelical school like Liberty, due to the specific mention of the conversion therapy program, where beliefs are much more in-your-face than a Catholic school.

    11. fhqwhgads*

      I think part of the point is if the school is most well-known for being a school, it’s probably fine. When the school is most well-known for being associated with a group that is discriminatory, it’s not.

    12. Aitch Arr*

      Somewhat off-topic, but there are multiple Wheatons, Trinitys (Trinities?), Unions.
      If one didn’t want their alma mater Wheaton College in Massachusetts to be confused with the one in Illinois (which is definitely Christian), it might make sense to list the city and state of the college on one’s resume.

    13. Urbanchic*

      There seems to be two issues in play – one is a concern about the quality of education provided by some universities – evangelical universities shouldn’t be the only ones on the chopping block here, there are many, many colleges/universities that are considered not credible (for-profit schools for example?). In this vein, the focus should be on education quality, not a broad-sweeping generalization that religious schools offer bad education.

      The second issue which is actually raised by the OP is some religious schools negative views on GLBTQ. With five years out of school, OP has likely been working, and if it’s with a secular employer, that would be clear on their resume. Another option is in the cover letter to make a nod to the type of company/culture you are aspiring to join – one that embraces and cultivates diversity, where people of all backgrounds, sexual orientations, etc. are welcome (not perfect wording). Employers should have a way to screen for this in interviews, so it doesn’t mean someone’s resume is being thrown into a “no” pile just because they happened to have attended a certain school. We were interviewing for a HR director earlier this year and considered several candidates from evangelical international development organizations – organizations that require employees to sign a code of ethics similar to what you would have to sign if you were attending a Liberty or a Wheaton. We discussed this with them in the interview, and granted, none of them moved forward because we needed someone with more experience cultivating an inclusive work place, but we came to that final determination through the interview, not through tossing their resumes aside.

      I think we have to be really careful about secular employers making assumptions about people’s personal beliefs and their ability to do a job based on who they may interact with/affiliate with outside of work. If a person attends church, is an employer justified in excluding their resume if the doctrine does not align with work place values? If a person gives to a religious charity – such as WorldVision or Samaritan’s Purse – two organizations that are not inclusive when it comes to GLBTQ – should we infer that such person endorses those views? Its thorny!

      1. Curious*

        That’s an interesting thought — what if all employers asked job applicants to list the charities they contribute to, in order to determine if the applicant’s values align with that of the workplace.

        Actually, that sounds like a dangerous approach. If it were legal for a workplace with liberal values to do this, it would also be legal for a workplace with conservative values.

        1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          It’s also a good way to filter your candidates by wealth, since someone living paycheque to paycheque is going to have less ability to donate.

    14. ObserverCN*

      I went to a college similar to PeanutButter’s — intellectually rigorous and very Christian. However, students, faculty and alumni were all over the place politically and theologically — and still are. It wouldn’t be fair to judge me — or any other applicants — by some of our most conservative or most liberal folks.
      I think my college may have helped me get my first job after graduating – an internship in the Bible Belt. Maybe they thought I could handle the types of people who lived there :)
      Since then, it hasn’t been an issue that I know of. I got my master’s from a prestigious university that used to be religiously affiliated but hasn’t been for a long time, so that may be more relevant now.
      I would be more concerned with a person’s work performance and what they accomplished in terms of academics than with the beliefs of the school they attended.

    15. Anonymous Wheatonite*

      I grew up in Wheaton, IL, and as a deeply liberal queer I have nothing but negative feelings about Wheaton College and the particular bigoted conservative Christian vibe that surrounded not just the school but the whole city. If I saw a deeply religious school with a similar reputation on a resume I would pay close attention for any signs that the applicant held with the school’s views (especially if they were a recent grad) BUT I would not reject them outright. 18 is very young, and people who have grown up in environments like that have the ability to change after being out in the real world. I’ll always remember one of my high school teachers who told my class the story of how she went to Wheaton College and believed all the homophobic nonsense you would expect based on that, but eventually she met an actual gay person and started questioning things and by the time I encountered her she was the founder and faculty sponsor of my (very conservative) high school’s GSA. A lot of people raised to hold bigoted beliefs continue to suck for the rest of their lives, but not all of them! And it’s never too late to start becoming a less crappy person.

      That said, having a school like that on your resume makes it important for you to prove that you don’t hold with those values through your actions and attitude, and preferably (as others have said) some quantifiable evidence that you have supported social justice organizations through volunteer work/donations/etc.

    16. serenity*

      The letter writer was concerned about their institution’s recent history of homophobia and support of conversion therapy – defined as a “dangerous practice” by the SPLC – and the majority of these comments are focused on the perceived disproportionate scorn heaped on people associated with those institutions.

      Academic reputation was not the point of the OP’s question at all.

      1. Louisa*

        The first line of Alison’s answer mentions academic reputation, however, which prompted my question about schools with much better academic reputations than Liberty but with conservative religious affiliations.

  3. Holly Jolly*

    Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) can be difficult to work around and can show up different ways in the workforce. If the friend does quit, might look into a state program called Vocational Rehab. It helps people with disabilities obtain and retain jobs. Also, there might be programs through the current employer or through the EAP. At my current company, we have a program to provide job coaching for certain diagnosis/situations. Good luck in the future! I hope the person finds something they love and excel at!

    1. Harper the Other One*

      This is what I came to mention – OP, if your relationship with her is appropriate to have this discussion, it would be a kindness to mention that the after effects of TBI could be affecting her work in ways she doesn’t realize.

      1. Hazel*

        And while it could be true that OP’s friend lacks some of the skills needed for keeping and being happy in a job, she ALSO has the effects of the TBI. They could be related or not, but I agree that if she’s not already getting help for the effects of the TBI, it could really help her. I have a friend who had a TBI, and it took her at least 3 years to fully recover. She told me that she used to be the person who organized everything and solved people’s problems and fixed things, and I had to take her word for it because I met her after the injury. Thank goodness she is back to her normal. I know it was really tough on her emotionally, which might be a mitigating factor with the OP’s friend.

    2. quill*

      TBI’s and Post concussive syndrome can also alter the mood of people a lot. If you’re sensing that the constant negativity is a *new* thing, you may want to bring it up (assuming your relationship is appropriate to it, etc.) Even if the constant negativity is “I don’t perform as well as expected, I don’t know exactly why, I’m overwhelmed so I think Manager is being unreasonable to me” it should get checked on, medically!

  4. nnn*

    An option for #2 is to indicate your pronouns on your resume, LinkedIn profile, etc.

    Someone who still subscribes to anti-LGBTQ thinking would never do that, plus the person reviewing your application would come across your pronouns before they come across your alma mater.

    1. Doug Judy*

      I did this with my Linked in and will post pride ally things and other articles that make it clear what my current beliefs and values are.

      My undergrad is from LU. I did their online program over a decade ago. I was religious at the time and it was an affordable online option because I had a small child, and still needed to work full time. I’m totally non religious now and am embarrassed I went there. I did get a masters from a local university a few years ago so that helps. Unfortunately I cannot go back in time and change where my undergrad is from. I do live in the Midwest in a purple area so I don’t think it’s held me back, but I do wonder if applying for remote positions if it would hurt my chances. I list all my skills and accomplishments first, LU is the very last thing on my resume. Save for a time machine, it’s all I can do.

      1. Mental Lentil*

        Save for a time machine, it’s all I can do.

        Agreed. People change over time. Some become better people, some become less good people, and some just become different. Not to mention that for some young people in these religious communities, there can be a lot of parental pressure to attend a certain university (religious or otherwise) and they simply didn’t have any choice.

        A good open-ended interview question might be “Tell me about your university experience”, but I might only ask that if someone was just out of university and had little experience. I’m much more interested in what they’ve done work-wise in the time since.

      2. sadbutnotbad*

        My first two jobs were at extremely right-wing places. I basically reinvented my work life, including four years of freelancing and a 20k pay cut, to distance myself. I’m now an out lesbian social justice advocate and I still agonize over what people will assume about me based on that part of my work history, which is now 10+ years in the rearview. This is just to say, we grow and change, and that’s okay.

    2. Imaginary Number*

      This is a fantastic idea and so simple.

      I was thinking the other day how “what are your pronouns” has also become a very simple litmus test.

        1. Sarah*

          The idea is if someone is anti-LGBTQ, they probably either don’t know how to respond to the question or respond poorly. (This isn’t always true–some people may be trans/nonbinary and don’t want to share that information. I myself have stumbled with my pronouns just because I was nervous sharing them.)

          1. Junior Assistant Peon*

            Not knowing how to respond to the question indicates that the person doesn’t spend much time on the Internet, not that they’re anti-LGBT. An anti-LGBT person would be more likely to launch an angry tirade about the pronoun issue.

            1. JustaTech*

              Right. My mother-in-law is a generally progressive person, but she’s very not on line, and was literally introduced to the concept of “pronouns in your email signature” on Friday. (And her first reaction was that the guy putting (he/him) in his signature was homophobic.)

              After about three run-throughs of why 1) anyone and 2) specifically cis/het people would put their pronouns in their profile she started to get it. Not malice, just ignorance. (She’s also been retired for the better part of 2 decades, so she’s pretty out of the loop.)

          2. quill*

            It also self-selects out the self-proclaimed “feminists” (including some queer people, not that nearly anyone in that wheelhouse is very happy to use the word queer) who are anti-trans.

            Currently trans people are the members of the queer community at the most legislative and social risk in the US and UK, and pronouns are a good way to select out people who are going to be bigoted against them, because the acknowledgement that you can’t tell someone’s gender by looking is either going to make it more obvious to trans people and their allies that you’re trying, or send someone who is actively bigoted against trans people into a screaming rant.

            If you’re just interviewing someone clueless you’re more likely to get questions about “Uh… why?” and have to give pronouns 101

      1. Donut with Sprinkles*

        There’s definitely a privilege in putting your pronouns on your resume as a way of making yourself look better, when many trans/nonbinary people worry about putting their pronouns on their resume for the same reason you worry about your alma mater…fear of being judged. Just want to acknowledge that it’s easier to share your pronouns (even in liberal environments) when you’re cisgender versus not. The point of pronouns should be to respect and include various identities rather than to prove open-mindedness or seem liberal. Just my 2 cents on this Tuesday morning…

        1. Imaginary Number*

          That’s a totally fair and very true point.

          I would say that anyone putting their personal pronouns out there on their resume, signature block, etc. is doing a good thing by helping to normalize sharing pronouns. But I also recognize that it’s a privilege being able to do so without any real fear of repercussions. And that sucks.

        2. meyer lemon*

          Yes, I would describe this as a symbolic gesture, not as a substantive one, in most cases. It’s fine, and there are some environments where signalling “I don’t hate trans people!” is a genuinely helpful thing to do, but for a lot of people, the concept of allyship begins and ends with these kinds of small gestures rather than meaningful engagement with the structures that make life more difficult for LGBT people.

          Not to mention that a lot of cis people who are really gung-ho about putting their pronouns on everything do not grasp why the ability to do that freely is quite a powerful mark of privilege.

        3. quill*

          Yeah, pronouns on the resume can help signal “hey I’m not a bigot” but the absence of them is not a reliable signal that someone isn’t queer.

          Just like those of us who are queer along an axis other than attraction to our own gender can’t rely on mentioning our dating lives as a test balloon for finding other queer people or figuring out who we need to avoid.

        4. trans and tired*

          This is true. I sit at an uncomfortable crux of this issue because I “finished” transition years ago and am generally read as cis by anyone who doesn’t already spend a lot of time around trans people. This is a pretty remarkable privilege relative to the rest of my community, but at the end of the day I’m still trans and have to worry about undue scrutiny from people who may be less than willing to accept me. So to the average well-meaning person who wants to be supportive but isn’t directly involved in the community, I can end up looking like a bad ally!

  5. Calliope*

    I am old enough to remember when there was a lot of scandals about all the Liberty grads George W. Bush hired for the Department of Justice. It is definitely a situation where you want to try and defuse it a bit on your resume to avoid assumptions.

  6. MeowMixers*

    LW 1 – Your letter rubs me the wrong way because it sounds like you are trying to be a manager to your friend to the point you are willing to report her to her manager. Which isn’t okay. You’re her friend and she hasn’t done anything that’s super scandalous. I understand that her view may not be accurate, but yours of your company may not be either. I left one of the largest companies in the world because I was super sick of the passive-aggressive bosses. However, if you ask my work friends who stayed, they are pretty happy. Their work experiences are different from mine, and that’s okay. We all had worked with different bosses in different departments.

    If it’s her anxiety that is a concern, be a friend and say so. If you can’t handle it, it’s okay to set boundaries. I had a friend who was very negative and full of anxiety. I ended up cutting her off after she yelled at me at work. She refused to get help and I wasn’t going to be her punching bag.

    1. Gammagirl1908*

      I agree with this. Bella’s behavior certainly isn’t cool, but it’s important not to conflate friend-level “not cool” with “such a massive professional problem with a colleague that you need to inform the authorities.” Bella’s allowed not to like her job (even if she has some unrealistic expectations about how work works).

      If either Bella or her boss asks you a direct question you should answer honestly, but otherwise I might stay out of it. It also sounds like Bella will soon resolve this issue one way or the other (by getting canned or stomping out in a snit), so it doesn’t need to be your concern.

      1. EventPlannerGal*

        This. And I think it’s quite important that Bella not only hasn’t asked OP directly about it but OP also seems to be basing all of this on Twitter posts, rather than personal messages or conversations, and didn’t even know Bella was taking the job in the first place. DISCLAIMER, obviously friendship can work in all kinds of ways and I have plenty of friends who I can go a long time without speaking to but will jump right back in as soon as we finally meet up! But all of those things combined make me think that not only is Bella not expecting OP to be a “sounding board” but also that they are not the best-placed person to make this kind of intervention anyway.

    2. Scarlet2*

      I totally agree with your first paragraph. I can sort of understand wanting to get involved if you think a friend is self-sabotaging (even though I think unsolicited advice is rarely welcome), but I really don’t get why anyone in that situation would think “oh maybe I should tell her manager about it”. Just so she can get in trouble? Over a bunch of rant-y tweets that nobody can see except for her followers?

      And even though it’s true that if someone keeps having the same problem with different people, they’re generally part of the problem, LW also mentions not knowing their friend’s manager or the team they work with, so they don’t have a clear picture of the situation either.

      1. TechWorker*

        Right and she works in a totally different part of the company, in a different location! It’s not like your manager will see you having lunch together and you’ll be tainted by connection. You may as well treat the situation as if she worked in a totally different company, I really hope telling her manager (!!) wouldn’t even cross your mind in that case.

        (You might still validly wonder if she is part of the problem, but whether you say anything about that is down to your relationship).

    3. Guacamole Bob*

      There’s also the fact that different departments within the same company can be so dissimilar as to feel like an entirely different organization sometimes.

      1. PT*

        Yeah this was my thought. Bella definitely sounds like she is at least contributing to any problem that may be there…but there is no guarantee that LW’s company experience and Bella’s is at all similar, if they’re not even working in the same branch office.

    4. GNG*

      This – OP1, if you’re a friend to Bella, then be a real friend. Check in with her and offer some emotional support. If you can’t/wont’, then step back from the friendship. But don’t be a frenemy.

      I don’t think her venting on Twitter is a good choice. But your considering telling her manager isn’t exactly the height of good judgment either. Although I’ll give you credit for seeking Alison’s advice before you acted on it.

      1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

        But don’t be a frenemy.

        Yep. The person that I talked about in my other comment on this thread, went through a difficult time while the realization that one of their friends had gotten them fired, was sinking in. I imagine that must’ve been more difficult to process than the actual firing. We (the person’s teammates) were all pretty shaken ourselves. It was a close-knit group where everyone was everyone else’s FB friend, and suddenly we were all in the middle of a minefield. Not a great feeling!

      2. Tali*

        Totally agree. I don’t understand the thought processes of “my friend who works in a different location of my company hates it, but I like my location. She must be wrong” and “my friend is complaining on her private Twitter, I should tell her boss”. That’s not what a friend would do.

    5. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      I know someone who was fired for a friends-only FB post. The post was something innocuous (compared to Bella’s tweets) and had also been made outside of work hours. It went something like “someone I know is looking for work in (this person’s line of work) and has (friend’s years of experience) experience. if you hear of any openings, let me know and I will pass it on”. Before the work day was over, this friend was called into the HR’s office, where they were shown a printout of their post and given a box to pack their things. Admittedly, this friend was already on a PIP at the time. But my point is, these reactions happen, and if OP is not wanting to live the rest of their life with the memory of Bella being walked out the door holding a box as a result of something OP said to Bella’s manager, then maybe OP should hold off on informing the management – what would that accomplish, anyway? OP, if you aren’t close friends with Bella, then I would recommend the unfollow and block route instead.

        1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          Who the heck knows? I didn’t talk to them. I did see the post that morning, and was then told that it was the post they’d printed out for the firing. It was odd.

    6. Agreed*


      I mean no disrespect, but I’m actually at a loss as to what OP1 is even asking.

      Firstly, OP1 has no real idea what Bella’s manager, or work environment, are actually like. It is perfectly possible that Bella has encountered several passive-aggressive managers; it is all the luck of the draw. I encountered three toxic managers in a row, before finally getting lucky with an amazing fourth manager.

      Secondly, a traumatic brain injury is an extremely serious condition, and it is wonderful that Bella is well enough to work so soon after the incident which caused it. If OP1 wants to be supportive, it should be in this regard.

      Thirdly, Bella is venting about work on her PRIVATE, LOCKED Twitter is none of her employers’ business! No, you don’t go running to a manager, who you don’t know anything about, to dob your friend in! Especially if the manager IS bad!

    7. Momma Bear*

      Some people take to social media to vent. She’s doing so on her private Twitter account. I would not bring this up to her boss or at work. Also, remember that not everyone’s experiences with the same things are the same. My kid and her classmate have very different POVs about a teacher they had last year. Your friend may have some legitimate gripes about her particular job/coworkers/department, which have nothing to do with you.

    8. nothing rhymes with purple*

      This. And we haven’t even mentioned the TBI and all the kinds of havoc that can cause the sufferer.

      1. RunShaker*

        for OP1, my take is OP1 is seeing the same pattern over & over no matter who her employer is. I have a friend like this. Every job she has ever had, a manager, a coworker, etc…was being passive aggressive, unreasonable expectations & making her look bad. It was same story. After her 5 job all were less than 2 years, I realized the problem was my friend, not any of the employers. My friend wasn’t open to coaching & didn’t/refused to see it as a her problem. She no longer works. I tried once to suggest to find a trusted manager/senior person to be mentored but she didn’t see it as worth the effort. I let it go.

        1. birb*

          With respect, it is often – but not always – more nuanced than that.

          It is perfectly possible to end up with a number of bad jobs and/or managers, including several in a row. I had four jobs, back-to-back, earlier in my career, wherein I had a genuinely psychotic manager at some level, either direct or senior.

          This occurred during a time of major upheaval and change in the industry, wherein a lot of the best people were lost, including via layoffs. This left a hell of a lot of bad, incompetent and inexperienced managers in place, including because people who shouldn’t have been promoted were. Despite the instability of the industry, the staff turnover at all these workplaces was extremely high, because the toxicity and dysfunction were so bad.

    9. MAB*

      Agree- OP 1 sounds like she could be a good manager, but doesn’t seem like a very good friend (at least to Bella).

  7. JustAThought*

    For #2: Please don’t “perform” redemptive behavior to have a line on your resume to combat your college. If you believe in what you are doing, fantastic, if you are just doing it for a resume boost…just don’t. It’s not other folks job to redeem what you see as a weakness. I understand what Alison is saying here, but oooof, make sure you mean it.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      To be clear, I’m not suggesting she do it just for that (and agree that’s not okay)! But if she happens to have stuff like that, including it will help.

      1. JustAThought*

        Not at all questioning what you said. I am a dedicated follower and respect your advice. It is exhausting for those in the trenches to have to deal with performance artists, if you will, posing as allies and making the work that much harder—just speaking to something that may not be present here at all, which would be fantastic!

        1. Despachito*

          It often feels lame to me if people claim aloud that they are supporting a cause.

          I think it is super easy to SAY something – it only takes a few seconds, no effort, makes you look good.

          Whereas I think that everything we really have to do is to behave like decent persons to anyone around us no matter how different they are, but obviously there are no fanfares and you usually do not take the credit immediately.

          I am not in the U.S., so it may not be relevant but why should anyone feel a need to redeem themselves only for going to a “wrong” school?

          1. Xenia*

            Because rightly or wrongly employers will look at the organizations you were a part of to get an understanding of what sort of worker you are. If OP were 15-20 years out of college this might be less of an issue. As it is, in the first couple big jobs you have where you got your education is going to play a part in how skilled people think you are. To a certain extent that can be helpful; if a given college is known for producing excellent nurses, or has a phenomenal supply chain management program, or has a master glassblowing school that is the top of its region, then it’s like having pre-mapped networking for the students. OP’s example is a good example of how this can cause some problems though.

          2. JSPA*

            With close to four thousand degree-granting institutions in the USA, many people can and do pick their college not only for convenience or academics or price, but to signal allegiance to a social brand or mind-set. (The connection of said institutions with sports is a parallel and sometimes connected issue.)

            1. JustaTech*

              When I was applying to colleges a school I never heard of, that I didn’t apply to, admitted me with a full scholarship because “a member of [my] parish recommended [me]”. After some looking I discovered they were a religious school (with a minimal academic reputation) in a very rural area in a state where I knew no one.

              I was incredibly offended, not least because we had recently moved and weren’t going to church at the time (and I had already pretty much quit church before that). Thankfully I was in a position to throw that letter in the trash (even if I am still paying off my student loans). Because there was no way I wanted to be associated with that mindset.

          3. ROUS*

            In this case, it isn’t like going to a less-known state school instead of an Ivy League, it’s that there are some universities in the US known for teaching the Bible first and academics second, and often for intense discrimination. It’s legal (more or less) because they are religiously affiliated, but they are part of a huge culture split in this country.

            To put one on your resume carries a lot of implied info: you wouldn’t go to one of those schools generally if you weren’t coming from an extremely evangelical background, and they are considered pretty extreme culturally by many run of the mill religious folks. It sounds like OP has found that the school’s values do not reflect theirs at this point, but an institution that promotes conversion therapy would be a red flag in many workplaces.

    2. Well...*

      There has been a real rise lately in my field of people speaking up publicly for diversity and even organizing around it, when their reputation from the whisper network is that they are nightmares to work with.

      They use it to 1) white wash their reputation and cast doubt on their victims and 2) attract minorities to work for them so they get underlings they can more easily abuse/overwork. Also maaaaybe 3) resolve their cognitive dissonance around being a “good person” and having conflict with every. single. minority they employ.

      As the discourse moves to make equity a higher priority, abusers will adapt to continue to fly under the radar. Over time this will make performative ally behavior less effective for balancing out worse parts of OP’s resume. At the current moment though, most people seem to have not caught on.

      1. Well...*

        Also, while I think trying to attract members from underrepresented groups is a good thing, working for these performative abusers tends to tank careers, so in the end it’s building an exit ramp rather than an inroad to the institution.

    3. Falling Diphthong*

      I’m argue that the heartfelt zero-agenda sincerity of good deeds is overrated. I’d rather be surrounded by people who were doing the right thing with some thought that other people are looking and judging them for it, than people who are proudly doing the wrong thing. Or endlessly griping that the people doing the right thing aren’t feeling the correct feelings and have to stop.

      1. Anonymous3*

        Falling Dipthong thank you for saying this. Yes, performative allyship can be frustrating to deal with, but I choose to see it as a step in the right direction. Fake it til you make it! Part of me is also convinced that the difference between performance and sincerity is not something others should be policing.

        1. Clisby*

          Yeah, if you finance a couple of Habitat for Humanity houses, I doubt the people who get to live in a decent place care too much about your inner motivations.

      2. esra*

        Yep, big same. Honestly, having worked in nonprofits, we spent the donations just the same, whether they came with love in your heart or accolades in your eyes. As long as someone’s doing a good job + being professional and kind to the people they’re volunteering with, I’m good if inside they’re thinking “This will look rad on my resume.”

      3. Jessica Ganschen*

        Yes! One of my favorite stories about intention vs. effect goes like this: Once a wealthy merchant came to the great Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi. “Rabbi, I had an idea to endow an orphanage that can accommodate two hundred children. But I have since abandoned the project, for after careful examination of my intentions, I had to admit I was doing it as a means of receiving respect in the community.”
        The old master looked the merchant squarely in the eye and said sternly, “Build it anyway! You may not mean it sincerely. But those poor children who will eat hot food and go to sleep in a warm bed, they will do so sincerely.” (from Judaism for Everyone by Shmuley Boteach)

      4. Liz T*

        Agreed! If we’re talking about a possible coworker, I want to know that they’ll say and do the right things more than I want to know how they feel in their heart.

      5. Some dude*

        “Or endlessly griping that the people doing the right thing aren’t feeling the correct feelings and have to stop.”
        To me this sometimes smacks of cliqueshness and/or not wanting to belong to a club that would have you as a member and/or pooping on other people to detract from one’s own shortcomings and insecurities.

        It feels like there is either criticism for not saying anything, or criticism for saying something, but not in the right way, or not while holding the right identity. I don’t really have time for that.

  8. ll!Te ,'e*

    I actually think someone’s private, locked Twitter, where ostensibly only their friends can view anything, is a great place for work rants. If LW1 doesn’t wish to read them, she just needs to unfollow the person and let them know why. I don’t think LW1 has the right to police this girl’s life or judge her this harshly for venting about work in what she thinks is a safe space.

    1. Chc34*

      Yeah, I agree; I’m not sure why LW1 thinks she should get involved here. They don’t work together at all, they just happen to work for the same company. Her Twitter certainly sounds exhausting, but I agree that if there’s anywhere to rant about work, it’s a locked, private Twitter! (I mean, you can still debate if that’s smart, but of all the places to do it, it’s not an awful one.)

      I also took the coworker’s comment about how much she’s on Twitter to mean that she was constantly using Twitter visibly and the coworker could see, not that that coworker also follows her on Twitter.

      1. TooTiredToThink*

        I too assumed it meant that the co-worker saw her on Twitter; not that she was following.

        1. Marion Ravenwood*

          I thought the same – the co-worker just saw her using Twitter a few times during the working day and flagged it up rather than actually following her. I do know some people will accept anyone who requests to follow them but there’s a reason you have your Twitter locked and private, and I highly doubt anyone doing that would accept anyone they didn’t want to see that stuff, especially a colleague when you’re using it to rant about your job!

        2. MissM*

          Ditto. It’s a pretty big leap to assume that the person is a follower versus just someone who walks by your computer, especially when you’re in office. I think we all know quite a lot about the computer habits of people in our office, even if it’s not anything specific (like she’s @Bella12344)

        3. StressedButOkay*

          I did as well! Waaaay back in the day, I thought no one would notice that I was on certain blog pages and emails as much as I was. Boy, I was wrong. They weren’t following me – all they had to do was glance at my monitor.

          And if she’s using her phone, that can be pretty obvious too.

      2. Gammagirl1908*

        I also assumed the coworker meant that Bella is very often clearly on her phone scrolling and posting, with Twitter unmistakably visible, at a time she should be doing work that does not involve Twitter (like, she’s not on the digital media or press team).

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          I also thought this.

          I think LW’s conundrum is somewhat akin to having a drama-prone friend who is exuding drama about people/clubs/companies that are hypothetical to you, vs venting about people/clubs/companies you know and have some positive emotions about. It’s easy to shrug off the venting in the first case; not uncommon in the second case to feel like you should give someone a heads up about the simmering rage. LW shouldn’t do that–just unfollow. But she’s not wrong to ask Alison about that instinct to do something. (As opposed to going right ahead with that instinct.)

          1. EventPlannerGal*

            Yeah, I do understand having that impulse – I think that especially if you’re a problem-solver/“fixer” type of person, it’s very frustrating to hear this kind of venting when you feel like the solution is obvious. (One of my exes was this sort of person and you could see him getting almost physically twitchy when listening to this sort of thing, lol) But often it’s just not really appropriate/needed/helpful to try and intervene, especially when you don’t have much context. This seems like one of those times.

      3. Elenna*

        Yeah, I also figured it’s more likely that the coworker just kept seeing Twitter on her screen.

    2. august*

      yea I see nothing wrong with the venting itself in a private space and OP should not share to the friend’s manager of what’s going on there, but the tweeting during work hours should be a concern but since someone else has pointed it out already, that’s up to the manager to address that part especially if it’s so obvious to others.

    3. Catherine*

      Half agreed. Yes, unfollow. No, don’t tell her you’re doing so; announcing to someone that you’re unfollowing generally invites unnecessary drama. Just silently let yourself out!

      1. Elenna*

        Agreed. If Bella notices and asks, LW can say something casual like “oh, it’s just kinda weird seeing your work rants while also working here” (and maybe invite her to lunch or something, to preserve the friendship in a non-work space). But if Bella doesn’t notice, no need to mention it and bring up awkwardness.

    4. Boof*

      I think anyone should be careful about ranting about work, anywhere because 1) nothing on the internet is truly private (and leaks can occur irl as well) and 2) making a habit out of negative talk can be reinforcing behavior – but that depends on the prevalence and degree of offenses

      1. WellRed*

        I’m so surprised by the comments that think Twitter is a safe private space. Nothing is ever completely private on the net.

        1. Pennilyn Lot*

          Because it’s a locked and private Twitter account. Every person who follows them has to be approved by the user. Sure, nothing is truly private online, but it’s a personal social media account, not top secret confidential information – it is reasonable to assume that the precautions she took are sufficient in this situation, or that she’s comfortable with the risk to benefit ratio.

          1. Simply the best*

            Okay, but she already has at least one co-worker (OP) who follows her that’s now wondering if they should be reporting to her boss what she’s tweeting. OP was approved to be there. So the precautions she took actually aren’t sufficient.

        2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          But everything *is* on the net – unless we’ve invited our friend out for drinks and vented to them in person. Everything else is an email or a text sitting in the cloud somewhere. A locked-down Twitter account sounds as private as it can get.

          1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

            Or one dev whose code gets pushed to Production only to find it created a security bug that wasn’t revealed in testing.

    5. HalloweenCat*

      Yeah this is where I come down on it too. It’s a private account. You say you’re her friend so of course, she approved the follow. If LW1 is concerned about other coworkers following her, a friend would give her a heads up that her rants might come back to bite her if someone else at Company sees them. But it’s just friendly advice, not a work issue to be escalated to a manager! We all have “Drama Friends” we have to mute or unfollow for a period of time.

  9. Liv*

    LW 2, I went to a Christian college and grew up in an environment that was very much “love the sinner hate the sin” and belief was taught that being gay was a lifestyle choice. I’ve very much moved away from the beliefs that I was taught about gay people. My college still teaches the theology that being gay is sinful but it does try to have dialogues with the gay Christian community, and has created a safe group on campus for students, it isn’t perfect but it is a tiny step in the right direction. And, I’m lucky that my school has a good educational reputation, it has great business school, and I graduated with my master’s in marriage and family therapy at this college which is considered one of the best programs in the state (also all my mft professors were christians that wanted to see conversion therapy outlawed on a federal level because lets be honest conversion therapy is torture).

    Still despite being what I suppose is a more moderate Christian college, I sometime wonder about it being on my resume especially because I work in Higher Ed and right now I’m in the middle of a job search. So when i sign my cover letters, I add my pronouns because lets face it a lot of people on the Christian right get angry about pronouns and think that “trans people are just confused” and crap like that. It is a tiny gesture, but it doesn’t have to be an empty one. And do you really want to be hired by someone that is going be offend that you noted your pronouns?

    But I’m researching schools to make sure that they have lgbt groups for their students because I want that at the next school I go to. I’m at a very small state institute in a very conservative/religious region and our lgbt kids get the bare minimum and it is so frustrating. But I really focused on using Allison’s advice for resumes and cover letters and I have been getting interviews from different schools and will hopefully be moving on at some point.

    1. Sleeping Late Every Day*

      As far as I know, “moderate Christians” do not subscribe to this thinking: “…college still teaches the theology that being gay is sinful…” I’m curious if a masters in counseling from a school like that would seriously limit your chances outside the fundamentalist community?

      1. ROUS*

        As a queer person, I have to say that if I saw that school on a therapist’s info, I would run fast. Not advocating conversion therapy is the lowest low low bar. But Liv can’t do anything about it at this point.

        1. Ally McBeal*

          I’m not queer, but I’m ex-evangelical and would absolutely NEVER see a therapist who went to Liberty/Bob Jones. Several of my family work in the mental health field, and there can be a professional side-eye cast on those degrees too (especially, as other commenters have mentioned, the masters-in-counseling degrees from dubiously-accredited institutions).

      2. A Social Worker*

        I hire social workers and mental health counselors. Many of the degree programs in counseling at these types of schools are not actually enough to make students eligible for licensure in their state. It sucks because people get bamboozled and complete/pay for a degree that severely limits their career opportunities. I don’t hire people who are not license eligible, so for me it sometimes eliminates the issue. However, I am given pause when someone has a license eligible degree from a school with this type of reputation and make it a point in interviews to ask about working with diverse populations, working with people who may be undocumented, willingness to support people in accessing birth control/abortion, etc. I do this in all interviews regardless of where the candidate went to school. I need to protect our program’s clients (and, less importantly, myself as a queer supervisor).

        1. Dana*

          FYI, Liberty’s mental health counseling program is CACREP accredited. I have two degrees from LU and I am a licensed mental health practitioner. I actually found my masters program to prepare me well for secular mental health counseling. My agency is in many states and we have tons of employees from LU because their counseling program is huge and flexible. It has not negatively impacted my career in mental health in the slightest. I’m in corporate leadership now, in fact.

          1. Pocket Mouse*

            Genuine question: have you looked carefully to see if your agency’s queer clients’ mental health is negatively impacted by counseling from LU grads? And/or how does your agency take care to hire people who won’t negatively impact queer clients’ mental health? How does this get conveyed to clients?

            Because I would nope right on out of there if I were a prospective client. At minimum, I cannot imagine forming the necessary trust with a counselor who studied at LU, and mental health professionals can be very damaging to one’s mental health if they don’t have the right competencies.

        2. Liv*

          Agreed, that many programs can take advantage and that there needs to be a re-evaluation of how things are handled. My program reguired 500 client hours to graduate and our pass rate for the national exam was in the 90th percentile. Our on-site clinic was open to the community and we did see queer clients but students that weren’t comfortable helping queer clients could opt out because it could become an ethics issues since they wouldn’t be able to best serve the clients.

          Meanwhile, My college is stuck in this head space where it is fine with gay people as long as they are celibate. But I also know enough about my college’s history that in the long run, I’m not sure that this will fly with the student body. Th school was constructed in the 1900s and practiced racial segregation. It didn’t desegregate until the student body began staging protests under the encouragement of faculty. And it didn’t apologize for committing the sin of segregation until the 2000s. I would’t be surprised if something similar happened at the school again regarding the treatment of the lgbt students, the student body would have to rise up in support of their peers.

          I don’t know – I go back and forth between hope and disapotinment that progressive Christian values will push through and that LBGT members of the community will find acceptance, but I have college friends who have understandably just given up and feel that things will never change and I do understand why they feel that way.

          1. nothing rhymes with purple*

            From what you’ve said here it sounds like you are indeed on the side of hope and doing things towards bringing that hope to be. I’m glad you are.

  10. Tussle*

    Op3….. love that you cam imagine the complete collapse of society due to acid rain but not, like, normal freely available healthcare.

    1. Myrin*

      I reckon this depends a lot on what angle you’re coming from at this from the real world.

      If this is about “Death Stranding” – which I know enough about to recognise the basic premise but not enough to be familiar with any plot or background details -, that’s a Japanese production which might be meaningful insofar as media developers are most likely to draw from their own real-life experiences and the structures they know, whereas OP’s perspective strikes me as particularly American, so her questions might not even be on the developers’ radar because Japan does things very differently from the US in that regard. (Although, I know that Norman Reedus and other western actors were cast as the “foil” for the game’s protagonists so I’m not sure if there was maybe much more internationality involved in its production than I’m assuming.)

      But also, it occurs to me that in an apocalyptic world of that magnitute – where infrastructure is completely destroyed and impossible to rebuild and there’s regular deadly acid rain – details like that wouldn’t really apply anyway. This strikes me much more like a world where you get your money in cash as soon as your job is done and if you’re ill, oh, well, find someone to treat you and pay them instead with that cash you just earned. (Note, lest I be accused of being unbearably negative: I don’t think that this is how apocalyptic scenarios should or are even likely to play out and I emphatically don’t agree with a lot of the “male power fantasy apocalypse” narrative one finds all too often but in this particular scenario under these parametres, I honestly can’t imagine someone in that company sitting down and calculating your taxes for you, if those are even a thing at all.)

        1. HarvestKaleSlaw*

          I did not like that game. You know what health insurance they have in that game? Space whale. That’s what insurance.

          I was thinking about writing a Death Stranding limerick. I got as far as:

          Norman Reedus and a fetus
          were going for a hike
          Said Norman Reedus to the fetus
          should I buy a bike?

          1. Phoenix Wright*

            I’ve heard Death Stranding described as a copy of Euro Truck Simulator without trucks, and as much as I love that game (it’s so relaxing to drive under the rain while listening to online radios in languages I can’t understand) and some of the entries in the Metal Gear Solid series (same director as DS), everything I’ve seen about DS sounds boring to me. I’m still curious about it though, and hope to grab it when it’s cheap someday. Hopefully it’ll be better than I expect.

            1. OP3*

              You’ll probably actually like DS if you like the truck simulator. By and large in DS you’re hiking across admittedly very pretty terrain all alone with the occasional low roar song playing in the background. I found most of the game to be relaxing in that sense. The challenge was figuring out how to carry your load to safely get from point a to point b and planning ahead based on the terrain. So if you don’t like nitty gritty stuff like that I can see the game becoming tedious, but there’s also an auto sorter and very easy mode so you just focus on enjoying the walks and the plot of the game. :)

              1. Phoenix Wright*

                You know, that doesn’t sound half bad. Thanks for the recommendation! When the next Steam sale comes, I’ll probably get it.

            2. HarvestKaleSlaw*

              Boring simulations I enjoy. Where DS lost me were the endless, endless, endless cut scenes. I’m a huge David Lynch fan. I can stand me some weird experimental film stuff. I watched Eraserhead more than once. BUT dear GOD the cut scenes just went on and on and on.

              In the SNL classic sketch, Tournament Fighter (the one with Boo Boo Jeffries, watch it if you haven’t), Kenan Thompson has this line “I’m literally pushing no buttons right now.” That was me with DS. The first four hours of the game, my husband kept wandering in and out of the room, and every time, there’d be some space whale nonsense on the screen, and I would say, “I’m literally pushing no buttons right now.” It got to be a pretty good gag.

              1. OP3*

                That sounds like it would be funny, but for the life of me I am trying to remember what space whale nonsense was in the first chapter or so of the game. I know the first like three chapters were tutorial and setting up the plot but I took way more then 4 hours to get to chapter 3 so….lol (not denying that there’s a LOT of cutscenes, but I just skipped all the room/delivery start stuff once I figured that they happened every single time.)

            3. Scott D*

              Death Stranding is one of the most fun and zen video games I have ever played. If you want something adrenaline-based, this game isn’t it. If you want something that makes you feel you’re part of an important mission, like exploring an open world, like cooperating with others to rebuild roads, etc. AND can enjoy the occasional adrenalin rush when things go bad this is the game for you. The graphics are stunning, the story is a bit hard to follow but the game grabs you emotionally.

      1. Crivens!*

        It’s Death Stranding. And while the game definitely makes a point about collectivism vs. individualism, it’s also very much making points about American society.

        The healthcare bit is kind of moot since when you return to home bases you can pretty much be cured of what ails you. And another major plot reason I won’t mention to avoid spoilers.

        GREAT game by the way. One of only two video games to have the honor of making me cry from emotion instead of frustration.

        1. ThatGirl*

          I definitely did NOT expect to see a question about Death Stranding, lol. But yeah, that’s the game all right. And I’m pretty sure healthcare is a moot point in the post-apocalyptic but technologically advanced future.

          1. MEH Squared*

            Same here! Was tickled to see a question about Death Stranding, but this was certainly not the direction I was expecting it to go. I agree that healthcare in a post-apocalyptic world won’t really be a question.

            I also found it bitterly amusing that the friend thought they’d get good healthcare benefits because the company is big. That doesn’t always happen now so it’s hard to say whether or not it would follow in a post-apocalyptic world.

            I think that’s the crux of it, though. What we know of the world now is not what would exist after it all goes to pieces (see, pandemic).

          2. OP3*

            Yes, its death stranding lol. I was so hoping to send a link to this and the b99 ‘vindication’ gif to my friend cause I was convinced I was right, but alas.

            Anyway, technologically advanced doesn’t mean post capitalist though.
            Sure, they can heal almost all ailments but someone still has to make the medicines and whatnot. I couldn’t give the whole convo in the letter, but it started as a convo about how cool it would be to be a porter (note: I think not lol) and working for bridges. So the question isn’t just Sam but porters in general. I think since bridges is generally shady af they probably don’t pay the average porter well and they probably have terrible benefits, if any. (Since the game is heavily skewed towards ‘return America to her glory!’ we assumed that means health insurance and not universal healthcare.) She thinks that because they’re big, they’re pseudo government, and because portering is dangerous they must have great benefits to retain employees. I make the argument that all the porters are contracted because Bridges is probably super cheap and not that invested in retaining employees because there’s literally like zero competitors. (Though as someone pointed out elsewhere they are probably reasonably invested in avoiding a voidout…)

            Also health benefits are for more then just physical ailments. We know therapists are a thing still and someone has to pay them and given the whole DS world they’re probably in high demand and not cheap.

      2. OP3*

        Within the game they allude to and in a couple of instances show that the healthcare provided in post death stranding America is extremely similar to current healthcare with a few technological advances. My friends and I made the assumption that the process of obtaining healthcare is probably by and large similar to what it is now, considering it’s still America. (I think it’s totally in character that of course the apocalypse would happen and there’d still be no universal healthcare in America lol)

      1. Phoenix Wright*

        I’d love to hear his take about what happened at Konami during the development of Metal Gear Solid 5. Gimme all the details please!

    2. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

      And the collapse of worker protection laws and enforcement! Not to mention insurance.

      There will be some sort of healthcare available, even if it’s just somebody whose really good at sewing up wounds. But if the only bit of the government left is the postal service, the Department of Labor is LONG gone.

      1. OP3*

        Omg you just reminded me of the postman with Kevin Costner and if you take out the supernatural element it’s a pretty similar plot lol

    3. skadhu*

      Now you’ve got me and my partner arguing!

      Because it’s a post-apocalyptic world with great loss of infrastructure I don’t think any employment norms apply. My vote would be that it operates as a hybrid: that although technically the job meets requirements for being defined as employment (e.g. all supplies/materials, and housing are provided to porters) it’s still contract working because you can choose which orders to fill. At the same time, there is an emphasis on cooperation and mutual support within society that encourages me to think that the company provides good health care perks to the best of their ability… and of course they don’t want a sick porter to die and cause a voidout, so it’s also in their interest to protect them.

      SUCH a good game. I’m replaying it right now.

      1. OP3*

        You would think they wouldn’t apply (and by and large probably don’t) but there’s a running theme throughout the game with the pro America characters really pushing “return to normal” so they probably have an employee manual we would totally recognize but in practice probably barely follow it. Good point though that they would want to avoid a voidout. Neither if us brought that up in our original argument which is a point in favor of there being a good healthcare benefit.

    4. Generic Name*

      Ha. I get that it was an intellectual debate, but I was amused that both you and your friend assume that health insurance provided by employers is still around in a world where basic infrastructure like roads doesn’t exist anymore.

  11. twitterperson*

    LW 1, it would be extremely un-friend like of you to notify a manager about what was going on in someone’s locked, private Twitter.

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Agreed – just stop following the Twitter account if it’s bothering you that much.

    2. Pennilyn Lot*

      Yep. Be prepared to lose her as a friend if you do this. Absolutely wild to me that people can have loyalties to their employers to the detriment of their actual friends.

  12. M*

    Maybe I’m just being sensitive because I’m autistic, but I’m begging LW1 and others at their workplace to take a certification course on disability and neurodiversity inclusion, because it sounds like their friend needs legitimate accommodations in the workplace. Oftentimes the consequences of going without can seem subtle to those of us on the outside: like she’s just sorta “bad at her job” and complains, but I’d be willing to bet some pretty minor environmental changes could help her find a better groove with her coworkers/management. It doesn’t really matter that their workplace “has a collaborative vibe,” because a disabled employee still deserves an inclusive structure that fosters genuine belonging. Maybe Alison could consider benefitting from similar course, too, in order to give even better advice on similar issues as an ally to disabled workers.

    1. M*

      BTW I agree that the Twitter is none of LW’s business, the inclusion thing is more of a “larger conversation” thought than an “immediate advice” thought.

    2. TBI Family*

      Yes thank you for this. I’m really disappointed that Alison totally skipped over the person’s TBI and how the ongoing issues with it can manifest in the workplace and instead gave a usual canned response.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I don’t know what struck you as canned about it, but I don’t think it’s the OP’s place to address what might be going on with the friend at work; from the letter, it sounds like what she needs is a clear separation between the friendship and work stuff, not to get *more* involved. (It would be different if they worked together in any way but they don’t sound like their paths cross at work at all. And given the musing about saying something to her manager, they also don’t sound particularly close, although maybe I’m wrong about that.)

        What would you suggest the OP do, given her specific context?

        1. JSPA*

          Point out to friend that “employee assistance might be of use, if the problem is not only passive-aggressiveness of your manager, but the intersection of the manager’s passive-aggressive tendencies, and your low tolerance for BS, which you can luckily blame on your injury.”

          Yes, this presentation is a bit of a fudge.

          Friend may have performance issues (subtle or less so, that are mostly invisible to her) from the TBI. Friend may have stimulus overload or a short fuse, following the TBI. Friend may not be registering some direct feedback, leading to a sense of the feedback being all pass-ag. Friend may be in the process of being managed out, and need to have a forthright discussion. Who knows.

          But if it gets friend to walk into employee assistance, so friend can have someone discuss, objectively, and as an intermediary between friend and manager, what would make the situation better, that’s potentially very helpful.

          I’d present it as, “you luckily have a path that might let you salvage the situation, or salvage a good reference; why don’t you try that, as there’s not much to lose, if you’re close to leaving in frustration, anyway?” If friend has already tried this, no harm done (including less harm to the friendship).

          1. bubbleon*

            We’re asked not to armchair diagnose, I’m not surprised Alison didn’t try to step through all the what-ifs for how the TBI is impacting OP’s friend?

    3. AcademiaNut*

      It’s not clear to me that the friend has told the employee that she has a disability and needs accommodation (if she hasn’t, t would be massively overstepping for the employer to start suggesting accommodations based on an armchair diagnosis), or even that she has performance problems. What we know is that she has a pattern of complaining in private forums about her job, and quitting jobs on a fairly short timescale.

      If she’s doing a reasonably competent job and stewing in private, the employer has no idea that anything is going on. If the employer *has* noticed problems in performance and attitude, then they can address it with her, clearly lay out the issue, and, if appropriate, mention the option of going to the EAP.

      The OP, as a friend who knows about her friend’s underlying issues, is in a position to say “Hey, you seem to have a lot of problems with your coworkers and boss – have you considered going to the EAP for assistance?” It’s something she could say even if she weren’t working at the same company. It might damage the friendship, but it would be speaking as a friend, rather than a work colleague.

      1. ecnaseener*

        The friend has told OP that she has a TBI, which is a disability if symptoms persist. As a friend, it would be good for OP to suggest the friend look into accommodations/EAP/etc. (But no, it’s not OP’s responsibility as an employee of the same company to make this happen.)

    4. CRM*

      If you read more posts on this site, you would find that Allison is very supportive of workers with disabilities of all kinds, and strongly advocates for proper and fair workplace accommodations. If the person who wrote in was Bella’s manager, her advice likely would have included a discussion about this. However, the OP here is just a friend of Bella’s and has no connection to her job other than working at the same company (which is apparently quite large and has headquarters across the country!), in which case it would be highly inappropriate to intervene at that level. OP could suggest to Bella that she contact her company’s EAP if she is struggling at work (although even that could be offensive to Bella if she doesn’t view her TBI as a disability), but aside from that there isn’t more that OP can or should do aside from disconnect herself from the conversation to maintain the friendship.

      1. M*

        I only suggested it because the attitude around invisible disabilities is still a huge overarching problem across most workplaces, and I hesitate to believe that any one person/supervisor/mere mortal/etc. has it totally solved. These discussions take constant work, and I feel like it went unidentified as a potential issue here. I agree that the LW is not in the position to “do” something about her friend’s accommodations, but the way she talks about her workplace struggles is sort of an… orange? flag, to me. Even if LW is not The Disability HR Department, I feel that is still everybody’s responsibility to be aware of a little disability-discourse, at bare minimum.

        Okay, maybe for LW taking a “course” on neurodiversity is a big ask. Maybe check out the ND sections of TikTok and learn how people like to articulate their own experiences! It’s also a good way to know what these accommodations even look like. The LW notes that her friend always calls her coworkers/managers passive-aggressive. The thing is… she might not be wrong. A lot of managers who get sick of having to communicate with us default to approaching every new interaction with a bad attitude. Maybe a good accommodation for her would just be based on a clearer delivery of project information. And here’s the gag: if a well-informed manager started delivering information in a way that is clear to all ND team-members, studies have shown that even NT (neurotypical) employees benefit from the same environmental changes as well. It’s about inclusion, not about special treatment.

        1. CRM*

          I agree that workplaces need to do a better job acknowledging and helping people who have invisible disabilities, but that wasn’t what this question was about. OP wanted to know what they should do regarding Bella’s Twitter activity, and whether they should contact the manager. And the answer is that LW should NOT get involved!!

          You make a very good point about the accommodations that managers can make to help ND people. However, OP is not in a position to implement any of this. She doesn’t even work with Bella! The most she could do is point out that Bella’s struggles at work may be related to her TBI (which is what Allison recommended) and help her understand her options. But unless she is a very good friend of Bella’s, I think this would be inappropriate. I am also ND (chronic and severe anxiety), and I would be extremely upset if I vented about my boss one day and a casual friend said “your anxiety is causing all of these issues and you should ask for special accommodations at work”, without any context or knowledge about my anxiety, how my anxiety impacts my work, the many things I already do to manage my anxiety, or my relationship with my manager. Sometimes I just want to vent!

          Alison has discussed accommodations and provided lots of advice to managers of disabled employees (including invisible disabilities) in other letters, and I find her perspective to be empathetic and well-researched. I think that the Friday open discussion would also be a great place to continue this conversation with the members of this community. That said, I think it’s outside of the scope of this particular letter, and it’s not a huge problem that she didn’t address it. I appreciate your insight but I don’t think it’s fair to say that Allison doesn’t care about this subject when her posts have shown that she clearly does!

          1. M*

            I think you’re extrapolating this beyond what I’m actually saying. I have a problem with LW’s attitude toward their friend’s performance, and I think LW could benefit from learning to empathize with their friend.

            I also never said Alison “doesn’t care” about this subject, but I am genuinely a little confused by the choice to omit any attempt to orient the LW toward a more understanding and inclusive perspective. I’m sorry if you feel that the critique is too harsh, but I don’t. I’m happy to hear that you’ve been pleased with her track record so far. However, I still feel that this omission was worth pointing out.

        2. Thought Leader*

          From my understanding, it is not up to a manager (or coworker) to decide what types of accommodations someone needs. So suggesting a course… doesn’t necessarily help the manager if the employee who needs accommodations doesn’t request them.

  13. VidGameGrunt*

    For #3 I thought someone had finally written in about the Games Industry & was hoping it was going to be about the current state of affairs in it. There’s so much wrong with it (especially their own reliance on contractors) I’m surprised I don’t see more letters from folks in the industry. But I suppose we all just vent on Twitter & Discord instead. ;P

    1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

      Worked (very briefly) as a woman in the games industry and…..holy hell. When you’re expected to do 24 hour workdays, when complete mental breakdowns are ‘normal’, when staff are paid like trash, when sexual harassment is at endemic levels, when you’re expected to endure bullying…

      There’s a reason I left so very quickly. Okay, maintaining large corporate systems isn’t as glamorous as making the next GTA, granted, but there’s generally not so much of a toxic atmosphere.

      1. Forrest*

        There was an absolutely WILD twitter thread the other day from someone in the games industry about the Blizzard scandal, all “when people get drunk and harass people at work, it’s the harassing that’s the problem. Having alcohol at work is totally normal and reasonable when you work 18 hour days, the problem is the people who can’t handle their drink” and …

        1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

          It’s the same ilk of the ‘you have to drive at 100mph over the speed limit if the cars near you want to’.

    2. Eliza*

      There are some of us in the industry in the comments here, but I tend to talk about it as “digital media publishing” since I’m in a fairly niche branch of the field, and it’s easier to put it that way than to explain what a visual novel is or why 90% of my work on a video game involves editing text. (Also, I’m from more of a publishing background than a game industry background anyway, but I just sort of ended up where I am.)

      1. Phoenix Wright*

        As someone who loves visual novels (although I have more in my “to play” list than I’ve actually played), I can’t thank you enough for what you do.

    3. R*

      Yeah I was gonna say, that’s the games industry for you — worried about fictional characters’ workers rights but not caring that the game in question was one of many developed through crunch :)

      1. ecnaseener*

        I don’t think we can assume the LW doesn’t care about that, just because they picked a more lighthearted question to write in about.

        1. OP3*

          Yeah…I am following all of that (and so glad I didn’t pursue a career in the games industry), but since this is an advice column and I work as an accountant in a completely unrelated industry I don’t know what advice I could possibly need regarding labor, employment, and/or general workplace norms with respect to the games industry.
          However, my friends and I were having a conversation that became semi serious and I decided to write in to Alison to kind of decide the who’s right in our light-hearted argument. (Completly bummed that the answer is we’re both possibly right depending how you argue it lol.) My choice in topic doesn’t demonstrate a lack of caring.

    4. kiki*

      I feel like it can be hard to write in to a general professional advice column when so much of your industry is notoriously off the rails in a lot of ways. The root of so many issues is that few people have aligned themselves with professional norms, so handling things as a consummate professional would doesn’t always work.

      A former coworker of mine joined our non-gaming software company after spending most of her career thus-far in games and she was SOOO blown away by things most of us took for granted, like truly only being expected to work about 8 hours a day (barring true emergencies and rare crunches), getting paid above $13, being paid on time, not having to deal with drunken behavior during the workday, etc. If my former coworker wrote into Alison about an issue she had with her coworker being irritating to her when he was drunk during the day, I feel like the actual functional professional advice would be to talk to the coworker’s manager so he stops drinking during the work day. But if your manager encourages day-drinking and thinks you’re whiny for not just dealing with it AND all the manager’s peers and superiors agree AND this is a somewhat common mindset across your whole industry… there’s not as much one lower-level individual can really do to change an entire culture of an organization, let alone an industry.

      1. OP3*


        This probably sums up why we don’t really see many letters from that industry: those in charge are driving that culture and don’t see whats wrong and those being injured by that culture are either keenly aware the need to get tf out and therefore don’t need advice or are completely unaware that there’s a better working culture outside their industry and therefore wouldn’t think to write in.

        That said though I would be fascinated to get Alison’s take on how such a culture becomes so endemic and what could be done by individual employees to fix it.

      2. Tali*

        Yeah, even the state of California is struggling to do something about it. Not sure what a work blog can do except say “Yep that is crazy and bad”… whole books have been written about this, but it’s a fast-growing cash cow for major corporations and lots of uninformed young people willing to put up with it to work in a “glamorous” industry. It’s going to take a lot more work to make things better.

  14. Em*

    Dear LW 1, I think the fact that you both work for the same company somehow mistakenly led you to believe you can “report” on her private twitter thoughts to her work management. Which shouldn’t be the case, since her account’s just that, private. Your work obligations shouldn’t extend into her private rants in this context. Some Twitter users do use it for such purposes, like a digital diary of sorts to relieve some grievances and feel better. Why else would they lock it? You’ll be stepping out of line and violating her trust by sharing such details. I don’t think I’d alert her management unless it’s something morally unethical, like announcing she’s going to steal from her workplace, hurt someone at work, etc. I know reading her tweets probably puts a huge damper on your spirits and is concerning in general, but the best way to handle it is to simply mute her account or unfollow.

    1. V. Anon*

      Also, reporting from another division a continent away? As others have pointed out upthread, that could get the LW’s friend fired. But if I was LW’s manager and it got back to me (and it probably would) that she had taken the trouble to meddle in another dept we have nothing to do with I would seriously question her judgement. And I’d take her aside to tell her so. Get your nose out of other people’s business and attend to your own.

    2. Middle School Teacher*

      Yes I agree. This letter feels icky. I don’t really know what OP1 hopes to accomplish here.

  15. Despachito*

    I’d argue that the mere fact you went to an institution endorsing a certain view does not mean that you endorse it yourself (unless you, clearly, act as such).

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Because you’re outside the U.S., you’re perhaps unfamiliar with these specific institutions and the role they play here. You don’t go to Liberty or Oral Roberts if you don’t endorse their viewpoints; it’s like suggesting you’d attend a Pentecostal religious camp without having any connection to their views.

      1. JSPA*

        I’m somewhat but not entirely playing devil’s advocate here, but I have known (and you probably have also known) people who went to “institution closest to home” or “institution offering a scholarship” or “institution parents were willing to pay for,” even if they found the institutional views loathsome (or were entirely naive).

        Or, for that matter, went to the local camp, because it was the only local camp, or the camp where their best friend went, only to find out it was intensely religious. Or LGBTQ+ people whose parents were only willing to send them to a college or camp that would not “encourage” their “tendencies.”

        So there’s a strong correlation, but not at all an absolute correlation. (Possibly bimodal in distribution, at a guess, with those who didn’t buy in being very actively turned off.)

        1. Bibi*

          But that is not the case with institutions like Liberty or Oral Roberts, where behavioral standards are strictly enforced even when students are home for vacation. These places are draconian: women cannot wear trousers. You cannot hold hands in public. dates are mandatory and supervised. And they’re expensive, to boot! There’s simply no chance that you will go there and not ascribe to the ideology, unless your parents force you.

            1. anon.*

              You could also go because your perspective is so limited, and you could eventually break out of that perspective.

          1. Gammagirl1908*

            This. There are plenty of schools with a religious affiliation that’s not the whole reason they exist. These are not those schools. They are religious institutions first, colleges second.

            I went to Georgetown University, which is famously Catholic-affiliated, for graduate school; I was not expected to be Catholic or follow Catholic tenets and teachings in my public or private life. If you were Catholic, fine, but it didn’t have any bearing on your schooling if you were or weren’t. You also could be agnostic or Muslim or Buddhist or Jewish or Wiccan or Episcopalian with absolutely no issue; not even a blip if you followed the practices of another faith. There was very little religious influence at all in my experience there (there were crucifixes on the wall in most classrooms, a lot of religiously influenced art, et cetera, but I never felt hit over the head with it). There clearly was the opportunity for heavier religious influence if you sought it out, but I didn’t feel much of it while studying a very secular subject. (…and I describe myself as “mildly Christian leaning toward agnostic.” I would barely notice a crucifix on the wall, but I would certainly notice, say, a prayer at the beginning or end of class.)

            Not these joints. This is a genre of schools where their hard-core strict conservative religious affiliation overshadows their actual education and controls every aspect of student behavior. If you’re not a member of their strict conservative faith, you’re still expected to get on board. They have hard-core conservative religious philosophies and teach them as part of the curriculum and adhere to them as part of the culture of the school. I didn’t have to pray the rosary or take communion at Georgetown, but I’m sure the whole student body is expected to avoid alcohol and premarital sex at Oral Roberts et al. Then that’s BEFORE the bigoted / racist / misogynistic / xenophobic elements of their philosophy.

            TL;DR: there are colleges with religious affiliations (often started by a religious order back in, like, 1805, but they’ve expanded way beyond that), and then there are strict religious institutions masquerading as colleges. We’re discussing the latter, which often have a terrible reputation outside of their faiths.

            1. Old and Don't Care*

              Ah, but Georgetown is a Jesuit school, not a Catholic school. (Catholic school joke.)

              1. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

                As a Catholic, I find this hilarious.

                (The Jesuits have something of a reputation among Catholics. There is an entire class of jokes that begin “A Franciscan, a Dominican, and a Jesuit…”, and I only know of one where the Jesuit is doesn’t get the punchline.)

            2. UKDancer*

              I can definitely see the difference. Most of the older universities in the UK were set up with a religious ethos. If you look at Oxford (1167) or Cambridge (1209) the original institutions were heavily church linked and you can see it in the names of some of the colleges (Corpus Christi, Christchurch, Emmanuel) but none of that seeks to impose any religious obligation on the students now. People can be as religious or not as they please.

              Even more modern 19th century institutions like UCL which were founded to “provide Christian education” no longer have a religious manifest attached to their work.

              I think perhaps that’s why it’s harder for non-US people to get their heads around a religious university because we just don’t have an equivalent to my knowledge in the UK.

              I can’t speak for everywhere else in Europe I’ve studied in Germany and the university there didn’t have any religious rules that I could see. I mean I sang in the large university choir and we did some religious stuff around Easter but that was my choice.

              1. Forrest*

                We have some smaller Anglican and Catholic institutions which were teacher training colleges or seminaries until fairly recently and have only just gained university status– York St John and Leeds Trinity were Anglican and Catholic teacher training colleges respectively, and retain their affiliations. You could very easily study at either and not notice it, though, unless you particularly objected to graduating in York Minster.

                1. UKDancer*

                  Yes definitely. Also York St John regularly features in the Stonewall Top100 inclusive employers and usually sponsors a float at Pride which is a definite although not conclusive indicator of their attitude. I don’t know Leeds Trinity as well.

          2. Waiting on the bus*

            Dates are mandatory???? D:
            I can’t think of any explanation for that that isn’t supremely gross and sexist.

            1. Bibi*

              There isn’t one!

              My friend’s sibling went to a very strange “Bible college” where everyone was forced to go on supervised group dates every Friday. This is not a joke. I don’t recall the name of the school; it wasn’t Liberty but they have equally messed-up behavior rules.

              1. UKDancer*

                I can’t think of anything worse than having to go on group dates. That sounds way too intrusive. For me the best thing about university was that I could do what I liked and hang with who I liked (mainly the Science Fiction society, the G&S group and the debating society). It was way better than school because there was so much freedom and nobody laughed at you for wanting to pursue nerdy interests like SciFi. I can’t think of anything worse than someone else trying to decide who I should date.

              2. Quickbeam*

                The next town over from me has a college where the women are not allowed to wear pants, date or be seen with a member of the opposite sex. It’s a creepy throw back, Stepford Wife training school. Yes, in the US. I understand the rest of the world never sees this stuff but it does exist.

                1. Librarian1*

                  Wheaton? (the Illinois one) They apparently started allowing supervised dancing on campus in 2003, but they don’t allow off campus dancing.

                2. Lentils*

                  Hah, I had many illicit dance parties in my friends’ dorms. We also had secret R-rated movie nights (banned on campus) and I accidentally left the RENT soundtrack in my car’s CD player once while driving my RA and some floormates to an event. Conservative colleges teach you how to be secretive, that’s for sure!

                3. Filosofickle*

                  It was Biola, 30 years ago. (Originally an acronym for Bible Institute of Los Angeles.) I checked and their current policy is:
                  “Choreographed and/or performance dancing is allowed on campus. University sponsored dances are not permitted. Each member of the Biola community is expected to exercise individual judgment, and with recognition that some dancing is inappropriate.”

          3. Ana*

            Mandatory dates?? As in people go there to get married? Do they at least get to choose who to go on a date with??

            1. Kippy*

              “Ring by spring.”

              Yes, you’re expected to pair up and get married. Then have lots of kids that you raise in the same belief system.

          4. Sunday school*

            Women can wear trousers at Liberty. Heck, they can wear trousers at Bob Jones now. Doesn’t mean either school has redeemed itself (they haven’t) but this part is not accurate currently. Source: I graduated from a similar institution and pay pretty close attention to that world.

            To OP, yes there will be people who judge you based on your school, sometimes not the people you expect. However, graduates from the colleges can move on to have fulfilling careers. It’s also really common for people to go to these schools because they grew up conservative, encounter new people and new ideas, and change. You are not your college.

            Allison’s advice, along with other suggestions here (pronouns on resume, etc) is good for signaling that change. Two things I’d add: 1) I keep that I graduated from one of these fundie colleges real quiet, people don’t know until they absolutely have to (I hand them my resume) or I trust them. This allows me to build my reputation in new orgs without the weight of my alma mater. 2) You may want to figure out what you’ll say if you’re asked about it—why did you go there, what was it like? This won’t always happen, but again it’s a chance to pull your reputation out of your school’s a bit and put things in context for an interviewer.

          5. Gray Lady*

            This characterization does not fit Liberty U. It does fit a few religious colleges/universities, but Liberty’s on-campus culture is not this extreme. However, the point still stands — Liberty and similar institutions, while not being as draconian in behavioral supervision, do require affirmative buy-in to their religious principles from their students.

          6. Who Am I*

            “unless your parents force you to” is a key phrase here. I don’t know how common that is now but I’m kind of old and it wasn’t at all unusual when I was in high school. Of course it’s easy to say “but a high school graduate is an adult, they can do what they want” which is legally true but not necessarily easy in practical application. Especially true when your financial aid depended on your parents’ (not just your) income until you were 25 years old or married, even if they intended to pay nothing. (Is that still the case?) I knew several kids who were in that situation so ended up at colleges they didn’t really agree with and wouldn’t have chosen themselves. I think some applied to other colleges but ended up where their parents strong-armed them into going but others applied only to the list of approved schools.

            1. Humble Schoolmarm*

              I know this was still happening in the 2000s when I was applying to university (although, in my country institutions like Liberty aren’t a thing and universities’ religious affiliations are more historical than anything). I had a number of friends whose parents would only pay (some or part) tuition for certain schools and at least one whose parent conveniently “forgot” to mail their application documents. If parents who just want their child to live at home or study program X will do this, I’d imagine it’s even more common among parents with fundamentalist views.

            2. quill*

              Yeah, financial abuse of people’s children when it comes to college is pretty rampant. Especially because the application process, and getting loans started, is not necessarily done when you’re a legal adult! If you do early decision or your birthday is in the second half of the school year you are 17 when you confirm a college acceptance and work on the financials of it.

              Frankly easy avenues of financial abuse regarding college (and just having access to your kid’s financial info overall) don’t just cut off at 18 either. An 18 year old has virtually no credit score. They have to go to a bank to remove their parent as someone who can access any bank account they established as a minor, assuming that 1) they have the documentation of the account to do so 2) a sufficient ID 3) won’t suffer horrible consequences when / if their parent finds out they can’t get into the account anymore.

              Also, the more authoritarian parents are, the more financial abuse tends to happen.

            3. Zephy*

              To answer your parenthetical, yes, financial aid eligibility takes parent income into account for all undergraduate students who are under 24, unmarried, aren’t supporting dependents of their own*, and are not enlisted**. Graduate students are automatically independent regardless of age, marital/parental status, or military service.

              (*Students who have children of their own may still be counted as dependent for aid purposes if they are not supporting said children >50%.)

              (**Students can be considered independent for financial aid purposes if they have completed at least one day of basic training and, if they are not active-duty military, were discharged under any condition other than dishonorable.)

              1. JustaTech*

                And that financial aid eligibility can have a huge impact on one’s school choices. I had a friend in high school who ended up at a Catholic college (not even close to her first choice) because her senior year of high school her parents decided not to pay for college (when they’d been paying for private high school and had the money).
                Luckily, one school she’d applied to had offered a substantial scholarship, because otherwise she would have been completely out of luck, as it was too late to become an emancipated minor.

                (All of this came out in ceramics class while she had a completely understandable meltdown. Finally the ceramics teacher said “Just remember this: *you* will choose their nursing home.” Not a kind thing, but it finally got through the tears.)

            4. ObserverCN*

              This was definitely true at my college. Lots of people only went there because their parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles did, and they likely didn’t care about religious stuff.

          7. banoffee pie*

            How do they stop women wearing trousers when they’re at home on vacation? Serious question, not sarcastic. I’m in the UK where we don’t have any universities like this (I think? I could be wrong and please tell me if I am).

            1. quill*

              I think they stalk your social media. No idea how they monitor it otherwise… aside from having other students snitch?

            2. Ana Gram*

              I think women who are ok attending a college that forbids them from wearing pants don’t want to wear pants so they never do? Personally, I wouldn’t go to a Pensacola Christian College or Bob Jones because of rules like these but people who do probably espouse these beliefs.

              1. banoffee pie*

                What if they change their minds about wearing pants halfway through though? I suppose they have to tough it out til the end of the degree!

            3. UKDancer*

              No I don’t think we have anything like this in the UK (certainly not in GB, I can’t speak for NI). I mean we have seminaries and the Anglican equivalent for people who want to go into ministry and I’d imagine if you go there you’d have to abide by the rules of the faith you’re going to. I’m insufficiently informed about non Christian equivalent training systems to comment what happens for imams and rabbis.

              I don’t think we have universities teaching regular subjects but imposing religious rules and codes of conduct on the student population. Or if we do I’ve never heard of them and I don’t think they’d be very popular. That’s just not the way things tend to be done.

              I mean I shared a university campus flat with a fairly devout catholic and a not very devout Muslim and they went to their respective services and observed their respective rules but neither of them expected everyone else to do so. You did your thing and everyone else did theirs.

              1. banoffee pie*

                Bible Colleges in the UK (even NI) don’t care if women wear trousers, as far as I know. Unless there are some really extreme ones hiding somewhere?! I even know a girl who went to Bible College in NI – I assume some of these universities we’re taling about in the US don’t believe in women preaching?

          8. NancyDrew*

            There was a strong evangelical cult (in my opinion) in the town I grew up in, and a bunch of kids from my high school went to a religious college in Ohio where men and women literally had separate sidewalks.

            Not surprisingly, the kids who went there from my town all either never worked (ie, became stay-at-home moms — never dads) or worked in religious organizations or churches. Colleges like that intentionally set you up for futures where these are your only options.

        2. pleaset cheap rolls*

          I don’t think you could you can go to Liberty U and “just find out” it’s intensely bigotedly religious.

          Parents giving no other option is about the only excuse I can think of.

          1. UKDancer*

            I don’t know much about US universities but I’m assuming it says on their website and information so you would know about their ethos and values.

            Most universities in the UK have information on the website about their values and the type of environment they offer to students. We don’t really have religious universities but if you were looking at something like seminary or a theological college they usually tell you what their values are and what student experience they offer, whether the halls are single sex or mixed etc etc.

            So I think it’s hard to sign up for somewhere not knowing what it’s like. Especially if they have rules banning trousers for women for example or trying to regulate peoples’ personal life excessively.

            1. ROUS*

              I have a friend who went to Bob Jones University (it’s like Oral Roberts) as a 17 year old freshman and yes, she definitely knew before she went. There’s no way to “just discover” it was bigoted. This is a place that bans Croc shoes in the dress code because they’re too revealing. (As for my friend, she fled as soon as she turned 18 and moved across the country before she was able to come out).

          2. MsSolo (UK)*

            I definitely have at least one US friend who’s extremely religious university choice (one of the ‘you will be expelled if anyone reports you for having a member of the opposite sex in your room, even if you were just studying in a larger group, because we can’t imagine putting people of the opposite sex in proximity to a bed and premarital sex not occuring’ types) was definitely due to her parents – there were scholarship and affordability elements in play as well, in that her parents’ church had a fund to support people if they attended specific schools, but ultimately her choice was that or no college, and even the extremely religious college represented enough freedom for her to start taking steps away from her family (and the church) and finding her own awesome queer self.

          3. Blackcat*

            “I don’t think you could you can go to Liberty U and “just find out” it’s intensely bigotedly religious. ”

            Eh, I can see it happening for some of their online degree programs. If you think your choice is like, University of Phoenix or Liberty for a relatively affordable, 100% online degree, Liberty checks the “not for profit” box and likely offers a better education. Liberty has one of the largest online degree programs in the country and it’s marketing is 100% secular.

            1. pleaset cheap rolls*

              Well that is damning on your curiosity/thoroughness.

              “I wasn’t bigoted – I just had no clue how I was spending my money. Hire me.” Not a good look.

              1. Blackcat*

                I have a fair bit of sympathy for people who fall into the trap of predatory marketing for for-profit/not very well regarded educational programs.

                1. pleaset cheap rolls*

                  I have a little sympathy, but it’s still not a good message on a resume if the the job includes, say, getting general knowledge of the world or using good judgement. If the job has very little scope of independent though outside of very prescribed boundaries, then it probably doesn’t matter.

                  And again, I feel for people who were forced/pushed to go their by parents. That does not reflect on them at all.

              2. quill*

                I mean, there are a lot of scam universities. Some are just preying on the students for money, others are preying on students for money to support their extremism and bigotry.

                It’s a lot easier now than it was five or ten years ago to figure out if a school is a sack of extremist shit, but it’s not much easier to get the money and acceptance together to start school, so I would briefly pause judgement on the people who were still dependents of their parents when they were applying to these schools, and potentially restricted in where they could apply, either financially or by parental approval. I would be less likely to pause judgement if someone went there for a masters.

            2. Doug Judy*

              My undergrad was LU online. I knew the man campus was conservative but online is definitely marketed more secular. I was Christmas but supported LGBTQ rights, and sadly didn’t give much thought to where I attended online school. This was 15ish years ago. I should have dug deeper but I did not. That was wrong and I own that. Now I’m a agnostic very liberal person. I can’t change what I did 15 years ago. I’m not that person at all. I’m embarrassed where I went. I did get a masters from a local university later on. But unlike leaving a problematic job off a resume, leaving ones sole degree off isn’t possible and not everyone can just get another degree. Leave space for people changing (especially if they graduated long ago) and maybe do some social media digging to see if you can assess how they are now. A quick look at my Linked In would make it obvious my viewpoints have changed drastically. I’m not sure what else I can do.

            3. Grad Student by Proxy*

              I helped a friend of mine with the research for his degree from Liberty. They were the best option for him due to it being online and them giving him credits for his life experiences called “Experience Plus”. His military and law enforcement time cut the amount of classes he would have to take. Add in that the tuition was in his budget and there I go searching a certain version of the bible for quotes to match every assignment.

              Aside from the heavy emphasis on having bible quotes in everything, there wasn’t much religious expression except at the graduation. He was getting a degree in business, not one of the sciences, which might be more questionable.

              And I helped him enough for me to be invited to his graduation and for him to give me his stole of gratitude, so I was there every step of the way. It does greatly amuse me that a colleague of mine will rag on Liberty when I have a stole from there framed in my office at our state university.

              My friend was getting the degree for advancement at work, so initially it wasn’t going to factor into a job search. However, he did leave that job and it didn’t seem to stop him from getting further positions. It could be that his resume modeled on Alison’s recommendations helped.

              1. Cordelia*

                this whole thread is so interesting for me – I’m another reader from the UK who didn’t really have much awareness of these types of institution. But, are you really saying that your friend’s assignments had to be structured around appropriate bible quotes? I can’t see how that doesn’t have a negative effect on the quality of the learning, it would certainly make me question the academic rigour of the course and doubt that it compared to that at other universities. I’m glad its worked out well for him, but I just find it extraordinary!

                1. Grad Student by Proxy*

                  Yes, my friend’s assignments were on business topics, but had to incorporate bible quotes, which lead to much googling. He learned business principles and I learned how to weave bible quotes into everything. I was his editor as well as his researcher. The things we do for friends!

                  Not sure the impact on his learning, since incorporating bible quotes were just part of the things he had to get through. He does not regret getting the degree and is now a real estate manager, which uses some of his business skills.

        3. Sylvan*

          I’m not sure you understand the kind of schools being talked about. Liberty University, for example, isn’t a conservative-leaning Christian university with a long history of good academics. It has a short history of being founded for the purpose of segregation and then serving no real purpose except to end up in the news for doing something horrible periodically.

        4. quill*

          I mean hell, I went to the most affordable institute I could go to, but 1) I wasn’t raised in an insular and controlling religious environment 2) my parents let me quit our religion when the time came for me to get confirmed because they believed it had to be a free choice to commit to the religion 3) my parents and teachers had good advice on what was a legitimate institution with a good record, and would not have wanted me to go to a college that was going to normalize descrimination.

          Overall there’s a lot of abuses inherent in the system that produces students of Oral Roberts et. al. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be wary (you should be VERY WARY) but I would not be adverse to say, looking to see if someone is breaking free of the abusive system before throwing out the resume.

        5. Ellie*

          There’s a very strong correlation, and it would give me pause if I saw any of those schools on a resume (I live in Australia, and we have our own religious schools here. They’re probably not as bad, but they’d still give me pause). But people can change, and kids have been known to conform to the views of their parents without really thinking about what that means, and who that hurts. So I’d do my best to set it aside, but would be watching for any potential problems in the interview.

          My advice to OP would be to really try to counteract that impression in their cover letter (and resume if they can manage it). Make a point of saying that you love working with a diverse group of people and love how different perspectives come together to make for a stronger product/service, etc.

      2. Despachito*

        I see, thanks.

        I was thinking along the line JSPA is suggesting (as we are a much smaller country and if you want to go to a university to study a certain subject there can only be one or two for you to pick from, and sometimes you apply for both and are only accepted in one, so no real choice for you).

        I understand that if there is a whole range for you to choose the situation is different (yet I’d think a lot of what JSPA says can come into play as well).

        This said, there was a scandal in one of our universities some time ago when some bigwigs basically bought their titles, and that university has been for a long time tainted with that, and its graduates at least teased about it, at worst not taken as seriously as if they had studied elsewhere. So I see at the same time the concern and the fact it might be unjust towards the person who studied properly/is not a homophobe, but it is the way things are. (But still I’d cringe at the thought that this person would be expected to somehow redeem the fact he studied there.)

        1. AcademiaNut*

          I suspect that anyone who accidentally ended up applying, getting accepted, and actually starting classes without knowing about the ideology and code of behaviour would be appalled when they arrived, and immediately start trying to transfer anywhere else. In a much more minor example, I had a classmate who ended up in an Opus Dei run dormitory in grad school, with 10pm curfews, no opposite sex visitors and other similar rules. He made it through the semester, but got out as soon as possible.

          1. Bibi*

            Opus Dei is scary! I have a few friends who went to Opus Dei for K-12 education and they all absolutely hate religion of any kind as a result. One guy has scars, literal physical scars. (Not located in the US)

      3. Claire*

        So, FWIW, I grew up and went to high school a few hours away from Liberty and they were throwing scholarships at kids who had higher grades/SAT scores than were typical for Liberty but not high enough to get merit scholarships at other nearby schools (they also offered merit scholarships to one friend who had a green card and was not eligible for a lot of other aid). Most people ignored them because it’s Liberty, but I know two who went because it was their chance to go debt free. One got kinda brainwashed and her parents had to convince her to transfer, the other kept his head down for four years and graduated with some sort of business degree. I also once had a state track meet there and noticed that they seemed to go out of their way to appear normal around prospective students – I feel like they are so much in the news that parents should be able to see through it, but it doesn’t surprise me if some 18 year olds wouldn’t.

        1. Mo*

          This was me! I grew up in a church that promoted LU, and a was a naive teenager who believed everything my church said and paid no mind to politics. I applied and got a full-tuition scholarship – which ended up being the deciding factor for me to choose it. At the time, I thought I agreed with their thought (religiously), but I didn’t realize how politically involved the school was (this was right before a certain recent presidential candidate began running). Once I got there, I was appalled at the politics/religion soup they were shoving down people’s throats and it made me reevaluate my own religious and political beliefs – and I came out of it solidly left-wing. But, full tuition scholarship meant I kept my head down until I graduated for the debt-freedom.

        2. Shenandoah*

          As my name might indicate, I also grew up in that area, and ditto your comment about them trying to project normal vibes.

      4. Katefish*

        I went to an accredited religious school that still falls enough into this category for my experience to be relevant. My impression was that the school had a much better reputation (as far as post-grad hiring) locally than in the rest of the country specifically because locally, everyone knew someone utterly normal who’d gone to our school, and, in fact, a large minority of students were not there for the religious affiliation, but because we were the only school offering XYZ degree in a certain region. Nationally, though, I think employers did make assumptions similar to the ones being discussed here. I’m not a fundamentalist and have had a good career, and I graduated during the Great Recession, so it’s hard to say if my school choice caused my delayed career launch or if that was everything else shortly after 2008.

      5. OP#2*

        I will say, for undergrad at least, it often reflects the views of the parents more than the students. Many, if not most, were anywhere from mildly pressured to straight-up forced to attend a religious college.

        1. Kit*

          Yep, I’ve got a friend who was in a similar situation for undergrad – they’ve since come out as queer NB and are a pretty fabulous human, but even a religious college can be a huge step towards independence from one’s parents, both financially and intellectually. Their first exposure to a lot of diversity was college, thanks to having grown up in a very conservative community in Texas, which is another reason that kids like them might have radically different views as working adults than would be ‘expected’ of a graduate of such an institution.

          You’ve gotten some good advice on how to help overcome the hurdle this represents, and you’re not alone – best of luck!

        2. Nesprin*

          I’d argue that putting Liberty U on your resume would be an action that you undertook willingly. Would interview a no-degree listing person over a Liberty U degree listing person.

          1. CRM*

            Being 100% honest, I would interview someone who went to Liberty U over someone who didn’t list their degree. Having Liberty U on a resume isn’t great, but if they were otherwise a strong candidate then I would certainly give them a chance and try to figure out the level of connection they currently have to the school and it’s values. But if someone doesn’t list a degree on their resume at all, I’m going to assume that they don’t have one. Whether it’s right or not (I’m definitely not saying that it is), most of our positions require a bachelors degree at least, so lacking one would put them out of contention.

      6. HigherEd*

        But what about the person who went to a school like that and later completely shifted viewpoints? There are plenty of ex-evangelicals wandering around in the world that don’t deserve to be judged on where they either chose to go to school at age 18 or were forced to go to school at age 18 any more than anyone else should be judged based on any number of ill-advised decisions they made at age 18.

      1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

        I was really interested to see that, but the link didn’t work for me. :-(
        I got this:

        The page you requested was not found.
        Possible Causes:

        The link is broken
        The page was deleted or moved
        The address was misspelled or incorrect

    1. Workerbee*

      Also what I was thinking.

      Bella’s complaint on Twitter during the work day about a colleague noting she’s on Twitter a lot is an extra level of obtuseness!

    2. Acronyms Are Life (AAL)*

      Yup, have seen a few people in the office on Facebook or Twitter when I walked by. Most cubes in our office were set up so a person approached you from behind or transited around behind you allowing them to see your screens. I would say that is the most logical reason why co-worker knows she was on twitter.

    3. SleepyKitten*

      I came here to say this! In fact it’s probably MORE likely because Bella complained on Twitter about the coworker, which would be particularly silly if the coworker could see it.

  16. MeowMixers*

    I’m glad for the question by LW2. It’s something that I have wondered about. I started a Master’s degree at Liberty, not realizing the scandals they were involved in. It was known to be a good school in the area I lived in and they provided discounts for working for my previous company. Thankfully I have stopped being stupidly oblivious to it as I looked into these scandals. I’ve stopped working on my degree. One day I’ll go to a different school to finish it. I think anyone who is aware of these things will find it concerning on a resume. I would hope interviewers have the insight to ask questions on diversity and inclusion.

    1. Personal Best In Consecutive Days Lived*

      I hope you’re able to transfer at least some courses for credit? Good luck on your degree!

  17. FD*

    #2- Would you recommend omitting the school entirely from your resume if you did go to a more wingnut school? I went to a more Liberty University-like school (although it is actually properly accredited and is a lot less infamous). I always feel between a rock and a hard place because I’m still at a stage where places ask about a degree so it’s mostly on my resume to show “Yep, I did go to college.” (Which is BS for a lot of the jobs I’m applying for but there you have it.)

    There isn’t a really a good way to say on your resume, “Tried to pray the gay away, would not recommend.”

    1. Bibi*

      I used to know a girl who had done her BA and MEd at Liberty, but had totally abandoned their ideology by the time I met her. She was very proactive in interviews and cover letters about saying “I attended Liberty University but no longer share their beliefs” Usually, people would accept her explanation and not judge her too harshly. If that’s any comfort to you!

      If it’s a real school, known more for academics and research than lunatic policies–I mean, technically Notre Dame is a “religious” school, right?– then there should be no harm in mentioning it. If it’s somewhere like Bob Jones, maybe have a quick explainer at the ready, e.g.: “I chose Fundiepants U because of their strong program offerings in the field of toenail-polishing, and not for any idealogical reasons.”

      1. FD*

        It’s an accredited school, by which I mean they got proper accreditation and not just accreditation from a religious-specific body. But it’s not in the same category as Notre Dame, where you might go even if you weren’t Catholic.

        It’s also pretty obscure–it’s not a name that many people would recognize, especially outside the small and frankly self-isolating community it caters to. But Googling would make it pretty obvious what it’s about.

        I mean, if I actually get to an interview, I usually just drop a mention of my wife in at some point in a way that seems casual (partly also to screen out employers who are going to be a jerk about my orientation). It’s just one of those things that I worry about leaving on my resume *and* worry about leaving off it.

        1. Kate*

          I also went to an obscure Liberty U type school, and it was the greatest relief of my life when I graduated from my master’s program and could put another school first on my resume, so I sympathize. I’m now thirteen years past my undergrad degree, and so far it has not been a debilitating factor in getting religious or secular employment. (Going on my fourth year in my current secular workplace, thriving, and loving it.) That being said, I think the above commentator’s advice to put your pronouns on your resume is true genius.

        2. pleaset cheap rolls*

          “It’s also pretty obscure–it’s not a name that many people would recognize, especially outside the small and frankly self-isolating community it caters to.”

          I’m aware of LU because I see it’s name associated with national-level bigots in the news.

          There may be similarly bigotedly religious schools that don’t have that kind of profile that I would not recognize. But Liberty – yes. But then I live in Sodom & Gomorrah – I mean in New York City.

        3. Jyn’Leeviyah the Red*

          I loved the earlier idea someone posted about putting your pronouns up top with your name — normalizes doing so, gives prospective employers the cue that you’re supportive, and, like you said, helps you to weed out anyone who would balk. Plus, then you remove the worry of trying to work other info into the conversation if it doesn’t come up.

    2. BRR*

      The very big challenge is college degrees are often the very criteria employers use to screen people out. I’m even wondering if the lw should explore a masters degree if they’re in a position to do that or see if some of their undergraduate classes will transfer and pursue a second bachelors degree and only list that one.

      1. FD*

        Yeah, I know, that’s my pickle, as I see it. But for most people, spending tens of thousands of dollars on a second degree just for that is not a reasonable thing to do.

    3. Khatul Madame*

      No, I recommend keeping it on. I’ve seen LU on candidates’ resumes and was concerned about them fitting in with our diverse team. However, I’d interview them if they had relevant work experience and enough of it, meaning that even if they were indoctrinated at or before college, they were able to function and produce in an office environment. It helps that we’re in IT, not genetic engineering ;)
      If I, as a hiring manager in my field, were looking at a resumes that had a for-profit school or an accredited college with a wingnut reputation, I’d be leery of both, albeit for different reasons.

      1. pleaset cheap rolls*

        I’m ulta-left and I’d try to do the same, assuming there was not a pattern of association with similarly aligned institutions or something that gave me a similar vibe from the cover letter.

    4. different seudonym*

      You survived. I’m glad you did. For what it’s worth, I think other queer people will often be very alive to nuance and complexity here. We often know others in your position.

    5. quill*

      Probably not work appropriate way to say “tried to pray the gay away, would not recommend,” but I’m queer and I just ugly laughed in my cubicle.

    6. Lentils*

      Ooh, I wonder if we went to the same school? (PNW area) Sympathetic high five from a fellow gay survivor of a shitty religious college. (Actually my department – English – kicked ass, it was literally every other aspect of being there that sucked. I wouldn’t have stuck it out if my department hadn’t been so good.)

      I will say that I’ve been able to find steady employment since I graduated college with my school on my resume, but I bury it at the bottom, lol.

      1. FD*

        Nope, mine was somewhere else.

        Yeah, I got a decent-ish education? Besides the religion and philosophy, even the science was pretty okay! (Like, they taught evolution etc. Ultra-orthodox Catholics are way less worried about that compared to fundamentalist Protestants, as a group.) Early stage professors take what they can get sometimes. I mean, it was completely useless in the end because I didn’t go onto grad school but I can write papers like nobody’s business.

        But hoo-boy, that was an experience I would not care to repeat.

  18. EventPlannerGal*

    OP1 – I’m a bit confused as to why you think it’s your place to “give a heads-up to her manager” or what they ought to do if you did. A heads-up about what? That they have an employee with some negative opinions about their job who vents sometimes on her private, locked twitter? A heads-up that Bella has some “coachable issues”? I get that if you’re a problem-solver it might be your instinct to step in, but I think that the people who actually work directly with her – as opposed to reading her Twitter vents from a thousand miles away – probably are more familiar with her issues and degree of coachability than you are.

    I do understand your desire to do something for your friend, but this just isn’t your place. If she hasn’t asked you to be a sounding board (has she even spoken to you directly about any of this, or just posted on her Twitter which you happen to follow?) then she probably doesn’t want you to be. You already seem to understand that unfollowing/muting is the best option, so I think you just need to do that and as they say around here, mind your own beeswax.

  19. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

    OP1: Writing as a person with more psychological issues than limbs here.

    It’s perfectly normal and human to want to see a friend or loved one NOT crash into the ditch you can see their car heading toward if they don’t sort out their steering pretty darn soon.

    It’s also really beneficial to know when to step back and not watch.

    Most of my severe career mistakes have been because I did stuff not entirely unlike your friend (with an added dose of losing my temper at work) and the only reason I actually dealt with the issues and reformed myself was because at some point the consequences caught up with me big time.

    Unless she directly asks you for advice or help, stay back. Trust me it’s better for *your* mental health.

    1. Allypopx*

      Ha, more psychological issues than limbs, I’m stealing that.

      Strong agree. If people offer me unsolicited advice I get SUPER defensive – I try not to, it’s an RSD reaction, but even if I outwardly stay composed I’m almost certainly not internalizing the advice. However, if someone just makes themselves kindly and nonjudgementally available to me, I might go to them once I’m actually in trouble (see: when my own BS comes back to bite me). The latter might be a better stance for you to take – just be aware and on standby but don’t meddle.

      1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        That’s also true – the people I trust most to go to when I’m really in trouble are the ones who don’t give unsolicited advice. Also, I think seeing the consequences of my actions when I just kept doing them was the most powerful lesson I ever learnt.

  20. PrairieEffingDawn*

    1- I assumed Bella’s coworker is seeing her posting Tweets from her desk at work a lot and called her out on that, not necessarily that the coworker follows her on Twitter. But I guess if this is a WFH situation it could be the opposite.

    1. ThatGirl*

      This was my thought – in the office, someone might notice that I have Twitter up on my browser, though I try not to make it super-obvious or spend a lot of time there.

  21. WFH Forever*

    OP 2– In addition to concerns I would have as a manager regarding the negative reputation the school has when it comes to many social justice issues, I also worry about how candidates from these schools view having a female manager. The ideology taught at so many of these places places men above women when it comes to leadership and I wouldn’t want to risk dealing with that. In all likelihood there would be plenty of other candidates to choose from who don’t have this as a red flag on their resume.

    1. quill*

      Yeah, it would be heavily dependent on the specifics of the school and the specifics of the affiliated religion. Some schools are far more publically bigoted than many people would judge the religion as a whole to be.

      (For example: I personally grew up catholic in an environment where the joke was that if the pope said “feed the hungry” everyone would say “oh yes, feed the hungry, great idea your holiness” and if he then said “women are inferior” or “don’t let gay people in the church” most people would say “what was that your holiness? I couldn’t hear you over all the feeding the hungry we’re doing!” but I know other people who grew up catholic without an environment that prioritized community over obedience. And there’s enough diversity of catholic teaching, worldwide, that I assume fewer people would be making judgement calls if I’d gone to a catholic affiliated university, especially one that welcomed members of other faiths, than if I had belonged to a smaller denomination or gone to a more insular school. Also it does help that catholocism has never been a dominant religion overall in the US, where I am from and live, than the proliferation of protestant-derived denominations.)

    2. ObserverCN*

      That is true at some places, but thankfully not at the place where I went to school. We have several women in leadership positions, a female chaplain and female professors who have written best-selling books about gender.

  22. Me (I think)*

    Wanted to drop in and mention that many of the schools on the “academically rigorous” list aren’t actually controlled by the founding religious group any more. I appreciate the shout out for Wake Forest, but they cut ties to the NC Baptist State Convention back in the 1980s.

    1. Marillenbaum*

      Exactly–WFU wasn’t Baptist anymore by the time my parents went back in the day; by the time I went there, the only religion was Sperry boat shoes.

  23. Delta Delta*

    #1 – Joining the chorus saying, no, it is not your place to use your friend’s Twitter rants as “coachable moments.” Also, the Mute button on Twitter is your friend here. If she sees she lost a follower and figure out it’s OP, that’ll spark a conversation, where I’m afraid OP won’t be able to resist “helping,” which isn’t likely to go well for a lot of reasons. Mute the account so you don’t have to see the annoying rants and let this fall into a “her problem” category.

  24. Roscoe*

    #1. I can honestly say, I never understand people who would want to put their job above their friendships. The fact that you are even considering talking to her manager shows that you really aren’t a good friend to her. This really has nothing to do with you. She doesn’t work with you. You didn’t help her get the job. She isn’t even in the same region as you. Yet you want to sell her out to her manager because you have information which you only gained because you are supposedly her friend? If you can’t take her venting, by all means unfollow her. But man, you just really have priorities I don’t understand.

    1. Uranus Wars*

      I agree that the OP shouldn’t talk to the boss, but I read this as them putting their friend above their job and trying to help their friend keep their job or find happiness in this job. Just in a not-great way. After reading some comments I am leaning away from this but I also thought OP was thinking of reaching out to manager so manager could coach the friend since OP has no standing to do so.

      Again agree that it’s not the right OPs place, but also understand watching a friend do this over and over and wanting to help them. I have the same impulse with one of my friends but don’t act on it (and we don’t work together).

  25. JohannaCabal*

    #2 Alison and the other commenters have had some great advice. At this point, I recommend putting it at the bottom of your resume and shoring up the work experience section.

    I will say as someone who used to hire a lot of recent college graduates, I never put too much stock into where they went to school. Money, overbearing parents, various circumstances can restrict where a person receives their undergraduate degree. Some commenters above mentioned receiving significant scholarships to go to these religious schools too. My main focus was on seeing how the candidates would handle our environment (call center-ish) and their work experience (internship or part-time jobs, and the latter tended to better translate to our role). So, I tended to hone in on how they responded to my interview questions.

    (Also, I would have been open to hiring staff without college degrees if I felt they were the right fit but the firm liked the cachet of having a bevy of college graduates on the lines–cue eyeroll.)

    1. Sara without an H*

      This is good advice. Given the ruinous cost of student loans, a lot of families are choosing schools based on scholarships and who gives the best financial aid package. I could definitely see that a significant scholarship might be enough to close the deal with a church-affiliated college, whether it would be the student’s first choice or not.

      OP#2, you say you’re five years out of university. If you’ve been employed for all five years, you should have enough work experience to emphasize on your resume. Move the education section to the bottom.

      And please read everything Alison has in the archives about drafting cover letters. A strong cover letter, plus relevant work credentials, should be enough in most cases to pull attention away from a university you left years ago.

    2. TootsNYC*

      Once someone has a couple of jobs under their belt, I never actually look at the university. I sort of vaguely notice if there’s an “Education” section; I might look at the date, but probably not, because it doesn’t matter much.

      So the longer and more substantive you make the top of your resume, the less the education section will matter. Put it at the bottom; organize it so the degree comes first (and is maybe bolt) and the institution is smaller and less noticeable.

  26. Mannheim Steamroller*


    A co-worker gave two weeks notice before retiring, then went on vacation for the whole second week. His boss and his staff were not amused. We’re a public sector agency, so the standard practice for retirement to give at least two weeks notice of one’s final in-office date and then take “terminal leave” (use up any remaining PTO) after that date.

    1. doreen*

      It has recently ( very recently ) become somewhat common at my public employer for people to give notice of retirement while they are on vacation – we must be at work on our official last day and can only get a lump sum payment for 30 days vacation so people take a two or three week vacation, put in their retirement application, give notice while they are on vacation and come back to work for a day or two. The surprise retirements have only started happening in the past two years or so ( it started pre-Covid) and I’m really not sure why. I am still annoyed at one of my coworkers for dong it – a different coworker and I were covering for him during a two week vacation and we would have done things differently if we knew we would be covering for nine months. ( We are managers and didn’t want to change how he ran his office if we were covering for two weeks. So we ended up doing things his way for two weeks and then changing things. Would have worked better if we changed things right away)

      1. Dr B Crusher*

        Is there a way for people who might have more than 30 days’ vacation stocked up to announce their retirement with notice and not lose out on either owed vacation or a payout? Like, I’m assuming it’s possible to give, say, five weeks and then take three of those as vacation?

        1. Uranus Wars*

          Where I work we have people announce their July 1 retirement on January 1, take a 3 month vacation from April 1 – June 29, and then come back to work for one day (June 30) and then say see ya later.

        2. doreen*

          There are any number of ways that they can avoid losing out on vacation time without a surprise retirement , if that’s what you’re asking, so I have no idea why this has suddenly become a thing. They could take a three week vacation and give 5 weeks notice the day before they leave on vacation or even give two week’s notice the day they return. They could plan to retire effective Jan 1 and use their excess vacation time in November. It’s really not difficult to get vacation approved, so that’s not why. For some reason they are specifically arranging a vacation and choosing to submit their retirement application at a point during their vacation such that they call their work location on say Friday and essentially say they are retiring effective Wednesday so their last day is Tuesday. I think that the reason it works is because on some technical level when they submit their retirement application at least 14 days before the effective retirement date , that’s considered the required two weeks notice to get the vacation paid out – but that doesn’t explain why they have suddenly started doing this when people previously announced retirement a month or two in advance.

  27. twocents*

    #1: it sounds like the issue is that you don’t want to be her friend anymore and personally, I think that’s fine. I know what it’s like to be a sounding board for a friend, thinking that you’re getting at least a mostly accurate version of events, and then finding out to that things have been dramatically skewed in the retelling, and you don’t want to participate in that anymore.

    It doesn’t sound like you need to do anything here though. She lives on the opposite coast, your departments don’t overlap, doesn’t sound like you guys to even talk much outside of Twitter… just unfriend her and be done with it.

  28. Jan from Suite 205*

    OP #2

    Presumably when you applied you had to see their website and you read about them so I don’t know how you could go in naive. And even if you’re not politically savvy or a crusader for human rights I don’t know how you could miss the school’s stance, even if that before forcing a student to undergo conversion therapy (!!!!). Choosing a college is pretty important so I don’t know how you could gloss over that.

    Since you’re a few years from school, if you have job references that can attest to you being a normal person and good worker that could outweigh the reputation of the school. But like others have said, if I knew the type of school you came from I might have concerns like how you’d handle co-workers from different faiths, how you’d handle working with women and women leadership, and just functioning in a secular environment where you’re beliefs aren’t catered to. And while this has no bearing on the hiring, if I was a co-worker and I knew where you went I’d be wondering about your character. Obviously, not everyone would care if they knew but I would and I’m sure others would too.

    1. OyHiOh*

      A lot of these types of smaller schools have fairly benign web presence. My alma mater being one of them. You’d not begin to guess, from their web and social media presence, how restrictive, narrow, and fundamentalist it is. If you’ve been kinda-sorta involved for awhile, it takes – oh, actually seeing a girl get kicked out of the school because she had birth control pills in her room (true story) – to understand how bad it actually is.

    2. OyHiOh*

      Also, a great many students are financially restricted by parents/family members. “We’ll pay for school, but only if you go to one of these [narrow restrictive] schools.”

    3. nothing rhymes with purple*

      As an exvangelical I’m actually pretty sympathetic to LW#2. I had to get into an Ivy League school to avoid being forced by my parents to attend a fundamentalist Christian school. 17 year olds often don’t have a lot of choices, despite what is in their hearts.

      1. MyLlamaPeggyHill*

        Agreed. I’m gay myself and was nearly talked into going to Bob Jones because my parents initially refused to pay for a non-evangelical school. At 18 there was no way I could pay for college myself–ended up having to do so anyway but that’s another story.

    4. byu grad*

      The thing is that when you’re 17 and you’ve grown up in the faith tradition, you might not think that sort of stuff is wrong yet. You agree because it’s all you know or because you haven’t had the exposure to other ideas to realize it’s messed up, and a lot of religions do a really good job of convincing you that anyone who tries to present new ideas to you is trying to drag you away from Jesus. (Speaking of mortification, I have a few stories of my own in that realm, yikes)

      I actually wanted to go somewhere else, but my parents wouldn’t allow me to even apply to other schools, and I didn’t have enough knowledge about higher education to realize that I could have done something else; I thought since they had the money, I didn’t have a choice. I did try to transfer out later, but I was too far along for it to be worthwhile or to have a chance to be accepted elsewhere. Thankfully I ended up getting a graduate degree at a school with no religious affiliation, so that plus my work experience means that I rarely have to talk about it.

    5. PeanutButter*

      In addition to what everyone else has said, assuming everyone has unrestricted/unsupervised internet access, ESPECIALLY if they’re in a fundamentalist household is pretty privilege-blind. Heck, my mom just got non-dialup in her area few years ago, and there’s no library that has internet that serves her area. If I was a teen in that situation, especially during COVID with school computer labs shut down, I’d be SoL. Quite a few of the schools upriver from her (that didn’t burn down in the fires last year) have never had non-dial up internet. Exactly how are kids of ANY religious/non-religious stripe supposed to do their due diligence on schools in those sorts of circumstances? Usually they just have to go by whatever hard copy admissions materials still exist they can convince schools to send to them.

  29. boppity*

    This is a nit, but Wake and Duke were founded by religious denominations, but no longer have any connection to them.
    But you may want to think hard about why “of course” you didn’t think about the school’s religious affiliation when you were 18. Lots of students that age do. If you get questions about it, how will answer them?

    1. Forrest*

      Yeah, that “Obviously I didn’t think about this as an 18yo” was a bit of a record-scratch for me too. I don’t think that’s something I would consider in scope of consideration as a manager or employer, but as a queer colleague I’d be thinking about how safe I would feel around you. If you were happy to go to an extremely anti-gay school ten years ago and your only concern now is how it might impact your career development, that’s not really giving me a “positive supporter of LGBTQ rights” vibe.

      1. Sylvan*

        While I halfway agree (some people’s parents make them go to those schools, and sometimes it’s because they’re queer), the career development part of the problem is the part that someone could write into AAM about. Maybe OP’s got plenty on their mind that we just aren’t hearing about.

        1. Forrest*

          Right, and I’m not saying OP should be yeeted into the sun or anything. Just that if I were their colleague, and they presented it that way, that would give me an element of caution around them.

          1. OP#2*

            It’s not. I have a lot of not-work-appropriate feelings towards my college, but I wrote it that way to keep it concise and to keep me anonymous.

            1. quill*

              Yeah, I’m afraid that most of the heavy lifting of advice here is so specific and so charged that you’re going to have to enlist the help of someone who 1) knows you 2) is up to date on the nuances of queer identity and the continued bigotry against us to really practice the message you want to send out into the world regarding your education.

              Whether that’s “back in 19– I chose a school my parents would help me pay for and I don’t support their bigotry, past or present” or giving a concise speech about leaving a bigoted religion, you’re going to need the practice on a human who already has the details, not the anonymous internet.

              But as far as getting the resume through the door some form of active allyship – meaning volunteer work, most likely, rather than adding pronouns – probably wouldn’t hurt.

        2. JohannaCabal*

          I’ve known quite a few LGBTQ people who were either forced to go to an evangelical college or, more often, knew they were LGBTQ and thought attending one would make them heterosexual.

          This is definitely a situation where I’d eye closely the person’s actions post-college.

    2. Jewish Lesbian Hiring Manager*

      Yep, the 18-year-old LGBTQ students certainly don’t have a choice BUT to think about it.

    3. High Score!*

      TBF If OP was raised in that environment, how would they know any better? At 18, how much of your parent’s beliefs were still in you? When I was in my 40s, I let a racist expression escape my lips having no clue it was racist until I was gently corrected with an alternative statement that reflected what I actually meant. I had to go research the expression to understand why it was offensive. It was a common expression that my family has used a lot growing up.
      The fact that she acknowledges she didn’t pick the best school shows she has learned.
      Our upbringing sticks with us forever. It’s great to shed light on things that are wrong so people can do better but it is wrong to judge and cancel people who make mistakes. Especially when they are very young adults.

      1. Jewish Lesbian Hiring Manager*

        The fact that in your 40’s you said something racist probably indicates that you don’t have a ton of experience around people of color, or examining your own actions and beliefs. You may not be A Racist in Your Heart, but actions count just as much, or more.

        Similarly, it seems like a lot of people are jumping in to say that nothing could possibly be wrong, the LW could have changed, and I would say…that’s not something the application reader should just assume. It’s on the LW to demonstrate it. And not just for the sake of expanding their career.

        1. High Score!*

          Or it could mean that despite examining my own actions and beliefs that there was a single leftover expression in my head that I’d often heard growing up and didn’t realize it was racist bc it wasn’t at all obvious and, once I realized it, I stopped using it.
          Likewise, the fact that the letter writer is concerned about her college shows she has grown away from those beliefs whereas people who have not are very proud of their “values” and do not want to work in diverse environments.

        2. Always ready to learn*

          >>The fact that in your 40’s you said something racist probably indicates that you don’t have a ton of experience around people of color, or examining your own actions and beliefs.

          This is harsher and more judgmental than necessary, especially when we don’t know what phrase High Score was talking about. Plenty of people of all backgrounds have no idea that saying “I got gypped” or “She’s at some department heads powwow right now” is racist, and I suspect most of the US doesn’t know that “I’m such a spaz” is ableist and horrifies people in other countries.

          How many people know that saying someone or something is “grandfathered in” has racist origins and should perhaps be avoided? Do all Black communities know and avoid it?

          Is there any intelligent and humble person of any background who would claim to know what ALL the racist words are? I sure don’t.

          1. SweetFancyPancakes*

            This is very kind. I hope that I am able to always extend this kind of grace, especially in a culture where people seem so willing to jump in and condemn even total strangers whose hearts they cannot possibly know.

    4. Hi there*

      Ugh, yes, I cringed when I read that line. “Of course” you didn’t think about it? Cool. Nice to have so much privilege. That’s only an “of course” to you, LW2.

      LW2’s problem isn’t just that they attended such a school (which would be totally disqualifying for me in hiring, to be honest), but that they seem kind of oblivious.

      1. Threeve*

        Having known a number of people who grew up in an environment of bigoted religious ideology, I would hardly call it a privilege. It’s isolating and deeply damaging.

        At 18, all you know of the world is what your education, community and parents taught you, and what you’ve been allowed to seek out on your own.

        1. banoffee pie*

          Yeah, it isn’t ideal to grow up in a family who will only pay for you to go to a religious school (!). That sounds very, very controlling, and from a UK perspective, I can’t imagine even religious parents doing that unless they’re very strict. And I’m not sure where they could send their kids that would count as a religious school, except maybe Bible College which would lead to becoming a minister but not really any other job. I think people are being really hard on the letter writer; yes 18 is technically an adult but come on, it’s not the same as being 50 with years of a career behind you, your own money in the bank and the confidence that comes from having lived your own life. You basically leave school, where teachers can give you detention etc and your parents can still ground you (so you’re essentially still a child), and then two months later you’re a full adult, a complelety free agent and totally to blame for all your choices, most of which have been directed by your parents?

          1. banoffee pie*

            Also, don’t you pick your univerity before you’re 18? In the UK we have to apply when we’re 17 (depending on when your birthday is). To be clear, I think these universities sound awful, I feel sorry for anoyone pressured into atending!

            1. Liz T*

              That’s a pretty nitpicky question but: no. In the US *most* people will apply when they’re 17/18 but choose when they’re 18.

              OP said 18. So we can assume that’s when they chose.

              1. banoffee pie*

                It wasn’t meant as nit-picking, I just didn’t know. I was wondering as ppl could maybe say you’re technically ‘an adult’ when you choose your uni, even if only by a few months. I think you’re still pretty young at 18! No offence was meant.

      2. High Score!*

        The fact that she had so much privilege that she didn’t have to think at 18 is not a sin. She didn’t choose her family, no one does. At 18, all you know is what your family and environment have shown you. Just like all of us, she did the best she could with the knowledge and experience she had at the time.
        While it is true that some young people have more privileges than others, that fact does not make any young person regardless of privilege level, better than any other. You don’t get to choose your family or the environment you grow up in. When you leave home, all you know is what you’ve been exposed to, which at 18, is not very much.

      3. Hi there*

        Hi, yes, I too grew up in an environment like that. And I am queer. It is absolutely a privilege to be part of the dominant religious group in this country, and it is absolutely a privilege to not have to think about how your beliefs/actions cause real harm to other people.

        I didn’t say it was a sin. But it’s definitely a privilege.

      4. Jackalope*

        We probably run in different circles on the internet, so this may be something you haven’t come across as much. But I’ve come across a number of blogs written by people who grew up in fundamentalist families, and many of them shared similar stories. Particularly for those who were girls, they were raised to have no options at all. They didn’t learn most life skills beyond housekeeping and childcare (in some communities girls barely even learn to read, in the US), had no idea about, say, the basic skills needed to rent an apartment or complete a job application, etc. In some cases they were given the option of going to a fundie university, getting married and starting to have babies, or remaining a “stay-at-home” daughter until they did get married. Someone else posted here about the way that you could be completely shunned by your entire community, including your family, if you left the fundie life. In a situation like that, where becoming homeless meant not even having a couch to crash on, yeah – most of them went to the fundie college because that was their only possible means of escape. And a number of the bloggers that I’ve read were queer, and *did* have to consider that aspect, but being able to escape was paramount so they kept their heads down and survived college, then left. Some of them were hoping to “pray away the gay”, some knew that that wouldn’t help but again, that was their only option.

        Is that every single person who went to a fundie college? No. It makes sense to consider where an applicant is now and not assume that they’ve changed. But not all of the students at the fundie universities had straight privilege. And some of them were in pretty desperate places.

  30. High Score!*

    OP #4,
    I’ve been there. What I usually had to do was accept the promotion at little to no salary increase, makes sure I got the title upgrade, and do a stellar job. After a year, I’d start looking. The new company would increase my pay to the appropriate level. Actually, this is how I managed to upgrade my job and salary above all the males I went to college with as they believed in company loyalty and stayed at their jobs for decades rarely getting good promotions and never receiving salary increases.
    My career has been a rollercoaster but I’ve gotten to a place where my skillset keeps me employed at a good salary.

  31. OP#2*

    Well, in my experience, I felt a lot of pressure from my parents to pick a religious institution, even though the one I was looking into the most was the large public state college. My mom would constantly “joke” about not letting me go to the University of [Home State] because it was a large college in a semi-large city.

    1. mf*

      I completely understand, OP. My parents essentially forced me to go to the Christian university in the area where I grew up. It’s not quite as bad as Liberty but I still avoid talking about it at work. I didn’t want to attend that school, but it was either that or I had to find a way to move my belonging and fund my $85,000 degree all by myself.

      Anyway, I think a lot of people know that the school you went to doesn’t define you and your values.

    2. Joielle*

      I don’t think anyone is *blaming* you for having made that decision, but you should find a way to talk about it that doesn’t come across as defensive or naive. If someone asks about it in an interview or otherwise, you’ll want to have a sentence on hand to explain it. Just something simple, like… “I grew up in a really religious family and that’s why I chose that school, but I’ve grown a lot since then and it no longer reflects my beliefs.”

      Like others have said, a lot of us DID have to confront and push back against our parents’ beliefs at a young age, sometimes at great personal risk. So it’s not that it was horrible of you to just go along with what your parents wanted, but you should recognize that it might rub people the wrong way if you frame it as the obvious or only choice, or that you couldn’t have done anything else.

      1. quill*

        It’s definitely something that you should have a candid, but canned, answer to. “I chose the college my parents would pay for, I don’t support their stance on conversion therapy,” should at least cover the baseline. Because people are right to be wary.

      2. Littorally*

        This. It’s less about where OP went to school back in the day and more about how they talk about it in the present.

    3. Queen Anon*

      When my parents said that it was no joke. No state university, period. (Fortunately they allowed the moderate Christian school with excellent academics that I chose. Unfortunately it was too expensive even with the small financial aid package I got and I couldn’t finish though I did get my degree decades later. I still datvthet should’ve allowed a state school just for financial reasons!)

    4. nothing rhymes with purple*

      As an ex-vangelical, I hear you. I mentioned in a comment above that I had to get into an Ivy to keep from being forced to attend a fundamentalist Christian school — nothing less would have kept my parents from making me attend a school I would have viscerally hated. Even at 17 I knew I was queer and that I completely disagreed with them and their religion, and yet that going to college was the only way I could escape.

      If I had ended up in your place I might have developed a polished way of saying “I attended the school my parents chose for me but have since sent my life in a different direction.” (Obviously this is not the polished version.) Good luck.

    5. F.M.*

      I sympathize a lot. My parents were missionaries, and they were unusual in the missionary community for NOT requiring that their kids go to small private ultra-religious colleges. (Especially since some of those colleges provide full scholarships for the children of missionaries…) Not just unusual, but judged a bit over it; my brother went to CalTech, which is not exactly an unprestigious school, and there were still colleagues tsking quietly about how weren’t my parents worried about him being led away from the faith by going to one of those corrupt secular schools full of atheist professors who discriminate against Christians? Were my parents really properly committed to parenting properly?

      And between the era and the place the missionaries were in, most of us had to choose colleges based on writing to them for information, and then trying to decide which schools to apply to based on the brochures and application packets they sent. “Google to find out what other people say about them,” not so much.

      1. PeanutButter*

        > “Google to find out what other people say about them,” not so much.

        Yeah I’m kind of astonished at all the folks here acting like Google has always existed, and internet connections are available everywhere. I always thought I was on the younger side of the readership but I guess not! And the place where I grew up (less than 20 miles from a city in the US!) only got non-dialup internet in the last 5 years, and high speed internet *last year*.

  32. EmKay*

    OP #1, you are not friends with this person. Back waaay off and zip it. Unfollow her on Twitter if it bugs you so much.

  33. Jewish Lesbian Hiring Manager*

    LW #2, I have given the applications of candidates like you serious side-eye, because I have serious questions about whether you could really work for someone like me. Even if you think that you’ve moved past whatever it was you learned, experience tells me that unless you’ve consciously confronted it, that attitude is going to manifest subconsciously unless you’ve spent time actively confronting it.

    I’ve had colleagues from Wheaton and BYU — mentioned upthread as known for decent academics and less craziness — who were never at ease around me, and a look of pain and shock would cross their faces whenever I mentioned the smallest thing about my personal life.

    Now that I’m in a position to make that choice myself, I’m simply not going to put myself through that — I’m going to choose one of the many qualified candidates who *hasn’t* indicated by their past actions that they are cool with the disregard of people like me.

    If I did see a candidate with a background from a conservative Christian school, I would need to see one, preferrably both of the following: A) Something on their resume indicating they have comfortably interacted with a A Gay (some upthread suggested pronouns but I would need to see more), and B) In the cover letter, head-on acknowledgment of the issue with a quick discussion and demonstration of how you’ve changed (just as Alison suggests you’d highlight any other accomplishment).

    Now, not every hiring manager is a Jewish lesbian, and honestly a straight Christian hiring manager probably wouldn’t care. But there are at least a few of us, and we care deeply. Unfair? Maybe, but I think tacitly supporting conversion therapy is more unfair. And, I get to choose employees I know will respect me – I’m not going to teach someone respect from scratch.

    1. FD*

      Real answer, how would you like to see that done? I’m a lesbian myself but I attended a very conservative school because I hadn’t come to terms with my own sexuality.

      I’m just not sure how appropriate that discussion would be in most cover letters since that’s not really a professional accomplishment per se.

      1. Jewish Lesbian Hiring Manager*

        I thought someone upthread had a good suggestion: “I attended Liberty University but no longer share their beliefs.” Short and to the point.

        I have a number of friends in the same boat as you. Some choose to put their volunteering with the LGBT center or similar on their resume. Some still have a twinge of internalized homophobia and would never mention it. For people in the latter camp, I do think it’s possible I might miss them.

    2. Allypopx*

      Would you throw the resume away or is that something you could screen for in an interview? The way you notice when people cringe around you (I’m so sorry you have to deal with that). I’ve certainly had gay interviewers mention a partner or…be wearing a pin or something else that could illicit a reaction that I assume (or have been told later) they’re intentionally looking for. I’m just wondering how proactive you’d expect OP to be in their application materials or if they’d have a chance to show their colors in person (no wrong answers, just genuinely curious. Fwiw I’m coming from the perspective of being queer but straight passing and doing hiring for a places with more obviously gay folks on staff).

      1. Jewish Lesbian Hiring Manager*

        It depends on the size and strength of the hiring pool, as well as the recency of the experience, how committed they seemed to it, and how much of an adult they were when they made it. (E.g. I might approach someone who went to Wheaton 10 years ago and has since worked for a gay-friendly company differently than someone who until recently taught at a conservative Christian college.)

        I also do things like mention my wife, etc. as a first-line test. But I find that really only screens out the most obvious bigots — everyone seems uncomfortable during an interview anyways! I still haven’t figured out an interview-appropriate way to put someone into a tank of The Gays for four hours and see if they come out alive.

        Kidding aside, these days, I pretty much just ask people. They squirm, but it works pretty well. As I said at the beginning of my comment, I give these applications side-eye — that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for them to come through.

        1. LabTechNoMore*

          I was just talking about that subtle cringe reaction the other day! In my case being Arab Muslim I read as straight, but am in fact Very Gay. The first job I was out in, I figured I’d do the whole subtle dropped-hairpin thing (more flamboyant clothing colors, pink sparkly binders, mentioning I live in my city’s local gayborhood), and like clockwork would get that cringe reaction from my then boss for every gaydar ping.

          Learned from that experience that I have to lean into the subtly flamboyantly gay thing during the interview (on the employee side) so as to not end up with homophobic workplace problems later on. In any case, I suspect I would pass the Tank of Gays test with flying rainbow colors! ;)

    3. Joielle*

      A thing I’ve seen in job postings is to mention as a “preferred qualification” something like “experience working with diverse colleagues and clients.” It gives a logical opening (and basically an instruction) to talk about it in the cover letter. And really, isn’t that a preferred qualification for every job?

      If someone had a questionable fundie college on their resume AND didn’t say anything about diversity when it was specifically in the job posting, I’d reject them without a second thought.

    4. Curious*

      You would appear to be explicitly stating that you would discriminate in hiring on the basis of a candidate’s perceived religious beliefs. That would be flat-out discrimination in violation of Title VII.

      Putting aside the folks who went to one of those places due to circumstances, as discussed by commenters above — let’s just focus on true believers.

      I’m guessing that you would have difficulty respecting such a “true believer.” But they would violate the law if they discriminated against you in hiring as Jewish, a lesbian, or both. You would equally violate the law by discriminating in hiring them based on their religious beliefs.

      1. Yes gay people are human*

        Visibly cringing when gay people behave like normal humans in the workplace is not a “religious belief”. It is a character flaw. Screening out people with that character flaw is not religious discrimination.

        1. Curious*

          I’m sorry, but the fact that you or I might view a religious belief as a character flaw doesn’t disqualify it from protection under law.
          The Supreme Court gets to interpret the law — and they’ve recently been hyper protective of the rights of … certain religions. And, as Justice Jackson observed, they aren’t final because they are infallible, but they are infallible because they are final.
          Screening out people for what the Court finds to be religious beliefs IS illegal.

          1. Tali*

            This is like arguing that businesses that segregated employees when segregation was legal are morally OK. By today’s moral standards, they are not. If someone is bigoted against people and can’t act professionally and warmly around them because of their religious beliefs, it’s not morally OK to throw up our hands and say “well we must tolerate intolerance”. My religious beliefs don’t allow me to work with homophobes, who wins now?

          2. Nothing Rhymes With Purple*

            “If you welcome sheep and wolves alike, you will end up with nothing but wolves.”

    5. Louisa*

      I mentioned BYU/Baylor/Wheaton upthread and it’s hiring managers’ reactions to this category (not infamous like Liberty, but have student conduct policies against same-sex relationships) that I’m most curious about. Especially because how many people know that Baylor, for example, doesn’t allow LGBTQ groups on campus?

      1. Kali*

        As a graduate of Baylor who is still in Texas, no one blinks at it. It’s considered a well-regarded, academically rigorous school here – if I get ribbed about anything, it’s because it’s a private and therefore expensive school, so I must be a rich snob (I’m neither, I hope). During the sexual assault scandal(s), I had many people tell me that they wouldn’t send their daughters there (to which I said, “please, let me give you more reasons”), but academics was never brought up. In Texas, most people want to know if I root for their football team. *eyeroll*

        My liberal friends kind of blink in amazement that I survived. Admittedly, I’ve never applied for a LGBTQIA+ rights type of job where I might have to show my bona fides that I’m not a “typical” Baylor student nor was I in the biological sciences, but the actual academics of it has never been brought up once.

  34. HannahS*

    OP1, you can’t make other peoples’ choices for them. Watching someone you care about struggle and not make better choices is hard, but you can’t manage that for her. There are many supportive actions you can take as a friend, but talking to her manager would likely harm her professionally, hurt her feelings, and (rightly) torpedo your friendship.

    You do not know what her manager is like. You do not know what her work culture is like. Just because your department is a certain way doesn’t mean that her read on her own environment, which you have not experienced, is wrong. Just because she has anxiety and a TBI doesn’t mean that she’s misreading her coworkers and manager! Sure, she may benefit from coaching, or therapy, but she might just not be in a space that’s right for her.

    Unfollow her, as you’ve planned. Support her as a friend, not as a manager of a different department.

  35. goducks*

    The thing is, Fundiepants U will only enroll students who share their beliefs. They check references during the application process. So the OP may not have chosen the school for its ideology, but if they were accepted, it means they shared it. Maybe not on every single issue, but the core dogma, for sure.

    1. RagingADHD*

      Did you have any unexamined beliefs or assumptions at 18 that changed by the time you were 27?

      1. Jewish Lesbian Hiring Manager*

        The point is that the onus is on the LW to demonstrate that they have in fact changed.

          1. Allypopx*

            It’s not religion so much as extremist affiliation. A hiring manager has a responsibility to protect their existing employees from harassment and discrimination as well, and if a prospective employee went to I Hate Gays U (not just ‘is religion’ – voluntarily attended an institution with public, anti-gay affiliations) and is going to be working with members of a team who may feel unsafe by that, all parties deserve consideration. The hire deserves a chance to show they’re not homophobic and the existing team deserves to be shielded until they do.

            I’ve worked for non profits who decline work with Chik Fil A for this same reason.

            1. James*

              “I’ve worked for non profits who decline work with Chik Fil A for this same reason.”

              That’s a different issue, though–it doesn’t run afoul of anti-discrimination laws (and it’s protected by the First Amendment).

              As for your first paragraph, you can’t police beliefs, only actions. If the employee does something to create a hostile work environment, that’s one thing–obviously you can fire them or refuse to hire them for that. But….well, flip the script and see if you still agree with it. Would you be okay with me refusing to hire a lesbian who volunteered for a Feminist organization in the past because I think she’s likely to harass my Christian employees? My guess is that the answer would be an emphatic “No”.

              You are literally advocating for religious discrimination here. If you’re okay with that, that’s fine–I’m willing to discuss any idea–but let’s call spades spades here.

              1. Hi there*

                You have a real misunderstanding of how privilege works. And you are conflating “being a Christian” with “openly espousing discriminatory beliefs and violence against LGBT folks.” Lesbians who work for feminist organizations don’t have a history of “harassing” Christians in workplaces. Check the archives of AAM. How many letters have we seen from trans and nonbinary folks whose fundamentalist coworkers refuse to use their pronouns?

              2. Sylvan*

                You know that religious organizations can, legally, do exactly what you’re describing, right? Not even out of concern for harassment?

              3. Just no*

                I hit “enter” too soon. The point is that this isn’t about Christian beliefs. (There are, of course, plenty of gay Christians.) It’s about the *actions* perpetrated by certain extremist groups.

              4. nothing rhymes with purple*

                When lesbians have anywhere near the societal hegemony that Protestant and Fundamentalist Christianity do in the US, this will be a fair comparison. I’m not holding my breath.

          2. Hi there*

            Oh please. This isn’t “I’m not hiring any Christians.” Hiring someone who advocates conversion therapy, doesn’t believe in letting men and women be in the same room together, etc. opens up any organization to a world of legal liability.

            1. James*

              “Hiring someone who advocates conversion therapy….”

              No. We’re talking about not hiring someone who attended an institution that advocates conversion therapy. We have no idea if this person advocates it or will in any way act upon it. You are assuming they do and that they will act on those beliefs in the workplace, but have insufficient data to support that assumption (I’ve explained why elsewhere). Ergo, this is discrimination on the basis of religion, plus some extra fallacies thrown in.

              Again, flip the script and ask yourself if you’d be okay with it–would you be fine with a predominantly Christian organization refusing to hire someone because they were once affiliated with an organization that held opposing views? (Remember, we don’t know what this person actually believes or how they act; the only information we have is “They once were affiliated with a group that believes X”.) The answer is obviously that this would be wrong–there are court cases that I can cite as proof. Well, what’s good for the goose and all that–if they don’t get to discriminate against us we don’t get to discriminate against them.

              If you’re okay saying “This set of beliefs is intolerable and I refuse to hire anyone who has ever been affiliated with organizations that hold such beliefs” (remember, we don’t know what this person actually believes or how they act; the only information we have is “They once were affiliated with a group that believes X”) than it is logically necessary that we accept that those holding views we dislike have the same rights. The whole concept of liberal democracy rests on the idea that everyone has to follow the same laws, so if we get to, they get to. Companies can refuse to hire non-Christians, can refuse to sell to homosexuals, and the like. A very good argument can be made in support of this stance, but if you’re going to make this argument you must necessarily face the full inevitable consequences of it.

              1. Allypopx*

                Your ‘flip the script’ argument does not work with the inherent power imbalance present when you’re discussing minorities who are historically persecuted. I’m sorry it’s just not the same thing. Also religious organizations absolutely can and do reject people for their personal beliefs, behaviors, and presentations so that’s really not the slam dunk you think it is.

                The organizations you give a lot of money to, like a college tuition, absolutely reflect on your personal values.

              2. Alldogsarepuppies*

                Religion is a protected class. Sexuality is a protected class is some states. Your alma mater is not.

                1. Aitch Arr*

                  “Religion is a protected class. Sexuality is a protected class is some states. Your alma mater is not.”

                  Sexual orientation and gender expression are now covered by Title VII, thankfully.

                  I’ll also add that while religion is a protected class, sect is not.

              3. Not A Manager*

                Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. I’m okay with a rebuttable presumption that someone who attended a school that literally advocated and/or practiced torturing homosexual people was at least passively accepting of the idea. Could the person demonstrate that they don’t, in fact, agree with that position? Sure. Is it wrong for me to assume, lacking any other information, that they do? No, it’s not, and it’s silly for you to suggest otherwise.

              4. You should stop*

                James, as an initial matter, referring to LGBTQ+ folks as “homosexuals” is kind of a right-wing dog whistle, and I’m concerned that you are here to troll and harass LGBTQ+ folks in this comments section, so I’m going to tap in Alison pretty soon.

                I’m a mid-career lawyer working in BigLaw. I play a hand in hiring. I am queer.

                This conversation reminds me of the times when cishet white guys in law school would “play devil’s advocate” or “take this argument to the extreme” in order to make arguments nobody is actually making. It is really very simple. You keep trying to make it about “being Christian,” but it isn’t.

                The vast majority of people who attend places like Liberty University are extreme Christian fundamentalists. Practicing their particular brand of Christianity — which includes things like trying to eradicate LGBTQ+ folks generally — is a part of attending those institutions. That’s usually, though not always, why people go there.

                As Alldogsarepuppies explained below, your alma mater is not a protected class. Also, “supporting conversion therapy” and “refusing to use proper pronouns with trans colleagues” are **not protected classes**.

                There is a RISK if you hire someone who attended one of those schools that you are going to expose your current LGBTQ+ employees, female employees, etc. to discrimination. That is not a risk that I would take unless the person could demonstrate that they were not going to engage in that sort of discrimination. It’s as simple as that.

                I wouldn’t hire someone who had Nazi or white nationalist organizations on their resumes for similar reasons. It’s a liability.

                Stop trying to make it okay to hold these beliefs.

                1. quill*

                  New rule: anyone who wants to play devil’s advocate must submit their bar certification, their degree in theology, and their lawyer contract with the devil before being heard out.

                2. serenity*

                  Very, very telling to see who is concerned with conversion therapy (the actual subject of OP’s letter) and who’s interested in coming here to be an annoying contrarian

              5. Anony Ace*

                This is a false equivalency. Our society does not privilege queerness nearly as much as it privileges religion. (Think about despite nominally having separation of church and state, how many elected officials are sworn into office using their holy book.)

                Queer folks (of whom I am one) are at far more risk from bigotry* (religiously motivated or otherwise) than are right-wing religious zealots. Religion has enjoyed legal protection since this country’s founding; queer folks have only recently begun to get anti-discrimination laws to cover us. (The current wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is a backlash to this corrective process. No one in this country is passing laws saying you can’t be evangelical and do certain things.)

                *This risk ranges from pay discrimination and harassment to actual physical violence. No one is murdering or driving to suicide evangelicals for being evangelicals.

                Also you cite liberal democracy as a reason why we should give this sort of “religious” bigotry the same legal standing as those of us saying, “please let us exist in peace and safety for something that we can’t help.” Liberal democracy does not require that we give equal weight to bigotry and hate speech. In fact, it requires that we don’t. Look up the Paradox of Tolerance

          3. Lokifan*

            The religious belief that some people, including me, are not deserving of human rights? Yes, actually.

            There are plenty of accepting Christians, this isn’t discrimination based on religious belief, but bigotry.

        1. RagingADHD*

          Okay, let me ask a different question.

          Do you believe that every 17 or 18 year old who is afraid of being shunned by their family or losing their opportunity to get a degree if they reject their religion is automatically a bad person?

          Because in addition to a lack of awareness or deep critical thinking about their upbringing, teenagers also frequently lack the resources (internal or external) to openly reject that upbringing.

          goducks, who I originally replied to, asserted that LW must have shared/endorsed the harmful doctrine in order to attend that school. I simply don’t believe that’s the case. LW says they don’t, and there are many reasons a young person may submit to larger forces in their life that they aren’t yet prepared to fight.

          1. nothing rhymes with purple*

            I was precisely such a teenager at 17. However I don’t think you should use my past self as a reason for queer people or people of other religions to endanger ourselves now.

            It’s not about whether or not someone is a “bad” person it’s whether or not they may be dangerous to work with, considering that fundamentalist Christianity encourages certain inimical and even dangerous behaviors towards people in the above groups (among others).

          2. tka*

            I’m a queer, trans person of colour.

            Do I feel sorry for the teenagers who attended these fundamentalist religious colleges because they were pressured by family, it was the only way they had their family’s financial support, they were immersed in that religious environment that they weren’t aware of alternatives, they couldn’t get a degree otherwise and so on? Of course – that’s a terrible environment for a child. It’s hard not to feel compassion for kids placed in these situations.

            Do I want to be the one to teach that person that I’m a human being? Do I want to patiently coach them through “You Need To Respect Women Leaders” or “LGBTQ+ People Are People Too” or “Hey That Was A Really Inappropriate Comment”? Do I want to nurse them into being a better person, no doubt at the expense of my mental health and time? Not in the slightest.

            If someone was educated in such a college and shows no sign of having thought critically about the beliefs instilled in them in such an institution, they’re not going to be someone who can work with me or accept my leadership. I’m not paid to hand-hold them into being someone who can function outside such a heterogeneous environment.

  36. RagingADHD*

    Duke Alum here.

    It is, in no practical respect, a religious school, and I am not even sure why you’d make that connection. There is a church on campus that holds services, and there is a graduate school where you can get a Div. Doc (as you can at Harvard, Yale, etc.). Just like there’s graduate schools in business, law, and so forth.

    Otherwise, it would just as accurate to say New York is a Catholic city because there is a cathedral on Fifth Avenue.

    1. Person from the Resume*

      I agree. Alison’s examples are misleading Duke, Georgetown, Wake Forest are well-known college names for their academics and sports teams. A lot of people would be hard-pressed to know/remember that they have a religious-affiliated.

      Notre Dame is known for its football team and being a Catholic University. I don’t think people forget that.

      OTOH any school that is n the news for their anti-LGBTQ policies, including kicking someone out because they are gay and forcing an undergraduate student to go to conversion therapy is also going be a place that is assumed to be anti-intellectualism and values religious teaching over critical thinking (think Liberty University, Oral Roberts, etc.). Students DO NOT accidentally attend these schools. They are clearly some kind of religious extremist or fundamentalists to choose to attend the school. It could have been their parent’s choice, but if they agreed to go they at least agreed enough with the religious teachings they were taught as a child to not rock the boat. I’m willing to bet a decent number go out in the world and eventually leave the religion behind. Some might even be be poor closeted gay or trans kids that were traumatized by their family and school and friends. But still, you went to that school and that says something about you that would make me leery of hiring you.

      1. James*

        “They are clearly some kind of religious extremist or fundamentalists to choose to attend the school.”

        It’s not so cut-and-dried. First, the use of “extremist” and “fundamentalist” is misguided. We’re not talking about people who strap bombs to their chests and blow up daycares here; we’re talking about institutions with codes of conduct that we disagree with.

        Second, the person may HAVE held those views. Doesn’t mean that they still do. I grew up Roman Catholic, and am now Pagan, for example. My 18-year-old self would be convinced I was going to Hell. (And it shows that I’m more concerned with principles here than the immediate outcome–I’m defending people that would almost certainly advocate putting me to death here.) People change. Exposure to the more obnoxious aspects of one’s beliefs is often an instigator for such change–they see the problems and decide that this is a bad thing. Penn and Teller, famously outspoken atheists, used to encourage people to read the Bible for this very reason. It’s not unheard of to slog through the degree program anyway, just to get out of there with something to show for it (Sunk Cost sure, but we’re all human).

        Further: It may not have been that student’s choice. Family pressure is powerful, and many people simply can’t afford to push back against it. This is particularly true in families with religious views that would cause them to send their kids to such schools. Sure, the student could choose to disobey–and end upon the street, homeless, penniless, and starving, with their entire social safety net not just shattered, but actively working against them. I’ve seen it happen. We’d all like to think we’d have the strength to stand on our convictions, but the reality is 99% of us would cave. Again, we’re all human.

        Finally: Are you okay with religious discrimination in hiring? Because right now, you’re advocating for it. Sure, it’s against someone most people disagree with–but “When they came for the Jews I said nothing because I was not a Jew”. It ALWAYS starts this way, and it ALWAYS ends with people dangling from the end of a rope or blindfolded against a brick wall because they held a different opinion.

        1. Ruth*

          Umm some evangelical Christians HAVE bombed abortion clinics. These universities incubate the views that lead to that. So extremist is an accurate word.

        2. PeanutButter*

          “Further: It may not have been that student’s choice. Family pressure is powerful, and many people simply can’t afford to push back against it. This is particularly true in families with religious views that would cause them to send their kids to such schools. Sure, the student could choose to disobey–and end upon the street, homeless, penniless, and starving, with their entire social safety net not just shattered, but actively working against them. I’ve seen it happen.”

          Yep. My first degree is from an Evangelical libarts college. It actually gave me a really decent education and despite some restrictions about when opposite sexes can be in each others’ dorms and the behavioral contract having a lot of stuff about purity in it (to give them “credit”, they policed the men a LOT more than the women on that front) it was a very liberatory environment for a LOT of my classmates. These were kids (mostly young women but some men) who would have had NO option other than getting married to someone their family approved of/chose if they hadn’t been able to convince them to send them to a “safe” Christian institution. One girl in my freshman dorm had never worn pants in public before. For me, I came from a Pentecostal church (think speaking in tongues) and it was MIND BLOWING to me that probably about half of my professors were Democrats…it had never been presented to me that a “real” Christian could be anything other than GOP. Funnily enough, I’d say that the majority of my friends from that college I’m still in touch with are not religious at all anymore. (Personally I entered determined to figure out the TRUE Christian denomination, and left an atheist.)

          Now I’m wondering if I’ve been passed over for opportunities due to where my first degree came from – I’m sure now people can see the work I’ve done in an anarchist medical collective, the scientific research in evolutionary biology I’ve done, and other stuff and won’t hold it against me, but what about in my early career?

        3. nothing rhymes with purple*

          As someone whose parents nearly did force me to attend a fundamentalist school of the kind we’re discussing, I acknowledge the parental pressure part of what you’ve said but I still disagree with you that this means that fundamentalist Christians must always be given the chance to hurt vulnerable people. Let alone that fundamentalist Christians, in the US, are the ones currently in danger for being executed for their beliefs.

          If I hadn’t gotten out of being forced to go to that horrible school I would have it as a brand on my resume and other records, and I would know that there were people who saw it and distrusted me and I wouldn’t get a chance to tell them I’m queer and liberal. And that would be the fault of the school for being an outpost of fundamentalist Christianity, and of fundamentalist Christianity for being rightfully feared, and of my parents for sticking me with it. Not the fault of people trying to protect themselves.

          Which is, among other things, one of the reasons I worked so hard to get out of going to school. I couldn’t have articulated this to you at 17, but I knew it.

        4. EventPlannerGal*

          Leaving most of this alone, but re: your first point, a group does not need to be actively committing suicide bombings in order to hold fundamentalist beliefs. It’s always quite interesting to see which groups are described as fundamentalist/extremist and which groups are considered to be just fine old religious institutions with some old-fashioned family values.

      2. quill*

        Yeah, I would definitely think twice but I would think MORE THAN TWICE if you went to someplace that had a history of antiqueer public bigotry during the time that you attended. Especially so if you attended recently, simply because it would be much harder for a student choosing a college in 2015 to not know about a university’s actions than it would be for a student choosing a college in 1985, AKA before the internet.

        Fact is that without knowing the specific institution and religion it’s hard to gauge how much LW is going to need to make it clear that their beliefs do not line up with those of the current administration.

    2. Mental Lentil*

      It’s that “practical respect” part. A lot of colleges were founded by religious orders/communities to provide education first, and proselytizing second, if ever. But they are not public schools like Ohio State or UCLA.

      On the other hand, there are a lot of colleges that were founded solely to promote a particular religious viewpoint. Duke, Georgetown, et al., are NOT in that category.

      It’s basically the difference between “education first/religion second (if at all)” and “religion first/education second (if at all)”.

    3. Liz T*

      Most of my Duke alum friends were in the same Jewish fraternity*. It’s a strange comparison indeed.

      *Don’t call it a frat! They’ll object.

  37. James*

    #5: I’ve seen places where they want you to do that. An employee that’s on their way out obviously doesn’t have much loyalty to the company any more, and if they have a job lined up with another company they obviously have some loyalty to that other company. So there’s a real risk of the soon-to-be-former employee taking trade secrets with them to the new job. One way companies get around this is to have a day or so where they get the employee packed up and out of the office, then the rest of that two-week period is spent on PTO or vacation. (Another way is to throw the employee out as quickly as possible with no PTO, but when I’ve seen that there were other things going on.)

    It may or may not be standard, depending on your industry, but it’s certainly not unheard of.

  38. Rusty Shackelford*

    It’s a shame that Bella’s promotion to Worldwide Sales Director hasn’t made her any happier.

  39. Dainty Lady*

    I once had someone give two weeks notice and then take 7 vacation days. They had not been doing much so there was not much need to transition but it was certainly part of a pattern. (Inherited employee, union environment.)

    You, though, sound perfectly fine to take a day.

  40. Tulsa Native*

    I never thought I would be defending ORU (Oral Roberts University), but the ORU of the 1980s is not the ORU of the 21st century. I am from Tulsa, live here currently and like a lot of people from the city get a lot of exposure to the evangelist nature of ORU. This can be good and bad in terms of my perspective on the university itself.
    It has been apparent that ORU is working to distance itself from its namesake by branding as ORU rather than Oral Roberts (its not like TCU really goes by Texas Christian any longer either or SMU in Dallas by Southern Methodist). ORU does have accredited programs, and while yes they do have theological programs, they also have ABET for some of their engineering degree programs.
    To my knowledge the don’t require women to wear dresses to class.
    All of this is to say, ministry, faith and spirituality are at the core of their teachings, even their science classes. And they are upfront about it. They just aren’t quite as fundamentalist/evangelical as they used to be.

  41. Anya Last Nerve*

    OP1, you have my sympathies. I had a coworker at a very large bank where we both worked who became a friend. I ultimately had to cut the friendship part off because she was constantly working for the Worst Boss Ever. No self-awareness that even as she changed roles and managers, somehow she always ended up with a horrible boss (and I knew at least 2 of these bosses – they were not the evil people she described). Her lack of self-awareness that she was the common denominator in all of this was too much for me to handle and I had to back off the friendship.

    1. Agreed*

      It’s funny: I had a friend just like you and OP1, who’d both always had the good fortune to have good managers. They couldn’t believe that anyone would ever end up with more than one bad manager per career, two tops.

      “Bad managers and companies are so rare!” he said. “Just work hard! Your hard work will speak for itself.”

      It was always the fault of the employee, the one with no power, not that of the manager or company. Didn’t matter what the problem was: even wage theft, it’s still the employee‘s fault.

      He then ended up with FOUR bad managers, one after the other. Didn’t matter that he worked hard, and was an excellent employee. The bosses were unreasonable, ridiculous, incompetent, and didn’t like him. He couldn’t win.

      He didn’t understand or sympathise until it happened to him.

      Bella has probably just had bad luck with bad managers, OP1. She is recovering from a TBI and has a manager and team who are stomping all over her boundaries regarding her anxiety, which is detrimental to her morale and work performance.

      Don’t add to her problems by exercising massive overreach and your own assumptions by talking to her possibly awful manager about “coachable” workplace issues.

  42. AnonPi*

    #4 I hope they do give you an increase! It can feel awkward brining it up, but you should get paid more for doing a more complex job, and that’s all you’re asking for, to be fairly compensated like anyone else.

    And I appreciate Allison adding that some companies it is a thing to cap salaries for internal hires. I’ve encountered this where I work, but didn’t think about it being a “thing” elsewhere. I’ve had two offers for other positions at my current employer but they wouldn’t increase the pay at all :(

  43. MrsFillmore*

    Small encouragement for LW #4 or those in the same situation – sometimes the new salary is coming, and employer (wrongly) just assumes that you know this because the range is stated. I was in a similar situation, with an unexpected promotion in a restructuring to a position with a range that started almost 50% above my current salary. Because the new jobs were announced before the new structure took effect, there was a long(ish) period of time where I was semi-acting in the soon-to-be-created role without having the official change. After at least a month of wondering, I asked me the person who’d be my new supervisor about the salary for my new position, and whether or not it would be in the stated range and their reaction was a version of “Of course” followed by “No on told you your new salary yet!?!?!” All this to say, good luck and from my experience Alison’s advice here is spot on.

  44. Khatul Madame*

    LW5, your day of leave was arranged in advance and you will not look bad for keeping it even if you give notice. It’s not like the happy couple is going to move the wedding because of your job transition.
    One caveat: many companies have a rule of not allowing PTO on the employee’s last day, so if the planned Friday off falls on your last day, just plan to offboard one day earlier, on Thursday, and give notice accordingly.
    Finally, don’t count your chickens until you get an offer in writing.

  45. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

    LW#2, another solution, if it works for your life in other ways, might be to start a master’s degree at an accredited nonsectarian institution! That way you have something different on the top of your “Education” section, plus it might help you gain useful job skills.

    1. JustaTech*

      Seconding this: there are lots of masters programs for “working professionals” from Big State U’s that are set up for people who are working full time jobs. Some are even online! (And they’re not *all* MBAs, either.)

  46. Varthema*

    Soooo funnily enough, the same day I read this entry is my first day reviewing applications for a contractor position (so fairly low-stakes), and I’ve got someone with two degrees from Liberty, both very recent. No mention of it anywhere one way or the other. Whole app is kinda borderline in general. We as a company are definitely leaning hard into DEI initiatives (and a lot of the teapots my specific team produces are rainbow-colored). Will not reject the app purely because of the university, but I confess, it does give me pause. Do you reckon if s/he gets an email from us with pronouns in our signatures s/he’ll self-select out if ideologically very aligned with LU? That’d be helpful.

    1. Allypopx*

      Given the job market and how recent grads can be a little blind to those cues, I’m not sure. Jewish Lesbian Hiring Manager* has some suggestions upthread on gauging reactions, but if you have stronger candidates you certainly aren’t obligated to bring them into the pool just to do it.

      1. Varthema*

        Thanks Allypopx and Jewish Lesbian Hiring Manager! (I had done ctrl+F “Liberty” and missed it.) That does put it in perspective.

    2. Forrest*

      I think the way to approach things like this is not to think about what you can do to sniff out this particular candidate’s views, but how to approach all your hiring so it’s clear what your organisation’s values are and to check that you are hiring people who support them. Can you ask all your candidates about their experiences of working with diverse teams? Is it clear in the job ad that you make rainbow teapots? I think it’s better to use it as a prod to look at how you interact with *all* candidates and what you are looking for rather than treat certain candidates differently because they’ve got certain markers on their application materials. It’s not like there are no homophobes at Ordinary Big State U, after all.

      1. Jennifer Strange*

        This. Checking for things like a commitment to EDIA should be standard for any interview, even if the candidate went to the most diverse, liberal, non-religious school on the planet.

  47. mc*

    #2 I also went to a school like this (baptist school in So Cal)

    I have not once had anyone even comment on where I went. I also used to be worried because I didnt want them to think I agreed with the religious beliefs at all because I stopped being religious while going there because of how horrible they were.

  48. Handwashing Hero*


    Sam Porter Bridges is a full employee of Bridges, who contracts with The United Cities of America.

    From the game itself, you can end your debate with your friend. (win or lose) ;-)

    1. OP3*

      Ah OK! We missed that in game! We totally thought Bridges and the UCA were the same entity. So this kinda solves our argument lol

      Thank you!

  49. Rosie*

    #2 – When I’ve been on hiring committees, I do look askance at that sort of institution. Both where people attended, and if someone had *worked* at one before. So many of them have “lifestyle contracts” that employees have to agree to…

    It doesn’t make me toss out the resume, but it *does* prompt me to lean into our standard explanations of our own institution’s diverse student body, commitment to DEI, etc. and to ask followup questions on the standard interview question about experience serving/working with a diverse population.

  50. quill*

    #2 Ultimately, what your school has chosen to do after you graduated affecting people’s judgement of you is going to depend on what the school, or the associated religion, has been known for longer term. So the more “mainstream” the religion has been percieved to be, the more likely people are to think their intolerance doesn’t reflect on the students, and the less the focus has been on teaching students of a specific religion, the more likely people are to think the same.

    It’s basically impossible to make a concrete comparison without naming specific religions, so just for example: If you went to a baptist university with a large student base and not a lot of religious instruction, which has since been in the news for intolerance, you’re probably not going to have to do as much reputation management as you would if you went to Westboro Baptist University.

  51. lizzay*

    It feels like a lot of people are beating up on LW2: “how could you not know” etc. A lot of 17 year olds are pretty clueless! Or bought into whatever their parents brought them up as, which they later question! There are a lot of reasons. Which doesn’t help her (assuming her?) now. Push what you can on your resume – definitely work on the cover letter. I have a former co-worker who went to Liberty. She immigrated over here, and I have no idea why she chose that school, whether it was religious or tuition help-based. She was a great co-worker. (I will note my company does not employ bio majors! If we did, I’d probably have a very different outlook!) All that being said, if I were hiring someone from one of those group of schools, I wouldn’t automatically throw out a resume, but I would keep a close eye on any potential red flags either on the cover letter or in an interview. Good luck.

  52. Firecat*

    Put the university and degree section at the bottom of your resume. That helps shift the focus to your work experience which should be the first section.

    IME most hiring managers care way less about school then this community does. If you are applying locally – then the locals perspective is all that will matter. If you are applying out of state a lot of people have 0 clue about what school you are even talking about unless it’s an NCAA final four contender on the regular.

  53. FACS*

    After spending 20 years as academic faculty at a well known university known as a “public Ivy” I do feel that I can quietly comment. The reputation for the quality of instruction is what matters. Notre Dame, BYU, Loyola, Georgetown, Yeshiva, even Loma Linda med school (7th day Adventist) are fine. Applications from places like Liberty or ORU and not likely to advance in a competitive interview process. There are too many highly qualified applicants who may not have potential baggage related to their educational system. Those coming from institutions that are training “Champions for Christ” are going to get a serious side eye. In our last interview round one faculty member said that “a 3.3 from Duke is better than a 4.0 from Liberty”. A friend who is a managing partner at a law firm let me know that they simply do not interview those from those places as there is doubt about their ability to equitable represent all clients. Fair or not, that is the reality here.

    1. Liz T*

      Does BYU not have a *tad* more baggage than the others on the list? I get that it’s academically rigorous, but Notre Dame and Loyola don’t *ban homosexuality* to my knowledge so it seems weird to put them on the same list.

      1. quill*

        Yeah, BYU has more baggage because it has more sexist requirements and a code of conduct that is specifically anti-gay.

        1. Liz T*

          It’s honestly weird to me that people keep putting it on a list with Duke and Georgetown, which I think of as secular.

          1. fhqwhgads*

            I took the list as “founded by a religious order”. Yes at this point Duke and Georgetown are both not really anything to do with the religious founding group, but I think that’s the point of including BYU in the first bunch. If you say to a random person in the US “name a religious university”, I’d bet they’d name either: the nearest founded-by-Catholics-200-years-ago-but-little-to-do-with-it-now school, or BYU. They probably wouldn’t think of Georgetown, and that’s the point. There’s this scale going all the way from “pft that’s pretty much a secular school now” to “that’s definitely still a religious school, but it’s still a school first and not everyone there is a member of that religion” all the way up to “this is a religious institution first and you must be a part of it to be accepted, also it has college classes, but that religion will permeate everything about your experience”.
            I think it’s good Alison didn’t take for granted that when someone said “religious school” they must inherently have meant one or the other, and the calling out of the two categories (rather than three) made sense to me. The bucketing is “is it a school that happens to be founded by X” vs “is it an X org that happens to be a school”.

  54. BW4Cats*

    #4 – Do bring this up asap. Once I (F) came back from a vacation to find I had been moved to a new department (IT had been by dept, but new leader created a school-wide IT dept), and it wasn’t until 3 yrs later that a (F) CIO noticed that I was still at the old-dept salary rate, which was half what everyone else (M) in my new dept got! But it took 3 yrs of catch-up raises to get there due to per-raise $ limits – and I never got any back pay for the too-low years.

  55. Liz T*

    LW2, just want to point out that for many people it’s not “obvious” that you wouldn’t be thinking about those things at age 18. If we are talking about someplace like Liberty/Oral Roberts, then yeah, people are probably going to assume that any thoughts you had about queer people at age 18 were pretty negative ones, even if that’s not WHY you chose your college.

    I actually just reviewed an art-related portfolio from someone who went to one of the “grey area” schools people have been mentioning, and he included a piece honoring gay rights. I suspect he did it on purpose to signal, “Yes I went to a religious school that is not super cool about gay people, but I promise I don’t feel that way!” It was a smart move for someone in the arts, tbh.

  56. Book Badger, Attorney-at-Claw*

    LW2, as someone who went a college in the South near to Liberty U and had classmates who were extremely and fundamentally Christian, and who is very queer herself, my assumption upon seeing that you graduated from a fundamentalist university (e.g. Bob Jones) would be that at some point in time, you at least were steeped in opinions that are racist, sexist, and homophobic. Not that you hold those beliefs now, necessarily, but that, bare minimum, most of the people around you did and expected you to as well.

    Picture running a race, where the finish line is being some nebulous, Platonic ideal of support for diversity and equity and the starting point is the worst kind of bigot you can imagine. I’m going to assume that you started farther back than perhaps other people did (though not at the very back), and need to run farther to get to the same spot as someone who started ahead of you. Like, the journey for someone going from “virulent, violent homophobe” to “openly advocating for queer people” is a longer one than going from “a little oblivious but otherwise open” to “openly advocating for queer people.” And I don’t know what point you’re at currently: you might have gone faster or slower than someone else, and I can’t know that without some other kind of cue or marker. The only marker I have is where you started.

    So it’s not that you’re going to be forever tainted by your former college, if indeed it’s a fundamentalist one. You just need to provide other information to show where you are.

  57. W&H Lady*

    LW3- The question you’re asking is not the question you think you’re asking. It’s got two parts. 1) Do businesses with full time employees automatically have to provide health insurance (in the US) to employees? And 2) Would the worker in that video game be considered an employee or an independent contractor?

    To 1) No, employers are not mandated to provide healthcare to employees (in the US) now, but may face tax penalties if they don’t follow the ACA. Hence it being called a healthcare BENEFIT. (But if employers don’t provide it they also render themselves less competitive against other employers, so there are multiple reasons employers might ensure they provide health insurance). For 2) Allison answered entirely correctly, in that it’s totality of circumstances that governs a employee/IC distinction. (I’ll bet you didn’t realize you were asking a question that requires consulting existing case law). BUT also, independent contractor cases often hinge strongly on “control and direction” of a worker and “who benefits from the work being performed”?

    To your points: 1) Having a contract in place does not automatically make a worker an independent contractor (there are many bad contracts out there and some employers will try to capitalize on workers’ ignorance of the law); 2) whether an employer does or does not provide “benefits” does not make a worker an independent contractor or employee; 3) your friend’s point that the worker is using work facilities, equipment, and uniforms IS a strong indicator of who benefits from the business arrangement, but cannot be a sole indicator of whether they are an employee or IC; and 4) your point about being able to set your own schedule and pick which packages to deliver in game is also an indicator of of whether your character might be considered an IC, but, again, cannot be a sole indicator.

    Keep in mind that the reason this is so complicated in the real world is because you often have state and municipal law layered onto federal law, and how judges and hearing officers rule about these cases varies. A lot of these types of cases are being battled even now (with the rise of Uber, Amazon, etc).

    A State Wage & Hour Lady

    1. OP3*

      Wow, thank you! I really appreciate this detailed comment. You’re right that I thought my question was a simple one. I had been hoping Alison would say “you’re right!” and then I could forward this post to my friend but alas!

      Now that you bring up some real world examples I can probably check those out to support my case…

      Thank you again! :D

  58. Anonymous hiring manager*

    Re LW2: I had a job applicant who otherwise seemed very promising, but had gone to a religious school, not one of the more infamous ones, but similar in its views. It was my biggest concern about hiring her.
    — We google-stalked her and were encouraged to discover that she was in an interracial relationship.
    — I think the lesbian colleague on the hiring committee casually mentioned her wife to check for reaction.
    — And most importantly, we took it head-on in the interview—not “hey about this bigoted school you went to,” but talking about how diverse our department is and how important it was to us to have this position, which is a support role, be someone their coworkers could trust in that regard. And we talked about a recent discrimination scandal at our company. The candidate responded to these topics in a way that was clearly straight from the heart and dispelled any doubts we had about her.

    Reader, I hired her. She’s an absolutely fantastic employee. I still don’t know the story behind her attending Creepily Religious College or whether she’s a Christian of any kind, but I feel like I know everything I need to know.

  59. starz*

    LW1, why you don’t try talking to Bella, as a friend (not a manager, or a colleague) and see how she’s holding up?

    You’re a manager and you’re not even 30 yet, and that’s awesome! You’re obviously good at what you do. But, with respect, that doesn’t mean that you don’t still have a lot to learn, including as a manager.

    But it may also mean that you’ve been very fortunate in terms of having had good managers, or that you’ve always had someone to protect or vouch for you against someone in management who is toxic, unreasonable, etc. If this is the case, I’m genuinely really happy for you.

    Depending on what you think Bella’s “coachable work issues” are, you might be on the money, or completely wrong, or a mix of the two. (It does sound arrogant, I’m afraid.)

    But you freely admit that you know nothing about Bella’s team or manager, and even within one team, there can be wildly different opinions of the same manager or colleague. It is perfectly possible that Bella has ended up with more than one bad manager, including managers who may be fine when they have “easy” or “simple” employees to deal with. But Bella has anxiety and is soldiering on through a Traumatic Brain Injury. If you have a bad/toxic manager and/or workplace, it doesn’t matter how good or bad or average you are as a worker: if the powerful people decide they don’t like you, or that they are just going to be unreasonable, or passive aggressive, it doesn’t matter what you do.

    Plenty of bad managers are passive aggressive, especially if they have one of those employees who isn’t a work robot that involves zero intervention or work on behalf of that manager,

    Part of being a manager is ensuring that your staff who are human and have things like a life and a family and health conditions and responsibilities outside work are not ignored or disadvantaged, especially when really small adjustments are all that is needed for an employee to thrive and do really well. This might be having software installed which help people with vision or hearing or sensory or learning issues; or letting someone work 10am-6pm instead of 9am-5pm if possible; or letting someone split their hour-long lunchbreak into two half-hour breaks; or ensuring someone has the right type of desk and chair setup. It’s also your job to make sure that no one is bullied or left out, and that you’re not doing it, either. You often have to adjust your communication style, even if only subtly, to bring out the best in separate members of your team.

    We all need to blow off steam about work sometimes, and a private, locked Twitter account is not the worst place to do that. It is also not intended to be seen by her colleagues or manager. If you happened to see an entry wherein she complained about work in her private diary, would you report it to her manager? I hope not.

    Do NOT talk to Bella’s manager. Talk to Bella herself. She may well appreciate your perspective on what you perceive as “coachable work issues”…if you present them in the right way: gently and kindly, and as a friend who is wanting to help, and is not wanting to judge her.

  60. ResuMAYDAY*

    I wasn’t able to read through all of the comments but there’s also the possibility that once you give notice, your employer may tell you that you’re not needed any longer, starting at the end of the day or sooner. I’ve worked for companies that do this – as soon as you give notice, you no longer have access to company records and email.

  61. Tussy*

    4: Part of me thinks that out of all the deep ideas and meaning in Death Stranding, it is odd to be zeroing in this particular mundane question, and the other part of me thinks that Hideo Kojima would like that you are.

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