I learned off-putting info about a job candidate, our CEO keeps replying-all to BCCs, and more

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

1. I learned off-putting info about a candidate I’m interviewing

I have a conundrum related to a potential candidate I’m scheduled to interview next week.

The candidate’s resume included a link to their LinkedIn profile. As part of their work experience, they mention they’re a “content creator” and include a link to their accounts on various social media platforms.

Browsing through some of their posts, I started to form a first impression of this person that is slightly unfavorable; their online personality is the type that rubs me the wrong way, and they are extremely invested in something I vehemently oppose (technology that has a massively negative impact on the environment and no positive, real world benefits).

I realize this person may conduct themselves in a completely different way in a professional setting, but I’m not sure how to shake this negative first impression. I’m not the hiring manager, but I would ultimately be working with this person on a fairly regular basis.

Is it Bitcoin? ATVs? I want to know.

In any case, I think you’ve got to remember that loads of your coworkers are almost certainly into things that you’d object to if you knew, even coworkers you like working with. You just don’t know about it because they’re good at keeping it outside of work.

That said, if I found out a candidate was into, say, trophy hunting lions or had donated to the January 6 attack on the capitol, I would indeed draw conclusions about their character that I believe are legitimate to consider. Of course, when considering the difference between things one personally doesn’t like and things that are squarely over the line into abhorrent/bigoted/hateful/dangerous behavior, not all of us will categorize things the same way (that’s an epic understatement). But since you’re describing your reaction to what you found as “slightly unfavorable,” not “appalled and disgusted,” this sounds closer to the kind of difference that’s acceptable to have in a diverse group of employees and not something that should affect your assessment in hiring.

2. Why is our CEO replying-all to BCC’s?

I work at a nonprofit with a somewhat dysfunctional culture that I’m planning to bail out of at the end of my contract. In the meantime, though, I’m a union delegate and can’t really check out of The Weirdness.

Do you have any insight into the corporate reasoning behind a minor yet extremely baffling and slightly unnerving habit my boss and his boss have? For context, my new manager, Cecil, started mid-last year (and managed to alienate every single direct report he had within months). Cecil seems to be bcc’ing his manager, our CEO, whom I will call Bram, on a variety of awkward management emails (think “where is this work I didn’t actually give you a deadline for?”) and the reason we know this is that sometimes Bram replies-all! Which everyone agrees is extremely weird!

It’s been going on for some time, which means Cecil knows that if he bcc’s Bram, Bram might blow his cover with a reply-all. Cecil is perfectly willing to use the regular cc in other emails, so I don’t understand why he uses bcc if not for secrecy.

Meanwhile, Bram is … passive aggressively trying to discourage the bcc habit? Deliberately creating paranoia that he could be bcc’d on any email from any manager?? Genuinely not noticing that his email address was in the bcc field? This last one would gel with the fact that he hired Cecil, whose previous gig involved a reply-all error so grievous it actually made the news (details would be too identifying but let’s just say the racism was not the worst bit).

I know this place is toxic and I’m already planning to GTFO, so it feels like there’s not much point asking you about the big things — the answers are pretty clear. This thing is pretty minor in comparison but I feel like it’s just gonna bug me forever, so let me know if you can shed some light on it.

The most likely explanation is incompetence, not malice or any kind of plot. Bram likely doesn’t notice that he’s been bcc’d rather than cc’d (particularly since it’s weird for Cecil to be bcc’ing him all the time, and it might not have occurred to Bram that it’s something he needs to watch for). What’s more odd is that despite knowing that Bram is likely to reply-all, thus spectacularly blowing the attempt at subterfuge, Cecil is continuing to bcc him anyway.

I would try to enjoy this as something akin to a comedy.

3. Leaving a job off a resume

You often mention leaving a job off of a resume, but then how do you account for the time between jobs? In my specific case, there’s a 16-month job that I’d love to never think about again and doesn’t add much to my experience that isn’t also demonstrated by other roles, but I keep hesitating on actually leaving it out.

So it’s really individual based on the details and your specific resume. Usually when I suggest someone leave a job off their resume, it’s a short stay that wasn’t intended to be a short stay (so not stuff like internships, short-term contracts, and other things that were always meant to be short, but jobs where you were fired or decided to leave very quickly) or it was a job a long time ago that’s not terribly relevant to your career now and you have lots of stronger things to talk about instead.

In your case, if the job was 10 years ago, the gap from leaving it off probably won’t even come up as an issue, and if it does you can say something like, “I was doing X but didn’t include it since it was a while back and I’ve had more relevant experience since then” (or whatever is true).

On the other hand, a 16-month gap from a year ago will stand out a lot more. With something so recent, I’d default to leaving it on unless there’s a really compelling reason not to.

4. I was ghosted by a dream job

I applied to a dream job that I’m well qualified for as it’s a newer technology that I have five years of direct and management experience in. I was contacted within two days to be moved forward in the process by answering writing prompts. The questions were right in my wheelhouse and I submitted my answers confidently. Within an hour, they asked to schedule a phone interview. A person named Katie called, which I immediately wrote down in my notes, as the person I was emailing with was a Lucy. Katie was warm and open about the fact that my experience was what they were looking for and I again left feeling confident.

I was contacted for a video interview with a Gina. I mentioned my phone screen with Katie and Gina said that was strange as the only Katie was a top executive who wouldn’t be doing the interviews. I was confused and felt like we got off to a bad start. I mentioned that I will be participating in a training with an organization this company partners with frequently and Gina seemed skeptical. She then shared how tight knit the community is and that everyone knows everyone due to networking and especially national conferences they attend. I have also attended these conferences for my previous role but didn’t mention that because the way she was telling me about it was borderline condescending. At the end, Gina told me I could follow up with Lucy via email.

Gina didn’t seem pleasant to work with, but she was from a department that I would rarely interact with and I hoped that my first two experiences would carry me through. The interview with Gina was on a Friday so I emailed a thank-you to Lucy on Monday. A week and a half passed with no response, so I sent a quick check-in email that has gone another week with no response. I truly feel like I have the perfect experience for this role and also nailed the first two pieces of the interview process. I am concerned that Gina does not believe that I am involved with the partner org or was invited to the training I had mentioned in the interview. I want to send a final email providing proof that I was invited to the training by that organization (I ultimately could not attend) but I know that’s just neurotic and will be the final nail in my coffin. I gave them a lot of time and feel like they wouldn’t ghost me like this unless I really did something to turn them off and this training is the only thing I can think of. Do I really just have to let this go? I know my third email isn’t going to change their mind and get me the job but ghosting is so unprofessional and I don’t want to just let it go. Why won’t they just send a quick thanks but no thanks email? Is sending a third email absolute overkill?

Yes, sending a third email would be overkill (and sending proof that you were invited to the training would definitely be too). I know it’s frustrating, but employers ghost people all the time; it’s incredibly rude, but it’s so common that you really can’t take it as a sign that you did something to turn them off.

I don’t know what the deal was with the Gina/Katie thing. Maybe the Katie you talked with was an outside recruiter Gina doesn’t know, or who knows what. Ultimately, though, there’s not really anything you can do here. You followed up, they know you’re interested, and now the ball is in their court to decide if they want to move forward or not. I would take the silence as a no and mentally move on. I’m sorry!

If it helps, remember that there’s no way to spot a dream job until you’re actually in it. Plenty of jobs that look like dreams from the outside turn out to be nightmares.

5. Telling two employees they didn’t get a promotion but their coworker did

Three of my direct reports applied for a manager role on another team at our company. Of the three, one has been at our company for the longest time of anyone on the team, one was promoted to a senior position on our team in recent years, and the other just started at the company a few months ago. The one who just started at the company landed the manager role, and I’m not sure how to share the news with my team. I want to be sensitive to the feelings of the two direct reports who didn’t get it, while also celebrating the one who did (and who we’ll continue working with in her new role). How would you handle this?

Ideally, the person in charge of hiring for the role would be the one to let the unsuccessful internal applicants know, and offer to provide feedback if they’d like it. If they’re not doing that and plans to just let you handle it instead, consider pushing them to do it! But ideally you’d also get some info from that person about why these two weren’t selected (and why the successful one was) so that you can talk with them individually about what’s next from here — are there skills you can help them build up for next time, responsibilities they’re interested in taking on so they’re better positioned for a future opening, etc. — as well as see if they have unanswered questions about the process that you can help ensure they get answers to.

{ 304 comments… read them below }

  1. Ask a Manager* Post author

    There’s already a large amount of debate below about crypto and NFTs and it’s taking us way off-topic (and we don’t even know it’s one of those in the letter); please stick to advice for the LW. Thank you!

    1. Wendy Darling*

      I also bet it’s NFTs and like… you’re not gonna find anyone who dislikes NFTs more than me, but being an NFT bro, while a bad look, is not something that should impact hiring decisions.

      The entire thing is basically LuLaRoe for dudebros and my opinion of people who are super into NFTs is similar to my opinion of my cousin who shills for Scentsy all the time on facebook.

      1. Xantar*

        I am vehemently anti-NFT, but I view NFT enthusiasts with a certain amount of pity. When the whole edifice inevitably collapses, they’re going to be left looking rather foolish. The embarrassment is probably going to be intense.

        1. Dragon_Dreamer*

          It’s Beanie Babies all over again! Only this time, they won’t have stuffed animals to donate to charities after being unsuccessful at selling them, once the bubble pops.

          1. Meep*

            I cannot speak for Xantar, but the fact that creating a single NTF is the electric equivalent of a family of four in the US’s electrical bill and 2/3rds of all NTFs are created via fossil fuel is disturbing. Especially when we are in the middle of several global health crises caused by our dependency on fossil fuels. Not to mention the majority of NTFs are simply links to stolen artwork. What is there to like about it?

      2. Tali*

        This is a great comparison. I think it might be helpful for OP to reframe this as if they were interested in something similar, but that is less personally aggravating to OP.

        Maybe if you saw the Line Goes Up video and now you’ve got a soapbox for NFTs, pretend they’re really into ghost hunting, or Kpop drama, or makeup guru influencer drama, or healing magnets… something that you can roll your eyes at instead of frothing at the mouth.

        Ultimately it’s annoying when someone is really pushy about a hobby, but remember that many people in these cult-y groups are victims as they also victimize others. Whatever thoughts can help de-escalate your stress response.

      3. AcademiaNut*

        I think it would depend on whether once of the job requirements was astute financial judgement. If my financial manager were going on about NFTs (or the amazing possibilities in multi-level-marketing), I’d find a new financial manager, the same way if my doctor were going on about the power of crystals, I’d find a new doctor. With a lot of jobs, as long as they don’t talk about it while working, it’s not a problem.

        1. Wendy*

          This, definitely. I would have an issue with finding out my doctor was a flat-earther (for example), but less so for my real estate agent. I might still think they were an idiot, but since I’m not hiring them for their scientific knowledge and common sense it wouldn’t matter as much. I would definitely be on the lookout for evangelizing behavior with this candidate – owning bitcoin might reflect poorly on their financial smarts but trying to shill it at the office would be a much bigger problem – but how much I let it affect my hiring decision would depend a lot on what skills the job required.

          1. Richard Hershberger*

            I’m not sure how much my doctor being a flat-earther would bother me. I think of medical providers as engineers. Fringe belief groups love the validation when someone with credentials supports them. Look closer and it often turns out to be an engineer, not an actual research scientist. And often the guy is perfectly competent within his field. His job, after all, is to apply the results of research. It is quite common to accept bogus beliefs outside of your actual field. I suppose it would be tough to be a flat-earther while working in a field involving orbital mechanics, but a civil engineer, for example, might be perfectly comfortable with a compartmentalized belief in flat earth. Same with my primary care provider. Now if my PCP turned out to be an anti-vaxxer, that would be too close for comfort.

            1. teddyrbear*

              Engineers and Doctors are both trained to process research and make decision based on facts, quality of the facts, and quality of research. Being a flat-earther indicates the doctor fails to recognize fact from fiction which IMO means their ability to process their medical education is in question

            2. Foreign Octopus*

              Dr Ben Carson is an excellent example of this.

              I’d want him operating on me but not necessarily legislating for me.

            3. Falling Diphthong*

              I just ran across a reference to someone working with a flat earther, and they worked at an airline.

        2. Forrest*

          This, and also, OP should really be focussing on the job description and what the skills and attributes are to do the job! Of course we can’t ever be entirely neutral in interviewing and recruiting people, but things like “rubs me the wrong way” and “off-putting” and “unfavorable impressions” are things to be really careful of in a job interview. There are times when they’ll be relevant, but also times when they’ll lead you to discount people with a different communication style or cultural background or disability who could bring a lot to your team.

          So OP, go back to the job description and the specific skills and attributes you’re looking for, and lean in to those! If the job does involve astute financial management, then maybe this is disqualifying information. But if it’s just “ugh, NFTs”, you shouldn’t treat it as more important than discovering this person supports the football team which is the arch-enemy of your football team.

          1. Drag0nfly*

            Exactly this. That the OP is focusing on something so trivial concerns me, because her actual concern should be with the skills needed for the job. If she knows how to evaluate those skills, then she should focus on doing that instead of whether or not someone has an irrelevant hobby she doesn’t understand or like. The only time she should really be concerned about hobbies is if there’s a police report attached to them, and even then the focus should be on whether the crime is relevant to the business.

      1. Zan Shin*

        Huge amounts of electricity are used generating the … code? blockchain? I don’t know the lingo but huge server farms are involved

          1. Observer*

            Theoretically, true. In practice, lots of server farms.

            Also, NFTS are utterly plagued by forgeries and rip offs. And this is a technology that was supposedly to be inherently trustworthy.

            1. Insert Clever Name Here*

              I had to google NFTs (non-fungible token, for those who haven’t cranked up the ol’ google search yet) and one of the definitions I saw was that they were impossible to forge and I laughed so hard I scared my cat. It was 0% surprising that a link a few results down was about forgeries and thefts!

          2. Raboot*

            NFTs are still computationally expensive for blockchain reasons, even if there’s no mining. Wikipedia has a brief overview in the NFT article about their environmental impact.

          3. Dutchie*

            You need crypto currencies to buy NFT’s. It’s a requirement. So they still destroy the planet, just in a more roundabout way.

            1. Lavender*

              NFTs are the products (or “products”), crypto is the currency used to buy them. You can buy things with crypto other than NFTs.

            2. Your Local Password Resetter*

              Not quite! Although the people who like one are often into the other. And they’re both a bubble of virtual property involving a lot of scamming, confusion, big promises, buzzwords and a massive waste of energy.

              Crypto is an attempt to start a new, completly online currency without the backing of existing organisations or governments. Online banking without the banks. This also makes it’s actual value incredibly unstable, so it’s prone to lots of speculation and gambling, and it all might become worthless tomorrow. Also lots of people starting their own currency as a joke/scam/etc. It also uses some very heavy math to generate more currency, which takes lots of computer power (and thus electricity).

              NFT’s are a scam. They’re the online equivalent of some stranger writing a note in their notebook. But it looks like it should be more than it is, so people are convinced to pay money for it. Then it got big, and some big companies and famous people are trying to make it a thing and making it look more legitimate so they can scam people too.

              TL:DR Crypto is unregulated online black market currency that may explode any minute. NFT’s are a scam and the virtual equivalent of “I have a bridge to sell you”.

      2. Miel*

        NFTs, and their cousins, cryptocurrency, have a lot of computers do a lot of repetitive math calculations in order to process transactions. The idea is that the system is decentralized, and every transaction gets processed by many computers at once as a sort of anti-fraud measure.

        The person who successfully performs a calculation gets a little bit of cryptocurrency as payment, so there’s incentive to build super powerful computers to run the calculations (in places with cheap electricity).

        They estimate that the amount of electricity used to process cryptocurrency transactions is on the order of a small nation. It’s not a sustainable way of exchanging money on a large scale.

        1. BatManDan*

          I have no idea how to find the answer, or what the answer is likely to be, but what are the power consumption / environmental costs of more traditional forms of currency? I’m referring to both the cost of printing and minting real money, and the power consumption of maintaining records (and websites where I can check my records) in traditional banks and financial institutions? It’d be interesting to see a comparison.

          1. Andy*

            I never seen same exact comparisons you ask for. Traditional currencies are used a lot more and for a lot more purposes. Anyway, here are some comparisons: https://ccaf.io/cbeci/index/comparisons

            Computation in cryptocurrency is there specifically in order to make it computationally expensive. If it was not computationally expensive, it would be easy to attack the currency, basically. Electricity of “traditional banks and financial institutions” does not have such need.

          2. H2*

            I’m an environmental engineer, and I agree with you here. I don’t know the answer, but I can’t get too terribly worked up about the environmental impacts until I do.

          3. Beth*

            The marginal cost of a single transaction in traditional currency is negligible, even if the transaction is electronic. (If it’s simply handing cash from one person to another, the only cost is the movement of your arm and hand.)

            The marginal cost of every single transaction in any blockchain (the technology underlying all cryptocurrencies) is (checks Google) estimated at over $100 as of last October. That cost mostly takes the form of damage to the environment in parts of the world where labour is cheap, land is cheap, and the local population has no say in how much pollution is wished on them by billionaires in other countries.

            So — would you rather see someone pay for parking using a credit card, or using a forn of payment that inflicts significant damage on the environment every single time it’s used?

            1. Drag0nfly*

              Is this more than the cost and impact of Microsoft’s server farms? Amazon’s? Twitter or Facebook? What is the impact of NFT server farms vs. something like Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, or any other online games? Square, Visa, Stripe, Mastercard, especially on Black Friday? Google and Netflix? Comparisons would make a useful context.

              1. Koalafied*

                Comparisons are useful, but need to be apples to apples. You can’t really lay the carbon cost of economic activity on the currency that supports it, because the move to a new currency would move those exact same costs to the new currency. You need to compare the costs of the currency itself, so that in a hypothetical situation where the exact same economy were to be powered by Currency A vs Currency B, which scenario is better or worse for the environment?

                There’s a fairly recent analysis here which looks at total lifecycle cost of both producing, using (which covers everything from BTC transactions to the costs of maintaining ATMs and of depositers driving some distance to reach said ATMs), and (in the case of physical money) destroying it at the end of its lifecycle. They found that $1 worth of US cash has an annual carbon cost equivalent to $0.007, while $1 worth of BTC has an annual carbon cost equivalent to $0.023 – three times as high.

              2. Hillary*

                There are two pieces to this – benefits and incentives/costs. Games, video content, payment processes, shopping are providing benefit to someone, whether entertainment or convenience. I haven’t seen a business case for cryptocurrency being better than traditional currency that doesn’t involve something shady. For blockchain in general I’ve been looking for a business case for five years (because I get asked about it every six months in my day job) and haven’t found one yet. It’s a solution looking for a problem.

                The incentives between the types are very different – every example you described has an incentive for efficiency because it’s a centralized network. Efficiency translates directly to their bottom lines. Netflix has some of the best network engineers in the world who focus on designing the most efficient and effective content delivery possible from both bandwidth and electricity perspectives. They store content locally and move it as things become more popular. Most of those companies also measure their emissions/consumption and publish sustainability reports.

                Cryptocurrency’s decentralized design means there are zero incentives to become more efficient. Mining creates external costs that aren’t borne by the people gaining profits, especially since a lot of it’s being done in China where electricity is primarily generated by burning dirty coal. The longer a blockchain is the more computational processing it takes to maintain, every time a bitcoin is transacted it gets more expensive to handle.

              3. Admin of Sys*

                The ” vs a random entertainment” argument has always fascinated me, because it’s both not really a valid point and also an interesting sociological concept about what we find entertaining. From a certain perspective, NFTs are a casino, with a little bit of MLM thrown in. If someone wants to spend a lot of money and carbon generation doing something for fun because it may technically earn them money, but really it’s just a dopamine game, then /should/ we be concerned about the environmental impact? And the answer is : of course. We should be concerned about the environmental impact of Netflix, too. And the casinos that spend a ton of water in their fountains.
                That doesn’t mean we should hard-stop destroy them, but frankly, shouldn’t /everything/ be analyzed from a “how much utility/enjoyment is this generating vs how much damage is it doing” perspective?

                (and just because I was curious, an hour of streaming netflix apparently costs about 0.07 kWh and a NFT etherium transaction costs about 48 kWh)

          4. MK*

            https://youtu.be/YQ_xWvX1n9g

            I watched this YouTube video on the subject recently, and I think it mentions that the electricity used by the banking industry is miniscule compared to that needed for crypto. I am not 100% sure, and I don’t know how reliable it is, but the video essay as a whole struck me as a reasoned analysis.

            That being said, environmental impact is so complicated that I wouldn’t hold against someone, unless their hobby is hunting near-extinct species or have a side hustle dropping waste into the ocean.

        2. Beth*

          There’s another level of damage: the computer equipment required has to be upgraded constantly, because the demands of blockchain increase so quickly that processors and chips are obsolete within months. That equipment is specialized, and can’t be repurposed. It works out to (checks Google) the equivalent of throwing two iPhones into the trash for every single crypto transaction.

          “Specialised computer chips called ASICs are sold with no other purpose than to run the algorithms that secure the bitcoin network, a process called mining that rewards those who partake with bitcoin payouts. But because only the newest chips are power-efficient enough to mine profitably, effective miners need to constantly replace their ASICs with newer, more powerful ones.”

          Link to article will follow in another comment.

          1. Anon for This*

            I want to build my own desktop computer and can’t because the cost of the graphics card I need for it has gone through the roof.

            I have the money to buy a mind bogglingly expensive graphics card. I don’t have the money to buy a mind bogglingly expensive graphics card, when you factor in the fact that it’s at least ten times as expensive as it would otherwise be.

      3. dePizan*

        There’s different types of bitcoins, some types are more efficient and require less energy to do a transaction, some require more. NFTs use the particular type of bitcoin that take the most amount of energy (just one NFT uses the equivalent of one month’s worth of electricity consumption for an EU citizen). Huge amounts of electricity and electric waste come from the rise in their popularity. Even before NFTs came on the scene, reports suggested that from cryptocurrency alone, it could raise the average global temperatures 2 degrees by 2033.

        1. Timothy (TRiG)*

          The generic term is “cryptocurrency” or “blockchain”. Bitcoin was the first implementation to get general notice, but Bitcoin’s blockchain doesn’t support NFTs. Most NFTs are on the Etherium blockchain.

          (Why yes, I watched Line Goes Up too. And then read a bit, which made me understand it more but not find it any less ridiculous. Have you seen that extract from The Little Prince which is essentially mocking NFTs many decades before they were invented?)

          1. Beth*

            It isn’t an extract; it’s a pastiche. The final chapter in Le Petit Prince is chapter 27; the “extract” starts with chapter 28.

            The author hit Saint-Exupery’s style so well that I had to pull my own copy off the bookshelf and check to see if the chapter was actually there. Absolutely brilliant writing.

          2. ArtK*

            FYI, “blockchain” and “cryptocurrency” are not synonymous. Blockchain is a (supposedly trustworthy) ledger technology and is being used in a number of applications. It’s not the power eater that generating crypto is. Crypto uses blockchain as its shared ledger.

        2. mikey c*

          what I’m secretly hoping is that the crypto bros pay for so much renewable energy farms that it ends up being a net positive

      4. High protein double cheeseburger*

        Interesting, I didn’t realize that they were so energy-intensive. Thanks!

        1. A.N. O'Nyme*

          Yeah. NFTs and Cryptocurrency are using up so much electricity some countries are flat-out banning them because they just use so. Much. Usually the countries with cheaper electricity, because that’s where a lot of server farms are located.

      5. Ed123*

        I immediately thought if NFT’s but I also don’t understand how it’s more damaging to the environment than anything else. To be fair I don’t understand NFT either

        1. Wendy*

          Imagine this: I draw a picture. You want to buy it, and you want it to be special so you don’t want me selling copies to anyone else. I agree to sell it ONLY to you, so we get a third person to write up the receipt for us. We pay that third person a bit of extra money to stand out on the street and yell “WENDY SOLD ED THIS PICTURE!” so everyone knows you own it now. You get the picture you wanted, I get some money (although not all of it), a third party gets paid for facilitating the sale, and everyone else in earshot gets annoyed because of all the noise pollution.

          Oh, and to be really like NFTs, we have to pay a big chunk of the money to the owner of the building we do the sale in. And you’ll find out later that I may or may not have stolen the picture from someone else in the first place :-\

          1. Leaping*

            More like a print of a picture and everybody can easily make identical prints of the picture. The only thing you have is a claim to the receipt that your’s is the one true copy.

          2. The Prettiest Curse*

            I think NFTs are pointless and a scam, but one way in which they are similar to the the traditional art market is this: if you buy a work of art, you only own the actual work of art (the painting, sculpture or whatever it is.) You don’t own the copyright to the work of art, which stays with the artist or their estate until the copyright expires. So you can’t make money from licensed reproductions.
            This is why it was such a big deal when Banksy (semi-)shredded a painting just after it was sold.

            1. never mind who I am*

              As with most copyright issues, it depends. :-) I once paid a caricature artist make a drawing of me and I asked him what rights he retained to the drawing. He considered it a work for hire, and I could do anything I want with it, including making reproductions, putting it online, etc. However, when I sell one of my photographs, I retain the copyright and the copyright is stated on the item. I can, however, grant permission for someone to make a painting of one of my photographs (a derivative work).

              Ancient joke: someone asked me if my work would become more valuable after I was dead. I said yes, and he bought five of them. What worries me is that he’s my doctor.

          3. Esmeralda*

            The cachet (and thus monetary value) of things that are authentic and unique.

            An interesting essay on this topic is Walter Benjamin, The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. He talks primarily about photography (it’s from 1930s), but it’s applicable here.

            LOL. Grad school is useful in everyday life!

          4. ecnaseener*

            With the important caveat that what you technically bought is not the drawing itself, but “the drawing located at this precise spot on the museum wall.” If it gets taken down from the wall (ie the URL), too bad for you.

        2. Beth*

          NFTs simplified:

          You own a unique object. Maybe it’s a painting, or an autographed baseball with a personal dedication, or a digital picture that you made.

          Blockchain technology allows you to make what is effectively a certificate of authentication — this object existed, there was only one of it, it’s definitely as represented. This certificate is “non-fungible” — specific and unique.

          Because it’s on blockchain, the certificate — the “token” — can’t be forged or faked or duplicated. A copy of this certificate could be made, but the nature of blockchain means that the copy can be analyzed and the forgery detected. This is the real crux: we can make digital copies of anything, but blockchain technology allows the unique original to be identifiable, so no copy can ever be presented as the original.

          That’s it. You have a unique computerized record of a unique object. How much is it worth? Can you persuade others that it’s fabulously valuable? After all, there’s only one, and there will never be another.

          Of course, there may be hundreds of thousands of unique things that are all very similar, so the idea that unique = valuable is purely in the mind of the buyer. That’s why there is SO much hype involved.

          The environmental damage lies in the fact that the computer technology that created this token, maintains this token, and makes sure that it continues to be unique every time it changes hands, is incredibly resource-hungry. The computers that run the calculations that keep the tokens encrypted (that’s why it’s called “crypto”) not only require huge amounts of electricity; the amount required is constantly increasing.

          Imagine if, every time you handed someone a dollar bill, you had to initial it to verify the payment. When that person uses the same bill, they initial it also. Then the next. Then the next. “Blockchain” is a technology that holds all those initials, with a record of who it was, when, and where, in perpetuity. The amount of data increases with every transaction; and since the information is encrypted, and encryption requires a lot of computer power, the amount of power required to make every transaction increases.

          More electricity, more computers, more power. With every transaction. Forever.

          That’s crypto.

          1. NFT Fan*

            You are using broad terms for many different technologies. Have you looked into Stellar Lumens? Flow? Here is an article from Flow that Deloitte Canada researched that shows how efficient different blockchain technologies are. https://www.onflow.org/post/flow-blockchain-sustainability-energy-deloitte-report-nft#:~:text=And%20the%20results%20are%20astounding,Google%20search%20or%20Instagram%20post.

            Etherium, which most current NFTs are based on is working towards moving to a proof of stake vs. proof of work (ETH 2.0) that is expected this year.

    2. Miel*

      My bet as well!

      NFTs are an obnoxious pyramid scheme, but I think I’d try my best to look past it (unless it was for a role in, say, environmental leadership at a tech company where it would be relevant to the job).

    3. Raboot*

      It’s definitely NFTs or crypto. Depending on your field you probably can’t discriminate against blockchain heads if only due to practicality. Like I’m in tech and I bet we’d lose a large percentage of the workforce if we ousted them lol.

    4. Observer*

      If it’s either crypto or NFTs, you really need to not let it get to you too much. In their current incarnations, you are correct – they simply don’t do anything useful in the world. But some people think that they do and I can see how they come to that conclusion. They also do believe that these technologies have enormous potential. And I can see why they think that, especially with regard to cryptocurrencies. I’m not sure that they are wrong about that, although I do think that there is a lot that needs to be carefully though through here.

      And, crypto doesn’t HAVE to be this polluting. In fact one of the major currencies keeps on talking about how they are going to switch over to a different model that is FAR lower in energy use. I don’t believe it will happen, but I can pretty easily see a new blockchain built on the better model.

      I’m not really trying to make the point that crypto and NFTS are great, especially since I don’t really think that myself. What I’m getting at is that it is possible to be invested in this without being a terrible person with horrible judgement.

      1. NFT Fan*

        How much have you dug into NFT’s to judge that they don’t do anything useful in the world? Sports NFTs are paving the way to allow people to collect sports cards without having to print hundreds of thousands of base cards that nobody truly collects any more. That will be an environmental savings when we don’t cut trees down, manufacture them into cards and transport those around the country in physical manifestations to just sit in a box.
        While I think they were overpriced, Bud Light Next released some NFTs that allow holders to help drive the direction of the brand itself, allowing consumers a say in the company. Musicians are releasing NFTs granting their owners with first access to tickets, removing bots from taking all the best tickets and scalping them on the internet.

    5. Jet Hunt*

      I think it could be space travel– I’m not sure NFTs have a “hugely negative impact on the environment”.

      1. SAS*

        I don’t know enough about NFTs but crypto bidding is hugely detrimental to the environment and has caused electricity and water shortages in some countries.

      2. The Dogman*

        Search “nft negative environmental impact” and have a read.

        They are massively wasteful of energy and so also massively damaging to the environment for what is effectively nothing of value.

        An NFT is not actually proof of owning a digital picture, all it is is proof of owning the NFT.

        Basically a massive con, and the people who are buying into it have a severe case of the sunk cost fallacy.

      3. Forrest*

        I’m really surprised how many people don’t know this about NFTs! I barely know anything about them, but I thought it was like, the second thing that anyone knows about them.

      4. mreasy*

        They do, the technology required to keep their “identification key” or w/e continually available and referrable on the blockchain uses an astounded amount of electricity.
        And that’s before the crypto mining connection.

    6. Jet Hunt*

      I think it could be space travel– I’m not sure NFTs have a “hugely negative impact on the environment”.

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

      Cryptobros are annoying, but unless they harass people who aren’t into it or profit from art they have no rights to or from dead artists (yes, it has happened), I’d let them be.

      1. mreasy*

        Lol I’m in the music industry, look up “Hitpiece” if you don’t already know the story. Simply breathtaking audacity.

        1. Richard Hershberger*

          Thanks for the tip. I had somehow missed that story. It raises the question, is this even illegal? What, after all, are they actually selling? Pretty much nothing. Its just that they claim that this nothing is somehow associated with a specific song. What legal property right are they infringing? Of course this is true of all NFTs, even when the artist benefits from the sale.

          1. mreasy*

            It is 100% illegal. At minimum, they are violating the copyright inherent in the cover art (which was, until the site went down, on display). More likely, they are, while not directly distributing or publicly displaying the IP in the song/album, they are profiting from that IP (by selling a token “based in” the work) illegally. The RIAA has already come after them and music publishers are raring to do so if they pop back up. The assumption in the music industry is that they knew they were infringing but were hoping that there would be so much interest in the initial launch that they’d have proof of concept to do licenses with the majors. This is how, for example, TikTok did it.

    8. Platypus*

      If anyone would like a thorough breakdown of what NFT’s are, their environmental impact, and why there’s such a negative view of them, I would strongly recommend watching Dan Olson’s two hour review of them on YouTube

    9. NFT Fan*

      There are many anti-NFT related comments here that I would like to address. Many people are calling people who invest in NFTs “dude bros” or the like. Would people in this forum openly call another group of enthusiasts a derogatory intended term without backlash? The people mentioning Line Goes up, did you watch the whole video and have you done any research besides watching some snippets of this which may have corroborated your initial view?

      Do you buy art? If you sell that art, does the original creator of the art get any share in that? NFT’s allow artists to truly benefit from their art becoming more valuable.

      Do you, your significant other, your kid buy gaming skins or other accessories? NFT’s will give the opportunity for those to turn into something you truly own vs. is added into your online inventory that is worthless.

      The best NFTs are using the technology to create true businesses that NFT owners have a stake in (google DAO). Also there are tons of projects (google Meta Angels, Curious Addy’s, She Sruvives) that are women led and trying to make the world a better place.

      This is a nascent technology and there are scammers out there, people who steal art etc, but that happens in every day life as well. If you own a fake handbag that came off the boat from China you are supporting the same concepts that you are saying is bad in the NFT world, but at least that community is working to police itself to try to correct those types of issues.

  2. Loulou*

    Is it possible something was accidentally edited out of #4? OP mentions a “third video interview,” but I only saw mention of two interviews (one on the phone with Katie, and a video one with Gina).

    1. Heidi*

      You’re right. I had assumed that the first interview was with Lucy, but the OP only describes responding to the prompts and emailing Lucy.

      It also seems like it’s only been 2 and a half weeks since the interview with Gina. Unless they said they were going to make an offer really quickly, it might be too soon to assume that the OP has been ghosted at all.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Nope, nothing was edited out but you’re right that it’s unclear! I’ll edit it to remove “third” since it ultimately doesn’t impact the answer.

      1. #4*

        Hi, letter writer #4 here! They called the writing prompts the first interview. They did tell me that they wanted to fill the position ASAP. I shared that I would prefer a 30 day notice period to transition my team and help onboard a new manager, they said they needed someone who could start ASAP. I shared I would be willing to do that due to my level of interest in the in the company. I did get an email on Friday – no surprise I did not get the job. I was mostly disappointed in their lack of communication for 3 weeks after talking every other day for about 3 weeks. They also sent a survey where I was able to provide this feedback

        1. leeapeea*

          LW4 – I’m sorry it didn’t work out, but my guess is you were a finalist. This sounds like they made an offer to someone else but didn’t want to let you go in case that offer fell through. I’m not sure if the radio silence was a better or worse choice than a weekly “we’re still in the process” email. Either way, not getting a job you’re really into is disappointing.

          1. ecnaseener*

            Agreed, it sounds like they were in daily contact while in the interview stages with you, and then sort of naturally dropped off when they moved into parts of the process that didn’t require your involvement. It’s still rude, they could’ve answered your followups if only to say “we don’t have an update for you, we’ll be in touch within the next few weeks,” but it’s not really surprising.

        2. Just Me*

          Yes, I’m sorry for the radio silence, OP. For what it’s worth, maybe your interaction with Gina shows that you dodged a bullet. A

        3. Evelyn Carnahan*

          I’m sorry it didn’t work out. Some people are just not that nice, and Gina could be one of those people. Years ago, I was temping and had enough of it. I applied for a job that seemed like kind of dream job for me, and had a great phone interview. I walked into the in-person interview feeling like it was in the bag, and met with one of the people from the phone interview and another person. I felt like the person from the phone interview and I had a great rapport, but the other person just wasn’t a fan of me or my experience. The job was in a communications office and I had lots of writing and PR experience, but she couldn’t move past an internship I had at a well-known entertainment publication that was an offshoot of a satire publication. She just kept saying she didn’t get the humor of the parent publication, and I kept trying to explain that I interned for a different, nonsatirical publication and here’s a writing sample I did for the interview. I then got radio-silence from the job for 2 weeks before learning I didn’t get the job. It was the WORST. But eventually I got a job that turned out to be more or less my dream job, in a completely different field. Just be glad that you don’t have to work with Gina!

    1. Mangled metaphor*

      It’s only Yes Minister if OP is Bernard.

      But yes, OP2 – microwave some office popcorn and enjoy the fact you’ve inadvertently been hired by Tweedledum and Tweedledumber. As long as it doesn’t directly impact your ability to do your job to a reasonable level. It sounds like you’ve mentally checked out of this job already, but don’t sabotage your final few months – eye rolling can give you a headache.

  3. Dark Macadamia*

    #3 I worry about how to address leaving something off your resume if the application requires you to list every job. Does it make the short stay job seem… suspicious? Like you’re trying to hide it? Or will most employers just figure you didn’t include it because it’s not your strongest experience to highlight?

    1. Wendy*

      I think some of this has to do with how long your resume is, too. Even though nobody does paper resumes anymore, it’s still a good rule of thumb to keep yours to about a page of information – meaning if you’re 22, you probably ought to list everything even if they’re not relevant. If you’re 62 and have a dozen jobs under your belt, you can focus on the ones that were longer-term, more relevant to the position you’re applying to, or both.

    2. Virginia Plain*

      I should think it depends on the cultural context; I understand from this column that the usual US resume is a summary of relevant experience/jobs, not a full list of all employment ever. The latter is used in the U.K. (and possibly elsewhere in Europe i am not sure) and is a CV (curriculum vitae). You wouldn’t leave anything off that except maybe your summer job as a barman when you were a university student; once you have a few years experiment and don’t need to rely on it. Otherwise it starts with your highest point in education (except post grad in which case you’d start with your first degree) and continued to date.
      I guess if an application requires a full list of your jobs then you give it.

      1. Virginia Plain*

        PS meant to add – in a CV context a short job or even a few of them are definitely better than a gap as logically if they expect all jobs then a gap suggests unplanned unenployment – not that that’s terrible but a job is better (or a planned career break to show pedigree otters etc which you would state).

      2. Nausicaa*

        Oh my goodness. I’m 37 and started my first part-time job at 14. Most of the time, I’ve had multiple part-time jobs. At the moment, I have 7 but I’ve also been put on some other companies’ payrolls for one-off events. In some years, I’ve had 13 jobs! I’ve tried to sit down and make a list of all my jobs but I honestly get lost. So, even when a job application asks for all my jobs, I only put the main ones! I did have a line that said “other administration and hospitality roles” on my CV, but my career’s advisor told me to take it off.

        1. Virginia Plain*

          Yes it does sound like you need something more streamlined!
          I wouldn’t put any job pre 18yo on a CV unless I was still in my early twenties and didn’t have much else.

        2. Imaginary Friend*

          I’m almost 60 and I’m keeping at job from 2007 on my resume for as long as I can while still keeping it down to 2 pages, because it’s a *very* attractive employer and gets me good notice from recruiters. (I think the 1-page rule is fine for people who have long stays as employees but an awful lot of my professional experience is in 6-18 month contracts so I go to 2 pages. And of course I’m never sending paper copies anyway, but I digress.) I do have one section that is “Various jobs of xyz type, from 20xx to 20xx” because they were all very similar, and I just list the general types of things I did.

          Anyway, my LinkedIn profile lists *everything*, in case a recruiter cares. My resume lists the important and recent stuff (meaning, the last 15ish years) and really downplays anything I don’t want to do again, so that there aren’t gaps showing up to confuse people. All by way of saying at length that I disagree with your career advisor, especially if those “other admin/hospitality roles” include experience you want a new employer to know about.

      3. Bagpuss*

        I’m not sure that a UK CV needs all past jobs.
        I think you mostly need to show relevant jobs and avoid or have an explanation for any gaps. Of you’ve have lots of short term jobs in the past then something like : 1990-1995 – various temporary / fixed contract roles would be fine for the vast majority of roles.

        There are exceptions, but I think they are pretty specific to particular industries or types of job. The only one I personally have experience was where I applied for a job with an organisation which dealt with a lot of government contracts, including defense contracts. They did require a detailed and complete employment history, and positive vetting – I also had to provide details of where not only I, but also my parent, were born, for example.

        Most CVs I see as an employer don’t have every single job on them, except where the applicant is very young .

        1. londonedit*

          Yep, I don’t work in a field/industry where you’d ever be expected to list every single job you’ve ever had on your CV – in fact you’d look a bit out-of-touch if you did. For things like the civil service or jobs that need some sort of security clearance/criminal records check then you probably would, or you’d at least be asked about them at some point in the application process, but otherwise no. I have a bit of an odd year in my career history where I was made redundant from Wakeen’s Teapots, freelanced, worked for another company for three months and then went back to Wakeen’s (other people had since left so I wasn’t technically going back to the job I’d been made redundant from). It was over 10 years ago and it got to the point where just looked weird and was distracting, so I now just ignore it and fold the whole lot into my time at Wakeen’s Teapots. And no one really needs to know about my university job 20 years ago that has nothing to do with the industry I now work in. We don’t really use application forms or online application systems, either – it’s 99% ‘send a CV and cover letter to this email address’, so I’ve never come up against a system that wanted every single job I’d ever had.

        2. MCMonkeyBean*

          I think the original commenter’s question isn’t about the resume/CV but rather about the fact that a lot of applications the job may make you fill out in addition to submitting a resume includes a place to list your employment history–and they often for some reason specifically note that they want you to list *every* job you have had. So if you leave some jobs off of your resume but include them in that list it will stand out as a discrepancy.

          I think most of the time that’s fine since people understand you have summarized the resume to fit onto one page and it may only include the most relevant experience. But it could lead to some followup questions if anyone actually looks at the more extensive list on the application.

    3. Just another person*

      I left a bait and switch job (less than a year, 5 years ago) off my resume but I always put it on my application form when required.

      The hiring committees I’ve interviewed with always have my resume in front of them, not the application form. I was asked about it exactly one time and explained that experience is not relevant to the jobs I am applying for now, so it didn’t make the resume, but I included the information on my application to verify my employment during that time. I’ve received several job offers since then so it hasn’t been an issue for me.

    4. Alternative Person*

      I’m of the opinion that my employer doesn’t need to know every detail about my life ever, so leaving off a short, non-relevant stint is fine and honestly, sometimes leaving it off is easier than having to explain the disaster behind the short stint* and I think any reasonable employer would think that’s fair (unless we’re talking high level security clearance type stuff). Assuming the rest of your resume is strong, it shouldn’t be an issue. But urgh, I’ve noticed some over-zealous HR types get weird about it and I think they’re going to end up irritating good workers who don’t want to take the risk that some curious HR person is going to contact a toxic old boss to confirm employment dates from half a decade ago. Heck, our HR once hassled a new co-worker for contact information from a company that closed years ago and with all their old-colleagues in the wind.

      So yeah, reasonable employers shouldn’t worry about it, unless you know, it pertains to state secrets or something and if skills from that job become relevant, well then you can come up with an appropriate white lie for where you got them.

      *for me, saying I job-hunted, temped and did some cash-in-hand work is easier than explaining I worked for some of the most obtuse snobs I ever met who ran me into the ground then got mad at me for developing pnemonia, then withheld my final paycheck and only paid because I sued them through the labour board and the reason I won was because I had records and notes and they didn’t and they were technically breaking the law by having me do the work I was doing and they were also possibly committing some sort of tax fraud.

    5. Koalafied*

      The distinction is been an application (a form the employer has given you where they want you to answer specific questions they’ve chosen) and a resume (a marketing document you create to sell yourself by highlighting your most impressive experience and strengths).

      If the application requires every job, you’d probably better list every job – or at least all the professional ones you’ve held. (I still leave off things like forever ago part time jobs in food service/retail.) If you’re asked for a resume, you have more freedom to choose what to present. If you’re asked for both, it’s fine for them not to match exactly, though you should of course be prepared for a possible question about it, which they might ask just to make sure there wasn’t a mistake and not because they think you’ve done something you shouldn’t.

    6. Happy House Mouse*

      I hate those applications, especially when you already uploaded your resume. Once I was applying for a job and I had to list everything, including my time in college. The system did not like that I didn’t have a job for 3 months because I did work-study during the school year and my summer job fell through. I think I ended up fudging and saying I worked through the summer. They would not accept a time periode off between jobs. Keep in mind this was very entry-level so I’m sure a lot of new grads and such were applying and had the same problem. I think it was a way to weed people out, such as those who may have taken time off for children.

      1. The OTHER Other*

        I’ve seen systems like this for professional licenses; end dates and beginning dates had to sync perfectly with no gap, if you did not work for a month between jobs you had to put “unemployed”, which was pretty nuts. No idea if it would have been possible to have overlapping jobs.

    7. PT*

      A lot of the applications I’ve filled out require ALL jobs going back a minimum of 7 years.

      So a) if you haven’t been working that long you’re probably tossed into the recycle bin, b) if you have any gaps you are probably tossed in the recycle bin, c) if you had any off-track jobs in that period you’re probably tossed in the recycle bin.

    8. OP3*

      Thank you all (and especially Alison) for your input! I can clarify a couple of things about my situation, but I hope all of these answers help other people with their situations.

      I’m not trying to hide anything and have no problem listing this job when asked for a full history. I’m in the US, so I’m definitely thinking of a resume document (more personal marketing) as opposed to a CV (full documentation) but can switch between those as needed. I have 12+ years of professional work experience and left the job I mentioned 5 years ago. I’m not sure when my next job search will be exactly, but this discussion gives me a good sense of the variables to consider.

  4. Observer*

    #5 – Why are you the one stuck with passing on the news? I take it that you were not the one who made the decision. It makes a lot more sense for the hiring manager / decision maker to let them know.

    I do think it’s a good idea to find out what the thinking is, so you can talk to the ones who didn’t get the role about how they can move forward into other opportunities.

    1. Virginia Plain*

      I suspect it depends on practices and customs at the company. Where I work usually the decision is conveyed by the recruitment team in HR but if it’s a smaller temp thing, or promotion within the team, or the candidate will be shocked, or anything else making it a bit personal then the direct boss or grandboss might convey the bad news to be kinder.

      1. Sillysaurus*

        Yes, this is how it is at my job. This situation actually just happened to me with a supervisor role position that was given to me; I was up against 2 internal candidates who had both been at our organization longer than me. Because it was an internal hiring situation involving people who all knew each other, it was definitely appropriate for our manager to deliver the news.

    2. Katie*

      My company, it the person’s career counselor that passes on the news (which in my area is more often than not the manager).
      In some ways I get it. I am the one guiding you in your career, so I need to guide you as to why you didn’t get this job.
      On the other hand, hiring people would know better at why this happened this way!

    3. Cait*

      I worked as the office manager for a talent management company. We’d have people come in to audition for representation several times a week. I almost never sat in on these auditions and when one of the mangers wanted to reject someone, they would give me notes like “They’re just not right for us” or “They’re not ready yet” which was wildly unhelpful for me… the person who had to call and reject them. I got why the managers didn’t want to take time out of their day to call these people back (some actors would keep you on the phone forever if they could) but I found myself making stuff up during every phone call because I WASN’T IN THE ROOM! Telling an enthusiastic actor that they’re “just not ready yet” isn’t the most helpful feedback and they’d almost always want more details, which I couldn’t provide, so I just had a script of general notes that could be applied to anyone and told them that. “Work on your on-camera presence, get a bit more commercial experience, etc. etc.”. I felt badly about it but I knew the managers wouldn’t do it, nor would they take the time to give me more details than a few words scribbled on a resume.

      Bottom line: the hiring person who was literally a part of the process should be breaking the news and giving the feedback.

      1. Leela*

        similar in tech – i’d be going through resumes, doing the phone screen, and setting up the interviewee but I wasn’t part of the tech interview so when the hiring manager just said “no” I had NOTHING I could provide on the call to answer the many questions about how to improve and what went wrong. They act like you’re all so connected and talk about it and that’s just not true at all sometimes!

    4. GentleTree*

      I read that question as how they could discuss the topic with the department as a whole – so there are two who didn’t get the job, one who did, and the rest of the team, who will need to be notified that the one who got the job will be moving into the new role. I suspect they want to be able to openly celebrate the success of the one with the whole team, without being insensitive to the disappointment of the other two.

  5. Sue Wilson*

    #1: so I’m writing this assuming it’s NFTs but I think this applies to all sorts of shady but shiny new ideas: there are people play shell games, and while I don’t think that’s harmless, it’s also something that’s common to deal with. If they have the good sense not to tout how everyone should play a shiny new shell game they like at work too much, that’s pretty good. Then there are people who *create* shell games. These people are either too ignorant to see the trouble or too comfortable to be scared and I think that’s a judgment issue you can assess them with. Like, for example, if he’s stealing other people’s art or part of a DAO that’s for some reason decided to use IP they don’t own…that’s a bad judgement and you’re allowed to consider it in hiring imo.

    1. Observer*

      True, but you can be into NFTs without stealing someone’s IP. If someone is stealing IP, then I would ding them on that and the the issue of NFT’s would totally not be an issue that even got mentioned, other than in explaining the mechanics.

    2. mreasy*

      If I were the HM, I would strongly consider not hiring an NFT/crypto enthusiast for the bad judgment reasons. But if the actual hiring manager doesn’t see it, I agree it’s not so egregious that it’s necessary to flag.

      1. Troutwaxer*

        Agreed. I don’t think NFTs or cryptocurrencies are likely to stand the test of time; the whole thing could collapse under its own weight next Tuesday.

        (The sad thing about NFTs is that they were designed with a good purpose; to allow artists to prove that they’d actually created a particular piece of art. In becoming financialized they’ve doomed themselves for any other purpose than to be the next tulip craze.)

    3. Falling Diphthong*

      I’m kind of intrigued that the posts were found not on googling the name, but that the submitted resume linked to LinkedIn and that linked to the content as work-relevant examples. It doesn’t seem that the crypto (or whatever it is) clearly ties to this job. I can only guess that the applicant thinks of whatever it is as noncontroversial, like having a bunch of posts in which you helpfully explain the distinctions between different kinds of fungi.

      1. mreasy*

        Crypto enthusiasts tend not to just think it’s neutral/okay, but proof that they are super amazing geniuses. So it makes sense they’d want to link to it.

      2. Neurodivergentsaurus Rex*

        Yeah, I think the fact that the candidate links their social media content to their LinkedIn pushes it more towards the “you should consider this in hiring decisions” side for me. If the candidate’s LinkedIn had a link to their TikTok where they were pushing an essential oils MLM, that would put me off them. How much the LW should take the social media into consideration depends on the organization, probably, and of course on the candidate’s other skills and the pool of applicants. I wouldn’t give the social media a TON of weight in the hiring decision, but I would give it some.

  6. FedVet*

    #1: If it’s NFTs (which I suspect it is), that is a huge red flag. Typically, you don’t want to police anyone’s behavior outside of work, but someone who dove into that mess shows some clear signs that their judgement is AT BEST faulty, and more likely that they are utterly untrustworthy and are likely to cause problems for your work in the future. Remember that NFTs are inherently unethical and this individual still chose to be involved with them.

  7. NotAllATV(sarcasm)*

    Re#1. Not all ATV use is bad. I am NO fan of recreational ATVing and all of the damage it does. But they are useful in many outdoor area as tools, such as farming and forestry. I am sure there are other applications as well. I just wanted to point that out.

    1. Mr. Cajun2core*

      Thank you for pointing that out. In many cases they have replaced the horse especially for small/hobby farmers.

    2. blackcat lady*

      ATVs are also very valuable to rescue teams that have to go out on trails for search and rescue of lost/injured hikers. Traditional vehicles (example, ambulance) have to wait in the staging area parking lots.

    3. I'm just here for the cats.*

      I would even say (in my limited experience) that not all ATV’s period are bad, even recreational. From the people I know that use recreational ATV’s they do it responsibly, keeping to designated trails, do not go through wetlands or other endangered areas. Keep out of streams and rivers so they do not pollute the water with oil and gas.

      yes there is environmental damage from the fossil fuels, but how would that be any different than those drive 50 miles per day. Plus there’s some campsites and recreational fishing areas that are easier to get to with an ATV than by hiking.

    4. raskamanagersnark*

      And, to be fair, people on ATVs are often having far too good a time to really care about what a bunch of uptight “high performing” business nerds think about them anyway.

  8. Wintermute*

    #1 is almost certainly crypto. And there’s a few things to keep in mind.

    1– A lot of people see crypto as their only real chance to become financially stable, yes they know it’s magic beans but earning power has been falling so digital hard lottery tickets start to seem like the only way you’ll ever have more than two dimes to rub together. Don’t hate the player, hate the game– they’re only reacting to the fact their entire generation is up a certain creek without any paddling implements.

    2– Tied to that, it’s possible to be entirely self-aware but still realize that the absolutely irrational profit and senseless exuberance of basically everyone means a lot of money is flowing. It’s also very possible to go in knowing you’re being an idiot but believing in the “bigger idiot theory” (yes this is stupid, but I can sell this stuff to people stupider than I am). yes, it’s slightly predatory but, see point #1 above, and in fact unless you’re like, a major influencer flogging useless tulip bulbs to your followers using your parasocial power over them the old saying holds: “you can’t scam an honest man,” everyone going in is hoping to get rich quick they have to know it’s high-risk.

    2– A lot of environmental criticisms of crypto are entirely overblown and based on very poor understandings of the principles at play. there are putative solutions to these problems that are being worked out and deployed in practice. Not all crypto is proof-of-work and not all of it is based on ASIC mining. Also the economics of power mean that there’s a certain price point where mining is not a worthwhile use of power, meaning that most major centers are places that have cheap access to renewable energy like hydroelectric. By and large major mining centers are power speculators, they use excess grid capacity and when demand for power goes up so does the price and thus their profit margins drop rapidly– they’re not “taking away” electricity from anyone.

    3– there are interesting real-life use cases for blockchain technology that make it intriguing for a lot of technical types. RIGHT NOW it’s 99% scams, there are very promising industrial applications. If you’re in a technical field being on the cutting edge is a prerequisite, because in five years this might be something you can’t get hired if it’s not on your resume (or at least something that adds 50% to your salary if you have it on there).

    1. A.N. O'Nyme*

      “There are very promising industrial applications”
      Such as? And by that I mean “things we can’t do already with less wasted resources”, which doesn’t only refer to electricity.

      1. Wintermute*

        This may be getting into the weeds but there are massive implications for the ability to assign tokens to parts and materials and trace them through the manufacturing process, as well as in international shipping and logistics, using tokens to track containers and what is in them.

        Operating in an environment that doesn’t WANT artificial scarcity, but instead wants tokens to be cheap enough to assign to every box of circuit boards, the energy cost would be no more than you use accessing an HTTPS website (the design that intends to create scarcity is what causes the energy cost).

        It also has huge implications for authentication of those parts– which means it gets easier to keep conflict minerals out of your supply chain and to avoid your parts suppliers subcontracting to subcontractors that use sweatshop labor, a major issue right now for companies like Apple who can prove they’re not DIRECTLY employing conflict minerals or underpaid (or unpaid) labor, but the companies they DO contract with often subcontract out further to companies that do.

      2. ArtK*

        My previous job was in supply chain management and there’s a big problem with the pharma supply chain. It’s relatively easy for people to inject counterfeit drugs into the supply chain. A shared ledger based on blockchain can help with the traceability of drugs. The manufacturer puts a serial number on each bottle and records that in a block chain. As the bottle moves from the manufacturer to the distributor(s) and finally to the dispensers, new entries are made giving us the full history of the bottle.

        Serialization of drugs is now the law in most countries. If you look at a manufacturer’s bottle (not something repackaged by a pharmacy), you’ll likely see what looks like a QR code — that’s the serialization information.

        Before I left that field, I was involved in discussions with many companies about the possibility of using blockchain for this. AFAIK it’s in use now.

    2. Green great dragon*

      Um. The electricity market has never priced in environmental damage. Crypto farms can do a lot of environmental damage while remaining in profit, especially as the bubble inflates. And there really aren’t significant chunks of low-impact energy kicking about. Occasionally, sure, especially when wind or solar is peaking, but usually there was something better that could be done with that electricity (and hydro has some pretty big enviromental downsides too – not as much as fossil, but it’s not free).

      1. Seeking Second Childhood*

        Everything involved in generating *and storing* crypto has to be mined & processed somewhere. Even solar has drawbacks for people who love the land that covers rare earth mineral deposits.

    3. please no*

      There’s a lot wrong with what you’ve said here. Or a lot that is deliberately misleading (like, newsflash, people got into beanie babies or went west to try their luck at finding gold in 1848 also for reasons of financial instability).

      But rather that go point by point, i’m just going to say i hope this comments section doesn’t become a place where people spend today debating crypto. There are enough other places to do that, and I don’t see how it helps the letter writer.

      1. Myrin*

        Especially since we don’t know it’s crypto! I agree that it sounds pretty likely and my immediate thought upon reading the letter was “NFTs for sure!” but we can’t know! And how often has a letter been totally derailed by people being just as sure about one thing or another and then the OP turned up in the comments and pointed out that the commentariat’s main assumption was indeed incorrect?

      2. Wintermute*

        It helps the letter writer because their take that being interested it is inherently distasteful is fairly narrow-minded and ignores why people COULD be interested, and the fact there’s a lot of people spreading misleading information to discredit the entire space which they’re probably basing their reflexive dislike of this person on.

      1. Stevie*

        True, but people are also doing the opposite. I agree it would be helpful to just stick to advice on how something like this should or shouldn’t impact hiring decisions.

      2. Wintermute*

        It’s not, and I wasn’t defending the idea (I beleive I pointed out that 99% of the space is an outright scam), what I AM disputing is that even being interested in the space or talking about it on social media is so distasteful that you should be considered less employable.

        As I pointed out, there’s a lot of reasons someone might be interested, treating it the same as seeing them using drugs or displaying inappropriate behavior is ignorant

        1. mreasy*

          I personally would rather hire someone who uses illegal drugs recreationally than a crypto mega fan! But again – the OP isn’t the hiring manager and it’s truly not worth flagging unless asked.

    4. Purt’s Peas*

      Honest men are scammed all the time!

      I think your first two points (1 and 2a) are very relevant to the OP because they neatly illustrate a different cliche about MLMs: depending on your position in the pyramid, you’re either a fool (point 1) or a knave (point 2a). Neither make an appealing hire.

      1. Wintermute*

        That’s a very fair take, I can see why it generates reflexive distaste. My issue is that I don’t think it should make you less employable. Desperate economic circumstances are a place many people find themselves, I’m not going to fault anyone for how they find to cope with living in a world with few real prospects for advancement and a fundamentally broken system.

  9. Nassan*

    #1 there are plenty of things that are bad for the environment (and more) that people are really into. (Fast) fashion, diets where main ingredients are animal products, travelling (by planes), motorbiking etc. I’m not saying you should either care about everything or nothing, just to put it in the perspective.

    1. hamsterpants*

      I think that Alison might have been a little too gentle on LW#1. This is someone’s job on the line and LW#1 sounds like they might be clutching their pearls a wee bit. What happened to not letting someone’s life outside of work impact hiring decisions?

      1. Antilles*

        There definitely are cases where you really should let someone’s life outside of work impact your hiring decisions. If it’s something that will reflect back on the company for “why did you hire this guy”, then it’s relevant.
        But I doubt #1 falls into that scenario. If we assume it’s crypto/NFT’s, then while it’s bad for the environment, it’s also so trendy right now that even the many people who dislike NFT’s won’t look askew at your company for hiring him. The same thing would happen with most other things (ultra-polluting muscle cars, clear-cutting forests, whatever); nobody’s blaming your company for employing him. So it really shouldn’t be a factor in the hiring decision.

        1. Wintermute*

          This is another good point. What’s your real concern as an employer? It’s not like anyone is going to transitively view you as a bad company for employing someone interested in the field. It’s not the same as fringe politics or the like.

      2. ecnaseener*

        When someone’s life outside of work points to them either having poor judgment or being dishonest & selfish, that’s relevant information for a hiring decision.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          And the information was included by the applicant when applying for jobs/presenting themselves to potential employers–it’s not like the OP is Facebook stalking them.

          1. Rosalind Franklin*

            This would be the most concerning thing to me – the lack of judgement to hand out access to your controversial opinions as part of a hiring process.

          2. Neurodivergentsaurus Rex*

            Exactly. I think too many are overlooking the fact that the candidate, not the LW, is the one who connected the social media content to their application materials. Given that, why shouldn’t LW take the social media content into consideration as part of the hiring decision? It doesn’t seem unlikely that the candidate, if hired, might pitch this technology investment to coworkers. It’s one thing to have a coworker who sells Doterra on the side to their relatives but doesn’t talk about it at work. If the candidate’s LinkedIn gives me a link to their Doterra facebook page, though, and videos all about the (fake) benefits of essential oils, I’m going to be less likely to hire them.

        2. hamsterpants*

          In extreme cases, like criminal activity directly related to the type of work in the job, yes. But in this case it’s clearly very subjective. “Massively negative impact on the environment and no positive, real world benefits” could be said about flying to Hawaii for vacation every year, or drinking a lot of coffee, or using air conditioning, or having an outdoor cat, or …

          Employment discrimination can be legal (it’s only illegal in the case of protected classes) but it needs to be done openly and not based on the subjective holier-than-thou judgement.

        3. Observer*

          Except that what the OP describes does not fall into that category. There are SO many things that are not good for the environment, and that some people see no use in and no one person repudiates all of them. Also, “no positive, real world benefits” is a bit of judgement call. Especially in cases where people are looking at emerging trends and technologies.

          The fact that someone does not make the exact same choices as you do doesn’t necessarily call their judgement in question on the whole.

        4. Drag0nfly*

          That’s an interesting door to open. If you’re going to go down this road, please consider that *you* are not the only one who gets to play the game. People with values directly opposed to yours may love to use the cudgel you’re handing them.

          The better road here is for OP to mind her own business about his hobbies unless there is actually a relevant and detrimental impact on the job. If she’s hiring an airline pilot or a surgeon she gets to care if he smokes weed. If he’s just supposed to sell Levi’s to board teenagers at the mall, then what he does in his off hours is not her concern. As someone said above, the OP would be better off focusing on what skills are needed for the job, and matters along those lines.

          1. ecnaseener*

            People with values directly opposed to mine have been making hiring decisions based on bigotry and other repugnant things long before I “handed them” this comment LOL. I don’t happen to believe that makes it unethical across the board to take impressions of a candidate’s character or judgment into account.

      3. Observer*

        What happened to not letting someone’s life outside of work impact hiring decisions?<

        Alison did address that, pointing out that it's just not a good idea to let these kinds of externals color your judgement unless it's something that is truly abhorrent.

    2. Troutwaxer*

      I immediately assumed the problem was a preference for nuclear energy. I don’t think nuke plants (at least as currently designed) are a good idea, but being pro-nuclear is not something I’d refuse to hire someone for – it’s exactly the kind of diversity I’d want on my team.

    3. lilsheba*

      Frankly I’m not even sure why one would list content creation in their resume for any reason. The way I see it what I do in my off time is not any employer’s business.

      1. Insert Clever Name Here*

        OP says it was part of their work experience, though, so it makes sense that they included it on the resume and included a link to some examples.

    4. Chickaletta*

      Agree with Nassan. And the list is much, much broader than that. It is extremely difficult to for Westerners to live a truly environmentally friendly lifestyle. We can all do more to help, but unless you’re getting rid of your smart phone and car and online shopping habbits and house remodeling and laptop and tv and holiday decorations and travel and pretty lawns and blah blah blah…then yeah, you’re contributing to the environmental degradation machine.

  10. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

    OP1 (off putting info about a candidate) – I agree with Alison that you shouldn’t be put off by something that seems to be a “standard” difference of opinion. However I would be inclined to dig a bit deeper about how much time commitment etc they have for creating this content, whatever it consists of! Is that really their primary income and they would just be working for you on the ‘side’ from their perspective? And would you be happy with that arrangement?

    1. Squidlet*

      It’s a big jump from “content creator with opinions I don’t share” to “person who will probably treat their job as a side gig” with nothing to back that up.

      1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

        But since they’ve listed it on their LinkedIn as ongoing work experience (as opposed to ‘just’ having a profile on e.g. Instagram and the OP finding it from there) it certainly seems to have some level of significance in their work life… I wouldn’t just assume they’ll treat it as a side gig and write them off on the basis of that, but I do think it’s worth a couple of questions about it.

        1. Wintermute*

          That’s where what I said about it potentially being in an area of emerging technology that a LOT of companies are exploring right now comes in. Even if it’s snowmobiling, well, that could matter if you want to get a job working for a place that makes winter sports or motorsports equipment.

          If it’s something crypto-related, massive companies have expressed interest in entering the space these last few months, depending on your field it could be seen as anything from “this guy has interests that align with our corporate goals” to “we need people who understand this space working for us!” if you’re looking for a job in banking, entertainment, mobile application development, payment processing, tons of fields.

  11. Allonge*

    LW2 – in addition to what Alison wrote, why on Earth would a higher level manager not respond to all if they think they need to intervene? If as a manger I see a problem, I am not always going to particularly care who looped me in and how, I need to address the problem.

    Yes, if I do notice that I was bcc-d several times by someone, I would talk to them about this, as it’s a problem on its own as a pattern.

    But this is sane-workplace thinking. LW, good luck with getting out of there!

    1. I'm just here for the cats.*

      I think the problem is that the CEO is being Bcc’d in things that maybe he shouldn’t or doesn’t need to be involved in. It sounds like cecil is Bcc’ing the CEO making the employee look bad. The OP says that Cecil will email asking why something wasn’t done but he hasn’t given a timeline. I took “where is this work I didn’t actually give you a deadline for?” meaning that in the email it sounds like he gave a deadline to the recipient but there was actually no deadline given in the original communication.

      1. LW2*

        That’s right. My impression is that these are more arse-covering emails than actively trying to get other people in trouble – although obviously if that’s a side effect he’s fine with it. So if his manager is asking him where the work is, he asks us where the work is and BCCs. But on other occasions he absolutely does regular-CC the CEO when emailing us about important work, so it’s still kind of baffling.

  12. Adam*

    For #2, it’s almost certainly that the CEO doesn’t notice they’re on BCC. The few CEOs and high-level execs I’ve known have had very streamlined email workflows that involved spending as little time per email as possible. That generally means only looking at the From field in the header (sometimes not even that), and definitely not trying to see whether they were in the To or CC or BCC fields.

    1. LW2*

      Thanks, that actually does sound plausible and I didn’t know that about the workflow. I’ve heard some people mention getting an “are you sure?” pop-up when they go to reply to a bcc, but obviously that’s a setting not everyone has enabled.

      1. Daisy-dog*

        I actually use BCC to allow someone to hit Reply-All, but to only send their reply to the group that I designate. This is when I am communicating something that may have personal information in responses (payroll/benefits related). I do this intentionally (learned it from an IT person) because I know that most people do not pay attention to who they are replying to and otherwise might share some very personal information with the entire company.

        1. LW2*

          That makes a lot of sense and I guess I would just expect someone to flag it if they’d done that, because obviously everyone in the to: and cc: fields can’t tell who is in bcc.

    2. mreasy*

      But generally can’t you not reply all to a bcc (built in safeguard for that reason, that people might not notice)? Im just confused thinking of the manual process the CEO is going through to do these reply alls.

      1. AnonMom*

        It sounds like the CEO is the only one in the bcc line, and is replying to all the other non-bcc people. Something of a breaking the fourth wall situation.

      2. Antilles*

        As a BCC, if you hit reply-all, the typical behavior is sending it to everybody who’s NOT BCC’d – the original sender, the original To: line, and anybody who’s normal CC. Other BCC’d people (if any) don’t get it, but everybody else who was ‘identifiable’ on the original email gets the reply-all.
        Email programs do have settings you can enable to either add a warning pop-up if you try to Reply-All as a BCC or even straight up prevent you from doing a Reply-All…but those are specific settings that you need to go in and enable; they’re usually not the default.

        1. The OTHER Other*

          Thanks for this, I was scratching my head wondering how someone could “reply all” to people who were BCC’d. IMO BCC is best used sparingly, my Outlook requires a couple steps to add it as an option.

          And we don’t have enough room on this thread for the many times “reply all” has been misused, ugh!

    3. Kate*

      I’m nowhere near being the CEO and I certainly don’t scrutinise the To/CC/BCC fields to see where I landed.

    4. Esmeralda*

      I’m nowhere near CEO level and I certainly don’t look to see if I’m bcc’d, unless the content of the email makes me think, hmm, that sounds like a lawsuit around the corner.

      But then, I almost never reply-all (I learned from a rather embarrassing reply-all when email was young…)

      1. mreasy*

        It’s also just weird behavior to secretly bcc someone – like, whenever I’m changing an email thread to take someone else off, I’ll always say “moving X to bcc). Maybe one reason the CEO is replying all is that it’s so strange that they wouldn’t have considered it to be intended?

    5. Stevie*

      That makes sense to me. That’s like why their emails can be more terse (e.g. only says “thx” or something).

    6. just another bureaucrat*

      I also want to say it’s possible that they were sent to the CEO later and asked to step into the conversation for whatever reason. I’ve had that happen and I usually clean up all the stuff that show that it was forwarded to me. I hadn’t considered that people might think I was BCCed, but usually I’m telling the sender something, but sometimes it’s a case where I’m supporting what they said and inserting myself into it.

      That happens to me more than BCCs do but I don’t know that you’d be able to tell the difference.

      1. ecnaseener*

        Good point. My team does this all the time — you can even attach the previous email as an attachment rather than forwarding it, so there’s no forwarding trail to delete. And then we generally start with “hi all, Jane looped me in on this because X” but it’s not terribly surprising that the CEO wouldn’t bother.

        1. Vanilla Bean*

          Yep, I do this too. Or I receive an attached email as an FYI but have a question for the recipients, so I just reply to that email, even though I wasn’t originally a direct recipient. I don’t bother to clarify how I got looped in, it’s unnecessary in my cases.

      2. LW2*

        That’s definitely possible – I think you’d have to manually put in all the non-sender emails then? But I don’t think it’s happening all the time, because sometimes I’ve logged in to see these emails in my inbox back to back.

        1. ecnaseener*

          If it’s forwarded you’d have to manually copy-paste them in, but if it’s attached then you can just hit reply-all as if you were cc’d in the first place.

  13. Fancy Owl*

    #4 Ghosting sucks, but it might help to flip things around when you think about it. Taking your word for it that you would have been a great fit for the role, then Gina’s an fool for making assumptions and costing her company a great candidate. If they really did knock you out of the running and ghost you over just the training thing then you probably dodged a bullet with this company. They missed out, not you.

    1. MissBaudelaire*

      I think that’s generally the best way to look at ghosting in general. It is the loss of the company, not your own.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      And if it was Gina (rather than any of a dozen other unknowns that never made themselves visible to OP) it suggests that she is more enmeshed with this role than the org-chart-on-paper would suggest.

  14. David*

    For letter 2: it’s possible to configure an email server to send a copy of certain emails, or all emails, to a particular account – kind of like a “hidden BCC” controlled by the IT team rather than the sender of the email. So in this case, Bram could automatically be getting a copy of every email sent or received by anyone at the company. Or he could be getting copies of only Cecil’s emails. It’d be kind of a weird thing to do, but I guess I could imagine it being done as part of a particularly heavy-handed performance improvement plan or something…? Anyway, the point is, I can imagine a way in which this is not intentional BCCing on manager Cecil’s part – and perhaps CEO Bram doesn’t realize that other recipients of the emails can’t tell this is happening. (Not to say that’s likely, just that it’s possible.)

  15. Green great dragon*

    Bcc – this assumes the only reason to bcc someone is for secrecy, but it can also be to spare someone the next bits in the chain (like someone replying to point out Cecil never gave a deadline…). It doesn’t seem that odd to me for Bram to chip in if he feels he’s got useful input, regardless of where Cecil put him on the To/Cc/Bcc options. I’m not sure I’d notice which I’m on anyway.

    1. LW2*

      It’s mostly the fact that Cecil regularly does cc Bram on relatively mundane emails that makes me on that one.

      1. Stevie*

        Hmm. I used to work with someone who was widely disliked, and this person’s boss asked to be cc’d on emails we sent to that person. It sort of makes me wonder if Bram could be monitoring Cecil for something like performance issues and wants to be copied on messages Cecil sends out to monitor how Cecil interacts with colleagues? Then Cecil does bcc because he doesn’t want people to know or Bram doesn’t want to receive the replies, etc.

        This might be a stretch, but it’s an interesting situation, for sure!

    2. Zezet*

      This is exactly what I came here to say – we regularly put our boss (or other people, for the same reason) in BCC, not as a secret but as a “so you know this is a thing but don’t get bombarded by the follow-up mails”.

      And if/as it’s not done for secrecy, just for email management, it’s not weird for people in BCC to pipe up with comments if relevant.

  16. Beth*

    For #1–the thing I would keep in mind here, personally, is that being a content creator often means your job is to advertise a thing. This applicant might really be a true believer in crypto (or whatever it is, but this sure sounds crypto-like); they might genuinely be investing in it, pushing for its growth, etc. Or, they might be some kid who paid their way through college by making tiktoks and youtube vids promoting their sponsors, and they found that the people willing to pay them for that happened to be crypto organizations; for a lot of influencers, the job is basically being a living ad campaign. They might have been scammed into it at one point and now be applying for this job because they’re trying to get out of it.

    You won’t know what this individual’s views really are until and unless they tell you. So you might as well go in with a blank slate and see what they say.

    1. EventPlannerGal*

      Agreed, and since this person’s personality rubs the OP the wrong way more generally I’d also add that the way a person presents themselves in this type of content is not necessarily what they’re like in real life. I know a few people who do TikTok marketing and honestly I think they come across as pretty obnoxious in their videos, super loud and in-your-face – but it’s very successful because that seems to be what the algorithm rewards, and in person they’re really not like that at all. If they seem like a good candidate I’d definitely wait to see what they’re like in person.

      1. MissBaudelaire*

        Agree there. TikTok and YouTube are not often accurate depictions of how someone is IRL. I know that in and of itself is fairly controversial, but that’s what it is.

      2. Beth*

        Influencers and content creators are in a weird zone identity wise. The job is functionally to play a character (often one not fully of their own choosing, because they need to cater to algorithms and sponsors and etc), and to market and brand that character in a way that brings in viewers. It’s a job, they’re getting paid to do it, and doing that job really doesn’t say anything about their actual beliefs or personality. But at the same time, a big part of the gig is presenting a believable and authentic-seeming ‘self’ that viewers relate to and feel a connection to. Social media runs on parasocial relationships; it’s so easy to forget that the person on the screen might be nothing like that in real life, that you as a viewer don’t really know them at all, even if you’re watching their content every day.

    2. Web of Pies*

      The scam aspect of your comment is something I was considering too, like, would OP feel differently if the person was hawking an MLM?

      Anyone can get scammed into NFTs, MLMs etc. If it’s the former, that’s all new enough the person might just still be overly idealistic about it, or they might have lost a bunch of money and can’t support themselves content-creating anymore. As Beth says, the only way to know is to ask the person about it (if they’re otherwise a strong candidate).

  17. Squidlet*

    OP1, I think you’ll need to put your first impressions aside when you interview this person. Based on what you’ve said, there’s a clash between their views and values, and yours – but not your company’s.

    That’s unless their “passion” is also in conflict with what your company does or what the role requires, and I’m guessing you would have mentioned that.

    You should also be able to see whether they have an abrasive personality during the interview, or a tendency to bring personal stuff to work – or whether they can maintain appropriate boundaries, which is what you should doing here.

  18. MistOrMister*

    I wish we had more info re the last letter. I’d like to know of the person who got the management position had previous management experience or do they have similar experience to the other coworkers that applied? I might be seeing this through the lens of my own experiences where newer people have been promoted over more experienced people, not because they were better at the job, but because it was easier to put them in charge of people who were great and didnt need their guidance rather than have to try to replace a really good person who’d been moved up. Or people who are serious brown nosers and got moved up because of that rather than their merits. If either of those is the case, then I hope OP realizes it doesnn’t matter how they (or the hiring person or HR or whoever) shares the news, the other 2 coworkers will be pissed off. And rightfully so. Hopefully that is not the case and everyone involved was actually qualified for the management position but…..
    As far as the actual question though, it definitely makes more sense that whoever was filling the position would inform the employees who got or didn’t get it. I have never heard that kindnof news from my direct supervisor, unless it was a role they were filling. Otherwise its been the supervisor who interviewed me or the recruiting person in HR.

    1. MissBaudelaire*

      Yeah, I usually got the news down from HR or the supervisor who interviewed me, not from my direct manager. Not unless they were involved in the hiring, which has only happened to me once.

      There might not be any way to soften the blow, to be honest.

    2. MK*

      Often people become focused on finding the “right” way to do something, but the reality is that the delivery doesn’t change the substance of your actions. If you promote someone who has more experience or some skill others lack, reasonable people will understand, even if you don’t deliver the news in the perfect way. If they perceive their rejection to be unfair, there are no magic words to make them acceptable.

    3. Seeking Second Childhood*

      Another possibility is if the company has had problems in the past where internally promoted managers treat their long-time co-worker friends differently than other direct reports.

    4. Esmeralda*

      Or, the other people have been around long enough so their faults are known, whereas the new person hasn’t had time to show their faults.

    5. Forrest*

      I think from the candidates’ point of view this is extremely important information, and from the LW’s it’s not. LW has to support the decision either way, and that means delivering the news empathetically but also without questioning it or undermining it.

      If LW thinks or knows that the candidate isn’t the most qualified, but simply the easiest to move, that’s going to affect how their team-members take it, of course. But it shouldn’t affect how they deliver it. There aren’t many situations where undermining a decision like that is going to make anyone feel any better (a few, but not many), and a lot of situations where it’s going to make things a lot worse.

    6. Squidlet*

      I think this would a possibility if the Promotee had been moved to a manager role within the *same* team, but it’s a different team. So it’s the OP who has the task of replacing the Promotee, and not the other manager.

    7. Lady Danbury*

      I don’t think it’s possible to make any inferences without further info. It’s entirely possible that the person who has been at the company the longest is actually the most junior in terms of industry experience. Although all 3 are direct reports of OP, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all 3 are at the same level, especially in a company with a relatively flat structure. I’ve lead a department where my direct reports ranged from newly qualified to decades of experience, and at one point my most experienced direct report was the newest to the organization.

  19. The Lexus Lawyer*

    OP4 – I had to learn this too. You can’t chase a dream job forever. At the end of the day, a job that you can get is better than just chasing a dream.

    Also, kinda like in dating, it’s not good to cross into desperate stalker territory.

    I would move on and focus on other opportunities

  20. It’s complicated*

    The applicant who did content creation may have been promoting cryptocurrency or NFTs because that’s what they were paid to do (and we don’t actually know what content it was that put off the OP).

    Just thought I’d mention that I know of one IT manager who automatically tosses candidates whose resume or cover letter mention crypto/NFTs. They don’t go hunting into candidates’ social media for mentions — just what the candidate centers as information about themself.

    The OP, of course, only looked into their candidate’s posts because the candidate put being a content creator on their resume.

    1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

      I (IT manager) wouldn’t toss them but I’d be cautious. Same as if they mentioned MLM stuff on their CV.

      1. the cat's ass*

        An excellent analogy. The ubiquity of both MLM and crypto in my community is really something. I had someone ask me if we took Bitcoin at a Girl Scout cookie booth last week! Maybe interview them and get a first hand look if they are otherwise qualified?

  21. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

    #2: I agree with Alison.

    “Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.”

    I don’t know if that’s from Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, or a Klingon, but it’s usually the best way to go in weird situations like that.

    1. ThatGirl*

      It’s usually known as Hanlon’s Razor (substitute stupidity for incompetence), but similar ideas/sentiments go way back.

    2. Roy G. Biv*

      “I don’t know if that’s from Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, or a Klingon” — you made me LOL on a Monday morning, and for that, I thank you!

    3. Neurodivergentsaurus Rex*

      I think about this statement a lot. Part of my job for the state COVID response is troubleshooting issues with tests done at state testing sites. The issues are just about always the result of basic human error. Everyone always jumps straight to “identity theft” and “massive government conspiracy”, though.

  22. Abigail*

    To the first contributor: I would be very careful before criticizing somebody else’s negative environmental impacts.

    One thing I’ve observed is that there is a human tendency to justify our own behavior that harms the environment and harshly criticizes other behavior that harms the environment.

    One example of this is airline travel. Airline travel contributes to climate change but this opinion does not make friends of influence people.

    There is an old saying that when you point a finger at somebody else, three more point back at you. I find this is especially true about environmental impacts.

    1. ecnaseener*

      So you can’t criticize a colossally wasteful phenomenon if you’re anything less than perfect yourself? Be reasonable — that is not the way forward.

    2. mreasy*

      A four hour flight releases around 800 lbs of CO2. In contrast, when Grimes released her first NFT drop, the carbon emissions associated were 122 tons. And her second drop was 468 tons. I totally agree that airline travel, driving, and other activities have a significant impact, but given that NFTs are several orders of magnitude worse in impact and have literally no useful application besides giving crypto millionaires something to spend money on, it’s not really a fair comparison.

      1. Sylvan*

        WOAH. I had no idea. Already had a low opinion of NFTs because they look like a scam and the monkey stuff is embarrassing, but that’s incredible.

  23. The Other Dawn*

    RE: #5

    OP, I think it’s a sign of a good manager to want to speak to your two direct reports who didn’t get the position, especially when the person who got it is new to the company. It can be confusing when you see the new person get promoted ahead of you and you have no idea why.

    At a previous company, one I’d been at for many years, the SVP left (he was chief financial officer) and they hired a replacement with a VP title. I asked my boss if it was possible to be promoted to the SVP title. I’d been a VP for maybe four years at the time (not in the finance area) and had been with the company since day one and been involved in just about every aspect of the company (small company). He told the CEO and EVP about my ambitions, which I knew because other people told me they’d heard I was interested. I was in a board meeting a month later and the CEO announced the promotion of the new VP to SVP. I was completely blindsided and felt pretty demoralized after that. Had my boss or the CEO sat me down and told me upfront that the new VP was hired with the intention of being made the SVP a month later, I’d have understood and thought nothing of it. I would have liked to have known that I had no chance and that it wasn’t because I wasn’t qualified or a hard worker or whatever– it was because the person they hired was promised SVP. (And thinking back, it makes complete sense that the CFO would also be, at a minimum, an SVP, if not the EVP. But I didn’t know that at the time and thought it was a problem with my work or something.) I wouldn’t have spent a month getting my hopes up. Instead I was caught completely off guard in a meeting with executives and board members, and had to sit there for the rest of the meeting trying not to show how upset I was. They announced it right when the meeting started, and the meeting was over three hours long, so that was fun. And afterwards, still no one said anything to me.

  24. LGC*

    Is it Bitcoin? ATVs? I want to know.

    Thanks Alison, I just woke up all my neighbors with my horse laugh.

    Honestly, though, I think it really depends on LW1’s feelings towards said technology. (Disclaimer: if it’s what I think it is, I’m less unfavorable to the theory of it than many people are, I just absolutely agree that the implementation in practice is a dumpster fire in so many ways.) I think it’s valid to make this a line in the sand, I just don’t think it’s necessarily wise.

    I guess it’s a little bit like smoking. It’s generally off-putting, and there are real harms to it that outweigh any possible benefits. But unless you’re – like – in a health field or it otherwise relates to the job – I don’t think you should reject someone for being a smoker.

    1. new*

      Smokers have traditionally taken many more than the official number of allowed breaks since it is prohibited indoors almost everywhere. As a non-smoker, this always stuck in my craw. I would only hire a known smoker if they understood clearly that their habit did not allow additional break time or lowered productivity.

      1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        Query: how would one ask that in an interview and how would you know they were a smoker? (Unless in other countries this is something you put on your CV? I’m not knowledgeable of stuff outside the UK)

      2. LGC*

        Well, yeah, you bring up a good point about productivity, but saying that you’d have to make clear the expectations isn’t the same as rejecting someone simply for smoking. (And I work with quite a few smokers.)

  25. Workerbee*

    #5 My mind went to an anecdotal experience of watching a long-timer colleague get passed over for promotion enough times that she finally promoted herself—by moving out of that department and ultimately the company. And she had been keeping herself relevant with changes in her field, had introduced new efficiencies, and all the other stuff that had “promotable” written on it…
    …but she wasn’t a fresh new face when promotable opportunities came up. Now this was due to her manager being a rather terrible manager who ultimately got himself canned, to the relief of all but his remaining sycophants. So that part is extremely specific to my anecdote, but—

    It does make me wonder how much better we could/should be at working with our direct reports for advancing in their careers before the opportunities come up, not after, and how much we are swayed by the new shiny versus the tempered patina.

    1. CupcakeCounter*

      And don’t forget the oft mentioned “too valuable in your current role” excuse. Me (female) and my friend/coworker (also female) were both told this numerous times when looking to be promoted. Meanwhile the coworkers we were constantly helping dig themselves out of holes were being promoted. I stopped helping and eventually turned in my notice. They countered with “well you know boss is retiring soon and the reason you didn’t get X promotion was because you are TOTALLY going to be the next boss”. Really???? Then why am I not invited to any of the management meetings but Coworker A is? Seems to me like HE is being groomed as the next boss. Boss’ role would have been a 3 level jump and never in the history of this company has that ever happened. So yeah…didn’t believe a damn word.

    2. anonymous73*

      Or maybe those 2 weren’t right for the role, or the newer person was a better fit. Seniority doesn’t automatically mean management material. I’ve seen plenty of people get promoted who had no business being a manager, regardless of how long they’ve been with a company.

  26. Hiring Mgr*

    On #1, if it’s the guy’s job it could be that he’s not as personally into it as much as he’s doing his work. If I’m in marketing for Colgate i might wax poetically about their tartar control but do i really care? Probably not

    But mainly there are so many things that are harmful in one way or another that most of us are fans of or use regualrly (Cars,planes, tobacco, NFL, etc etc etc), if you start taking that into account who’s left to hire?

  27. Squidlet*

    OP5, it’s odd that you have to communicate this to the team (is that actually the case?). The process belongs to a different department and the decision was made by that department, and should be communicated by them.

    Having you (as their current manager) involved seems … messy and like the boundaries are not clear – unless your team members ask for feedback or coaching, in which you can probably provide limited insights, since you weren’t part of the hiring panel for that role…?

    It does feel as though there are some important details missing.

    1. anonymous73*

      I don’t think it’s OP’s role to break the news to them, but as their manager it is their job to be supportive of their employees. Considering the employee with the least amount of tenure at the company got the job there will probably be sour grapes with the other 2.

  28. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

    OP1: I hire people into IT and there are a few things that appear on CVs that’ll make me take a closer look. Stuff like promoting cryptocurrency, MLMs etc.

    If they’re a content creator on YT or elsewhere I’ll go take a look at their stuff but in truth the only things I’ll stick a definite ‘no’ on is stuff that would get them booted out of my office if they expressed it in the workplace (conspiracy theories, antivaxxers, bigots, people who love shaming others just for what they look like/are etc.)

    Personally I’ve always worked in industries that have a track record of spewing carbon into the atmosphere so I don’t much care about environmental impacts and won’t judge on that – that’s a little out of my remit (just like if someone repeatedly drives their car 200m up the road on a regular basis instead of walking – it’s none of my business).

    If their entire CV is what I term ‘flash in the pan technology’ I might ask them for any experience in something a bit more stable.

    1. Neurodivergentsaurus Rex*

      I had to go through a lot of articles about the Reply All podcast first but eventually found something about a california environmental agency and “reply-allpocalypse”… could be it

    2. Minimal Pear*

      I have a vague recollection of something with a police department, so my guess was that it was something like that.

  29. Gary Patterson's Cat*

    #1 (technology that has a massively negative impact on the environment and no positive, real world benefits)
    I’m curious as to what technology it was?

    I’d like to point out here that many people are now asked by their company to “represent” and share posts that promote their industry and/or products. The posts are pre-loaded and shared by employees. It is entirely possible the posts are work-related if the person works in sales or marketing. I say that because many of mine do as well-and some people would object to that industry’s products. But it’s part of our job to post! I wouldn’t not interview them because of this, but you can always ask if the “posts about x” were for work to get a sense if it’s truly something they’re passionate about or if they were only posting about it because encouraged to do so.

    I feel horrible now that we’re going to be so judged by other employers hiring managers about posting things for our current employer, and you know, actually doing our jobs. Applicants can’t win either way it seems.

    1. Forrest*

      I think it would usually be pretty clear if the content that someone was sharing was closely aligned to their employer’s views and needs. I think the concern here is that this isn’t aligned with any obvious employment– it’s not “in my spare time I run a social media company and am contracted to promote”– so it looks like these are the views and passions of the employee themselves rather than stuff they are doing for pay.

      That said, if you’re making a change of industry where you’re looking for something diametrically opposed to what you’re doing now– you’re currently in marketing and comms for a fossil fuel company and you want to switch to a an organisation which campaigns against fossil fuels, but your social media is all very pro-petrol– you probably should address that directly in your cover letter! It’s good to show that that is a deliberate move rather than you don’t really care whether you’re promoting fossil fuels or against them.

      1. Drag0nfly*

        Even with the first paragraph though, there’s still a problem because whatever the person is creating has a target audience. In marketing you have “audience personas”, and it’s just as possible that the target audience who spends the most money on the candidate’s product buys into the way he pitches that product.

        If the people spending the most money are 14 year-old-boys who like skateboarding, then he would be smart to appeal to them. If the big spenders are upper class DINKs who eat foie gras, he would be smart to appeal to *them.* If the OP is outside of his target audience — in marketing terms she’s an “anti-persona” — then that’s yet another reason to not put too much weight on disliking how he sells his content he’s creating.

        Useful business questions for the OP to ask, assuming it’s relevant to her field, would concern who IS the candidate’s target audience? How did he identity his audience, and what his sales have been like from one year to the next?

    2. Curmudgeon in California*

      I’d like to point out here that many people are now asked by their company to “represent” and share posts that promote their industry and/or products. The posts are pre-loaded and shared by employees. It is entirely possible the posts are work-related if the person works in sales or marketing. I say that because many of mine do as well-and some people would object to that industry’s products. But it’s part of our job to post!

      IMO, the solution to this is to make a separate account for corporate posting. Something like @sue_at_foo_inc. I wouldn’t put corporate PR stuff out under my personal account. If it was my job to post it, I would have the identity specifically associated with my job, and keep anything personal off of it. If something my company was doing that I thought was interesting, I might say “Hey, I found out that Foo Inc is doing a seminar on Bar. Here’s the link to register.” on my personal account, IF it was also generally discoverable by anyone. Otherwise, it would be on a solely work based account. (I hope this makes sense. YMMV, as always.)_

  30. Whatever I am today*

    I’m guessing OP#1 is talking about NFTs. Yeah, they’re kind of lousy but blocking someone from getting a job for liking them is akin to not hiring someone dressed in a Harry Potter costume on their Facebook because JKR is raging transphobe.

    1. Neurodivergentsaurus Rex*

      They wouldn’t be blocking them just for liking them, though. The candidate listed the social media content on their LinkedIn as relevant work experience. The candidate brought crypto, OR WHATEVER, into the hiring process. Given that, I don’t think it’s unfair to consider it as part of the hiring decision.

  31. Policy Wonk*

    LW 2 – I wouldn’t assume either incompetence or malice. In my experience most people don’t look to see what field they are in, they just react to the message. Having been burned by bcc’s more than once, I almost never use them. Instead, after sending the email, I forward it to the person I would have bcc’d with a note like “for situational awareness” to be clear I don’t expect an answer.

  32. MMconstant*

    I honestly think OP#1 might be interviewing an actual coworker of mine (although maybe NFT guys are overwhelmingly similar) and I really want to know if this is a designer based in the LA area…

  33. Not A Manager*

    I read OP1 as having two issues with the candidate. One is the investment in objectionable technology, which others have addressed, but the other is an off-putting or objectionable online persona.

    Does it make a difference that OP1 discovered the objectionable online persona directly from the candidate’s online professional presence and not by general internet snooping? The candidate chose to supply links to their work. Those links led the OP to discovering an off-putting online persona (“their online personality is the type that rubs me the wrong way”). I’m not sure why the OP now needs to rigorously separate this information from the “professional” office interview. The candidate directly led her to this information because the candidate thought that information *was* directly relevant (and helpful) to their professional perception.

    OP says “I realize this person may conduct themselves in a completely different way in a professional setting.” Maybe. But I’d argue that one’s LinkedIn presence is a type of professional setting, and the candidate has chosen to conduct themselves a certain way on it.

    1. Forrest*

      I don’t think “how did I come across this information” is as important as “how is it relevant to the job”. Subjective impressions like “this person rubs me up the wrong way” are something you should be very careful of when hiring. You can’t discount them all together, but you should be very careful what weight you put on them because they can lead you to recruit People You Like rather than People Who Will Do The Job Well.

  34. ash*

    Can a person who is bcc’ed reply all? I thought the whole idea of bcc was that the other recipients didn’t know? Thinking of emails sent to large groups…if you hit reply all by accident it only goes to the sender. So I can see how the letter writer might get something from the CEO, but everyone?

    Either way I’d say the CEO is simply clueless about email in general.

    1. Sylvan*

      No, someone who’s BCCed can’t successfully reply all. They can still click “reply all” instead of “reply,” I guess.

      I also think the CEO is just clueless about email. Sometimes people aren’t doing something baffling or unnerving — they’re just kind of bad at whatever they’re doing.

      1. LW2*

        To be fair, being kind of bad at something does not preclude you from baffling or unnerving people as a result.

  35. June*

    Katie was probably a recruiter who passes along information. Never count chickens before they are hatched. Stick with it. Something else will come along. Good luck.

  36. I just work here*

    a 16 month unexplained gap would get your application disqualified in our organization. we are fine with people saying they were stay at home caregivers, etc but…nothing…would be a red flag. I’m curious why you are so hesitant to put it on your resume? Seems like there is more information that could help us help you better.

    1. I should really pick a name*

      Are you saying that applicants should mention they were caregivers on their resumes?

    2. Miel*

      I’m confused by your statement – would your organization want a person to account for their entire employment history on their resume, even if it spans decades? I imagine this would be unwieldy.

    3. Sea Anemone*

      Disqualifying me for taking time off work would get your organization disqualified from my application, so I guess that is a mutual screening that works out well for everybody!

      1. I just work here*

        I can see I wasn’t clear. My company (I shouldn’t say “we” since I am not in HR) wants 10 years of employment history provided you’ve had 10 years in the workforce. And yes, they do want people to explain a gap of more than 90 days on their application- applicant doesn’t have to go into detail but a notation that one had a “planned employment break” is sufficient. And yes, HR would not forward an application showing a gap of more than 90 days that is not acknowledged in an otherwise contiguous employment history—the policy at this organization is that an application is not complete without all the information, and our HR director is adamant about it and it is very clearly stated on the company’s application page and in all job postings. . And … yes….I think it’s a bad policy. And yes….I think they are realizing that.

        My point is that most companies would be curious about an employment gap of that length, and I also wonder why someone would leave off a job of that length just because “I don’t want to think about it anymore.” I think that response would raise some red flags to a hiring manager, so the person needs to have a better response when asked about the gap, because it will likely be asked.

        I think the LW could have gotten some good suggestions from this group had they shared more information–like how to talk about a job where they might potentially get a bad reference, or how to explain why they took a job way outside of their career field/skill set/professional level, or how to professionally navigate the question if the gap were related to illness, or how to discuss why they left a dysfunctional work environment.

    4. Curmudgeon in California*

      Why? I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some really tough periods of unemployment, lasting as much as a year and a half. “Survival jobs” don’t belong on a professional resume, IMO. At best I’ll put “miscellaneous temporary, contract and self employment roles” for that time period, and if asked I’ll point out the economic conditions at the time and note that I was engaged in trying to improve my income. I’m not going to go into detail about setting up someone’s computer in exchange for a few meals. Essentially, I’ll indicate that I was hustling, but not the sordid details of a frantic scramble for income.

      If you decided not to hire me for that, I would consider it a bullet dodged.

  37. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    #5. OH BOY are you in a dilemma… you are going to have to tell two employees who were (apparently) passed over for a managerial position by the new guy/gal. Get your tap dancing shoes on, and hope you can sell your performance!

    You may not realize it, but you are going to have to build a defensive argument.

    You also have to prepare for the ones affected by the “passover shuffle” to NOT support your decision.

    You have to be prepared for the fact that they may not support the new manager, and they may not respond enthusiastically to requests to do so.

    You may also have to handle departures, which means that the people that were passed over may throw in the towel on your company and move on.

    What I saw far too often in the IS/IT world – someone who is the OBVIOUS candidate for a senior role, who may have earned it, and been groomed for it, doesn’t get the promotion because someone thought “Oh well, let’s go outside and ask (so-and-so) to groom the person in a senior role.”

    The most demoralizing action that can happen to an employee who’s passed over is to ask him/her to assist you in the pass-over process. BE PREPARED FOR IT. . It can turn a great , critical employee into a bad one overnight. Think about this before passing someone over.

    1. CupcakeCounter*

      The LW didn’t pass them over…the job was in another department with a different hiring manager.
      LW is getting the impression that the other hiring manager from the other department isn’t planning on telling the LW’s reports they were passed over so is asking for help for when the inevitable questions happen.

      1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

        No, LW didn’t . But LW now has to handle the mess that the pass-over actions caused.

        The “defensive argument” – some rationalization for the actions that were taken by management – OP has to deal with it because SHE is in management, too. Sure, she can point fingers and say “it’s not me! it’s not me!” but that doesn’t fix anything now, does it?

        She still has to deal with the problems that this management decision created. She is facing the possibility of having to handle two demoralized veteran employees.

        “But I didn’t do it!” isn’t going to recharge the morale. And the hiring manager in the other department apparently gave no thought to the damage she could be causing (“the elephant in the cornstalks” situation).

        OP can’t give the speech as to how to get to the job you were passed over for – damage is done, it’s time for damage control.

        I did say “support your decision” – yes, my mistake. Shall we say “management’s” decision? Yes.

        If I were OP I would do the following =

        1) Call in each person – individually – and explain a
        a) “This is bad, I understand your disappointment and anger. BUT I want you to stay.”
        b) Skip the bulls**t talk of “if you do this, that and the other thing you MIGHT get considered next time”.
        c) Acknowledge that perhaps, things could have been done differently BUT you understand that people have to look out for their own careers, and although, again, you’d like to person to stay, you would understand if they have to go elsewhere to fulfill their career needs and ambitions.
        d) If another opportunity arises and you’re interested, I’ll be an advocate for you BUT I also have to ensure you don’t change your behavior, which would make it impossible for me to do anything for you.

        2) It also might help if you could arrange a “promotional title” and pay increase for your two employees.

  38. Forrest*

    This is a bit over the top. If there’s one internal role, and three people in your team go for it, only one person is going to be successful. Sure it can be awkward, and yes in some cases it’s going to solidify people’s feelings that they’re going to need to look elsewhere for advancement, but neither of those things has to be a giant drama and A Problem.

    1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

      Yes, Forrest. But if one of the two veterans had received the promotion – yup, two would have been disappointed but not necessarily DEMORALIZED. If I were competing against an equally qualified, KNOWN internal candidate and I lost out to him or her, I could much more easily accept the situation. And LW would have an easier time of handling it.

      And it can turn into a giant drama. Very often, it does if the wrong person is promoted.

  39. Bern Notice*

    RE: Dream Job – it’s SO true that a job can look like a dream from the outside. My spouse worked in apartment maintenance and applied for a job at a local, large apartment complex that’s only 10 minutes from home. He had wanted to work there for the longest time, and was offered a job starting out doing maintenance calls and apartment turnovers, w/the plan to move him into the carpentry shop to replace the current carpenter who planned on leaving. Of course that never happened, nor did the 6 month review/raise he was promised by his manager. He HATED every minute of that job – he was a highly skilled contractor who was spending his days removing grout from bathroom walls and shoveling miles of sidewalk (because they were too cheap to pay their landscaping company to do snow removal for the huge property). There was an on-call rotation that he was totally on board with – until he realized that there was no vetting of what an “emergency” was. He literally had to get out of bed at 2 AM because a tenant said their heat wasn’t working – only to find that tenant in a warm apartment in nothing but their underwear and unhappy that they weren’t warm enough.
    That, along w/the favoritism and complete disrespect heaped upon the non-favored, led to him quitting w/out having another job lined up in less than a year. He walked out in the midst of his manager screaming at him when he asked to leave 30 minutes early one day during the week for a doctor’s appt. Never even got his last paycheck – because they insisted he had to come back for an exit interview and he refused to do that.

  40. Rav*

    As much as I despise certain technologies, this is something of a tough balancing act: content creators basically have to exaggerate their personalities online. I would be cautious around them. Don’t bring this particular subject with them (or adjacent ones) unless you’re required to.

  41. Lady Danbury*

    OP 5, I completely agree with Alison’s advice to push the hiring manager to provide the news/feedback to the candidates or at least provide you with feedback on why they weren’t selected. I would also try to get that feedback even if the hiring manager does provide the news, to better help guide/develop those employees. The expectation that promotions should go to the people who have been around the longest leads to flawed hiring decisions, so there definitely may have been legitimate reasons to prefer the newer person, especially since we have no information on how much experience the candidates have in the industry/role overall, not just at your company. Your role should be to help the remaining direct reports identify the skills/qualifications necessary for promotion and how to develop the skills that they lack. Even then, there’s probably a limited number of roles at the next level within your company, so they have to be prepared to accept that promotion may require leaving the company.

  42. RagingADHD*

    LW#1, you don’t have to play mind games with yourself to try to shake off a negative first impression. Your opinion is your opinion, and the more you pick at it, the more this is going to get blown up in your mind as something far more significant than it actually is.

    Your obligation is to be professional in your role at work and as an interviewer. You need to understand the role and the team, and base your assessment of the candidate’s fit on the way they come off in the interview.

    Keep your opinion about the tech thing in perspective. Maybe the guy is terrible, maybe not. You can’t know until you talk to him.

    If you only worked with people you agree with 100 % about everything, you couldn’t have a job at all.

  43. The Assistant*

    #4

    I’m so sorry this all happened! It is curiosity-making about Katie because who was that woman? But when ghosted, you have to let it go. Even what I call the dream-jobs-on-paper. If they would ghost you like that maybe it wasn’t so dreamy, you know?

    I wish someone would say why an employer wouldn’t respond to someone they’d had three interviews with but I’m assuming the folks who read this blog would never do that. :-)

    Hope the next interview process for you is much clearer!

  44. Formerly Frustrated Optimist*

    #4: I want to share a story with you. In 2017, which was two years into what would eventually become an intensive three year job search, I also interviewed for my dream job. And, like you, they had me come in for a series of interviews in quick succession, including one with the head of the organization.

    It seemed like a great fit on both sides, and I was elated – until they ghosted me hard. After seven weeks, I begged HR for an update, and, sure enough, they had gone with another candidate, who was an insider of the organization.

    I fell into a dark despair, because of all the jobs I had looked at and interviewed for, this was the one that seemed like it was meant to be.

    I did finally get a new job in 2018, and it has worked out even better than imagined. And get this: A couple weeks ago, *five years after the ghosting* – one of the managers I work with now knows the people from the 2017 interview – and described the person who would have been my immediate supervisor as “abusive.”

    So in the end, it was a bullet dodged, but boy, it sure didn’t feel like it at the time.

  45. DJ Abbott*

    #4, It sounds like Gina thinks she knows everything and jumped to conclusions about you because she didn’t recognize the names you mentioned. People like that are not good to work with… you’re probably better off.

  46. Fae Kamen*

    #2 – When someone is BCC’d, they don’t receive replies to the email because they won’t show up in the replier’s “To” field.

    So, perhaps Cecil wants Bram to see his message but not get the replies. That could be for a few reasons, I guess, with the most innocent being that Cecil wants to show Bram he’s on the ball, but doesn’t want to clutter Bram’s inbox with all the subsequent logistical conversations that the boss may not need.

    I usually see this done in the context of an email introduction, where the introducer is put on BCC after the initial email so that they can exit the conversation. It’s usually explicitly said that this is happening, though.

    I don’t think this is a great system for Cecil to be using, but none of the other possible explanations seem great either, so just adding this to the list of non-great reasons why Cecil might be doing this.

    1. blood orange*

      I was going to say the same. I sometimes use BCC to inform someone (often a higher up), but not loop them in on the rest of the conversation. I always say I’m doing this, though. “BCCing Fergus so he’s aware”

      It’s possible Cecil is doing this but not in a clear way. It seems clear that he’s not socially aware enough to pick up on the fact that what he’s doing is weird, so he may not even think anything of it.

  47. Neurodivergentsaurus Rex*

    #1: my answer depends on whether this technology investment could reasonably be likened to a pyramid scheme. So, ATVs, space travel, energy sources – not a pyramid scheme. MLMs and NFTs? Pyramid schemes. If it’s the former category, let it go. If it’s the latter… people who are really into their MLMs need to recruit, which is not something you want in a coworker. (If they’ve only dabbled or show good boundaries between their MLM and their regular work life, that’s one thing. But this candidate’s job materials linked to their social media that promotes their technology of choice, so I wouldn’t bank on them having great boundaries.)

  48. Xaraja*

    On #2, i would point out that it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is BCC’d just because they reply to an email they weren’t copied on originally. I have many, many times forwarded an email to someone and had them reply to the chain and take out the step where i forwarded it to them. This would happen for two reasons:
    1) I forwarded it to someone else who wasn’t copied for them to handle, and what i said (or often several messages) were deleted before replying. In a business situation, this might be deleting an internal conversation before going back to a customer with a decision, or deleting a management conversation before going back to an employee, etc. Point is, the part where the email was forwarded got deleted because the text didn’t need to be sent in.
    2) i forwarded the message with a blank message, or i attached it to another message so there’s no forward section, or i dragged it as an attachment into the chat program so there’s no forward section. If there’s a blank message where all i did was forward it, i have noticed some people are a bit obsessive about deleting that. I’m guessing they think it looks silly. In the other cases, that would happen because I’m trying to get the message to the other person so they can handle it, and that was the easiest way to do it.

    A third possibility I’ve seen, but which hasn’t happened to me personally as often, is shared access to mailboxes. It’s possible in some arrangements to give people access to someone else’s mailbox, where they can view everything received and presumably sent as well. My company uses this when someone leaves the company or even just goes on vacation or leave sometimes.

    Given how the story is told, likely the situation isn’t any of these, but i have found the first two to be very common when there are multiple people working very closely on the same issues (for example, a team of 2-5 people who share responsibility for the same work).

  49. Candi*

    #5 -there’s a letter on here from a manager who had built an “inclusive team” and who was given a new hire to “season” before the hire was moved into a higher-ranking spot. (Thanks to the manager, that failed spectacularly. Manager got better after a few updates.)

    Is it possible the new hire was brought on as a potential future candidate for positions that require managing -a skill in and of itself- and has properly seasoned, maybe ahead of schedule? If so, are you allowed to share that with the other two? “Was hired to eventually be promoted” might go over better than “newbie sweeps the prizes”.

    #2 -from my distance, I find that rather amusing. More seriously, I’d advise considering saving anything that might be important; they could be a cushion when boss tries to throw someone under the bus.

  50. GreenMMsGoGoBoots*

    OP1- if your biggest issue with the influencer is the environmental impact of their “hobby”, spend some time looking into how much energy is consumed doing things like using an always-on programmable coffee maker, streaming YouTube, leaving appliances plugged in when not in use, TikTok, etc. It won’t make you like the “hobby” any better but will put certain aspects in perspective (and also make you feel terrible about yourself, sorry!)
    If this person is an “influencer” but applying for a job with you, they’re clearly not hugely successful in influencing so consider it a hobby. Lots of people have dumb/annoying hobbies but are great people and good workers. Maybe you ski and golf and many of your employees see those as yuppie jerk hobbies, but ultimately you all still work well together. This can be the same. Just nip any marketing/proselytizing in the bud quickly if it arises (this goes for ALL hobbies).

    1. Avril Ludgateau*

      Crypto uses way, way more energy for far less social benefit than any of the examples you suggested and “whataboutism” is passe, anyway.

  51. Avril Ludgateau*

    #2

    Just a related anecdote: I only ever use BCC to forward e-mails that might invite retribution, to my personal e-mail. I’ve had this happen before (was actually terminated for asking the “wrong” question!) so I make sure to back up any mention of unethical, illegal, or protected behavior in this way. Not anything that would constitute IP theft, mind.

    However, some years ago I was having this perpetual tension with an interim manager. My manager had left, then was replaced, but shortly after this, the new manager went on leave. Things were messy in the transition and I already had some trouble with the new (pre-leave) manager undermining my authority with clients in such a way that they were basically going over my head to get her to approve things that we could not actually do, because they got the impression she had a “customer is always right/placate the client” approach and would basically greenlight anything. When she went on leave, I hate to say I was a bit relieved! But the interim manager was even worse about it, and without going into too much detail he started asking me to do things for clients and bypass regulations in a way that was… not entirely above board. But when I pushed back, he would throw me under the bus and make it seem like I was being insubordinate. I was young and scared to lose my job, but I was even more scared of being implicated during an audit.

    So finally, after one such communication, I reiterated the conversation in e-mail format and stopped just one step short of saying ‘what you’re asking me to do is overtly against policy and may run foul of legal/industry/fraud regulations’, I decided to BCC Big Boss so it would no longer be he-said-she-said situation. And Big Boss responded, backing me. Interim manager dressed me down for it. Even though I know I was in the right re:the nature of our conflict, and Big Boss agreed, interim manager really latched on the BCC aspect of it and was berating me for lack of professionalism. In retrospect, I should have just openly CCed Big Boss, but the reason I didn’t was that I was young, new-ish, and scared of giving the impression of “tattling”. But then I got caught out for tattling, anyway, and looked underhanded in the process. I don’t think Big Boss did it to make any sort of point either. He simply wasn’t paying attention to what field his address was in and replied-all presuming he was CCed.

    So anyway, never, ever trust somebody not to reply-all when they’re BCCed. Put them in the CC spot and deal with that fallout directly. Or, if there’s something sensitive you need to make them privy to without another recipient’s knowledge, forward the e-mail after sending, separately. Or BCC everybody, so they can’t reply-all anyway. Ha.

  52. McS*

    LW2, is it possible that Cecil doesn’t notice that Bram replied-all? That he isn’t carefully reading those replies? As you get closer to your exit, maybe casually bring up one of Bram’s responses, “I had that work you never set a deadline for almost done, but after your email, I will need follow up on Bram’s comments before completing it.”

  53. Kate M*

    Can you even reply all to bcc? I thought the entire point of bcc was that you couldn’t do that, because you couldn’t see who else was copied on it?

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