15 years of Ask a Manager

Fifteen years ago this past Saturday, I launched this site. I wasn’t sure if anyone would read it, but I thought I had a few months of posts in me (little did I know the letters you had in you). A decade and a half later, here are some highlights year by year.

In 2007, highlights included:

In 2008, highlights included:

In 2009, highlights included:

In 2010, highlights included:

In 2011, highlights included:

In 2012, highlights included:

In 2013, highlights included:

In 2014, highlights included:

In 2015, highlights included:

In 2016, highlights included:

In 2017, highlights included:

In 2018, highlights included:

In 2019, highlights included:

In 2020, highlights included:

In 2021, highlights included:

And in 2022 so far (we’re only partway though), highlights included:

{ 187 comments… read them below }

  1. Megan*

    CONGRATS!!!!! AAM is my favourite site and I learn so much from you. Hopefully you continue on for many years to come.

  2. LifeBeforeCorona*

    My first AAM was the employee who quit when her manager refused time off to attend her graduation. I’m a manager now and whenever I make a mistake I know it’s never going to be that level of obliviousness.

    1. Phoenix Wright*

      This was my first post too. I became a frequent reader after that.

      Thank you so much Alison, and your wonderful community, for all these years of great advice. Here’s to many more!

    2. Chocoholic*

      I recently had a candidate who was interviewing for a position with us, and told me he would need a specific day off to attend his graduation, and that post immediately came to mind! I told him it would be no problem.

  3. Bluzcluz*

    Thank you for creating this site. I just discovered you last year and enjoy all the stories. I laugh, I gasp, and sometimes actually think my work place isn’t so bad after all. :) Wishing you many more years of great advice.

    1. Jaxgma*

      Agreed! Congratulations on 15 years, and thanks for reminding me that my workplace may not be perfect but it’s a lot better than some others! I look forward to your columns daily.

  4. Triple Toe*

    Thank you for all you do! I’ve learned so so much and consider this site “the best of the internet “. Happy Anniversary!!!!

    1. WoodswomanWrites*

      Hear hear! Ask a Manager is the only blog I read regularly, daily unless I’m off somewhere offline. Alison, your wisdom, kindness, sense of humor, and skillful writing are the perfect combo, along with your generosity. You even offer AAM as a forum for so many of us on the weekends.

      1. Jean (just Jean)*

        Even if nobody ever reads this, I wanted to say amen to every word posted above by WoodswomanWrites. Including the open-topic forum on the weekends. This site, together with its readers/commenters, is wonderful.

  5. Mad Lion*

    Congratulations and THANK YOU for 15 years of advice, information and entertainment! This blog has been a blast to read in the best of times and a guiding light in the worst of times. Here’s to many more years of success and happiness!

  6. Construction newbie*

    “I’ll just go read AAM before bed” just turned into “Good thing tomorrow is a holiday so I can pop some popcorn and indulge!”

  7. coffee*

    Joining the chorus of people who really love this blog! Practical and entertaining.

    Reading back some of the old letters – if it were me with the “my coworker brushes her hair with a fork” letter, I would have had a hard time resisting the urge to post pictures of The Little Mermaid with a fork around her desk.
    (I wouldn’t, because it wouldn’t have helped matters, but I would have been thinking real hard about it.)

    1. sagewhiz*

      And then there was Amy Klobuchar who ate her salad with her comb!

      What I love about AAM is all the proof (as if we need it ;-) that human beings really are the weirdest of animals.

  8. anon24*

    Who else has been here since the dress code interns? That and the employee who was denied her graduation was what brought me here. I cant believe it’s been 6 years. Thank you Alison! Congrats on 15 years!

    1. WoodswomanWrites*

      That was the year I found the site also. I had no idea it had been six years.

    2. Avril Ludgateau*

      Same (although I’ve changed usernames a couple times). Six years on, I still disagree with how harshly those interns were pilloried. It’s also an unusual response even in the context of this blog when the majority here agree that dress codes are mostly arbitrary; that uncomfortable shoes are especially distracting (and women in high-heel environments either have different shoes on under their desks, or kick their shoes off entirely); and that the best way to effect change in an office is through collective, not individual, action.

      Still, I’m glad I found this blog and the archives. I’ve learned SO much and gathered so many perspectives, even opposing ones, sometimes compelling enough to change my view. This blog has been a sort of mentor :)

  9. MEH Squared*

    Congratulations, Alison. I’ve been a reader for maybe five of those years (a latecomer), but I have spent countless hours in the archives or hitting the ‘show me a random post’ button. This is one of the best advice columns and commentariat on the internet. Here’s to fifteen additional years (and more).

  10. Life is Short - Read AAM!*

    AAM is one of the first things I look at in the morning and one of the last things before bed.

    Thanks for all you do! I have learned so much – much has been work related, but much also has applied to *life*.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      This. I guess we will never know how much Alison has change the world of work. But Alison sent out more than a ripple of change. Maybe a tidal wave? People are talking about previously undiscussed topics and making changes. There is not doubt in my mind that one big reason for that is because of this blog and because of people reading here. Alison has taught us to put into words things that we had no phrasing for. Commenters here have taken that and grown it exponentially.

      This space was long, long overdue. The need was and still is HUGE. I have no question in my mind as to why you have had 15 years of material, Alison.

  11. Katty*

    The link for the very first update ever (in the 2007 highlights) doesn’t work for me. Do others have the same issue or is it just me?

    Happy blogiversary, Alison! I think it’s safe to say you’ve changed many people’s lives for the better with your advice and sometimes just commiseration and understanding.

    1. Raboot*

      Love seeing comments go from single digit to over 1000 just for cheap-ass rolls. A true archeological journey!

      1. Molly*

        I tried to open it 5X before leaving the comment. Then, after leaving the comment, I tried once more and it opened. Aarrgghh!!

  12. Worker Bee (Germany)*

    Congratulations Alison! 15 years!!
    I’ve been a mostly silent reader for 10 years now. This is the one and only page I check and read every day.
    The highlights also include the one letter I desperately want an update for. For years I’ve been wondering how the OP of this letter is doing:

    1. Teekanne aus Schokolade*

      Howdy from Chemnitz, Saxony! Maybe we can make an AAM Deutschland fanclub :)

  13. EL*

    Congratulations! Funny that AAM was launched at the same time I graduated with my M.B.A. (as in, I’d graduated the week before). I found the site in 2015 when I was looking for advice on how to handle a sticky situation (deciding whether I could tell my boss I was looking to leave my current position due to the company’s financial challenges). I’ve been reading AAM ever since and have recommended it to numerous colleagues. Please keep it coming!

  14. Your Oxford Comma*

    Mazel tov! I’m late to discovering this fertile field of humanity and I unabashedly love reading your responses (mine would often be “Sorry about that; stupid should hurt) and the stories that inspire them. I’ve learned much about nuance, expectations, assumptions, and communications, some of which I’ve incorporated into my daily life (and realized where I was lacking in past jobs/relationships; a reckoning was needed and had and heeded) and beyond. Thanks for providing this valuable service! And never stop posting pictures of your cats. My Schipperkes love them.

  15. Judd43*

    This website is a fantastic resource for anyone who has a job, plus I just love the old blogosphere-style websites. Not too many of them are still around. Thanks so much for all you do, and to the community as well.

  16. Carpe Librarium*

    Congratulations, and THANK YOU!
    I’ve been a reader for 10 years now. I can’t remember how I got here initially, probably as a link from The Bloggess, Captain Awkward, or Evil HR Lady (or did I find Evil HR Lady from this site?)
    Whatever internet rabbit hole led me to this cosy burrow, I’m here for the long haul. You’d need tweezers and a match to get rid of me now!

  17. HV*

    Alison, you deserve all the success! Thank you so much for this site, you help me out every week.

    The world is a better place because of the hard work you do. Thank you so so much!

  18. crumpets*

    Congratulations Alison – and thank you for all the invaluable advice all these years!

  19. chersy*

    Congratulations on your anniversary! Has it been 15 years?! I’ve been reading AAM for most of my working life, and I’m glad it helped shape my thinking about work. Thank you for all that you do, Alison, and also to the community with all the insightful comments.

  20. Despachito*

    Congratulations, Alison, for this great blog!

    It is the only one I’ve come across that the owner actively moderates and nips the attacks, rudeness and even too much deviation from the topic in the bud. It is hard to imagine how much time you must invest in this, but I greatly appreciate it. There are so many forums where unkindness and one-upmanship get in the way of factual communication, and I am more than happy that this does not happen here.

    I also greatly appreciate the kindness with which the posters’ problems are handled, because I know that even if a situation is my fault and I’ve been handling it incorrectly there is still a point of view I am coming from and is valid, and I love if someone is able to make the difference “your approach is not the best one but your frustration is understandable and here are some suggestions what you could do instead”.

    So, in a nutshell – this is a great site that made me think and re-evaluate more than once. Thank you!

  21. Teekanne aus Schokolade*

    My favorite part of this might be seeing familiar screennames that I know since I starting reading in 2018, all the way back in 2007. Cheers to the Founding Folks of AAM!

  22. mmkbb*

    Congratulations! This is pretty much my favorite place on the internet and I recommend it to everybody. It’s helped me advocate for myself, get jobs, and get raises, and it’s helped my brother do the same. Hard to think of a more impactful (free) service I’ve ever made use of. Thank you for all that you’ve done.

  23. SageMercurius*

    Congrats on 15 years – while I don’t always feel able to comment, I have appreciated the advice over the years! ^_^

  24. Helmswoman*

    Happy anniversary and thank you for the wisdom, inspiration and entertainment.

  25. Cathie from Canada*

    Thanks so much for this site and for everything I have learned reading it.
    I second the praise above, and also wanted to praise how your responses are always so empathetic and kind. Its a worthwhile thing to model for everyone, I think – you show how we all should be treating the people around us.
    One memorable post I wonder about to this day is that new employee whose manager forced them to leave a worknote on a grave – I wonder how that person is doing now, after such a terrible start to their career.

  26. Jennifer @unchartedworlds*

    Thank you Alison!

    I’ve lost count now of how many times I’ve said something to a friend like “do you ever read Ask A Manager? You’d probably like it. Anyway, in that kind of situation Alison would probably say…” :-) Your advice has been passed on many a time!

    (e.g. “well you may as well apply, because Alison always says that the interview is partly for you to find out about thecompany, it’s not just them finding out about you“)

    1. Squirrel Nutkin*

      I too find myself recommending this site a LOT to people. I know they’ll find great advice and insights here from you and the commentariat, Alison! Congratulations!

  27. Myrin*

    Huge congratulations, Alison, and here’s to 15 more years!

    Something I’ve always wondered: I just delightedly read the update from 2007 which reminded me that, well, I don’t know any other advice column which receives updates like you do. Admittedly, I don’t actually read much else but I never got the feeling that it’s the norm or anything. Of course, by now, you actively solicit updates but I started reading in 2014 and I remember that they already came in pretty steadily back then.

    So how exactly did that happen? Did you ask for them once and it just kinda caught on? Or did readers just feel like sending them in and it slowly became A Thing? (As far as I can see, that first person to send in an update did so because she felt like it but was there any precedence for this or do we really have her wish to tell you how well your advice worked to thank for this wonderful feature?)

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      If I’m remembering correctly, for the first two years the updates I printed were ones people just spontaneously sent in. But in 2009, my friend suggested that I solicit them for a “where are you now?” feature so that December we had 12 updates:

      And then I started doing it every December and it grew to the point where we now have more than I can count each year!

  28. Bethlam*

    Thank you for this blog. Though I’m retired now, I found much of the advice and inspiration here, both general and specific, very valuable while I was still employed.

    I had hoped to see as a highlight the one about the commenter who wrote the lengthy reply regarding employees who are suffering/escaping from domestic abuse and how to support them/help keep them safe at work.

  29. Love AAM*

    Happy Anniversary! Reading the headlines of your highlighted posts made me smile. I can relate to many of them, including the fingernail clippings in my office (yuck!). I look forward to reading them all. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom with all of us.

  30. Aunty Fox*

    Happy anniversary! I found this wonderful site 7 or 8 years ago I think, and it has helped me a lot as well as amusing me at times, over the years. Thank you.

      1. Anonagain*

        And the big boss, Mr. Quackers. I really never understood why so many people thought it was fake! It seemed plausible to me. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, truly.

  31. Seeking Second Childhood*

    I clicked on the poop BBQ link and was greeted by this ad: “Fiber is coming to the office!”
    I had to share the laugh along with my thanks.
    I am much more confident managing vendors and contractors than I was before I started reading this website. Having Alison’s advice up my sleeve has made it a much more pleasant experience–my favorite part is the pleased reaction to positive feedback I now give more frequently.

  32. Kate, short for Bob*

    Keeping this page open and dipping back in throughout the day. Thank you Alison, making the work day more tolerable for 15 whole years =-O

  33. Mockingjay*

    Thank you and Happy Anniversary!

    I found you in 2014 and have been a daily reader since. You have made me a better employee and coworker, and taught me how to screen companies to ensure the best fit on both sides. I’ve recommended your site and books to many.

    It’s a weird, fascinating, fun, sometimes heartbreaking world of work. Your page is the map we use to navigate it. And sometimes the movie we have to watch! *grabs popcorn and sits back.

  34. English Rose*

    Such riches to be found here. I’m a fairly recent reader – about a year – and I have learned so much, not least from the wonderful Surprise Me button and the commentariat! Thanks for everything you do Alison, you are amazing.

  35. Hotdog not Dog*

    Thank you! I found you via recommendation from a friend and have been happy to pass the word along to almost everyone I know. I don’t remember when I started reading, but thankfully it was before I accepted my first management position in 2014. (Prior to that I had been an individual contributor for 20 ish years.) My 2018 Employee of The Year award (actually was a Thing at our firm) is at least 90% a result of things I learned from Ask A Manager.
    I would have to say that the most important thing I’ve incorporated into my work style is an awareness of respect for everyone, which allows me to be diplomatic and (hopefully) fair and reasonable in my dealings with colleagues and others.
    Alison, PLEASE don’t retire before I do!

  36. Medusa*

    Congratulations on 15 years! This might be the only place on the internet where the old-school blog is still alive and well. Thanks for all that you do here, Alison.

  37. V*


    This site helped shaped my professional behavior more than any other and I’m sure that goes for plenty of others you’ve helped along the way.

  38. Pumpkin Party*

    Congrats on 15 years and thank you for starting this site! You’ve helped so many people in so many ways!

  39. Kaiko*

    Mazel tov on such a milestone!! This is my favourite advice column and I recommend it to everyone. Thank you for putting it out into the world!!

  40. Texan In Exile*

    Thank you, Alison, for all your great work!

    You are a huge part of why I have gotten interviews and jobs. I even once got an interview for a job that didn’t even exist because the hiring manager thought my cover letter – based on your advice – was so great.

    I have also used what I learned from you to help friends with their resumes and cover letters and they, too, have gotten interviews when they hadn’t been getting them.

    I send almost every working person I know to this site. And even though I am trying to be sort of retired, this site is one of my first visits every morning.

    I wish you continued success!

  41. NiamhOC*

    Congratulations on 15 years! Thank you for all that you do – I have learned so much and laughed so hard since I found you early in 2021! As well as providing incredible, sound and invaluable advice, you also manage to curate the best stories and anecdotes from work places! Your page is one of my first internet stops on a daily basis :)

  42. Trawna*

    2017 Ghoster Chappie. With all my maniacal “Surprise Me!” reading, how have I never come upon that update? Those conditions were so not punitive. They were how everyone is supposed to conduct themselves at work. That Chair sure sussed chappie out fast. Got him to resign by requesting professional conduct. Brilliant.

    1. ecnaseener*

      I just reread the letter & update, and it’s definitely interesting to see people in the comments debating whether it was untenable to have to avoid his ex outside of work for a school year! Lots of “the expat community is so tight-knit that he basically wouldn’t have any social outings at all” comments that I’m sure seemed reasonable at the time, and here we all are on the other side of 2020 like…yeah, it sucked but it was very much tenable. Dude left his partner behind to move countries rather than live through a situation that in all likelihood he had to live through a few years later.

  43. 653-CXK*

    Congratulations on 15 years, Allison! I discovered your site in 2017, when I was at ExJob and at a crossroads in my career (it has since changed for the better). I read this site daily to get advice, cringe and laugh!

  44. East Coast Girl*

    Congratulations, Alison, on 15 years of both laughs and learning. (and, at times, outward cringing)

    I’m an infrequent commenter but a long-time reader and your blog is ingrained into my work day schedule. It is rare that my day doesn’t include me checking in first thing in the morning over coffee and again at lunch time. I have learned so much from you over the last decade and attribute much of that to getting my current promotion that saw me get a $20,000.00 raise and, more importantly, has me doing work that I love!

  45. Susan Calvin*

    Congrats on 15 years! Coming up on my own 10 year anniversary of reading, too, which is wild – took me from grad student/intern all the way to being a manager and my social circle’s go-to resume reviewer!

  46. ecnaseener*

    Cheers to 15 years!

    So fun to look back at the posts from 15 years ago, if only to see how the Internet Linguistics have changed – people in 2007 were talking about “comment-ers,” scare quotes and all!

    1. Anonagain*

      Omg, I came here to point out this gem (the comments) to others. I was not a reader in 2012, but I have since read this post (and comments) several times – it is AAM famous! The comments are not to be missed. OP chimes in somewhere halfway (or more) down the thread, seems to think the problem is everyone is “judging” her for being a stay at home mom and judging her husband for “thinking outside the box.” She quickly goes from alarmingly defensive and apologetic of her possibly controlling husband, to….loony toons. A must read!

      I hope she’s happy now. At this point, her kids would all be teenagers or adults. I’m a divorce lawyer, and I see A LOT of husbands who, as soon as the kids are grown, decide its not much fun having a caged bird as a partner, and suddenly start blaming wife for “not contributing.” Revisionist history, for sure, but it happens all the time. Not to everyone, but often enough, and women in OPs situation really should be aware that they may be setting themselves up for starting a min wage job at 55 to try to make ends meet.

      1. Somebody Call A Lawyer*

        I couldn’t believe how it all unfolded, and I agree, I hope she found peace.

  47. soontoberetired*

    I found this a few years ago and it helped me deal with a former co-worker who used t get her way by throwing tantrums. she still threw tantrums, but not with me, but she also stopped getting her way. she finally retired.
    It helped to know there are a lot of manages who can’t actually manage people.

  48. Not So NewReader*

    Alison, you know you have a book there, right?
    If you take the links (the question and the answer) they become a book. You could do little comments at the beginning of each chapter. My bias, I think that people would enjoy reading what you were thinking as you went through the years. Maybe some tidbits about what you added, I remember when you beefed up the site for example. It would be interesting to hear how you juggle this and other work. I’d like to hear about how you stopped thinking you would do this for a “few months” and decided to continue on with it.

  49. Falling Diphthong*

    I love that the very first update set up such a classic case:

    Original: Dear Alison, I thought my company would reward me for all the value I’ve added, but they just said I’m doing great and there are “reasons” I can’t move up or get a significant pay bump or become salaried.

    Update: I met with my boss and he told me to just focus on being the best me I can be. So I took an interview with our competitors, who are eager to hire me into a salaried role at almost twice my current pay. Thank you!

    1. Elenna*

      As well as the first of many “my boss screwed me over and then was shocked when I resigned” updates!

      Boss: “Be the best you that you can be.”
      LW: “Okay, well, the best me is making twice my current salary at a company that actually values my work. Bye!”
      Boss: *shocked pikachu face*

  50. Hope*

    Congratulations Alison – love and have learned so much from the blog, the site, the way you manage the community, the way you manage and think and write. Thank you! You’ve profoundly affected so many of us for the better.

    1. Elle*

      Congratulations Alison! You’ve created an invaluable resource and a great community here.

  51. PhyllisB*

    Congratulations, Alison on 15 years!! I can’t remember how I discovered your site, but once I did I was hooked. I haven’t clicked on all the links yet, so this one may be in there somewhere, but the first one I remember reading was the one from the poor lady who was checking on some remodeling updates and stepped in wet cement (wearing heels and a short skirt) and went careening down the hall “streaking and apologizing ” before slamming into a wall. I have never laughed so much in my life. OP, if you are reading this, forgive me my mirth, and I am very glad you weren’t injured, but you have to admit that put forth quite a mental image. After reading that, I was hooked!!

    1. PhyllisB*

      Also wanted to thank you for all the good, practical, advice you give. It was too late for me to need, my working years were winding down when I discovered you, but I have been able to give useful advice to my adult children and now my grandchildren as they start their working years. In fact, my kids (knowing I read this site every day) will sometimes ask, “what does your friend Alison say about…” and I’m off doing a deep dive. Thank you again.

  52. The answer is (probably) 42*

    Congratulations on 15 years! I have been a daily reader for years and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate what you do!

  53. Orange Capybara*

    Congratulations on 15 years of awesome advice and insight! I can’t recall when and how I stumbled upon your page but I was hooked immediately.

    I deeply appreciate your and the commenters wisdom. I am learning so much and I know that all of you are making me a better manager. Also, what better way to learn while being entertained!

  54. Harriet Wimsey*

    Congratulations on your milestone! I’ve only been reading for the past couple of years but this blog has given me so many good tips for work and life more broadly. The various letters and comments on issues about transgender, neurodiversity and disability have really helped with recent recruitment, helping me to focus on what were actually essential requirements and how we could make the interviewing process as equitable as possible. (And I possibly spend far too much time hitting the ‘Surprise Me’ button.)

  55. just passing through*

    Congratulations! That’s a fantastic achievement.

    It seems to me (subjectively) that the “highlights” get more bizarre as time goes on, at least for the first several years. Do you think that’s just a function of reaching a wider audience, or has work behavior gotten more bizarre since 2007?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I think it’s a function of reaching a wider audience and thus getting a bigger variety of letters. The traffic in the early years was very small compared to the traffic in recent years. For example, in year 2 (2008), the site got 173,392 visits that year. By 2016 it got 24 million visits that year. And in 2021 it was 37 million visits for the year. I think the letters definitely got more interesting as the traffic has grown. As the traffic goes up, my mail also increases and that means I’m picking the letters I think are most interesting from a larger group, whereas in 2007 I printed pretty much everything I received!

      1. just passing through*

        That makes sense.

        Gosh, imagine all the food-stealing sex party cult revenge plots there must have been in 2007 that we’ll never know about because their coworkers weren’t reading AAM yet….

  56. Support your local street cats.*

    Congratulations and thank you for having this forum and here’s to many many more.

  57. Defintely Anon*

    Bonker ms every ones of them. I have so many updates that I forgot I even wanted I dont know where to start.

  58. lurkyloo*

    Welp, there goes my day! lol

    As a Canadian working in public enterprise, I’ve often been amazed at the shenangians that happen in the private sector. But I also have to say that your advice has proven invaluable many times in the 5 or so years since I found this site. Thank you so much for all you do and may your wisdom serve us for the next 15 too! (Unless you want to quit. You don’t owe us or anyone else an explanation other than ‘this opportunity fell in my lap and it’s too good to pass up!’ See? I was listening! lol)

  59. Dona Florinda*

    And thank you for the links, guess I’m not gonna get a lot of work done today.

  60. Colette*

    Congratulations, Alison, and thanks for the advice! I think I started reading in 2010, and the site has definitely influenced how I approach things at work and outside of work.

  61. Frog&Toad*

    Aaaahhhhh, I was wondering what would be posted today!! Thank you AAM, you are the very best and congratulations on 15 years!!

  62. Hakky Chan*

    Congratulations and thank you for all the years of both information and entertainment! Like many, this site is daily reading for me and has been for years. 8 at least? Your insights, as well as those of the community you’ve developed have contributed so much to my professional growth considering my family is all blue-collar and I work in a white-collar job, I just didn’t have the personal examples on how to behave. I don’t think I embarrassed myself too much early on, but I definitely picked up many tools (and attitudes) from this site.

  63. Silly Janet*

    Thank you Alison for this and for existing! This column is the reason my mornings are great, why I have my current job, and it’s helped with not just work advice but regular life advice, too.

    It was great fun reading through these and I came across a couple I hadn’t read. I would say 2015-2016 win for the most batsh!t insane years.

    I’m curious when coronavirus came up for the first time.

    Thank you again and looking forward to another 15 years of the best advice column ever!

  64. North Wind*

    Happy anniversary – thanks for the great advice and community! You’ve created a good ethos here.

  65. Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii*

    I’ve learned so much from Ask A Manager that would have taken me lifetimes to learn elsewhere since so many varied situations that cannot all happen in one workplace have been written about.

  66. mreasy*

    I have to credit AAM, which I think I found in 2011, for my becoming a good manager and workplace leader. Congrats on the anniversary, Alison, and thank you for everything you do!

  67. Elizabeth West*

    Happy 15th anniversary, Alison!

    I found AAM in 2012 after an unexpected layoff. I credit it with helping me get Exjob (and hope it will help me find AlmostDreamJob next). It’s my go-to for work-related questions and I often refer other people here.

    Thank you for the excellent advice (and entertainment, ha). And thank you for maintaining one of the best comment communities on the internet. Without y’all, I would never have stuck my toe in the waters of indie publishing with that long-ago story collection, and Tunerville would still be languishing on my hard drive. <3

  68. Kittymommy*

    Ohh yippee. Glad I brought my laptop home, it’s a lot easier to read that way!!

    Thanks Alison.

  69. The Prettiest Curse*

    Happy anniversary, and thank you so much for making sure that the comments on this site aren’t a cesspit! This is one of very few places online where I can stand to read the comments.

    I’ve learned a lot from reading this site, and often think about how I’d have handled past unpleasant situations at work so much better if I’d been reading AAM at the time.

  70. waffles*

    I absolutely love this site and recommend it all the time! Allison, thank you for all you do!

  71. Sophia*

    I’ve been reading since 2010. You had a tremendous impact on my life and future generations in my family! I grew up in poverty from several generations of welfare recipients / foster youth. In my first job out of college, I was making 30k/yr and had absolutely no idea how to navigate the corporate world. That’s when I found you. I read your blog every single day for years.

    Today I’m extremely successful with an amazing career that allows me to support my mom and family. My kids won’t know what its like to go hungry, freeze at night, or work extremely difficult manual labor as youth the way I did and my mom did.

    It’s rare and a big deal to overcome generational poverty and I credit you with being the teacher and experienced parent I never had to help get me where I am today.

  72. fieldpoppy*

    Alison, you are such a gem. These links alone are a week’s worth of coffee time (I realize I started reading around 2014, based on instant recognition. I do strategy consulting and also coach and teach leadership. I give many of my clients your books, draw on insight from your column every day, and direct my clients to your site on an almost daily basis. You are so… sensible, funny, incisive, energetic and PRESENT. And just plain smart. Thank you.

  73. Social Commentator*

    The weirdest part about this is clicking on a super-juicy old-school post to read all the discussion, and… there are only 7 comments.

    1. The Prettiest Curse*

      Yes! And the comments have changed so much over time, too. It looks like in the early days, people couldn’t reply to each others’ comments and everyone’s name defaulted to “Anonymous” unless they specifically chose something else.

  74. Denise C*

    Congrats on your achievement! I think I’ve been with you for almost 10 years. Thanks for all the insight you’ve given me that has definitely helped me along in my own career.

  75. VP of Monitoring Employees’ LinkedIn and Indeed Profiles*

    I’m looking forward to the next 15+ years… AND an update to the “Liver Boss” story.

  76. CatPerson*

    I discovered this site as it was the top hit when I googled “I hate bosses’ day.”

  77. Lady Blerd*

    I think I started reading in 2015 but I’m familiar with many of the highlights from previous years as they’ve been linked or referenced many times. Leap year birthday, and the update, is still living rent free in my head and I do hope one day we will have a follow up.

  78. The Original K.*

    Thanks so much for all you do! I’ve been reading for at least 10 years (!) because you answered a question of mine in 2012, as I was negotiating a job offer (the question was about negotiating a different title, which I was able to do). I can’t remember what brought me here but the sage advice, WTF-ness, and great community is what keeps me around!

  79. AnonInCanada*

    Congratulations on fifteen great years (and equally bizarre stories.) Thank you for letting us relive the bizarre year that was 2016, and here’s to fifteen more!

  80. lilsheba*

    Happy anniversary! I’ve been reading this for years and enjoy it, thanks for all the effort you put into it!

  81. Bagpuss*

    I have been browsing some of the selected highlights , some of which I remember and others which make me think ‘I wish I’d seen this at the time as I want to comment but it’s over a decade old!’

  82. OlympiasEpiriot*

    Congratulations! I think I started reading around 2009. Don’t know when I first commented though. Been a useful run and here’s to many, many more letters!

    Copyediting point though: From the date stamps, it appears that the update to the first link (irritating manager reality check) got posted in September 2007, three months before the “first update”? Or am I’m repeatedly misreading them?

  83. Calm Water*

    If I get too far into that list I’ll be here all day. Congrats on your anniversary and going to echo all the positive comments – this site has given me tools I desperately need and also an awareness of when I should be doing something better even if I’m not. It’s a process

    BUT! Did you ever get any further follow up from your very first update person? Would you give her the same advice now as then? And how did her career go after she got a new job? I’m sure she just is living her life but I want the answer to be that continued to see their former boss through a shared professional network and everyone kept telling him how lucky he was to have worked with her.

  84. Rachel*

    CONGRATS!!!! I just found you a couple years ago but I love everything you have to offer and always click in when I see new posts. There are many other advice blogs or there, but I find many to be out of touch and the most of the others never seen to give actionable advice. You on the other hand always seem to be compassionate but honest, and understanding of the times and even how they’ve changed since you started writing, and always, always actionable. You’re amazing and I hope you never stop sharing your gift with us because you do make a difference!

  85. GooberPea*

    Alison, thanks and congratulations for creating and maintaining one of the kindest and sanest spots on the internet! AAM is the first thing I read every morning, and I admire your dedication and tenacity, and your commonsensical approach. My introduction to AAM was through the late-lamented blog “Hannah and Matt Know It All”, and I think I came in about the time of the insane “Duck Club” (Quack!) in 2015. Unfortunately that was a few years too late for me – I had retired early in sheer desperation the year before. If I had discovered your blog earlier in my career, and had had the courage to implement your advice, it would have made a huge difference for me. I do recommend AAM to my adult kids, nieces and nephews, and friends who are still in the workforce. Many thanks for your wise and witty site!

  86. Eyes to the Sky*

    I remember the Duck Club! That brought me here. I also loved “cheap ass rolls” and the clueless boss who thought her team was a sorority and froze out one of the older members.

  87. old curmudgeon*

    Wow – what an amazing decade and a half it has been! Mazel tov and thank you for all the help you’ve given to so many of us!

    I am yet another of your readers who has shared the site in general as well as specific posts with many, many friends and colleagues over the years, and without fail, every single one of them has reported finding useful and helpful information here.

    One of the things I most love about this site is the way you ask readers to share amusing stories from their own experiences. The results are always hilarious, and I have been known to read them aloud to my long-suffering spouse upon occasion. I think my very most favorite of all such posts was this one: https://www.askamanager.org/2021/12/the-best-office-holiday-party-date-story-of-all-time-3.html, which even inspired its own completely awesome fanfic.

    Alison, I wish you fulfillment and happiness in this gig for many years to come! You are doing a great thing here, and you will never know how many people’s lives have been profoundly impacted by your work here. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, grace and humor with us all!

  88. Cj*

    These links were awesome. So many that I haven’t read before even though I have dive deeply into the archives.

    They led me down the rabbit hole, and I ran into one titles how do I avoid shaking hands. The date? February 6th, 2020. All they had to do was wait a month.

  89. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

    Congratulations! Judging by the links, 2016 was quite the pivotal WTH year. I never keep track of these things so I’m not sure exactly when I started reading…2011 or 12 maybe…but I can’t believe what a long strange trip it’s been.

  90. RJ*

    Congratulations on your 15 years! It’s amazing when you think about all the stories, the updates and the things we’ve been through, read and experienced collectively on this site. I don’t even remember when I first started visiting since I lurked for so long, but I’m going to be revisiting some of the stories I remember best via the links. Thanks for all of your great advice, Alison!

  91. Happiest Camper Ever*

    Oh wow! I’ve been reading almost daily since 2011 and what I’ve learned here has shaped my career mindset SO MUCH. Thank you for being the best “manager” I’ve ever had & the workplace education I think we all need!

  92. Quake*

    I love how 2007 starts so benign and things just get progressively wackier from there

  93. wine dude*

    If I had discovered AAM in 2007 it would have saved me a TON of grief! Thanks Alison!

  94. Aphrodite*

    I’d love to hear updates from many of these, especially the early ones, given the time that has passed. But one from 2013 that I just reread, the one from the guy who thought it funny and a hill to die on, was about the $150 sticker on his truck about no fat chicks. It will be nine years in August since that letter was published–and I’d love to know if he grew up, dumped his dumber friends, and gained any self-awareness.

  95. Little Miss Sunshine*

    I am desperate for an update from the person working 2 full time jobs.

    1. Chauncy Gardener*

      Me too!!
      OP, if you’re reading this, please let us know how everything is going

  96. Lark*

    I joined the readers’ fold in 2016, thanks to being linked to the “Master” letter. My kink life predates my professional life and I have always been amenable to a juicy bit of internet drama. While I came for said drama, I’ve stayed for the unassailably excellent advice that Alison and many commenters provide. Congratulations on 15 years!

  97. LupizzaNyolive*

    Congratulations on 15 years! This site is so amazing and has been invaluable for learning the norms of US work culture as an immigrant to this country.

  98. Chauncy Gardener*

    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog! I have referred SO many people to it.
    And this post is just *chef’s kiss* I will be reading it all week!

  99. Mr. Shark*

    Congratulations! This is such a great resource for work, dealing with co-workers, managers, raises, resumes, interviews, but also just a bunch of entertainment, which sometimes makes me think, “My work isn’t so bad, compared to THAT!!” :)

    Just browsing through, one of the worst bosses ever still is the boss who taped employees mouths shut. That’s beyond bad boss, that’s not treating people like adults or even humans.

    Keep up the great work! You say people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. You have the best manager around!

  100. Ambeliar*

    I have been reading your blog faithfully and suggesting it to others since 2010! I’m so pleased it’s been such a great success!

  101. Kanye West*

    Thanks for all your effort! I learned a lot and the way I notice it, is when I am increasingly able to predict your answers :)

  102. tamarak & fireweed*

    Congratulations on such a successful venture & thanks for the useful and so well-moderated site!

  103. Carpe Librarium*

    Commenting in support of requesting updates from any letter writers in the 2007-2012 period.
    Reading about where people are now, a decade further into their careers (or retired?) would be fascinating.

  104. SandrineSmiles (France, At Work)*

    This is beautiful (yes peeps, I’m still alive) .

    Lots of reading materials for a nice workday haha ^^

  105. PeanutButter*

    I first found you in 2007 or 2008 – right when I had graduated from college and was trying to figure out corporate America. While I really only started reading regularly a few years ago, I remember I have always been impressed with your advice and insight into management/employee/interpersonal issues. Over the last decade and a half if I’ve had a problem at work and decided to try googling on the off chance someone else has had the same problem, odds are good one of your letters and answers will be a top result, and if it is, odds are REALLY good that I will gain insight into my own situation from the letter, your response, and the commentariat. Cheers, and here’s to another decade and more!

  106. PivotPivot*

    Did I miss the one where the guy got fired in one day for saying racist things? Then the OP’s friend who was in HR had a hard revelation where it became clear she didn’t know very much about the HR world?

  107. BigSigh*

    Such a fun list. I went through and it was an internal monologue of “Oh I remember that one! Wow, I can’t believe I forgot this one. Loved the follow up this one had.”

    I cringe when I see my submission on the list, as I try to pretend it never happened, but glad others learned something, I suppose.

    Congrats on 15 years!

  108. CM*

    At the end of the “needy boss wants me to adopt her” update, the OP wrote: “Thank you again, Alison, for your help in joggling me out of the unhealthy place I had allowed myself to be pulled back to!”
    What a great description of this site and Alison’s advice! Sometimes we all need to be joggled out of an unhealthy place we’ve settled into without realizing it.

  109. WantonSeedStitch*

    Congratulations on fifteen years, Alison! I have learned so much–and gotten so much entertainment–from this site.

  110. ScruffyInternHerder*

    ::passing the sparkling juice and water fully appropriate for offices::

    Congratulations on the blogaversary!!! I’ve enjoyed reading since I stumbled across mid-job-search in 2018. The advice gleaned was definitely helpful and appreciated!

  111. Calyx*

    You are a fantastic resource. I have recommended you to so many people! Just recently, a friend asked if I could help a Sudanese immigrant with his resume. I said I would be happy to but that he ought to read your job resources first. I sent a link. Next I heard, he had had several interviews and wanted advice on how to negotiate job offers! Once again, I pointed him to you and said I’d be happy to have a followup discussion if needed. Thanks.

  112. Pam Poovey*

    I hadn’t read the poop barbecue before and I’m torn between sad I missed it and upset I ever had to learn it was a thing.

  113. This is not my first time.*

    Congratulations on 15 years! I can’t wait to come back to this thread and read/reread all the juicy posts!

  114. RB*

    Wow, congrats! I hadn’t realized you’d been doing this for so long. I hope you keep doing it for a very long time. I just wish I’d started reading it sooner, but on the bright side, there are a lot of old posts I could read if I wanted to. I don’t even remember how I found your site. Is there any way of know how most people find you?

  115. Jake*

    This is my first AAM memory

    “a husband who emailed his wife’s manager about their joint decision for her to resign”

  116. Classy_Sassy_SmartA$$y*

    Thank you for your fantastic advice! I discovered your site around 2016ish when I was trying to move from Ohio to the Northeast, and needed serious help revamping my grad-school student resume and cover letter so I could stay employed. What got me hooked (besides the treasure trove of resources) were the bats*it insane posts.

  117. LabTechNoMore*

    I will concede that 2022 – 15 = 2007 (after confirming it in my head and twice via calculator), but I refuse, REFUSE, to accept that 2007 was fifteen years ago. This is my hill to die on; I don’t care if it doesn’t make sense!

    In all seriousness, cheers on your 15 year AAM anniversary!

  118. GoldenHandcuffs*

    Congrats on your anniversary, Allison and thank you for all the work you do! I’ve been reading since 2010 (I think?) and it’s a part of my daily routine.

  119. Re'lar Fela*

    What a fantastic trip down memory lane! I found AAM in 2011 when I was about to graduate from college and had no idea how to properly apply for jobs outside of food service and retail. Then, throughout the rest of 2011 and 2012, I read back through the entire archive. Back then I was AdminAnon. I even had a question answered back in the day, which was a true highlight!

    I’d forgotten about some of these posts, though others are truly unforgettable! Thank you, Alison, for 15 years of excellent advice, hard truths, and hilarious stories. Any professional success I’ve had is truly a testament to your matter-of-fact take on just about any workplace scenario (though I have to say, the WTF Wednesday posts….I know, I know….not a thing) have always been my favorites!

  120. Lucien Nova*

    Fifteen years! Congratulations, Alison – you are genuinely a force for amazing good in this wild world that is the internet!

    I think I’ve been reading over six years now. I don’t remember when I found my way here (I do remember it was through Captain Awkward) but it was definitely before my transition so at least six!

    I plan to stick around, even if I don’t comment much, and I’m always pointing friends here for relevant advice. :D

  121. Heffalump*

    It just so happens that Carolyn Hax’s “Tell Me About It” column marked its 25th anniversary a week and a half ago. Interesting that TMAI and AAM started 10 years apart at the same time of the year. For my money they’re both the gold standard—personal life in TMAI, workplace issues in AAM.

    I’m not sure how long I’ve been here. Oldest comment of mine I could find was from November 2019, but I used to comment under a different screen name and didn’t find any comments under that name. The dress code interns post really put AAM on the map for me because it spoke to me for a number of reasons. But I’m not sure if I saw when it ran, or after the fact.

    Some of my past workplace situations make me wish AAM had been around then.

  122. beanie*

    CONGRATS! I’m so grateful for your work! Your site helped me think about job transitions, helped me land a new job, has helped me be a better manager and communicator, and just given me more confidence in general in how I approach work and think about what’s normal or not.

  123. Rika*

    Thank you for sharing these! So many good ones I hadn’t read yet!
    And one that will leave me infuriated for the rest of the day: the guy with the weaponized farts who successfully drove away a female employee with his foul odours, because he felt she had no business in a men’s industry.

  124. whippet*

    Congrats on 15 years!

    The OP/”PO’d”‘s comments on the “husband who emailed his wife’s manager about their joint decision for her to resign” letter still haunt me 10 years on.

    1. whippet*

      Also: rereading these highlights has reminded me how foundational Alison’s management philosophy has been for my own, so a heartfelt thank you for that.

      And reading this blog has meant that no matter how strange the things I’ve dealt with as a manager are, I can reassure myself that there are much, much stranger things out there. It helps to have that validation lol.

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