can I ask out my interviewer, are Yahoo email addresses unprofessional, and more

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

1. Can I ask out the HR person who interviewed me?

I recently completed an interview with the HR recruiter for a company that I had applied for. I really enjoyed speaking with her and wanted to maybe connect with her and perhaps ask her out on a date. I have completed several interviews before, so I am fully aware it is a recruiter’s job to be nice to the interviewee. Would this be inappropriate to do? Should I connect with her on Linkedin first and get to know her a bit better first or should I just leave the whole thing altogether?

Unless you have compelling evidence that she was into you in that way, please don’t do it. As you point out, she was simply doing her job and part of that job was to be warm and friendly to you. If she sent clear signals that she’d be interested in socializing outside of a professional context — like saying “we have so much in common, we should get a drink sometime” or something similar — that would be one thing. But otherwise, no.

Is there a chance she wouldn’t mind or might even welcome it? Sure, there is a chance! But there’s a stronger likelihood of it being one more incident of unwanted attention on top of many others, because that is a thing that women have to deal with far too often.

Normally it would be fine to connect on LinkedIn for networking purposes, but if you’d be doing it in the hopes of parlaying that into a date … see above.

2. Can I give feedback over our chat program?

I manage a website with staff in many states, so we all operate online. Our main channel of communication is the work instant messaging system. It’s here where we all give feedback on each other’s work and recommend changes, edits, etc., and also where we chat generally throughout the day. Sometimes I might have to give feedback that’s a little bit more sensitive — perhaps the way they’ve given feedback was a bit harsh, the tone of a staff email wasn’t quite right, or I’ve noticed an ongoing issue with their work that I want to nip in the bud. If this is something small and easy to say on chat, is that okay? I feel like management 101 would say to always give feedback “in person” and so I will often try to ring and do it over the phone, but I feel like it makes it feel like a bigger deal than it needs to be that they’ve “got a call from the boss,” rather than using the usual way to give what can be really simple feedback. An example of this might be, “Strong intros are really important — I’ve noticed sometimes yours have X and Y issues, make sure you keep an eye on them” or “Hey, thanks for letting staff know about the issues with the list, but the email was a little terse and I usually find phrasing like X and Y gets a better result.” Is using chat for feedback okay sometimes, or should it always be over the phone?

It depends on the topic and the relationship you have with the person. In general, routine or minor feedback (like your strong intros example) can be done over chat. But something that might be more sensitive or require a lot of discussion should be a phone or in-person conversation. Feedback on tone (like your terse email example) can often fall in that second category — in fact, I’d put it there as a default — but if you have a strong relationship with the person and talk over chat frequently, sometimes that kind of thing could be fine for chat too. It really depends on the person and your dynamic with them.

The big thing is to be aware of what has the potential to feel more sensitive (to them, even if not to you) and err on the side of caution with those. One big rule in that regard: If it’s minor feedback about the work, chat can be fine. If it’s feedback about the person — tone, approach, people skills — default to a real conversation unless you have clear and convincing evidence that this particularly person won’t mind if you don’t.

3. Are Yahoo email addresses unprofessional?

I’ve had a Yahoo email address since I was 25. I’m now 20+ years north of that. My friends don’t judge and I don’t care what Amazon thinks of my email address enough to change it. I’ve been a government employee for those same 20 years so always had my work email for professional interactions.

I heard someone recently say that all email addresses from “older” platforms like Yahoo are inherently unprofessional. Is that true? As I inch towards retirement and a private sector gig, do I need to get a new email address?

Email addresses from older platforms are not inherently unprofessional! They can make you look behind the times when it comes to technology, but there are tons of fields where that doesn’t matter much — although if you’re in IT or another field where it’s important to look on top of tech, a Yahoo email address can be concerning, especially given Yahoo’s notorious security breaches. That said, Yahoo can mark you as older, so if you already have concerns about age discrimination it’s something to factor in.

4. I’m going to quit my brand new job — do I need to give two weeks notice?

I just started a job and today is my second week. There are some things that don’t really line up with how the job was portrayed, and I feel I was extremely misled during my interview. I’ve decided to leave and just want to know if I need to give a formal two weeks notice? Or can I just tell them this is my last day or tell them on Monday that Friday is my last day? I feel awkward giving a 2 weeks notice when I’ve only been here two weeks.

You don’t need to give two weeks notice when you’re brand new to the job. It’s likely they haven’t even finished training you yet and won’t want you to stick around anyway, since there’s no point in them continuing to train you. You can explain the job isn’t what you thought you were signing up for and then say something like, “I assume it doesn’t make sense to give two weeks notice since I’m so new and still being trained and my thought is for today to be my last day.” Alternately, you can just announce that today will be your last day if you want to … but the illusion of it being a collaborative decision can sometimes smooth things over. On the other hand, if you think they’ll press you to stay longer, it can be smart to go with the “just announce it’s today” approach.

5. How to negotiate salary when I’d accept anything they offer

I’m applying for a more advanced position at my current job, and due to my qualifications (and a really awesome and supportive manager!) I’m almost guaranteed an interview. This is a publicly posted position that they expect to interview about three people for, so even though I have a good chance, it’s not a guarantee that I’ll get it.

Currently I’m part-time, working two jobs. This new position would be full-time and (even quitting my second job) would almost double my yearly income. The posted salary range for the position has about $10K between the base and upper limit. I am very well qualified, but not 100% (I have a ton of related experience, but haven’t held the exact position type before). An advanced degree is preferred for the position, which I do have, along with a decade of experience in the field.

If they offer it to me, how should I look at the offered salary? I don’t expect the top end, but I also have read a lot of posts from you about not leaving money on the table. I have been applying for full-time positions elsewhere but right now the job market in my area (both geographically and field) is … not great. I have zero leverage to negotiate because I haven’t gotten another interview, and I can’t afford to turn it down if offered even at the low end of the range. The best thing I have going for me is my manager, who really really wants to see me move up in the organization, rather than lose me to another company.

Is this a case where I should just be okay accepting whatever is offered because it’s already going to be better than where I’m at now? I AM ok with that, but I don’t want to have any of those little “what if…” thoughts afterwards, and a couple extra thousand a year is a lot to me.

If you get the offer, you don’t have zero leverage! Your leverage is that they’ve determined that you’re the best candidate and they want to hire you.

It sounds like you’re thinking you would need to present some sort of case to justify the additional money, but you rarely need to do that when you’re offered a job. It’s normally enough to just say, “I was hoping you could do $X” or “could you do $X?” or “if you could go up to $X, I’d love to accept.” They might not agree to that, in which case you can accept whatever the original offer was, but very often a simple sentence like that is enough to bump the offer up. It’s worth asking.

{ 579 comments… read them below }

  1. Yahoo mama*

    Ugh. I also still have a yahoo address, and I really really really prefer yahoo mail to gmail. I’ve always hated having to be signed into google, since I use it for searches, and don’t like my email tied directly to my searching. But I’m about to start a career search (in tech field) so I guess I’ll get a gmail for that. Good point on seeming old. Boo.

      1. Lily Rowan*

        Yeah, that’s what I do, so I don’t have to check gmail regularly but when it matters, I see that I’ve gotten a message there immediately.

        Signed, A fellow 40-something yahoo loyalist.

    1. GelieFish*

      I use my yahoo for most things, even my last job search (though not tech.) I do also have an outlook address that I was assigned from Microsoft. I’ve used that when I want to look more professional.

    2. L.H. Puttgrass*

      I really really really dislike the idea that Gmail is basically the only “professional” email these days. Yeah, I haven’t used my Yahoo mail account in ages either (it’s currently set to an auto reply telling anyone who sends mail there that they really ought to use the address I’ve been using for the past fifteen years or so), but it still sort of stings that it’s entered Hotmail and AOL territory. And Google already has so much of a monopoly in many areas and sees so many details of our lives, that “use Gmail or you’ll seem like an out-of-touch old fogie” seems…well, unfortunate.

      I have my own email domain hosted somewhere other than Google. I highly recommend custom domains for people in tech (if for no other reason than having your email be at your own domain—or, if you’re a glutton for punishment, hosting your own email—can allow a lot more control over your email than you get with Google and, as a side benefit, be useful for displaying a minimal amount of a certain kind of technical ability). But not everyone can or wants to have their own domain, and saying that they have to use Gmail or seem unprofessional is like…oh, I dunno, saying that using anything but a certain brand of car or handbag is “unprofessional.”

      It’s just email. As long as the username isn’t in bad taste, the domain really shouldn’t matter (as long as the domain isn’t in bad taste, either).

      1. Yahoo mama*

        Thanks – I think I might get a custom domain and email. I may be setting up a portfolio so that will solve two problems. Glad I’m not the only one who isn’t irritated by gmail dominance.

      2. Phil*

        Yep this. I mooch off my parents’ domain and “phil@_______” looks a lot nicer when I want to look professional than [nonsensical Gmail account I use for signups I don’t want email from].

      3. Bagpuss*

        Yes, I find the suggestin that using an older email is unprofessional to be annoying.
        Fortunately, I am not in tech or currently job hunting so haven’t had to change mine – I have had the same email address for at least 25 years – it’s my first and last name so easy to remember, and there’s no benefit to me in changing it.

        1. NotRealAnonForThis*


          Yet at the same time? I wind up side-eyeing potential subcontractors when the “corporate” email addresses are either AOL or hotmail. That may be a whole separate ball of wax though (think: as the professional contact of someone who works as an estimator at Chocolate Teapot Corp. And yeah, I see that a few times a year.)

          1. Observer*

            I’d side eye them if they had a gmail account, too. It’s high time that they have their own custom domain.

        2. fhqwhgads*

          In the case of Yahoo though, it’s not frowned upon because it’s “old”. It’s because Yahoo really is a security nightmare.

            1. not everything needs to be linked*

              Google aren’t so hot either. They care a lot about certain aspects of security, but they can be surprisingly reckless with user privacy when it gets in the way of their obsession with linking everything. For example (details obviously changed):

              My friend Jane Doe wanted to keep the NSFW side of her life separate from friends/family/etc. So she set up a gmail account under the pseudonym “Saucy Sarah” to use for the NSFW stuff, while keeping her regular account for everything else. The only link between the two was that she set the jane.doe email as the recovery address for the gmail account, believing this would be treated as private information.

              But when anybody on gmail composes an email to the jane.doe address, Google helpfully completes that as “To: Saucy Sarah []” so now Jane has to explain to her accountant, pastor, etc. etc. why Google is associating her with “Saucy Sarah” – and better hope nobody who sees that nickname is able to google on it and learn more about the NSFW identity.

              This was back when G+ was a thing, and not long after creating the gmail account, “Saucy Sarah” got a whole bunch of G+ friends requests from Jane’s real-life contacts, people who would only have known the jane.doe email address. Apparently Google had suggested “Saucy Sarah” as “someone you might know”.

              Google seems to be run with the mindset that people want to link every aspect of their lives to every other aspect as closely as possible, with no understanding that people might have good reasons for partitioning their digital identities. In Jane’s cause fortunately it only caused mild embarrassment. But there are all sorts of reasons why people might need to change their names – abusive partners, gender transition, etc. etc. – and exposing a new identity to people who know the old one can have awful consequences.

          1. 2 Cents*

            I get more spam in my regular yahoo inbox—and I’ve long since relegated it to “I want 15% off but to never see these emails again.”

          2. DataSci*

            Yeah. I’ve actually had a Gmail account, which I still use, longer than my long-disused yahoo mail (ages ago I was applying for a job at yahoo, and thought they’d probably prefer the latter). Gmail was introduced in 2004! It’s hardly new! I’m expecting that those of us with “nice” Gmail addresses like first initial last name will soon be dismissed as old, since we’ve clearly had the address since at least 2007 or so!

        3. MustardPillow*

          I find that really funny because Gmail has been around for a long time too! Does it make me look old because my Gmail address is my first and last name only? It’s not even that unique a name, I got Gmail in the early days when you needed an invite code!

          1. No Longer Looking*

            I was a semi-late adopter and have a common name, so I ended up with a fairly odd-looking gmail account. I ended creating a address for job hunting a few years back, and that has served me fairly well. The only real downside is that if you want forwarding from you need a paid account, which isn’t ideal.

        4. Observer*

          Yes, I find the suggestin that using an older email is unprofessional to be annoying.

          The problem is not that it’s an “older” domain. It’s that it’s a *YAHOO* domain. Their spam handling is abysmal, with TONS of false positives and false negatives and garbage security (the heritage of YEARS of refusal to invest in security and hiding problem from users and investors.)

          For me, as long as you are not in tech and you aren’t using your email for anything professional, I really don’t care about your email address. As another commenter said, as long as your user name is appropriate the service doesn’t matter.

          1. No Longer Looking*

            That’s not entirely true Observer – a lot of us in a lot of different fields will still judge and side-eye an aol account, assuming that if you have one you should probably already be retired. That isn’t entirely fair I suppose, as AOL is only 40 years old so people who still have AOL are probably only in their late 50s-60s and not quite retired. :) Note that I hold this opinion while already being 50.

        1. Cthulhu’s Librarian*

          Well, if they weren’t owned by the same company as AOL, which rolled the two together, it’d be a bit easier to draw a distinction between them…

      4. David*

        Yeah, my first thought when reading Yahoo mama’s comment was that a custom domain sounds perfect for them, if they have the ability to pay for it and the technical know-how to set up email forwarding and sending from an alternate address (which hopefully is not too hard these days).

        And I know my own personal opinion doesn’t mean much, but (as a tech worker) I do view Gmail in the same “tier” of professionalism as other major non-ISP-affiliated email services like Hotmail and Yahoo: it’s the tier that implies a person chose to get an email address and probably didn’t put a whole lot of thought into what it should look like. I consider this a perfectly fine, default level of professionalism. Using a custom personal domain is one tier more professional, but it’s really a very minor difference that wouldn’t come into play except *maybe* as a tiebreaker between two otherwise extremely evenly matched candidates if it were necessary to choose only one. ISP-affiliated email addresses would be one tier lower than the default, but again, a very minor difference that probably wouldn’t matter. (In practice, I have never changed my opinion of a candidate based on their email address.)

        Of course, an email address that references lewd activities or something like that will be far less professional than an email address that doesn’t, regardless of what domains they use. I know Alison has mentioned that in other posts about email addresses.

        1. Observer*

          I think your tiers mostly make sense for most situations.

          But, I think that Yahoo goes below all of those tiers for someone in tech. Because Yahoo in particular is a mess.

      5. A Yellow Plastic Duck* is acceptable too.

        Ironically, Outlook is just Hotmail by a different name.

        1. No Longer Looking*

          I’m fairly sure most if not all hotmail accounts were converted to accounts long long ago.

          1. Nina*

            I have a account I’ve had for… going on ten years now and use as my personal personal email for family and friends. It hasn’t been converted. I’ve also got an that I mainly use as my ‘professional’ personal email, and a account for mailers and ‘sign up to get 50% off!’ stuff (and my old university email address, and my work email address…)

      6. Observer*

        I really really really dislike the idea that Gmail is basically the only “professional” email these days.


        and saying that they have to use Gmail or seem unprofessional is like…oh, I dunno, saying that using anything but a certain brand of car or handbag is “unprofessional.”

        I agree. Yes, they are good. But there are plenty of alternatives. No one needs to get a gmail address as the “only” alternative to Yahoo.

        I highly recommend custom domains for people in tech

        I think that that’s really a good idea. It gives you as much control as you want, as long as you are willing to put in the effort. But I don’t think that it’s necessary.

        but it still sort of stings that it’s entered Hotmail and AOL territory

        Well, the earned it, big time. They repeatedly compromised user security and have never done anything useful about spam. Every single Yahoo email address has had their password leaked at least once. And Yahoo never even made people re-set their passwords after they found out about each breach.

        There are plenty of alternatives that are far better on these issues. If you are in tech and can’t figure out how to find a better vendor and how to transfer the bulk of your correspondence, I have to wonder what you’re doing.

      7. LabTechNoMore*

        For tech, you may be able to use a different niche domain that has more “nerdcred.”

        1. Curmudgeon in California*

          I’m in tech. I own multiple custom domains. About 60% of the addresses on those domains are email for friends and family. Thing is, it has some time overhead – I end up doing a little bit of support on those. It’s not much, since my hosting is pretty good.

          Thing is, the security on a custom domain is only as good as your hosting. The only reason those aren’t breached nearly as often is that they aren’t as big a target as Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, etc.

      8. Zee*

        Loads of companies use GSuite for work though, so it is a skill that may be considered in hiring in some situations.

    3. AngelS.*

      I really, really, really hate that too! Why does Google do that? I search something on my phone and it later pops up on my work PC!

      1. NeedRain47*

        Google is more concerned about following you around and spying on you than providing a service. That’s why it’s free.

    4. Waiting on the bus*

      Same. When I start searching for a job (in tech) again I’ll probably get a Gmail address, but I really don’t want to.

    5. nnn*

      I’m seeing people in tech spaces using protonmail with some frequency. I haven’t tried it myself (mostly out of inertia) but it seems to be positioned as more secure, so it might be worth looking into.

      1. Phil*

        I was going to suggest protonmail too. As well as what you’ve just said, it’s less known than Gmail so easier to get a professional sounding username.

      2. TheSüperflüoüsUmlaüt*

        I’d highly recommend Protonmail – easy to use, end-to-end encryption and other good security features, plenty of storage, and I’ve never had a problem getting an account name I like.

    6. A.P.*

      I still keep a yahoo mail address for commercial mail (purchases, mailing lists, etc) and yahoo is really pretty awful compared to google. It’s quite slow, emails sent to me take a long time to show up in my inbox and I still get obvious phishing emails that the spam blocker should have caught. The interface is better than it was, but it’s still somewhat wonky.

      I certainly understand concerns over privacy and what google is doing with one’s data. However, I should also point out that yahoo is now owned by a private equity firm called Apollo. PE firms are notorious for being secretive and using any means possible to increase their returns. As bad as google is, these days I’m sure yahoo is much worse.

      1. Don P.*

        Since some people don’t realize this: if you want to use Yahoo mail as an address, but don’t like the interface at, note that any mail reading program on any computer can be set up to access Yahoo mail. On iOS, for instance, when you make a new email account, you can say it’s a Yahoo address and it will set it up correctly for you.

    7. Everdene*

      I’m an older millenial and have been using ymail for 20+ years too. I just don’t wang the hassle of changing everything and like others have said I don’t wsnt google’s dominance to be complete. It is amazing how often people and machines say “do you mean @gmail?” which makes me more resistant to change! My address is a shorterned version of my surname plus my favourite number so I just keep hoping it doesn’t come across as too unprofessional.

      1. pancakes*

        “I just don’t want the hassle of changing everything” – A number of people are saying this, but creating a new address and setting it up to automatically receive the emails sent to your old address as well shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. It’s not as if you have to write to every single person using the old one after that and tell them to stop – with automatic forwarding switched on you’re still going to receive those emails.

        1. Banana*

          Yeah, I added a Gmail account for job hunting after a discussion like this on AskAManager a couple of months ago. I don’t even have it forwarding, I just signed into it on my phone and any emails that go to it are part of my unread email count on my iPhone Mail app overall. It’s not difficult to manage.

        2. Books and Cooks*

          The problem is that I have thousands of old conversations on my current email account, some of them are work-related but aren’t immediate issues (and often have file attachments like contracts, mss, or notes), and they don’t forward over. So to find them, I’d need to log out of New Email, back into Old{Current} Email, hunt around for them, forward them along…and I have no way of knowing which I might need to reference again and which I won’t. Also, I do have forwarding, but while emails I receive forward, emails I send do not.

          I get your point, but it’s not always as simple as “just give people the new address, and new emails will forward over.”

          1. Claire*

            Why would you need to log out of your email on one platform to log into your email on another platform?

          2. Observer*

            So to find them, I’d need to log out of New Email, back into Old{Current} Email,

            Why? It is absolutely possible to be logged into multiple email services at the same time.

          3. pancakes*

            You can just leave those where they are. You wouldn’t lose access to the old account by creating a new one, nor by taking the additional step up of setting it up so that new emails sent to your old address arrive in your new in-box.

          4. LinuxSystemsGuy*

            And to be clear, since people are giving iPhone specific stuff here, this isn’t iPhone specific. Almost all current mail clients for mobile or non-mobile operating systems work like this. You can have as many accounts as you want listed, and browse the inboxes individually or through a master “Inbox” folder that conglomerates all your individual inboxes.

            Most of them are smart enough to “reply” from whatever account the email originally went to. If you’re a massive mail folder organizer person, it can be annoying to have to look in more than one place for a filed email (like “Was this job in my jobs folder for or”), but honestly that’s the only (fairly minor) inconvenience.

      2. Observer*

        I just don’t wang the hassle of changing everything

        As others have noted, getting this going is bout 10 minutes worth of work.

        I don’t wsnt google’s dominance to be complete.

        Then don’t use gmail. There are tons of other alternatives. Outlook is one I like, because I know that MS is using the same infrastructure that they are using for their business accounts which means that it benefits from the heavy investment that MS puts into email security and decent filtering.

        For someone who is really privacy focused, Proton Mail seems the way to go.

        1. New Jack Karyn*

          No, it’s not 10 minutes of work. I have a ton of sign-ins to various websites using my current email. It’s not just one thing, it’s a whole lot of things.

          Why do so many tech people pretend that everything tech-related is simple to do, only takes a few minutes, why would anyone not do this cool new thing? Because it’s a pain in the neck, and not all of us are all that great at tech, that’s why.

    8. The answer is (probably) 42*

      I’m in my mid thirties and I’ve had my Yahoo email address since I was about eleven, when there weren’t many other viable options yet. I’m just gonna keep plugging along with it. I don’t want the hassle of moving things over. I do have a Gmail address that’s not for professional use (it’s a Douglas Adams reference like my username here) that I use when I want to be anonymous online, but professionally I’m gonna stick with my Yahoo.

      That said, even when people do comment on it, usually when I say “yeah I’ve had this address for almost 25 years” that impresses them enough to mitigate any judgements they might have about it being kinda old fashioned.

      1. Snow Globe*

        My youngest son is 24 and he’s had a yahoo email address since he was in elementary school and still uses it. It has just his first and last name; he’s tried with google, with first/last names, initials, etc., but those are taken, so he’s sticking with yahoo rather than adding a number after his name. So, yahoo really isn’t just “old people”.

        1. Michelle Smith*

          I also know a young person who uses a yahoo email. But Alison’s point that it could suggest advanced age is absolutely still spot on in spite of one or two anecdotes here or there. The perception that a lot of people have (myself included) is that certain emails are outdated. Yahoo/AOL is one of them, but it’s certainly better looking to have a Yahoo email than having an explicitly AOL email.

          And people can change or adapt or come up with creative solutions. The custom domain option mentioned above is a solid one. I was very resistant to changing my email over from my address, but I eventually got over it and got used to Gmail. I’d say use the email you want, but if you experience issues it’s really not that hard to just change or add a new email address specifically for job interviews that you stop looking at once you’re hired. Most offices are going to communicate with you via the company email address once you start working there anyway, so it’s really moot after that.

          1. pancakes*

            The thing about .edu addresses is that many schools don’t let students hang on to them forever. Whether they’ll still be able to use it 1 semester or 1 year or 2 years after graduating, etc., is going to vary.

        2. veebee*

          I’m the same way! I’m mid-twenties and have had my yahoo since I was a kid. It’s just my name, and getting a new gmail would require adding numbers and I’m honestly nervous I would get them mixed up/confused and create a headache for myself. I only use the mac Mail app anyways, so it all goes to the same place. I ended up just getting an alumni email with my university instead!

      2. MCMonkeyBean*

        While I do agree that judging people by emails is silly even if it is sometimes an inevitable reality, I admit I am
        a bit confused at the idea that saying your email address is very old mitigates judgements about it being old fashioned?

      3. JustaTech*

        I used to be judgemental about Yahoo email addresses, but then someone pointed out that an old Yahoo address just means that this person has been using email since forever, and therefore is more likely to be confident with electronic communications.

        The real issue I see is less the @ whatever than the first part: some kind of first name/last name/ number? Perfectly professional. CuteGirlz95? Nope. (I was helping a family friend with something that required her email address and she was mortified when she had to spell it out for me. “I know, I know, it’s so childish, I’m changing it!”)

    9. CoffeeFail*

      Personally, it’s less about looking old and more about whether the email is secure. My understanding, which could be completely unfair, is that yahoo was considerably less secure for a long-time.

      1. Cthulhu’s Librarian*

        Still is. Verizon doesn’t (seem to) care one iota about making it secure.

        1. Michelle Smith*

          What do you mean Verizon? They sold it to a private equity firm at least a year ago. It’s not their problem anymore.

          1. Cthulhu's Librarian*

            Huh – I must have missed that news during the pandemic. Looks like you’re right, and they sold 90% of it to Apollo Global management in September of 2021. They’re only 10% stake holders now.

            Call me crazy, but I have significant doubts about an alternative investment firm that seems to specialize in hedge funds and various types of loan backed securities having much more interest or experience in implementing or supervising overhauls to the technical side of a communication platform. Their CEO appointment (Jim Lanzone) seems to have had a history in figuring out how to monetize sites, rather than make them secure, so… I don’t expect to be pleasantly surprised, when it will be easier to rent a couple of congress-critters and make sure no laws that would make breaches be punished by fines with teeth ever makes it out of committee.

            1. Observer*

              Yeah. If Verizon, which is a technology company that actually knows something about security decided that it made more financial sense to take a loss on the sale than to try to fix the myriad problems, what makes anyone think that a private equity fund is going to be able to manage? Or that they will even try. They aren’t in this for a “greater vision” or even as a tactic to expand their presence it a certain area. They want to make a quick buck. Pouring billions of dollars (and I do mean billions with a B) is not generally a way to make a quick profit.

              1. Lydia*

                Yeah, this is similar to what happened to a lot of brands that were well-known, including Sears, KMart, Toys R Us, etc. All sold to equity funds or investment firms that quietly bled them dry and closed them down.

        2. Observer*

          Verizon sold 90% stake in the company – and too a major loss on the transaction.

          Yahoo is a hot mess, and I don’t think it’s going to change any time soon.

    10. WoodswomanWrites*

      I’ve had the same Yahoo email address for decades and no one has ever commented on it when I’ve applied for jobs. While I’ve never thought about this topic before, I can see now why it could raise eyebrows for a tech job or in a field where age discrimination is a thing. Fortunately it’s not something I’ve had to worry about.

      1. Riot Grrrl*

        Unfortunately, the fact that no one would comment on it doesn’t mean much. Fat people are widely discriminated against during the hiring process, yet it’s extremely unlikely that anyone would comment on that to the applicant as a factor in hiring.

    11. Seeking second childhood*

      I stopped using my Yahoo account years ago when their privacy agreement added to the right to monitor all web browsing on that device even when you were no longer logged on. Yes, that would have included browsing history from other family members. If they rolled that back, it was after my time.

    12. OldMillennial*

      If you’re even asking yourself this question, just get gmail and have your old address forward (or have your gmail forward to your old address, I guess). I’m an old millennial working in the public sector and I hire from time to time, and I would definitely notice a non gmail account (unless it’s a custom domain, or a school account for a very recent grad). Hiring people have conscious and unconscious biases all the time — why even have this be an issue?

      1. SweetFancyPancakes*

        So is mine. I’ve had it since the mid-90s and it will have to be pried from my cold dead (virtual) hands.

        1. Lydia*

          Saaaaaame. Even though I don’t use it regularly. Mine is a name I used all over the Internet in the 90s early 2000s and was unique to me. If you saw someone posting under that name, it was almost assuredly me.

    13. Antilles*

      I always find it super ironic that people say it seems old to have another email because like…my gmail account is literally old enough to drive a car. I got it so long ago that you had to be *invited* to sign up to gmail.
      Does the fact that I was up to speed on tech as a college soph back in 2005 mean that I’m still hip to the fresh jive of the youth tech here as someone in my mid-30’s here in 2022? Obviously not.

      1. pancakes*

        Of course not. It is, however, one less thing for someone looking over your resume or employment application or business card or whatnot to get hung up on or wonder about.

      2. Reality.Bites*

        I also have an invite-only gmail account and I’m 64, so no. ;)
        I also had a CompuServe account!

    14. Falling Diphthong*

      Judging email addresses is so weird to me. For example, in my family the “old” addresses were used by professional people who had been using that address for a long time, while the hip gmail addresses were set up by The Youth for elderly grandparents with no tech skills. So a shorthand like “people with gmail addresses are hip to the bleeding edge of tech” was really unfounded.

      Workwise, I especially associate yahoo addresses with people who rely on a lot of word of mouth referrals, and those might be a few years out. “Oh, I had a great drum teacher for Bobby in middle school–here’s his email.”

      1. PhyllisB*

        I have two Hotmail accounts and one AOL (that I never use anymore.) No one has ever commented on it except one of my children. I also have a Gmail account that I had to get when I got an android phone 7 years ago but I couldn’t tell you my password or email address if I had to, because I have never used it. And have no idea how to access that information.

    15. Richard Hershberger*

      I regard email domain snobbery as helpful information, that this person is ridiculous. Thank you for telling me this up front.

      1. pancakes*

        In theory, sure, but if that’s one of the factors that tips your resume into the No pile, you’re not going to get a notice telling you so. I doubt many people are so opinionated on this as to discard an otherwise promising-looking resume for this alone, but I think there are probably a number more who will see it as a negative factor to some degree, consciously or not, to the point that a combination of, say, a dated email address and a lackluster academic history will result in a no from them. (Of course, this always going to depend how competitive the field is and how strong the other candidates are as well, etc.).

        1. Richard Hershberger*

          The thing is, when you start down the “What conceivable irrational beliefs must I accommodate?” path, this turns out to be very long path indeed. We see this in linguistic beliefs, with imaginary grammar rules. And given that the possible irrational beliefs can contradict one another, there literally is no winning. If you want to get a gmail address just in case, go ahead. But there are more irrational beliefs out there lying in wait. You can’t predict them all.

          1. pancakes*

            Of course, but people’s linguistic beliefs and faith in grammatical rules, etc., don’t tend to be quite as visible to prospective employers as their e-mail address is. I think it’s quite well established at this point that the tech world and the forms of communication people tend to use (email, texting, tweets, LinkedIn or some future rival none of us have heard of yet, etc.), are not static. Not every job seeker is going to need to appear reasonably on top of things in every regard.

      2. The Other Dawn*

        Yes, thank you!

        I have a Hotmail account that I’ve had for 20+ years and I have no intention of switching because someone might deem me to be technologically stupid or behind the times. I don’t really give a shit. If they want to judge me, it’s a Them problem, not a Me problem.

        1. pancakes*

          I don’t think anyone is suggesting it’s mandatory for people to get a new address if they really don’t want to! To be clear I have not been intending to suggest that; my point is that people looking for work may want to give it some thought.

    16. Nancy*

      I have had the same yahoo address that I signed up for after I graduated college. I still use it and could not care less what people think of it. Never had a problem getting interviews and frankly I don’t want to work at a place that judges a person’s email domain anyway.

    17. Observer*

      But I’m about to start a career search (in tech field) so I guess I’ll get a gmail for that.
      You’re going into the tech field and you haven’t been able to figure out how to get away from an email provider that is almost the definition of a service that is utterly and completely cavalier about the basics of user security? That’s not a good look.

      I get that you don’t like Google’s practices. So I’d encourage you to look at other search engines. Yes, Google is the best at what it does, but most of the time it doesn’t matter THAT much, and if you use another search engine even half the time, it makes a difference.

      More importantly, you don’t have to get a gmail account, to get away from Yahoo. I realize that you don’t care about the security of your account, so you have a lot more options. I’d probably just go with Outlook – also free and totally NOT connected to Google.

      Or you can set up a custom domain. It’s not completely free, so it may not make sense for you. But it does keep your data out of the hands of any of the providers who do ads.

    18. ItsAllFunAndGamesUntil*

      I still use my Hotmail as my primary mostly due to I have had it since 1998, and thus it is my name in a normal format of and not needing a bunch of numbers, or having to use 3 letters of my middle name, and things like that.

      I view the “its easily remembered” trumps any “ewwww hotmail” issues people have.

    19. Alexis Rosay*

      You can use Firefox’s multi-account containers to sign into your gmail on one tab only, and isolate that tab from all other tabs.

    20. Purple Cat*

      I’m not in tech, but my yahoo email had absolutely 0 impact on my recent job search. I think this is a fake issue from someone grasping at straws trying to understand why they didn’t get a job, and of course it had nothing to do with their qualifications and instead was due to their choice of email address.

      1. Lexi Lynn*

        I don’t know that a yahoo address would stop me from hiring someone, but I know too many people who have had their yahoo account taken over and sent me spam emails. Having my account at risk because of yahoo’s issues does annoy me.

    21. GlitterIsEverything*

      I’m confused by the people saying they don’t want to go through the hassle of changing their email address.

      It’s not like you’re changing your phone number or moving, where things being sent the old contact info won’t get to you. You’re just adding a new contact method.

      I have multiple email accounts – Hotmail, Yahoo, and 3 Gmail accounts – and I manage all of them through my primary Gmail account. It takes about 10 minutes to set everything up, gives you control over who has access to which email, and can help filter your emails as they come in (Hotmail is all the shopping subscriptions, Yahoo was used once for a Yahoo group back in the day but is also a second shopping email if I want that discount twice, one Gmail for my work as a wedding officiant, another for my volunteering contact, and my primary one which is my name.) And with Gmail’s alias options, I very rarely need to log in directly to any email other than my primary Gmail.

      1. pancakes*

        It seems a number of people don’t realize how it works. Fwiw, I want to add that you can reply from multiple addresses within gmail. I have at least 3 gmail addresses connected to one another, and if I want to reply from one while logged in to another I can switch that on a drop-down menu.

      2. Observer*

        I’m confused by the people saying they don’t want to go through the hassle of changing their email address.

        I hear you. You are correct.

        The thing is that if someone is in a field where I don’t expect them to know anything about tech per se, that’s one thing. But for someone who is looking for a job in tech says that I now know that there is a lot of basic stuff they are apparently unaware of.

    22. AnonInCanada*

      My ISP goes through Yahoo and I think nothing unprofessional about it. Now, having an old AOL address ( may make you look like someone who uses carrier pigeons to communicate, so YMMV with this.

    23. L'étrangere*

      Why ever are you using google for searches? I find that not only is duckduckgo more private, but it often returns better search results as they’re not so distorted by advertising concerns. It’s a piece of cake to configure it to be the default search engine everywhere. And for that matter you should be using Firefox as your default browser, as a help in keeping Google out of your business

  2. Ginger Pet Lady*

    You’re interviewing for a JOB, it’s a professional setting. Leave her alone. Women deserve to do their jobs without being hit on.
    Your letter very much reads as “I know she was being nice because of her job. I know this isn’t okay to do, but I want to do it anyway and I’m hoping AAM will tell me that I am the exception I think I am.”
    You’re not. She’s at work. Keep your dating in your *social* life, not your *professional* life.

      1. StellaBella*

        agree applause for Ginger Pet Lady. Thank you on behalf of all of us who have had this happen before. Ugh OP1 do not.

      2. London Calling*

        There are times when you wish this site had a like button, and Ginger Pet Lady’s comment is one of those times.

    1. MEH Squared*

      100% this. I am firmly on team ‘don’t ask someone out at their place of work’ because they’re there to work–not to get hit on. Plus, it puts her in the uncomfortable position of having to turn down a potential hire. She is doing her job. Let her.

      1. Jora Malli*

        And if there’s any possibility that the recruiter may still be considering OP for a position, asking out your recruiter feels like a really good way to get yourself put on the company’s do not hire list.

        1. MsM*

          And potentially the do not hire lists of any friends and/or colleagues they vent to about it, too.

        2. Lilo*

          Third-ing. I work at an organization that hires regularly and often will hire someone on a second or third try. But we do also put people on firm “No, never” lists, mostly those who harass our admin (we had a guy call and yell at her, for instance, over a scheduling issue), particularly. I’ve never personally encountered this problem, but I’d definitely put them on a “No, never” list if they did this.

        3. Tara R.*

          I once went along to a hiring fair as an intern– my company was big on treating interns like everyone else, and we had a pretty good perspective on what the company would be like for new grads as that was essentially how we were treated. A guy came over and asked a few questions about our company, then started asking me a bunch of questions about myself. I tried to steer back to the company. He persisted. I finally tried to pass him off to my male coworker and he asked for my phone number. I said “I can give you our company email if you have any questions about the position!” He said “But I want to talk to *you*, you’ve been so helpful.” I said “Sorry, I don’t have a phone.” (My phone was sticking out of my pocket.) He handed me his resume and FINALLY left.

          Our HR person saw how uncomfortable I was, asked what happened, and threw the resume straight into the trash. And it wasn’t the last time something similar happened. It’s not a speed dating event, people! I’m here on behalf of my company to talk to you and be friendly, and I can’t go hide in the bathroom or lie about how I need to go find my friends, so please learn to take a hint.

      2. Julia*

        As a single woman in her 30s, I have a different perspective on this. I sympathize with the harassment some women deal with and I do want that to stop. But “don’t ask someone out at their place of work” is too broad. People meet each other in person sort of rarely these days with all the remote work and video chatting. We have so few real opportunities to get to know one another. I spend over 50% of my waking time at work. If I can’t find love there, well, that’s a very large chunk of time and a huge number of social opportunities that are just off the table for me. I’m not super social in the first place, so I don’t have a big out-of-work circle, and I can’t afford to do that.

        And you might say, “well, you just ask him out if you’re interested, he doesn’t have to hit on you.” But sometimes you don’t think of someone as a prospect until they express interest in you, particularly if you’re in work mode. And then they express interest and you think “huh, yeah, I’d try that”.

        I’m really happy that women who deal with harassment now have a much larger platform to protest it. I just think, let’s not tell men to give up on asking women out at work *entirely*. A lot of us don’t get men expressing interest that frequently in the first place and we’d like to know about it if someone was interested.

        1. turquoisecow*

          I think there’s a difference between asking out a coworker or peer and asking out someone who is literally there to serve you. The first is okay, the second is taking advantage of a power differential.

          1. Julia*

            This does seem a little different to me than asking out your barista, though. Assuming the interview part of this interaction is over, this person is not trapped “behind the corner” being forced to treat him like a customer, client, or candidate. At this point she should feel free to turn him down, particularly something as nonconfrontational as a polite online message. (This guy seems like he’d be polite; he asked an advice columnist whether he should even do it.) And we don’t know what the interaction was like – it’s entirely possible there was chemistry between them.

        2. Risha*

          I agree with this comment. OP1, there’s nothing inherently wrong with asking out someone you work with. It’s hard for everyone to meet people IRL because of remote work and online gaming, etc. And we spend a large part of our days at work, so to me, it makes sense to meet someone there. But that should not be your focus. Work is for working, then if you happen to connect with someone there, go ahead and pursue it. However, if she declines, you still need to be polite, professional, and courteous to her. And don’t ask her again after the first “no”.

          But…you should already be working with them and have a feel on how receptive she is to you. I’m happily married now, but I have dated a man I worked with in the past. He didn’t just pounce on me as soon as I walked thru the door as a new hire. He took his time, got to know me as a coworker first. He went to lunch with me sometimes (after asking me if I wanted that, not just forcing his company on me). Our conversations got less about work and more about our likes/dislikes/outside of work stuff. Then he finally asked me out.

          Most likely, this interviewer is just being nice, it’s part of her job so I strongly suggest to let that thought go. Don’t go to work (or interviews!) with the intention on meeting someone there. Just let it happen naturally. Connect appropriately with your coworkers and maybe someone there will be interested in you too.

          1. Julia*

            Forgive me, but I’m a little hostile to hearing “let it happen naturally” over and over, because it has not happened naturally for me. Sure it’d be nice if every couple could eeease into a relationship from a place of perfectly comfortable friendship where everyone is mutually aware the other person is interested and there is no potential for rejection. But people are different and sometimes you briefly meet someone who you’re drawn to, and you don’t have a chance to let the relationship develop gradually so you have to either shoot your shot or be alone for the next year.

            1. Jennifer Strange*

              I’m sincerely sorry that it hasn’t happened naturally for you, but that doesn’t mean that potentially putting someone else in an uncomfortable situation is the answer. If you want to be in a position to find a match where you know 100% that folks are looking for romantic situations try a dating app (that’s where my husband and I met).

            2. Observer*

              Forgive me, but I’m a little hostile to hearing “let it happen naturally” over and over, because it has not happened naturally for me.

              And I feel bad for you. But that does NOT make it ok to take advantage of people’s position to try to find someone.

              The OP makes it pretty clear that there was not some sort of unusual chemistry there. But *they* “really enjoyed speaking with her and based on that alone ” wanted to maybe connect with her and perhaps ask her out on a date”

              That’s not ok. It *is* absolutely taking advantage of a situation. There is absolutely no reason someone should have to field romantic overtures as part of their job. This HR person was just doing her job. Don’t add the burden of dealing with potential “suitors” to the job description.

              If someone pulled that here, they would be on a permanent “no hire” list.

            3. Unaccountably*

              Well, that’s unfortunate and I’m sorry it’s happened to you; but there is no world in which that gives anyone carte-blanche to try to force the issue or connect inappropriately.

              I’d also like to point out that it doesn’t sound like your approach has actually worked. I could be wrong about that, it’s unclear from your comment, but it really doesn’t sound like “shooting your shot” has resulted in any significant degree of happiness, coupled or otherwise.

        3. Ellis Bell*

          I think it would be fine for him to approach her if she’d mentioned something social like a group she’s a part of, or a non work interest where he could get to know her better. Even in the days when I was on a serious dating mission, I would be rolling my eyes at an LinkedIn contact who wanted a date; I just wouldn’t trust his judgement enough to date him. I get what you’re saying about not everyone can access social activities that easily, but I’m talking about something as simple as sharing your Twitter handle or comparing notes on dating websites with another single colleague. It’s not that difficult to signal availability or give someone you’re interested in non work access to yourself.

          1. Julia*

            If she had done any of that, I think it’d have been pretty inappropriate as an HR person dealing with a candidate. That’s sort of my point – connecting now, once the interaction is over, would be the only appropriate time to express interest.

            1. Ellis Bell*

              Well, exactly. It was too brief to be anything but a professional point of contact. My main point was that it’s not impossible to signal availability to a more long standing colleague, but it is pretty difficult to approach someone who is a stranger AND who you can only really contact through professional channels. If it were me, I wouldn’t judge a guy for it as long as he got to the point and signalled that he will readily accept a no (but I’m not everyone, there’s plenty of working women who would very much mind). If he low key hovered on LinkedIn and made me feel it was a professional contact and then it turned out that it wasn’t, I’d be more judgy of that approach. Essentially I think it’s more important for women to be able to trust work connections, and function at work and know what they’re dealing with, than it is to be able to get dates at work. I do however think personal lives are more important than jobs! So I might change my answer if it became impossible to date at work… But I don’t think it is. I think it’s impossible to network new people as dates, but not impossible to date at work overall.

        4. Yvette*

          Julia, I knew there is a difference bvut I could not quite articulate it, however reading furnther down someone else expressed perfectly:
          “BubbleTea July 25, 2022 at 2:55 am
          There’s a difference between a romantic interest that grows out of prolonged and regular contact as peers, and romantic interest after a few minutes or hours of specifically work-focused interactions with an inherent power imbalance (which recruiting always has, even if you’d be peers in the role).”

          So thank you BubbleTea for being way more articulate than I am.

          1. Alexis Rosay*

            Yes–my sister met her husband at work! They worked at a large company in two totally different departments and got to know each other through frequent after-work socializing with other coworkers (it was a work-hard, play-hard company). By the time he asked her out, they’d already confirmed through mutual friends that they were both very interested in each other and they both knew that romantic advances would be welcome. That’s the key here–very, very clear signals that both parties are interested.

            1. GammaGirl1908*

              +1. Approaching this lady would be (sort of) okay if it was welcome. LW has ZERO indication that it is welcome, especially because he knows nothing about her except that he thinks she is attractive (is she even single? is she gay? asexual? on probation at work for excessive flirting?). THAT to me is the primary problem. He is only thinking about himself and his interest in her, not about her and any lack of interest she may have.

            2. SpaceySteph*

              Yup. I get where Julia is coming from because my I met my husband through work also (a large workplace, in different departments). I have very few friends I didn’t meet through work somehow. But we met at a work-related social event and became friendly first. Had he asked me out after a brief work interaction, I’d probably have instinctively been a No because I would have considered it an overstep.

          2. GS*

            100% – my parents met working at a law firm. If any candidate had asked me out when I was working as a recruiter I would have been weirded out. One of the guys who regularly interviews for the intern program I run asked me out – wasn’t a match, but we had worked together for over a year and regularly chatted while working together, so it felt like a totally normal like sure let’s grab a drink rather than an uhhhhh sorry who are you.

        5. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          Mr. Gumption and I met at work back in the day, but it was a more natural progression than anything the OP is proposing. He worked in a different department and there was a coworker in his department we were both friendly with. The 3 of us would chat occasionally, then he and I would chat, we started book swapping, and then we both got excited about LA Confidential (yeah, I am old) coming out and went to see it, and here we are. The whole process way at last a couple of months.

          Note the very different circumstances:
          1. We got to know each other first before any asking out so he knew more about me than my name, where I worked, and what I looked like
          2. Our work didn’t overlap at all.
          3. No one was in a position of, “Am I turning down this candidate for because of a bad fit or because they asked me out and I just don’t want to deal with them?” or even worse, the idea that you recommended a person to move farther in the hiring process
          4. LinkedIn was never used as a dating site and not only because it didn’t exist

        6. Lenora Rose*

          This isn’t asking a coworker out after spending time in their company. That’s… not my favourite way to meet a partner but quite reasonable and realistic.

          This is much more equivalent to harassing a tour guide because she smiled and told jokes as part of her patter.

          (One of my longtime friends met her husband when she trained him to replace her at a job she was leaving, and whatever was right or wrong with that relationship definitely wasn’t based on where it started).

        7. DuskPunkZebra*

          Yeah, mostly the “don’t ask women out while they’re working” applies to women who have some sort of service relationship to the hopeful (usually male) suitor, or a similar role where being warm and friendly is actively part of the job. This isn’t “don’t flirt with your coworkers” (which I have my own feelings about but doesn’t apply to the larger norms), it’s “the woman whose job it is to be nice to you isn’t flirting with you, it’s her job not an invitation.”

          It’s rooted in the larger problem that a LARGE amount of men mistake any positive attention by a woman to be flirting. And wishful thinking will color their perception to think she’s nicer to them than other people, thus confirming their bias. And because they then often ask those women out WHILE they’re working, the rejection has to be delivered in customer-service-voice and often has to be softer than is effective or it can jeopardize their job.

          Coworkers are a different dynamic (with its own complications) but not the issue at hand here.

        8. Rain's Small Hands*

          If you are asking someone out because they have been nice to you and you like the way they look, that’s about you, it isn’t about them. You don’t know if you have shared interests, you don’t know if you have similar personalities – you know that they were nice to you and that they are attractive to you. And if they are nice to you because that is their job, then there is the huge potential of simply making someone uncomfortable. If its at their work, then its a really huge downside, because people should not feel unsafe at places they have to be – and what you don’t know about a person like they have an abusive ex or have a sexual assault in their past or have had a stalker can make the simple act of asking someone out make them feel very unsafe.

          You need to have a strong indication that the feeling is mutual and you will get a yes. That isn’t the sort of connection one gets over a couple of meetings (it is the sort of feeling you might get from buying your coffee from the same barista for five months or from working with someone – but you have to take the no as a firm no – and be ready to switch coffee shops if the barista seems uncomfortable).

          If you feel like you really have a connection to someone, talk to them about your interests “yeah, I went to see [insert name of band/show/art exhibit] last weekend.” Share your passions in a casual way. It gives them an opening to say “oh, I’ve always wanted to know more about French Cinema, if you ever are looking for someone to go with, give me a call.” That’s an indication you can ask them out.

        9. MEH Squared*

          Yes, I thought about this after I posted. I meant that you should not ask someone out where they work if you don’t work at the same place, period.

          If you do work at the same place, then it’s a very qualified you can ask if: (followed by list of concerns listed by others). I still lean more towards don’t ask unless there is overwhelming evidence that it’ll be positively received, but it’s not an absolute as it is in the first situation.

        10. firestarter11*

          I don’t think the LW should ask her out for all kinds of reasons, but I also don’t think it’s necessary to apply a hard and fast “never ask anyone out at work or while they’re working, ever.” There’s a lot of nuance to it.

          I’m a straight, single woman and in my 30s as well. Granted, I only work with women and one married man, so there is definitely no office romance in my future… but I wouldn’t necessarily say I’d never date someone I work with, like if my boss hired some cute new guy or something…. I know the point is because you still have to work together if you break up, and I get it, but in the adult world, you typically end up dating people who are in your social circle/hobbies.

        11. Nanani*

          Nah. Asking out someone you work with regularly is NOT the same thing as twisting “was nice to me as part of her job” into an excuse.

          And yes actually, LETS encourage everyone to stop asking each other out at work at all.
          There are other venues. I hear online dating exists.

          For everyone going “but IiiiiIIIiIiiim lonely :(” please remember your peers who are sick of being harassed and will never ever every say yes. Because we’re queer. Because we’re tired. Because we jsut don’t want to date a colleague.

      3. Bunny Girl*

        My like biggest True Crime moment in life was when I waitressed as two different bars and some dude followed me from my gig downtown to my other bar to ask me out because he thought I was really nice to him. MY DUDE. I am being nice to you for tips. Guys – don’t ask women out at work. Ever. Ever ever ever. Unless she throws her underwear at you with her phone number in it, just don’t.

        1. Texan In Exile*

          Not to mention there’s NOTHING CREEPY AT ALL about stalking a woman from one workplace to the next.

        2. Rain's Small Hands*

          I had a guy follow me home from a retail shift at a mall. And someone get my phone number off the check I wrote. No, nothing creepy about those things at all. And I’m a rape survivor, so nothing triggery there either.

        3. Jora Malli*

          I saw a picture of a sign in a bar that said something along the lines of “My bar staff are not flirting with you. They are being nice because that’s what I pay them for. Signed, Bar Owner.”

      4. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        Agreed. I just don’t see how anything good comes from asking this person out…..

        Major caveat time:
        Unless you happen to later be running in the same or adjacent social circles well outside of work.

    2. This is Artemesia*

      If someone did this in my shop they would go on a do not hire list and I would suspect that in many fields, the word would spread and damage the reputation. This is genuinely creepy behavior.

    3. learnedthehardway*

      Agreed. In fact, I disagree with Allison’s advice that the OP should reflect on whether the Recruiter was really into him, because let’s face it, wishful thinking is good at biasing one’s judgment.

      OP1 – Assume she is NOT interested in you. Recruitment and HR are being nice because it is part of their job.

      If – after the results of the job are announced – you feel that you would like to get to know her better, send a LinkedIn invitation. If she responds, and writes a personal note back, then see where things go from there.

        1. Ariaflame*

          Nothing specific, just the odds that that sort of entitlement tends to be from men. If it was a woman chances are she would have at least touched on why she thought the other woman might also be not hetero.

        2. Thegreatprevaricator*

          Because the letter writer wants to ask out a woman who interviewed him. Signed, women’s lived experience.

          1. GammaGirl1908*

            …and is juuuuust this side of pooh-poohing every logical guideline of job-searching to do it, despite exactly zero signs that the woman had any romantic interest in him. Maaaaaaybe this is another woman, who is prepared to tiptoe around the odds that the interviewer was same-sex oriented AND interested AND open to dating through work? But I would bet my entire change jar that it isn’t. Women deal with this daily and can see it coming. This goes in the box of times when women are not fooled by men claiming plausible deniability as they tiptoe around (or ignore) appropriateness to try to turn work situations into unwelcome dating (et cetera) opportunities.

            It’s fine to have appreciated the conversation and quietly thought the person was attractive. You’re not blind. It’s NOT fine to try to do something about it. Maneuvering a job interview into a request for a date is totally inappropriate, and that goes about triple when you have no indication the other person wants to do the same.

            (Signed, someone who once had a boss at a temp job snap her bra strap.)

            1. Jean (just Jean)*

              I’m aghast at your crass, horrible, gross, and disgustingly/delusionally entitled boss. May they find the fires of hell well-stoked! Sending internet hugs (if you want them) for your younger self.

          2. Loulou*

            There was a actually a letter printed on this site from a woman who wanted to ask out a job candidate she had rejected! Signed, someone who was reading AAM three years ago

          3. Orchid*

            As a bi woman who often experiences limerance… don’t assume it’s just men who make stupid dating-related decisions. :/

        3. bamcheeks*

          Speaking as a queer woman, it’s just phenomenally unlikely that a queer woman would exist in that state of oblivious to women’s experiences that she thinks that the only barrier to asking someone out is how to get in touch and whether it’s a faux pas. That kind of complete inability to think, “would this person actually welcome an advance from me” and instead think of it as a social rule book to follow in order to avoid potential repercussions on yourself is something I’ve only seen from men.

          1. Irish Teacher*

            I may be completely wrong here, but I also suspect it’s more likely to be a thing straight people would do, as people who are part of the LGBT+ community are more likely to consider that the woman might be straight (if it were another woman showing interest) or aromantic, asexual or otherwise unlikely to be interested.

            Between that and the fact that women would usually know what it is like to get unwelcome advances, I would be very surprised if this were a woman interested in women. It’s possible of course, but I feel all the odds are against a woman thinking another woman would welcome an unexpected advance from her without knowing the woman’s orientation or if she is in a relationship or if she has had bad experiences in the past…

            1. bamcheeks*

              There definitely are a small number of queer women who think that their sexual opportunity takes priority over anyone else’s experience of the world, but it’s definitely much, much harder to approach the world with that mindset when you are also a woman. As well as the fact that there is more clear risk to yourself from coming on to the wrong person, you also didn’t grow up in a world where 90% of books, films and TV that you consume presents your sexual gratification as an important and urgent need that other people exist to fulfil.

              1. Red Sky*

                you also didn’t grow up in a world where 90% of books, films and TV that you consume presents your sexual gratification as an important and urgent need that other people exist to fulfil.

                This phrasing hit me hard as I’ve been struggling to find a clear and concise way of making this point, thanks for laying it out so succinctly.

                1. Texan In Exile*

                  You’re right. It’s probably closer to 100%, at least 100% of books and movies written by men.

                2. Lenora Rose*

                  Make a list of movies about hetero romances and movies where hetero romance isn’t a thing (Count things like Ocean’s 11 where the woman is so blatantly a prize they should have written “Prize” on her forehead). Find a list of how many of those involve the man pushing the woman’s boundaries in some way. (Count movies like Ratatouille and the Empire Strikes Back where he kisses her without asking.)

                  Whether the percentage is right or wrong, it’s a pretty blatant trend in media. (And oddly enough, one of the places starting to make extra effort to make sure the guy isn’t pushing boundaries he has no right to is a lot of contemporary romance novels. Bodice ripping has mostly been left in the 20th century.)

                3. anonagoose*

                  @Lenora Rose, that trend in romance novels isn’t surprising–romance novels are largely written by and for women. Most other media, however, is not.

          2. Sylvan*

            Yep. Not that we’re any more polite or conscientious than anyone else. I think we simply know that the vast majority of women are straight and therefore not interested. We’ve also been on the receiving end of this kind of thing.

        4. MicroManagered*

          The question itself.

          Most women have experience with men hitting on them in inappropriate contexts, such as when they’re doing a job and therefore not free to tell you to eff off. So we recognize the situation described in the letter as one we’ve lived through and know the OP is most likely a man.

          A woman who was interested in asking out her recruiter would have included some indicator of who she knew/thought the recruiter was gay. Also, she’d be likely to have had or know someone whose had that same experience mentioned above and may not have even written in.

        5. Unaccountably*

          The entire letter. The entire letter suggests that the OP is male. The entire letter and the attitude of “Yeah yeah I GUESS women don’t go to work to get hit on but I can rules-lawyer my way out of it and then it’ll be okay, right? I’m the exception, right?”

          Men do that, my guy. Men and no one else. Or at least men and so few other people that the percentage of not-men is statistically zero.

          1. Anonymous72*

            This statement is just so full of gender essentialist language that I don’t even know where to begin.

            1. Texan In Exile*

              No female co-worker has ever

              * Started massaging my neck while I sat at my desk trying to work
              * Asked me out to dinner
              * Told male co-workers she thought I would be good in bed
              * Come on to my female friend and then reminded her that he does her performance evaluation
              * Kissed me
              * Asked me out to dinner
              * Asked me out to dinner
              * Asked. Me. Out. To. Dinner.

              Also, no woman has ever

              * Shown me her genitalia and asked me to go into the men’s room with her (I was five)
              * Walked past me on the sidewalk with her genitalia hanging out (I was 7)
              * Walked past me with her genitalia out (I was 12)

              I am very comfortable in attributing this letter to a man.


              A woman with a lifetime of experience and with female friends who have the same experiences

              1. pancakes*

                There will, unfortunately, be lots and lots of us who’ve had similar experiences. Everyone who isn’t uniformed and/or has an axe to grind agrees that an overwhelmingly large proportion of sexual harassment is perpetrated by men. Nonetheless, that isn’t the entirety of sexual harassment. There are women in the world — not many, clearly; I think wr all agree on that – who, for example, make underlings or coworkers uncomfortable by frequently and/or much too suggestively talking about their own sex lives at work. Or who hit on their students, or the prisoners they’re meant to be guarding, or worse. Etc. The question is, what does gender essentialism add to conversation? Why is it helpful (or something else?) to air it, to the degree that outweighs the harms of perpetrating it? Why is it worth reinforcing? If it’s just that it feels comfortably familiar, or seems like a reliable way to spice up conversation with extra intensity, those aren’t good reasons.

                1. bamcheeks*

                  Only if you are using a very naive and simplistic of racism which is “this group doesn’t like that group for spurious reasons”, rather than a meaningful definition of racism, which necessarily includes a structural and historical element of how and why European colonisers invented the concept of race to justify white supremacy and colonial expansion and extraction.

                  The patterns that people are describing here are product of socialisation, male gender privilege and a culture which teaches men that they are entitled to objectify other people in pursuit of their sexual gratification. It’s not essentialist at all, because none of us is arguing that men can’t help being like this. We’re explicitly calling it out because we think men have the ability to choose not to do it.

            2. Erica*

              It’s not gender essentialism, it’s gender CONDITIONING. It’s not that there’s some genetic component to obliviousness and entitlement, it’s that women are simply not raised in a world where people tell us it’s ok to do this kind of thing.

              1. pancakes*

                These aren’t mutually exclusive. If you’re not familiar with the phrase gender essentialism, it will be more helpful to look it up than reject the possibility of it playing a role in discussion here out of hand.

            3. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

              The main reason I assumed it was a man is that it is hard for me to picture anyone else being that bold given that (guess here) LGBTQIA+ and nonbinary folks would be a little more cautious about outing themselves to a potential new employer by asking out their recruiter. I’m sure it can happen, because with humans anything can happen, but given the way society is, this is most likely a cis man.

            4. Unaccountably*

              You’re right, it is! But hey, bad news: co-opting academic feminist terms like “gender essentialist” and whipping them out when you think it will give you an excuse to complain about how oppressed men are is a really stupid strategy and literally everyone sees through it.

          1. Slow Gin Lizz*

            Sure there are some assumptions being made here, but it’s highly likely that the assumptions are correct based on the lack of mention of gender in the letter. Default of the world is that unless someone mentions gender, they obviously mean “male.” Which is frustrating to the half of the population that doesn’t identify as male, honestly, and is something I personally spend time combatting.

            Oh, and also the lack of mention that the LW is a queer person hoping the recruiter might also be queer, because default of the world is that a relationship is hetero, which is probably frustrating to the 5% of the world (at my last check) that is not hetero (but not something I have first-hand knowledge of, being hetero myself). It’s also something I personally spend time combatting.

        6. Ellis Bell*

          It was the “hey, can I get to know her better on LinkedIn?” that sounded mannish to me; though I’m open to hearing anecdotes that women misuse the site, I’ve only ever heard it said of men. I say that with due sympathy for anyone trying to find love, and for the strange message men still get about being the initiators of dates, but the LinkedIn thing really has to stop.

          1. StellaBella*

            ALL of my 15 years ish on LinkedIn bears this out as well. All of the people I blocked (up to 18 now), except 2, are men. The 2 women I blocked were women who repeatedly sent me spammy investment crap after a firm no. In fact in 2021, I even got a request to connect with an ex boyfriend who was not someone I really ever wanted to see again, so he got blocked too. Leave me alone if it is not professional connection related.

        7. DuskPunkZebra*

          Statistics, and the general tone of the letter. It’s possible that the LW is other-than-man, but not probable.

          Men often misinterpret positive attention from someone they perceive as a woman to be flirting. Partially, this comes from socialization and the fact that men are often only that kind of nice, warm, and accommodating when they’re flirting or looking for something, and therefore interpret women’s behavior through the same lens. It happens outside of work contexts, too, thus the myth of the friend zone and men who carry out “friendship” with women in hopes that it will escalate but are not actually interested in having her as a friend without the possibility of a romantic/sexual relationship.

          He’s even recognized that reading her behavior as interest is probably wrong and boundary-crossing and is fishing for permission to do it anyway. Recruiting can require just as much performance as any customer service job, and that performance should not be read as genuine, especially not as flirting or an invitation for any other kind of relationship than a professional one. But men are statistically more likely to be the ones who try to blur or cross those lines.

        8. Observer*

          Just a minor point, but what is there in the letter to suggest the OP is male?

          I made a comment and explicitly use “they” instead of “he” because I knew that someone was going to derail with this.

          Reality is that the odds of the OP being a woman are low enough that reasonable people shouldn’t be worrying about it. But despite the fact that this site tends to attract less of them than many others, I know from experience that there is almost certainly going to be someone who #notallmen or “How dare you! MAYBEEEEEEE it’s woman!”

          So, I decided not to give folks like you a hook to hang your hat.

          And if you are wondering, no I don’t think you are asking this question in good faith.

      1. Expiring Cat Memes*

        Agree with learnedthehardway about wishful thinking bias, disagree about the LinkedIn invitation. Don’t send her one at all for the purposes of “getting to know her better”.

        If you’re going to ask her out (I don’t think it’s a good idea, but if you do it anyway), at least be upfront about your intentions and be sure you understand how to spot a soft no and respect it. Don’t be another LinkedIn creeper hiding behind plausible deniability.

        1. Michelle Smith*

          Thank you for saying this. LinkedIn is not a dating site!! While I’ve been pleased to avoid most of the creepy behavior on there, it is not infrequent that I see a post from someone in my extended network posting to complain about being sexually harassed on the platform.

          If you happen across her on a dating app or out at a bar, by all means strike up a conversation and see if there is any mutual interest. But honestly, it would be so much nicer and easier for everyone if you just left her alone. There are plenty of less problematic ways to meet someone suitable for a dating relationship. You’ve handled it correctly so far; don’t screw up now by acting on your impulse.

          I met the coolest person on an Apple Support phone call once. She and I had the exact same sense of humor and taste in movies (she was helping me troubleshoot an inability to play a movie I’d just purchased, so she had access to my library). I remember thinking, damn I bet we’d be really good friends. Did I say anything to that effect or try and get her information? Nope. She was a customer service person doing her job and that wasn’t a networking event. I moved on with my life. Is it possible we could be best friends? Sure, but it’s not worth the 99.9% chance the “advance” would have been unwelcome. Moral of the story? You’ll be just fine without her. :)

          1. Everything Bagel*

            I agree with this. How do you get to know someone on LinkedIn other than professionally anyway? I mean if you’re just going to scan her profile and strike up a conversation via direct messaging, I think she’s going to be weirded out knowing she just interviewed you for a job. I just don’t think it’s going to come across well and she’ll probably end up blocking you.

            1. LilPinkSock*

              Can confirm. I interviewed someone who was professional, polite, and warm. Immediately after our phone call, he added me on LinkedIn. Ok, not a big deal, I use the site strictly professionally. The fellow then messaged me and made it clear he wanted to be very unprofessional. I ignored the message, blocked him, and punted his application rejection to my manager. He (the applicant, not my wonderful manager!) was super salty about being rejected by “the dumb secretary chick” and left a few negative reviews of our company. So gross.

          2. Sally*

            I’ve had this experience on a few customer support calls too (where I was the customer), and it’s really nice to have that sort of interaction with someone! But it would never occur to me to try to take it any further. In fact, I think it would be creepy if I tried. I just make sure the person knows how much I appreciated their help.

          3. Anne Elliot*

            I had a guy in a work situation mention to me pretty meaningfully that he shot pool at a certain bar on Friday nights. And that he was almost always there from 8 to 10. On, y’know, Friday nights. And then he left it there. Like, seriously never mentioned it again.

            I had a boyfriend at the time, but if I hadn’t I might have checked that bar out on a Friday night. I appreciated how the guy handled it.

              1. Anne Elliot*

                It was! And to be clear, the smoothest part was taking “no response” from me to mean “no.” He didn’t go, “She didn’t show up at the bar so she must not have understood. I need to try again but be less subtle. Girls like to be chased so she probably secretly wants me to ask some more. What does she think, she’s too good for me? I’m a nice guy and she’s a bitch.”

                And as I write this I am noting how weird it is to give a guy a gold star for not being horrible. But I did and do give him that gold star.

            1. Ellis Bell*

              Yeah this is exactly how it’s done. There are non work places where it’s acceptable to flirt! They may be mentioned!

            2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

              I really like this approach and it sounds like he handled you not coming to the bar like a champ, so he’s a double winner in my book

            3. Lenora Rose*

              I definitely remember and appreciate the people who indicated interest in ways that leave opening to say no, and who respond to the no with courtesy, grace, and no change in our future relations.

        2. EPLawyer*

          YES. Do not even do the Linked In thing. Leave her alone. As Ginger Pet Lady said, keep your personal life out of your professional life. Linked In is for making PROFESSIONAL connections, it is not Tinder for White Collar Folks (yes assumption here but I needed a line okay)

        3. Petty Betty*

          Especially when “getting to know her better” is obvious code for “getting to know her s*xual availability to ME” and it doesn’t take a skilled codebreaker to figure that code out.
          LinkedIn is *not* the site for that, and women are already dealing with grossness on that site in that theme, so adding to it is going to earn this LW a reputation and lose him at least one job opportunity.

          1. Unaccountably*

            I’m always amazed by how many men truly believe they are speaking in some sort of unbreakable code when they say things like that, and everyone around them will truly take it at face value. It’s the “We need people back onsite because water cooler conversations are so valuable” of interpersonal interaction.

    4. Cold and Tired*

      1000%. I have been asked out by men while on the job before because I’m in a customer service-style role and have to be nice, and it seriously just makes you feel so gross and uncomfortable to have someone warp your professionalism that way. I’m there to do my job, not find a date.

      So please, leave dating out of the professional world and leave that poor woman alone.

    5. Dark Macadamia*

      I just can’t imagine what they talked about in a job interview that gave LW the impression this could maybe be a good idea. Like 2 minutes of small talk about a shared hobby? They know this was a situation where they only saw her work persona/she has a reason to be friendly that doesn’t indicate interest on a personal level, so … they just decided she’s hot, and that alone warrants asking for a date in a professional situation -_-

      1. Eyes Kiwami*

        Agree with this. What could they possibly have discussed in an interview that could indicate to OP that they would be a match and that this would be OK? She is supposed to ask about OP’s background and present a friendly first impression of the company. OP has no idea how she would behave socially. This is like asking out a waitress, bartender, barista, receptionist… they are supposed to be nice to you as part of their job and don’t actually care about your life.

        And no, it doesn’t matter how good-looking she is or how bad you want to date her.

        1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

          Only that the more good-looking she might be, the more she gets hit on by creeps at work, and the more likely she is to suddenly turn ice cold to freeze OP1 right out and operate on a one strike and you’re out basis.

          1. etti*

            I wish I had an escape by not being conventionally attractive but nope, creeps are everywhere. To an old, ugly, disgusting obese grandpa you don’t have to be a 9 or 10. Just your age is enough to attract them.

            1. Mac*

              I feel like there are ways to convey that someone is creepy and inappropriate without implying that old/ugly/fat people are inherently disgusting.

    6. NoMoreFirstTimeCommenter*

      I tend to agree as a general rule. Still, knowing that my grandparents’ 50+ years of happy marriage started as a workplace romance, I wish there still was a way to express romantic interest to a work connection without being creepy. Everybody doesn’t have a wide social circle outside of work, and even if you did, you can’t just use your willpower to have a crush on the right person.

      1. BubbleTea*

        There’s a difference between a romantic interest that grows out of prolonged and regular contact as peers, and romantic interest after a few minutes or hours of specifically work-focused interactions with an inherent power imbalance (which recruiting always has, even if you’d be peers in the role).

        1. Despachito*

          “romantic interest that grows out of prolonged and regular contact as peers”


          In such a case, there are MANY possibilities to interact with the person in question and get the clues of any possible interest LONG BEFORE that interest is expressed. I actually think that the possibility to know the person in a non-romantic setting is very telling (because they do not ruffle their feathers and embellish themselves in front of a date, and just show you their normal self).

          Perhaps it’s just me, but I need this kind of knowledge of the person, and the “preliminary stage” of emitting (and receiving) the relevant cues to have more certainty that we might be into EACH OTHER. A stranger who would ask me out after seeing me for a short time (and for a WORK interview at that) would creep me out and lower his chances below zero.

        2. After 33 years ...*

          Generally true, but…
          Love at first sight exists, can happen in work-related settings, and can lead to a long-term relationship.
          Signed, person who was loved at first sight and is in a 32-year-long relationship.

          1. bamcheeks*

            I think there are examples of literally every kind of bad idea turning into a long-term and happy relationship. “This might be the 1% that works out, and not the 99% where I just make someone feel like they are constantly being pestered for a date no matter where they are” is a terrible way to approach life, though!

          2. Emmy Noether*

            “Love at first sight” is always kind of… retrospective though. It’s only love at first sight if it works out. If the person one has flashed on turns out to be horrible after one actual conversation on personal topics, that lovey feeling is quickly revised.

            1. After 33 years ...*

              I (male) was the one who was “flashed on” or “hit on” by my partner (female). After the initial meeting, my partner took the initiative in asking for dates. Yes, there are examples where every kind of “bad idea” that works out – which is why I try very hard not to assume that any particular idea must always be 100% bad when it concerns relationships!

              1. bamcheeks*

                Can I suggest you re-frame this? There’s two possibilities here. Possibility 1: either your partner pursued you with absolutely no care for whether you were uncomfortable, awkward, did not want to be approached at work, and simply got lucky that you didn’t feel any of those things. Possibility 2: your partner was actually paying very careful attention to non-verbal and verbal clues from you, and although she took some risk, she was reasonably confident that her pursuit wasn’t unwelcome and was careful and respectful in how she did it, and always made sure you did have the option to refuse her and that she would stay professional and respectful if you did.

                People absolutely do meet at work; people in their forties form relationships with people in their early twenties; university staff and students get together; all of these situations happen, and turn into long happy relationships. Nobody’s denying that! But the existence of a few counter-examples doesn’t change the overwhelming weight of the evidence, which is that:

                – lots and lots of women want to be able to get on with their jobs (exercising, shopping, having a fun drink with their friends, using social media, gaming, etc) without being hit on
                – lots and lots of women find being hit on (particularly by near-strangers) stressful because they’ve rejected those approaches in the past and been abused or even assaulted for it
                – the fact that LW doesn’t seem to have thought about this one second from the HR woman’s perspective doesn’t bode well

                Not one single one of us knows here whether the HR recruiter actually found LW attractive too, and is one of the women who loves getting asked out at work. It’s possible! But basically the cost-benefit analysis here is overwhelmingly on the side of “don’t, you’ll probably piss her off and ruin her day”, and the fact that is ~sometimes~ works out doesn’t change that.

              2. Just Your Everyday Crone*

                The fact that you’re male makes your experience not really relevant to this conversation. Women (who are hetero or perceived that way) get a lot more unwanted advances, feel less safe when they do, and have a generally harder time being taken seriously as professionals as opposed to romantic partners.

                1. darcy*

                  women who aren’t perceived as straight also get a lot of unwanted advances, for the record

                2. Boof*

                  No please, sexual harassment isn’t a better look on female presenting people just because it’s probably less common. There’s no reason to say 33 years’s experience isn’t relevant because of their gender – it’s just generally a bad idea even if there’s ways of possibly doing it right

            2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

              I feel like “love” and “pants feels” get confused in a situation when it turns into something long. I posted my story above about meeting Mr. Gumption. I definitely noticed him a while before we met and although I’d love to call it “love at first sight” I’m pretty sure it was “pants feels”

          3. Michelle Smith*

            There are people who win big in the lottery. Doesn’t make it a good financial investment or negate the advice you agree is correct as a general rule.

          4. hbc*

            If it’s actually love at first sight and not lust or infatuation, it will survive without being *expressed* at first sight.

          5. Anna*

            The vast majority of women just want to live their lives without having to worry about being hit on. One sliver of anecdotal evidence does not justify creepy behavior from men. Furthermore, you’re using your (from a male perspective) 32 year relationship as an example. How do we even know she is happy? Note how we have barely heard from women here that true love from being hit on at work. One cute story (from a male perspective) does not justify discarding social norms that protect women.

              1. Not Your Admin Ass(t)*

                Your ignoring basically all the very good data people have posted in rightful rebuttal to you, in favor of snarking on someone who said something unnecessarily assumptive, is “interesting.”

            1. pancakes*

              “Note how we have barely heard from women here that true love from being hit on at work.”

              I just want to point out that waiting for people to self-report anecdotes is a bad way to gather information about pretty much anything! It can be a fun way to gather fun anecdotes about specific topics, but those anecdotes aren’t much of a basis for analysis of broader trends. Not even everyone reading is going to want to feel like piping up with a story when they have one that corresponds to what’s being solicited, for various reasons, to say nothing of whether the audience of commenters (and split of commenters among readers) are representative of the broader public.

              1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

                Based on my own personal antecdata (please salt accordingly), Mr. Gumption and I are the exception rather than the rule unless we are talking about doctors who met during residency or fellowship (not sure why in my circle these folks seem to do OK). The vast majority of dating at work stories in my network range from “went ok and fizzled” to uncomfortable (broke up/rejection went not great), to horrifying (stalking/threats/career sabotage) after being rejected. Even being someone who met her life partner at work, I can’t recommend dating at work. I got lucky, most people don’t

                1. Rain's Small Hands*

                  And who doesn’t have a “watched two co-workers date and it ended in a very big train wreck you couldn’t take your eyes away from.” Mine involves a woman who dates a guy for two months, he was engaged to someone else three months later, and she had a lunch that involved multiple adult beverages. It was EPIC. (I worked with her and was invited to his wedding)

                2. pancakes*

                  Yes, and I don’t know anyone who met their significant other at or through work who goes out of their way to recommend it to others as a good place to meet people. For most people in most situations it’s going to be inadvisable to even ask.

                3. Lydia*

                  @pancakes When people ask how I met my husband, I tell them and either immediately before or after say, “I do not recommend doing things this way” and “this way” is just moving in together after dating two months. We’ve been married a long time and together even longer and that is not proof our process was a good one. At. All. That isn’t to say we aren’t happy, but I would not use us as an example. :D

                4. Autumnheart*

                  Work may or may not be a good place to meet people, but it is definitely a bad place to have broken up with people. I actually have an ex on my team (we dated very briefly and it ended poorly), and the saving grace there was having two multi-year stretches of WFH. He’s a jerk but we’re professional. It did teach me the wisdom of not risking a pleasant work environment with a soured relationship. It doesn’t mean I’ve stopped clicking with a coworker now and again, but, like, there are other fish in the sea. Or if you’re truly meant for each other, then move teams first.

                  The people I know who met while employed at the same company were working in different departments. More work/life separation that way.

          6. EPLawyer*

            And sometimes using gimmicky resumes or just plain old gumption works. Doesn’t mean its a good idea in general. Better to err on the side of caution and NOT presume you are the special 1% that it will work for. As noted further down, if it is love at first sight, it won’t disappear for having to wait.

          7. Observer*

            Love at first sight exists, can happen in work-related settings, and can lead to a long-term relationship.

            True. But not really relevant. Love at first sight that really leads to a *healthy* long term relationship is quite rare on the one hand. On the other hand, one person’s sudden bolt of lightning does not in any way shape or form give them any rights to the other person. Not time, attention or emotional labor. And when it’s happening in a context where there is a potential power imbalance and / or your only single contact is purely a work related thing for the other person? You simply cannot pursue it.

            And that’s assuming that someone really was struck by that unicorn level bolt of lightning. When all you have is “I really enjoyed speaking with her “?! No! Multiple times over.

      2. Bagpuss*

        I think there is a huge difference between asking out a co-worker whom you have got to know over a period of time working together, and hitting on someone you have met once in a context where they were being professioonally friendly.

        All other considerations aside, if you have got to know someone as a coworker first, you are far less likely to ask out someone who is already married or in a relationship, you are better placed to know what, if anything, you may have in common, and, all being well, thye have got to know you well enough to be able to tell you ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and feel confident that you will behave appropriately.

      3. bamcheeks*

        Honestly, the creepy thing is when people frame the entire discussion as being about them and their feelings / fantasies / opportunities, rather than the experiences of the person they want to ask out, which is what you’ve done here.

      4. Expiring Cat Memes*

        So many people still meet through work, and it is possible to express interest without being creepy! Here’s a recent success story from a friend (F) who was asked out by a coworker (M). The key things were:

        – They have good separation at work (different facilities/reporting lines/duties etc)

        – He asked her first if it would be ok to contact her outside of work for social reasons, respectfully and without any pressure.

        – He was upfront from the beginning of his social texts that his interest was romantic, and asked if she still wanted to be contacted by him knowing that, respectfully and without any pressure.

        Being transparent about it and asking for her consent before escalating his attention meant he didn’t put her in the awkward position of trying to guess if/when/how she needed to extricate herself. It might sound like an awkward way to approach it, but it came across as classy and respectful.

      5. GammaGirl1908*

        Agree with the above posters. It’s not that no one ever finds romance through work. Obviously many people do, and I absolutely have friends and colleagues who met their romantic partner at or through work.

        The issue is that hitting on someone that you briefly met yesterday-ish, in a work context, where they gave you no indication that they had any interest in you, but also had a professional obligation to be polite to you, and you know nothing else about them except that you had a brief chat and thought they were hot, is inappropriate.

        Moreover, LW knows it’s inappropriate, but is looking to see whether anyone has a loophole for him, which no one does.

      6. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        I met my partner at work. We worked together for at least three years before he made a move. We went on lots of important work assignments together (we were the top team) and we were both staff representatives together, going to all sorts of trade union meetings and the like. And he asked for permission to kiss me one night after everyone else had left.
        That’s nothing like a quick screen interview to check whether OP might be suitable for a job.

      7. kiki*

        People do still meet at work and start romantic relationships in non-creepy ways all the time! What makes it not-creepy is that both parties have to be extra cautious and especially attuned to the needs and desires of the other person. It requires thinking outside yourself, beyond “hey, I like this person, so I should ask them out” and looking for indications the other person may like you romantically too. It also means it may take longer than if you met socially. Like, if you see someone you like at a bar, you can ask them out right away without it necessarily being creepy. At work, you probably need to observe the vibe for a few weeks or months first.

        I think what’s setting some folks off with the letter today is that LW didn’t mention anything about HR interviewer seeming into him. It was just, “I like her so I should pursue her.” LW may have just left some things out of the letter, but I think most women have been in a situation like this, where a man just kind of decides he’d like to date you and makes a normal professional interaction into something it wasn’t. It’s jarring and more often annoying and uncomfortable than a pleasant surprise.

      8. Clobberin' Time*

        There is a way to express romantic interest in a co-worker without being creepy. That’s not what the LW is describing.

        1. 2Legit*

          YES! This candidate met with her, what, once? Twice? Three times at most? And based upon these limited interactions he would like to move this relationship from professional to romantic? NOPE –

      9. This is Artemesia*

        People get to know each other at work. Maybe they brown bag and end up eating in the break room and chatting or they go out to lunch with co-workers. They find over time they enjoy each other’s company. And if they are peers, then they go for coffee, or a baseball game or a movie and begin to date. This is entirely different from hitting on someone you are being interviewed by. It is still risky — there are reasons for all the crude metaphors about sandwiches, BUT it is necessarily entirely inappropriate.

        1. This is Artemesia*

          not necessarily entirely inappropriate — serves me right for the double negative.

      10. etti*

        Sometime a few decades ago, the internet was invented.

        There is online dating. There’s hitting on people via all social media sites. There is the same in online gaming. Never have people had so many options. That is before we discuss the freedom mobile phones brought, allowing for much easier communication and showing a picture of yourself and so on.

    7. Falling Diphthong*

      I’m hoping AAM will tell me that I am the exception I think I am.

      Advice columnists have claimed that this is at the heart of the ongoing appeal of advice columns–the problem might be recurring but the hope that you are an exception springs eternal.

      1. EmmaPoet*

        For me, the moment when I think, “Oh, I’ll be the exception to the rule,” is the moment when I realize I’m about to do something mindbogglingly stupid, and I stop then and back way, way up to sanity land.

    8. NotRealAnonForThis*


      “Leave her alone. Women deserve to do their jobs without being hit on.”

    9. Lily*

      Thank you thank you thank you!

      “I know she was being nice because of her job. I know this isn’t okay to do, but I want to do it anyway and I’m hoping AAM will tell me that I am the exception I think I am.”
      Exactly how it read to me as well.

    10. Junior Assistant Peon*

      My advice for how to ask someone out in a work situation without making things awkward: mention you’d like to get coffee sometime, hand her your number on a Post-It, then never ever mention it again or pester her for another date. It gives her an easy out if she’s not interested.

      1. Beebis*

        I think this is an incredibly awkward thing to do and would impact every single interaction I’d have with you going forward

          1. Beebis*

            This is some elementary school level behavior, not how adults at work should interact with each other

        1. Willow Pillow*

          Yeah, you might know you’re never going to mention it again, but how does she know that?

        2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          Seriously. Unless we already know each other as work friends (i.e. those folks you talk to at work about things other than work and possibly hang out with/talk to after hours), this would be really weird. I’d say even weirder than a random stranger doing the same thing

      2. 2Legit*

        Someone you’ve only met a handful of times? Really? Someone that you’d continue to have to work with? Really? Don’t you think the awkwardness would still be there if the attention wasn’t welcome? It would!!

    11. St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research*

      I actually don’t think Alison was firm enough with her advice “unless you have evidence that she was also into you…”
      There are so many men who think that EVERYTHING is “compelling evidence” that a woman is flirting with them. Eye contact. Bland smiles. Possessing breasts. Standing. Sitting. Inhaling.
      Leaving a subjective call like that up to the OP just gives him too much wiggle room to justify doing whatever he wants.

      1. Unaccountably*

        And let’s face it, a man who thinks the HR person who interviewed him will respond well to a request for a date after a ten-minute conversation will 100% mistake an inhale for a gasp of breathless desire.

      2. kiki*

        Yes. Especially for women they find especially attractive. I’ve seen a situation where a woman actively hated a man she worked with. She tried to maintain a professional veneer but her active loathing for him definitely pierced through. That man asked her on a date. His compelling evidence was that that she was “fiery” towards him. That fire was abhorrence.

        1. Eater of Hotdish (fka jitm)*

          This story has me wondering how many times the “enemies-to-lovers” trope actually happens in real life, not in fiction.

          I bet it’s not a whole lot. Sorry, Mr. Darcy. IRL you’d probably just be that asshat Elizabeth told stories about for the rest of her life. “And then he said I wasn’t good-looking enough to tempt him! In public! Within earshot of me! Can you even believe it??”

    12. Anona*

      Letter one sends a chill down my spine. Leave this woman alone. She’s doing her JOB. It’s not Match dot com.

    13. HufferWare*

      THANK YOU!!! That letter made me so irritated! He didn’t even mention anything she did that would lead him to believe she’s interested

    14. ReallyBadPerson*

      Thank you, Ginger Pet Lady.
      I hate to say this, but some people believe they are more attractive than they are, and act entitled as a result. So when those people encounter genuine kindness and professionalism, they, in their arrogance, just assume it’s because the person is attracted to them. I’m not saying this is the case with P1, but I have encountered this enough to know that it is a “thing.”

    15. SweetFancyPancakes*

      YES, this. At a previous job, I had to pull a library patron aside and explain to him that the librarian he was constantly hitting on and asking out to coffee -she was married, which he knew, btw- wasn’t coming in every day to hang out with him, but because it was her job. We were finally able to ban him when he cornered her in the stacks one day and wouldn’t let her get past him.

      1. Mac*

        Uff, having worked in a library, I wish this didn’t ring so familiar to me. It’s like they purposely design the aisles to be too tight to get past someone who’s intent upon non-consensually touching you. Also, because I worked a lot in the children’s dept, let me just fume for a second about the NUMBER OF MEN –IT WAS ALWAYS MEN– who wanted to tell me in their most sensual voices, right there next to the Mo Willems and Dr Seuss, about how great I was with kids, and what good mom I’d make, and how they were looking high and low for someone like me to bear their children. Took me YEARS and multiple repeat offenders before I managed to find the right combination of no-nonsense but still work appropriate: “This oven’s not for baking!” (Because of course, just saying “I don’t want to have kids” was letting myself in for a long argument– ooh, I’m still just so mad about it all!)

    1. pcake*

      A buddy of mine who works exclusively online in a fairly techy field still uses her prehistoric AOL address :D

      1. John Smith*

        I honestly didn’t realise email provider class war was a thing! Age never entered my head whenever I took an email address from someone. The first part (before the@) told me more about a person than the provider name. Maybe that in itself is showing my age!

        1. Wintermute*

          it’s probably more the circles that you run in than your age. This has been a thing since before e-mail was a standardized thing, and was mostly done by leaving someone a message in a user folder on whatever mainframe they used. What mainframes you were on was a big deal, with the MIT AI lab and Berkley being considered the premier hosts for a true wizard, or bell labs.

        2. The Other Dawn*

          The only place I’ve ever seen any judgment about email address is right here on this website.

        3. JustaTech*

          When I was in college (~2003) I had a professor that used an AOL address and you can bet your buttons we judged her hard for it – but mostly because 1) we were arrogant little tech nerds and 2) we assumed that she had a .edu address she just didn’t know how to use. Looking back she was one of the few adjunct professors at that school (like, I think there were 3), so we assumed that all our professors were part of the school and therefore would have a address.

          (Also we didn’t like her because she assigned a *lot* of work for her class, even by the standards of a school with a ton of homework.)

          1. Observer*

            we assumed that she had a .edu address she just didn’t know how to use. Looking back she was one of the few adjunct professors at that school (l

            Even as an adjunct, she probably had an .edu address that she couldn’t be bothered to use.

            This is only anecdata, so take it with a grain of salt, but I’ve never yet dealt with a professor who used a non-school account for their students, who was reasonable to deal with. They were the ones who didn’t respond timely, didn’t post stuff in the right place / timely, were difficult in other ways.

            It makes sense, too. Because by the time I was dealing with this stuff, FERPA was a thing so no professor should have been handling student stuff in personal email outside of the protections that their school should have set up.

    2. Construction Safety*


      I’ve had it a very long time. FWIW, I have the same addy in gmail, too.

    3. Lilo*

      I think I came across a Prodigy email address at work once. My grandma had Prodigy which was an early competitor to AOL. The advantage being it’s so obscure people may not recognize it.

    4. Natalie*

      I’ve had my AOL address since I was 9-years old, and it will have to be pried from my cold dead online handle!

      However, I do have a gmail as well. :)

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

      I’m always so amused by the email service provider class wars. I still have my AOL and a gmail account. Ironically I just commented at the end of Friday’s open thread that I just emailed a print vendor and he has an @Juno account. I’m actually impressed since that predates AOL a bit during the dial up days — dial in, download the incoming email, disconnect, write your emails, dial in, send, and disconnect. AOL (back then) was high-tech fancy by comparison.

    6. turquoisecow*

      I have an aol address. I use it mostly for things I don’t want connected to my real name, and a gmail that is my real name for when I want to be professional.

  3. Ginger Pet Lady*

    OP3- get a custom URL and set up your email through that. I was lucky enough to get my twenty years ago so my email is through there, and it’s so no one knows the ISP I use.

    1. Felis alwayshungryis*

      So jealous! My last name is one of the most common in the English-speaking world, so I never stood a chance. It was probably gone before the internet went mainstream. I tried to buy but some bastard is squatting. I wouldn’t mind if they were actually using it, but that annoyed me.

      1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

        There are loads of different domain extensions now so you may be able to get firstnamelastname dot something else…

    2. It's Really OK*

      This really isn’t necessary. I work in tech, have for 30+ years. No one cares what you use for email unless it’s super unprofessional like HR and hiring managers just want a way to contact you.

    3. The Person from the Resume*

      Why bother? The LW doesn’t care; they’re only concerned because they heard it’s unprofessional. The LW can get a gmail address for job hunting for a new job with less effort than setting up a custom URL.

    4. Fluffy Fish*

      This is way more than most people need and doesn’t really provide value as far as for hiring purposes.

      Maybe some IT company out there would be slightly more impressed than candidates without it, but enough to sway a hiring decision? Doubtful.

      A gmail account just for employment purposes is enough.

    5. nona*

      My last name is a large consulting firm. No chance of that…

      Luckily I got in early on the gmail thing and got both my FILastName AND First.Last combos.

      And now just get to deal with everyone else that thinks those are also their email addresses.

      1. Lalaith*

        LOL, solidarity on the other people who think my email address is theirs! Although I kind of think they know what they’re doing since I only seem to get political newsletters and the like – nothing personal so I can’t ask the sender to please please please tell Larry to quit it!!

        1. nona*

          I definitely get a mix. And make a point of replying “wrong email” on the ones that seem important.

          And a lot of unsubscribes from the newletters with the reason “I didn’t sign up for this mailing list”

  4. Kella*

    OP1, consider this: We offer different versions of ourselves to different people, and different kinds of friendly to different people. By default, she was offering you her Work Friendly Self. You clicked well with that version which at the very least mean it’s likely you’d enjoy *working* with her. It may or may not tell you whether you’d enjoy her Social Friendly Self or Dating Friendly Self. But more importantly, if you take her offer of Work Friendly Self as an invitation to ask for her Dating Friendly Self, recognize that you’d be asking her to offer something completely different from what she was offering you during that interview. That’s a much bigger ask of a stranger.

    And also consider that women are constantly getting scrutinized for inviting flirtation by being “too friendly” or discouraging networking by being “too cold”. If she turned you down, it doesn’t sound likely that you’d scrutinize her for being too friendly, but she’d start scrutinizing *herself* to see if there was something she had done to have given you the wrong impression. But she didn’t. She gave you an accurate impression, which was that she was friendly and professional.

    1. Chilipepper Attitude*

      Honestly I don’t think OP 1 was even reacting to her professional friendly role, I think he just thought she was attractive and wanted to, you know, connect with her. I did not get any sense he wanted a relationship with her, there was no, we share a cool hobby, or anything to suggest that he liked anything other than her looks and friendliness

      1. Rainy*

        Yup. I was on my way to have patio drinks with a coworker last week and got hit on on the sidewalk by a stranger who said to me, and I quote “When two people have an instant connection like us, it seems silly not to try to pursue it.”

        Dude, you may have been having an instant connection, but I was having a Wednesday. All he could tell about me was what I look and dress like, but he somehow instantly knew we had “so much in common” and had formed “an instant connection.”

        When I enacted the scene for Mr Rainy’s enjoyment later, he did a full body wince when I got to the instant connection bit.

  5. Oysters and Gender Freedoms*

    For OP 1, unless you already know you won’t be getting the job, this would be problematic for so many reasons, even if she were into you. You don’t want to be dating a person who is involved in hiring you. You don’t want to be dating the HR person at your company if you get hired. You really don’t want to have an uncomfortable rejection, a disastrous date, or a messy breakup affecting your hiring or your first few days or weeks or months at the job. I think it’s inappropriate for all the reasons everyone said, but I would also say you have to choose, the (potential) date, or the (potential) job.

    1. Shira*

      Yep yep yep. Why would you ask out someone involved in your hiring, at a company where you’re still in the middle of the hiring process?!

      1. alienor*

        I’m not a recruiter, but I am a hiring manager. Not only would I never hire someone who hit on me during the interview process, I would never hire someone who hit on anyone they encountered at any point in the process, from the recruiter to the receptionist. I don’t know if the company I work for has a blacklist, but I’d petition to get one started just for that guy.

        1. Eater of Hotdish (fka jitm)*

          I mean, I used to do screening interviews for entry-level positions at a food co-op and had this one applicant……
          Eater: So, do you have any questions?
          Applicant: Yeah, has anyone ever told you that you have a REALLY strong aura? Like, bright orange?
          Eater: *blinks slowly*

          I still think this is hilarious, years later, because FOOD CO-OP, but my boss was horrified and sent this person’s application right to the “nope” pile. Because hello, intrusive and inappropriate.

      2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        I feel like asking the OP if they also enjoy kicking hornets’ nests and getting between moose moms and their calves, because both of those situations are less likely to go terribly than this. I

    2. Isabel Archer*

      Umm, yeah…it sounds like OP is still a candidate for this job, and would like to be offered the job. Hitting on the recruiter would take “don’t s*** where you eat”
      to the next level.

    3. Phil*

      When you add “convinced you’re not getting the job anyway” to the equation it starts to sound like a George plot of a Seinfeld episode. One where he then wants to break up with her but gets the job.

      1. Ellis Bell*

        I was thinking of the episode where George and Jerry stake out a woman’s office building at lunch to “run into her” because Jerry met her through Elaine and doesn’t feel allowed to use his ex to contact someone new.

    4. ecnaseener*

      If she sent clear signals that she’d be interested in socializing outside of a professional context — like saying “we have so much in common, we should get a drink sometime” or something similar — that would be one thing.

      A highly inappropriate thing that would get her in heaps of trouble! Face it, a job interview is just not a place to find a dating partner.

    5. Willow Pillow*

      Even if LW knows they aren’t getting the job it’s problematic. The top-level comment above this one explained it really well… If LW happens to work in a tight-knit industry or geographic area it could also harm their chances elsewhere.

  6. Uldi*


    No. Full stop. Just “No”.

    Professional friendliness never means romantic interest. The workplace is not a dating site, no matter what various examples of fiction in media seems to say.

    1. Snoozing not schmoozing*

      Not true everywhere. Where I worked, I can think of at least eight married couples, without having to wrack my brain, who met there. And it wasn’t a huge place – maybe 150 staff.

      1. Snoozing not schmoozing*

        I forgot to add, I met my husband at work many years ago..And my parents met at their work a REALLY long time ago. It’s used in fiction because it does happen in real life.

      2. Lyudie*

        I think there’s a difference though between becoming involved with someone you get to know through working together vs asking out someone you have had only limited contact with, and when they were putting forth an intentionally pleasant, friendly image and attempting to make a good impression on you. I met my husband at work and we’ve been married 20 years, but we had gotten to know each other at work and in social situations first.

      3. Sacred Ground*

        And I’m willing to bet that every one of those couples worked together for some time and got to know each other pretty well long before any romantic interest was expressed. I further bet that not one of them hit on the other during their freaking JOB INTERVIEW.

        1. 2Legit*

          Yes – getting to know each other over a prolonged period of time lets you know: is the other person interested? Do they like me in a romantic way? Would they consent to building a friendship outside of work, would they consent to any romantic overtures? It gives each person the ability to back out if they aren’t interested in a relationship that is more than just professional. It provides the consent needed for each party. Each person can leave hints that they do feel the same way, if they want more. Getting together in large groups is a good way to get to know each other in a fraternal type of way, to see if you even like the person beyond just the sexual feelings you may have.

          It allows you to think through the **adult** questions/ramifications such as: What would happen if we dated, and then broke up? Would it impact our work? Would we still remain professional, etc. i.e. Jim and Pam on The Office & the other couples…. no one was making a move for the other the first time they saw each other…

      4. Anna*

        The problem is that when men read this then they use stuff like this to rationalize their creepy behavior.

        1. EPLawyer*

          THANK YOU.

          Just because SOME people meet at work does not mean it is a good idea to hit on coworkers. Even worse to hit on the recruiter.

      5. anonymous73*

        Apples and oranges. Working with the same colleagues everyday can most certainly develop an attraction between 2 people. Hitting on your hiring manager when you’re trying to get a job…not even a little bit okay.

      6. Nanani*

        Cool story bro

        Not relevant to the principle of NOT hitting on the person whose job involved being nice to you though

      7. Eater of Hotdish (fka jitm)*

        The general principle is still true, even though there are people who meet their partners at work. (I did.) The point of a dating site is to find someone to date. The point of work is to…do stuff and get paid? And if you meet people you like hanging around with outside of work in any capacity, it’s a nice bonus, but still not the primary reason we work.

    2. Emmy Noether*

      I think the data does not completely bear this out: “at work” is still a common place for couples to meet (I think still like 10-15%, though it’s on the decline). So sometimes romantic interest does develop on both sides.

      Definitely don’t treat work like speed dating or a dating site though… get to know the person very well first before making romantic overtures. And avoid power differentials or any kind of dependence in getting or keeping the job like the plague!

      1. bamcheeks*

        The main thing is just to do what you should do in literally every interaction and give a shit about the other person. The stuff that makes this creepy and gross is the way some men treat every woman they come into contact with as someone who is waiting to be activated by Some Guy’s interest, and that the only barrier to doing this is a set of abstract Social Rules that they might experience consequences for breaking, such as Being Seen As Creepy. Rather than ever actually thinking, “hm, do I have any sense that this person might *welcome* a romantic advance from me, or do they look like someone just going about their normal business thinking about KPIs, serving their clients and getting Exceeds Expectations at their annual review?”

        If you put some thought into it and cannot decide whether the nice friendly receptionist is particularly nice and friendly to you, or whether she is the same amount of nice and friendly to everyone, you are not skilled enough at this game to play in the higher risk leagues and you should stick to dating apps. And that’s OK! Dating apps are great because everyone is there for explicitly the same reason and you can be very clear about what you are looking for!

        Just– make your goal “not ruin someone’s day” rather than “not be seen as creepy.” And definitely try not to be the guy I once stood behind in a coffee shop complaining to his mate that his yoga teacher obviously hated him and wasn’t professional about it because she didn’t flirt back when he flirted with her.

        1. Emmy Noether*

          Oh absolutely! The thing about asking someone out at work is that the other person is stuck still having to deal with you and be professional and friendly. So even if *you* don’t mind if it’s awkward after a rejection or a bad first date, the other person may very well mind. And even if *you* wouldn’t feel pressured, the other person may. You need to think about how it could feel for the other person, and if you don’t know the person, there’s a wide range of possible feelings and you really can’t know.

        2. Chilipepper Attitude*

          Bamcheeks I’m copying this part to use as needed, well said!!

          “The stuff that makes this creepy and gross is the way some men treat every woman they come into contact with as someone who is waiting to be activated by Some Guy’s interest, and that the only barrier to doing this is a set of abstract Social Rules that they might experience consequences for breaking, such as Being Seen As Creepy.”

        3. Falling Diphthong*

          You are not skilled enough at this game to play in the higher risk leagues.

          Really important point about your social skill at reading nuance. Some people are really good at it and it helps their social interactions, including the subset that are potentially romantic. They can move things along more rapidly because they are correctly interpreting “speed up, slow down, keep going, back off” signals. If you aren’t good at that–practice helps, and I think people bad at soft skills can be way too quick to dismiss it as “just born that way so it’s not fair to expect me to do this.” But yeah, some people are dealt the conventionally attractive card, and some people the charisma card, and some people the good social antenna card, and all of those make dating easier while not guaranteeing you success with any specific individual.

          1. DJ Abbott*

            Yes, I started out with terrible people skills and have gotten much better with practice and thought and a lot of time.
            OP, you can practice and over time – I’m talking years, not months – you might get fairly good at understanding a woman’s point of view and what is and is not acceptable. And you’ll have much better relationships and friends. You can start by realizing you have no way of knowing whether she wants to date you or not, and show respect by not presuming.
            Or, you could choose not to practice and be that guy for the rest of your life, and your relationships will be short and end badly, and your friends will be guys who think seeing women as one thing is OK.

        4. Thegreatprevaricator*

          Thank you for articulating the issue so well. One may be socialised to think otherwise but: finding a person attractive does not green light asking them out or indicate interest on their side.

        5. CG*

          Yes!! Work is not a “shoot your shot” situation! Work is a “treat other humans with professional respect at all times, even if they are your preferred gender/identity for romantic interactions outside of work” situation!

    3. Ana Gram*

      Ehhh….I don’t know about that. I met my husband at work. (I’m a woman and I asked him out fwiw.) But, we were peers so it was different that the OP’s situation which is completely inappropriate.

  7. Blaise*

    I’m a woman and I think if OP1 is no longer pursuing that job and will not be working with that recruiter in the future, he should go for it. Obviously language should be used that makes it clear that he is ending his professional relationship with her in favor of giving this a shot, but as long as personal and professional lives aren’t getting intertwined, there’s no issue.

    It reminds me of the time I toured a prospective apartment and had to decide if I’d rather rent the apartment or ask out the guy who owned it. I made it clear I wouldn’t be taking the apartment, but I’d love to get together for a drink or something sometime if he was interested and single. We went out a few times before it became clear that it was not a good match, lol. But it was definitely worth the shot imo!

    1. Ariaflame*

      Maybe, but the sort of performative ‘I gave up my chance at this job just to have a small chance of a date with you’ feels a little manipulative and intense for someone you’re asking for a first date with.

      1. Blaise*

        Ew, if that’s the verbiage used, I totally agree with you. It would need to be genuine, as in OP turning down the job and then coming back and emailing at a later date to make turning down the job and asking her out two totally separate things.

        I think it’s a delicate situation and the language OP uses is super important, but it can definitely be done.

    2. MEH Squared*

      That’s a different situation than hitting on someone while they’re doing their job/whom you met doing their job. The chances of making her uncomfortable are much higher than the chance that she’s going to feel ok about being asked.

      1. Blaise*

        How is it different? The guy I asked out was also doing his job when we met. I do agree with the other commenter who said that gender matters here, so yes it was different in that I’m a woman, but other than that… feels the same to me.

        1. bamcheeks*

          How bad would you have felt if his reaction was, “ew, can I not just do my goddamn job without someone hitting on me?”

          1. Blaise*

            I would’ve been like “wow, asking someone it is not the same thing as hitting on them… we are clearly not a good match lol, thanks”

            1. bamcheeks*

              They are the same thing to me! But that is why I wouldn’t ask someone out that I’d only spoken to for 15 minutes in a work-based situation — I wouldn’t know that we had any shared values, culture, language, expectations etc around dating and the chances of upsetting someone are therefore that much higher.

        2. MEH Squared*

          Sorry, I misread it as he personally owned it and you were looking to rent it (which is problematic in a different way) not that it was his job to rent it out. In that case, then, yeah, it’s the same and I’m against it for the reasons others have listed. Your distinction of asking out and hitting on is indistinguishable from the other person’s point of view. Just because it worked out in this case does not mean it’s a good thing to do.

    3. bamcheeks*

      You’ve done exactly the same thing as the LW, and jumped forward to “would this be an appropriate or inappropriate relationship” rather than “will I make this person uncomfortable if I ask them out”. “How do I make it clear that I am interviewing you for a job and not a potential date” is not something she wants to have in her mind every time she phones a candidate with a “Mr” in front of his name.

      Of course there are people who don’t mind being asked out at work. But there are so many people who *do* that if you decide to do that– especially on an incredibly weak link like “talked to you for 45 minutes in a completely professional setting” — that anyone who does that is basically saying that they don’t care about making other people uncomfortable.

      1. Blaise*

        I guess I think there’s a huge difference between asking someone out at work and asking someone out who you met at their work. The first situation would absolutely be uncomfortable. But an email or LinkedIn message later on is different.

        I guess at the end of the day, is this really different than, say, getting asked out by someone while you’re grocery shopping or at the gym? The purpose of doing those things is also not to meet people socially. Of course it’s not *exactly* the same thing, but I don’t see anything substantially different enough to warrant such different responses.

        1. bamcheeks*

          I think it’s the same too, in that there are tons of women who avoid going to the gym (or who want “women-only” sessions at the gym) because they just want to get on with their workout without having to run the gauntlet of men hitting on them. I also think that is bad!

          1. Blaise*

            As I mentioned in an above comment, hitting on someone and asking them out are two totally different things. I am taking OP at his word here and assuming he is only planning on asking the woman out. Hitting on her would be creepy. Frankly, men hitting on women is always creepy. I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario where I would want that lol. I think the only time it’s not creepy is when I’m already dating the person.

            But I don’t see any issue with asking someone out in any location. I think the only thing that matters would be like if power dynamics were involved, which is why in this scenario the recruiter absolutely would not be able to ask OP out; it has to be the other way around. But making all of these rules for locations that are off-limits seems like just making something that is already incredibly difficult (meeting someone you are interested in who might actually be interested back) even less likely to happen. It makes me wonder if all of these people who are saying the recruiter is off-limits are already in happy relationships and have forgotten (or we’re lucky enough to not even know) how incredibly difficult dating can be.

            1. Willow Pillow*

              There are always power dynamics involved, you being a women making advances on a man just goes against the typical hetero dynamic.

            2. MsM*

              I would posit that targeting people who you have no reason to believe are in a dating frame of mind is making it far harder on yourself than focusing on opportunities where people have already opted in to getting to know you better.

            3. Jennifer Strange*

              As I mentioned in an above comment, hitting on someone and asking them out are two totally different things.

              They really aren’t. Asking someone out is a form of hitting on someone.

              1. pancakes*

                I think we can say that’s particularly true when it’s someone you’ve just met and don’t know anything about.

                Maybe there are theoretically other situations where asking someone out isn’t exactly hitting on them (not sure I follow?), but those aren’t the situations people are talking about.

                1. Unaccountably*

                  I’ve been trying to think of a situation where asking someone out is not the same as hitting on them and the only thing I can think of is “Now that our parents have arranged our marriage, let’s go get coffee and see what we have in common.”

        2. This is Artemesia*

          My attitude is colored by an experience at the grocery store nearly 50 years ago. My husband and I didn’t wear rings (60s, we need no rings — I know, I know — we actually bought some we liked when we had been married 33 years). This guy hit on me and I politely declined; he pushed; I said I was married. He then berated me because I had led him on by not wearing a wedding ring — because every single women owes a ‘chance’ to randos at the grocery store.

          1. Et*

            I’m stuck using public transport, and that is a major hub for perverts. Some actually spend hours in the place, starting at and following women (and worse). But you can’t escape them anywhere. The last memorable moment was when I was in the hospital, and a pervert in A&E spent the whole time leering at me (whilst I was in agony)! Hands down, the best thing about working from home this past few years is escaping that weekly entertain a pervert moments.

        3. Dark Macadamia*

          Those situations are also weird to ask someone out! Sure, you could occasionally really hit it off with someone at the grocery store, but if you literally only had a “grocery interaction” (like, asking if they know where to find something or if something’s on sale) with no personal connection made, you’re still going to seem like a creep who is objectifying the other person if you think their polite existence in public is enough of a basis for a date.

          This LW is not asking about a relationship gradually blooming with someone they happened to meet at work (or a gym/store/apartment tour). They had a single *professional* encounter and are trying to extrapolate it into a personal one based purely on someone’s interview behavior, which is not an indicator of her interest or actual personality.

        4. Et*

          Gyms are seriously losing out on money. There is a reason why some women only go to gyms with slots for just women. I have no idea why you would hit on someone in that situation (this includes grocery shopping) They are a stranger. All you can say is ‘you are hot’ but you can’t establish if they are a serial killer.
          Anyway, women are sick to their back teeth of it. Your gender is neither here nor there. We just want the perverts to duck off.

    4. Turtle Duck*

      Actually I kind of agree. As long as it is asked respectfully and the OP leaves it at a ‘no’ and doesn’t insist or come back to it at all, I don’t necessarily see it as inappropriate provided that the job is off the table.

      1. Books and Cooks*

        Yeah, I’m really not liking the fairly unpleasant tone the comments are taking to #1. We have no evidence that it was “only a 10-minute conversation,” (for all we know, they spoke for two hours about all kinds of things) or that he plans to start sending her flowers or creepily calling and emailing every day, or that she was only being nice because it’s her job and found him repellant, or that he’s full of entitlement. He happened to meet a lady he thought seemed interesting and attractive, and is hoping for a chance to get to know her better; that’s not evil or wrong, even if the circumstances of that meeting make it potentially awkward, and I don’t think he deserves to be shamed and belittled for it. I understand the attitude of “You know this is wrong but you want permission anyway,” but in fairness, the fact that he wrote in to ask indicates that he is at least trying to be thoughtful and NOT entitled; if he was, he wouldn’t have bothered to ask. And for all we know, the woman in question finished that conversation thinking, “Wow, he seems like a really great guy. I wish there was some way to indicate I’d like to see him again, without seeming weird because of the whole job-interview thing.” Of course that might not be the case! But it also might be. We don’t know! For every man who just assumes there’s a “spark,” because he feels something, there’s one who’s right about that “spark,” because they both felt something, and it’s possible LW1 is one of them.

        I’ve certainly dealt with my share of creeps and non-creeps interested in me, and I have been in the “ffs, I’m just trying to put gas in my car and buy a Coke, can you just leave me alone,” type situation more times than I care to count, but nobody ever died from having someone politely drop them a line saying, “You know, I totally understand if you’re not interested, but I really enjoyed speaking to you and would love to get a coffee sometime, if you think you would also like that. Please give me a call if you are, and if I don’t hear from you, I wish you all the best.” (AFTER the job decision has been made.) How are any relationships ever supposed to start, if it is so forbidden to make a move? I’m sorry, but over the almost-fifty years of my life, it’s become pretty clear to me that “creepy” is relative when it comes to men/women/relationships in general, and just because several women here seem to think that being politely asked out at work is dreadfully offensive doesn’t mean that all women do, or that the woman in question does. Again, for all we know, this woman is dreadfully lonely and wishes to meet a nice man, and would welcome an email like that (especially from a man about whom she already knows some important things, like that he has a solid employment history, no criminal convictions, coworkers and others who speak well of him and enjoy his company, etc.). As Blaise said, it’s very easy to forget how hard it is to meet people.

        This woman may be interested or she may not, but even if she isn’t, it doesn’t mean the LW is an entitled creep merely for thinking she’s someone he’d like to know better, and I don’t think he deserves to be called such for asking for advice.

        1. bamcheeks*

          nobody ever died from having someone politely drop them a line saying, “You know, I totally understand if you’re not interested, but I really enjoyed speaking to you and would love to get a coffee sometime, if you think you would also like that. Please give me a call if you are, and if I don’t hear from you, I wish you all the best.”

          Nobody ever died from just not doing that, either.

          Why is “how hard it is to meet people” important and worth considering, but “how hard it is to do your job when men keep taking professional good manners as flirtation” not?

        2. Ellis Bell*

          I do think you make a really great point about respecting the LW’s motives for writing in, that I wish we would extend to more LWs in general. If they’re asking for advice, odds are good that they actually want an accurate answer.

          1. Books and Cooks*

            Yes, thank you. I think my annoyance about that may have made me a bit more cavalier about the issue itself in my above comment than I would otherwise be. I just know how I would feel if I was the LW, seeing not only that I probably can’t get to know this person better (disappointing) but that lots of people are implying or outright saying that I’m an entitled, pushy a-hole for even considering it, especially when, again, we have no idea what the interaction between these two people was. If I was considering writing in to ask a more sensitive question, I might really reconsider after seeing some of these comments–I don’t mean just “comments that don’t give me permission,” but the comments that get into name-calling and accusations and assumptions. LW doesn’t deserve that for asking what IMO is a pretty common type of question people have. I think that’s why I came down so strongly on the “It’s not evil and perverted to find someone attractive, sheesh,” side of things.

            1. Et*

              The interaction was a ducking work interview. We already know that. I have no idea how he had the time to get to know her (apart from the usual 5-10 minute slot) because work doesn’t pay you hours to screw around. If he was a rock star and they were courting him, there might have been a bit of time. That is obviously not the case.

        3. Willow Pillow*

          ‘…nobody ever died from having someone politely drop them a line saying, “You know, I totally understand if you’re not interested, but I really enjoyed speaking to you and would love to get a coffee sometime, if you think you would also like that. Please give me a call if you are, and if I don’t hear from you, I wish you all the best.”’

          Here are several news stories about women who have keen killed by men they rejected. In a couple of cases, family members were killed. The problem with #notallmen is that there’s no way to know for sure who’s going to accept a polite line and who needs a white lie about a male partner or a restraining order. You know what’s more unpleasant than the tone of these comments? DYING.

          1. Unaccountably*

            Yeah, that “no one ever died from…” comment is so far off the mark that it’s not just jaw-droppingly naïve, it’s actually really, really offensive.

            It takes building your domicile under a pretty big rock to be that unaware of just how many people *have* died of rejecting someone romantically.

        4. Et*

          ‘only a 10-minute conversation,” (for all we know, they spoke for two hours about all kinds of things)’

          ROFL. Please let us all know which job pays you to give you that 2-hour slots to lark around and flirt. You could be dying and you would struggle to keep a Dr in place for 2 hours!

    5. Just Your Everyday Crone*

      This is the second “it’s totally fine because here’s what happened to me” example I’ve seen that changes the genders, and I don’t understand how people can’t see in this situation that gender matters a lot.

      1. MsM*

        Also frequency and level of interference with just going about one’s life if the overture is unwelcome. The dude in this example presumably doesn’t need to rent out his apartment all that often, and could just hand that off to a landlord or broker if doing it himself became too much of a hindrance. The odds HR Lady has already had it up to here with people treating professional situations as personal “get to know you” opportunities is way higher, and she can’t really do anything to avoid the possibility without…y’know, not having a career.

      2. Blaise*

        I do think that gender matters here, BUT I also think that if the recruiter was interested in OP, there is literally nothing she can do about it on her own. I think that THAT would be a situation where asking the person out would be off-limits, since it could totally mess things up professionally for her in a lot of ways. So in that scenario, she would be relying on OP to ask her out since he’s not in the “position of power” or whatever you’d want to call it here. So I think that matters too. If she could just as easily reach out to OP, my advice to OP would be really, really different.

        1. What a way to make a living*

          If he had reason to believe she was into him, he probably would have put it in the letter, surely?

          There are many women telling you here they don’t like this.

          If it is important to a lot of people that you don’t do X, and some people don’t mind if you do X, then err on the side of not doing X.

        2. Et*

          You are talking like his is some kind of movie. They had 1 work interaction, and that was a job interview. I doubt very much she is sitting around plucking a rose because an applicant she met can’t get in touch with her.

        3. 2Legit*

          Who’s in a position of power matters, sure.
          Here’s an example: For years, I had a crush on a male superior (at a job where I haven’t worked in years). I worked in this guy’s dept. for years & still think very highly of him.

          I knew it would be inappropriate to act on my feelings. (And besides that, he is a professional person – not the type that would get involved with someone at the workplace.) For a little while, during that time, I did casually date someone else too, but fast forward years later, I realized I had unresolved feelings for this guy.

          When the pandemic happened, I thought about a lot of things. I started thinking about this guy again. (I’m fully single mind you. So is he, to the best of my knowledge.)

          I reached out to him during covid via email twice- didn’t confess my feelings – but I did give him the opportunity to reach back out. In hopes of forming some sort of casual friendship. I have not heard from him. Once was a request for help w a project I was working on, the other was a general “hope you’re doing well” message.

          I’m female, he’s male, I no longer work for him & haven’t in years.

          There would be no issue with us dating, because there is no longer a power dynamic. I haven’t worked for his org in years.

          Had I spoken up while I was his employee? Yes, it would have been a problem! Had he made a move on me while I was his employee? Huge problem!

          My point in telling my story is that there is an appropriate time to express your feelings… even if you think you know someone well – even if you think you know how they will respond – you don’t know what kind of response you will get. Me & this guy – we were on good professional terms, a mutual friend told me years prior that he “thinks highly” of me, but at the end of the day, maybe he just doesn’t want to cross that line into a friendship with me. It is hard to accept, but it is what it is. I still wish him well – always will!

    6. EPLawyer*

      No it not worth the shot even if he gives up the job. It fails to take into account he knows NOTHING about the recruiter. She does NOT deserve to be hit on just for doing her job.

      Just as quite frankly, the owner of the apartment did not deserve to be hit on just for showing the apartment.

      Take your shot makes it all about what you want and your desires. The other person merely exists as a means to the end — fulfilling those desires. If you can’t take into consideration the OTHER person then don’t bother.

      1. Turtle Duck*

        Though I would argue that being hit on isn’t something you “deserve” or not, getting asked out is completely different from getting harassed! People try, get turned down, say ok thank you and go their merry way, that’s just it. People meet each other in all sorts of ways, I am not sure why this is so controversial. (And I am also a woman before anyone says anything)

        1. Blaise*

          Yep, I totally agree with all of this. I guess I just don’t see being asked to go get coffee or whatever as a very big deal… and meeting someone organically is so rare and hard to do lol that passing up a potentially perfect person for you because you didn’t meet them at a bar or whatever just seems like narrowing your options for no real reason

          1. Anon all day*

            Here’s the thing, though. There’s almost no way for OP to know that she is a perfect person to him beyond the extent that anyone he finds attractive could be. There’s just no way they had enough interactions for him to make that determination. However, the risk/chance of him making her uncomfortable is so much higher.

          2. Et*

            It’s a stranger. For it to be a perfect person, you would have to know them extremely well for years. He saw someone hot. He knows absolutely noting about her.

        2. bamcheeks*

          It is really, really stressful for a lot of women, because not all men take “no” as an answer and get abusive or even violent. And you never know which ones those are going to be.

          And even if they doesn’t mean to, most men who do this kind of random approach are relying on women being socialised to be polite, friendly and deferential when asked out, which we are because some guys get scary and violent. So even when someone doesn’t intend that, it’s extremely unpleasant to have to put on your, “here’s my nice face, don’t hit me”, when what you want to say it, “fucking hell, I’m just literally standing in the street looking in a shop window and chatting to my friend, what the hell makes you think I want some random stranger to ask me out?”

          Anyone who is doing that is demonstrating that they care more about themselves and their opportunity shot than about you as a person, and that is just extremely objectifying and gross.

          1. Turtle Duck*

            I really don’t get this. By that token no man should ever ask a woman out. Of course you don’t know the person beforehand, that’s the whole point of going out. Of course you expect people (men or women) to be polite to you when saying no, why would they not be nice and polite and still decline? Being violent when rejected is a horrible thing that no one should do, but what is the solution for people who want to meet others organically?

            1. nona*

              Let me fix that for you “By this token, nobody should ask *strangers* out.” You have at least some mutual understanding of each other and potential interest before asking, to see if you want to pursue it further.

              1. It’s what dating websites/apps are for – people who are explictly inviting you to consider them for romantic interest.
              2. Do an activity that allows you to see the same people on a repeated basis for series of time. That’s why so much dating/relationship stuff happens in college. You in the same place with likeminded people and you have a chance to get to know them before you take the next step.
              3. Use your *social* network to find other single people. That friend of a friend – you have people in common, so you aren’t a complete stranger and you have at least some point of commonality.

              That’s how you find people to date. Not scattershot-ask-everyone-remotely-attractive that you run into. Geez – I want to know you like *me* not just what I look like.

            2. Thegreatprevaricator*

              Don’t immediately ask out people who you encounter briefly in the course of them fulfilling their professional role. It’s not a case of ‘don’t ask people out’. It’s a case of considering people (and by people I mean women, tbh because we are generally the recipients of this) to be more than the objects of your attention and as a way to fulfil your own needs/ wants. Consider, women also have subjectivity.

            3. bamcheeks*

              1. Go to places where people are specifically there to meet others, like dating apps, singles nights, clubbing etc.
              2. Take part in activities which broaden your social circle more generally, get to know people through participating in similar activities, and if you’re getting positive signal that they’d like to take the relationship to another level, ask them. And hopefully by that point you’ll have demonstrated that you’re a decent respectful person who won’t be shitty to them if they say no.

              I’m glad you haven’t experienced it but the phenomenon of men becoming angry, abusive or violent when rejected is extremely real and common. An awful lot of men think they’re entitled to women’s time and attention and get very angry when women diverge from their script.

              1. Ellis Bell*

                This is picky of me, but your inclusion of clubs in no. 1 really brought home to me how different preferences for approaches can be. I haaaate being approached at clubs 99 per cent of the time, because I just want to dance or talk to the people I came with. I actually prefer an approach from someone when shopping for deli, or in a bookshop or somewhere off beat, because in those places people are watching for signals like eye contact and reciprocity and will only ask you out if you respond, or both like Italian food, or fantasy novels. In clubs, it’s so much more aggressive and involves some icky comment about your outfit or dancing and they come in like assassins without any regard because it’s an approved venue for hitting on people. I’ve been in clubs where we had to circle to fend off the men, and other times where I suddenly felt super aware of dark corners, back exits and watching my drink like a hawk. That said, I’ve also gotten into great, organic conversations with men where I didn’t feel threatened in clubs and given out my number!

                1. bamcheeks*

                  I think it really depends on the club! I never minded it in queer clubs, but it was a reason to avoid straight clubs.

            4. metadata minion*

              Plenty of people meet through shared hobbies, friends-of-friends, etc. and so get to know the person before asking them out. I don’t have a problem with other people doing it, but I find the idea of asking out someone you don’t know *baffling*.

            5. Nesprin*

              The problem is that there’s a very high overlap in people who’ll ask out people in professional settings, people who think that ‘No’ is the start of a negotiation, and people who think that a friendly smile in a professional setting is a declaration of affection.

              Even if OP is the prince charming of people who want to ask out people in professional settings they’re still going to have that bias against them.

            6. Don't Ask Out Your Recruiter (from a recruiter)*

              I’m a recruiter who gets hit on all the time in the course of my job duties- he absolutely, 100% should not ask this woman out. He’s not the first person to do it- probably not even the 10th or 15th or 20th. It’s way more likely that she will strongly resent being constantly put in the position to have to fend off advances in the course of just trying to do her job than that she will reciprocate.

              And I’m someone who met my fiance at work! But he and I were peers, and he very respectfully put out feelers to see if the interest was mutual first, because he didn’t want to put me in the awkward position of needing to weigh the consequences of rejecting a co-worker. OP1 needs to understand that he is not exceptional in this circumstance; her reaction is overwhelmingly likely to be annoyance that this keeps happening to her.

            7. Willow Pillow*

              “By that token no man should ever ask a man out” is manipulative. Asking someone out who’s at their place of work, carrying out the job, is not organic – there’s no shared interest beyond that transactional interaction.

            8. Et*

              The solution is an outlet for it:

              A dating website.
              Family/friends making a recommendation
              Any social media site if someone is in a group for it.
              Connections through something like religion, politics, a hobby and so on.

              When it is a stranger, I just respond, ‘why? I don’t know one thing about you and vice versa’.

            9. 2Legit*

              Possible places to meet other singles “organically”

              MeetUp groups
              volunteer – find a cause you care about- animal shelter, soup kitchen, Rotary Club, business group, etc
              Your church/temple/mosque etc
              Ask your friends/family to introduce you to people
              Host a party in your home & ask everyone to bring a guest – to form new friendships, dates, etc. you might expand your social circle
              Join a hobby/club in the community- running club, YMCA, community theatre, charity group

  8. Phil*

    #1 Maybe if it was the Australian soap “Neighbours.” Also, the interview will have been conducted, not in the office, but in the local coffee shop or pub.

    1. Storm in a teacup*

      Toadie can’t help that! They needed more sets so he could also meet his partners somewhere else, like a shop.
      Also the coffee shop will always be Daphne’s to me

      1. Phil*

        Ah, an OG viewer! While I’ve done some catching up on the original eps (which to be fair, I was only a year old when it started), I only started watching in the late 90s, so I still call it The Coffee Shop. I *hate* that it’s called Harold’s now. It’s never felt right to me.

        1. Storm in a teacup*

          Omg I am an OG viewer – how to give away my age without giving away my age!
          To be fair it was after school tv when I was in junior school (grades 3-6 for Americans). Wasn’t allowed to watch Grange Hill cos it would be a bad influence but Neighbours was totally fine.
          Haven’t watched in about 20 years but will be tuning into the show finale on Friday – if only to see Guy Pierce, Margot Robbie and Kylie & if Liam Hemsworth makes an appearance

  9. hipster*

    Is a yahoo email address a tell-tale sign of technologically challenged person likely to be in their 50s? I do make that assumption when I see an aol or a hotmail email address, but I like to think yahoo is still hip with the cool cats.

    1. Rafflesia Reaper*

      I’m pushing 40 and signed up for my Yahoo account in 10th grade. It’s not exactly funky fresh anymore.

    2. Not a hipster or cool cat*

      Lol. Hubby and I (in our 40s) have yahoo accounts and our son (20s) has hotmail. I’m ruing the day I stopped my Hotmail account.

    3. Warrior Princess Xena*

      I’m not a hiring manager, but I’d personally care a lot less about anything after the @ than I would what comes before. “ will come across a lot better than “”.

      1. Cthulhu's Librarian*

        I think this is true in general – even for me, in a tech related field, I’m not going to throw a resume out as unqualified because they have an @aol or @yahoo or anything else address – but it may mean that their answers to some of our information security questions matter more to their candidacy than others.

        I absolutely will and have thrown out resumes based on what comes before the @ sign. If you are sending out a resume with a sexualized or insulting email address on it, I don’t have to meet you to know I don’t trust your judgement for a public facing position.

      2. Academic Fibro Warrior*

        I so agree with the handle choice! Add to that so many of the emails I personally get from -lewdreference + lewd/clever numbers- dot whatever have messages without context or name. So when I was adjuncting at 3 colleges with 8 classes I was getting so many ‘what’s the homework?’ (I taught in two different fields so i couldn’t just take a stab at it either) emails with nothing else I just ended up blocking them. That was literally the only information. It was a bit like text messages honestly. So I’d check their email hamdle to try to figure out who they were, which often didn’t help. Responding with an explanation that I needed to know who they were, what school, and what class to actually answer their email … almost never got me an actual response that clarified anything and then they’d complain I wasn’t responsive to their emails.

        At least if one’s name is included in the address somewhere I can go through my class rolls to find you. I shouldn’t have to spend all that time tracking down identities but my evaluations would get dinged if I didn’t try because women are supposed to be extra helpful (which is a conversation for a other day…)

        Sometimes people were more professional in their use of very non professional emails. I spent time explaining that they needed to be and how because they were freshmen. But usually I found that professionalism corresponded with the kind of email handle they used and honestly though I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out what is meant in oblique emails I can’t read minds across the net. It’s just better to set a professional tone to begin with, and for me that’s content and tone of email plus whatever comes before the domain in the address.

    4. Apples*

      It depends on the industry, but in tech a yahoo address would be just as eyebrow-raising as a hotmail or msn address. I definitely associate it with over-50s.

      Still, if we hold onto these old addresses, one day the connotations might reverse – they imply you’ve been using computers since the 90s, so maybe you know a thing or two about them!

      1. bamcheeks*

        “I see you have a Yahoo email address. We’re actually have a couple of legacy systems which use COBOL, so this is great.”

      2. Texan In Exile*

        A young man at work told me he would teach me to code in exchange for the communications work I had done for his project.

        I told him that I had been coding since before he was born, including doing a project on punch cards when I was in high school.

    5. RebelwithMouseyHair*

      This oldie here signed up with gmail simply to not give that impression. If enough of us do it, will gmail suddenly go out of fashion too?

    6. Mockingjay*

      Email addresses are like mobile phone numbers – people keep the same ones so they port with them. For me it has nothing to do with age. It’s the communication method that works for you. I don’t care about the provider.

    7. A Yellow Plastic Duck*

      When you are job hunting, you need to look for every advantage you can get.

      95% of people will not care that you use a Yahoo (or Hotmail or AOL) email. But, you never know if the person interviewing you is part of the other 5%.

      Personally, I prefer Outlook over Gmail for multiple reasons. You can set up multiple aliases on Outlook for the same email account, so I can create one just for job hunting. Plus, half the people interviewing me are using Outlook for the business email.

      95% of people won’t look at your shoes when you go in for an interview. It’s still wise to make sure your shoes are clean and appropriate for the occasion, because 5% do.

      1. New Jack Karyn*

        Then I don’t want to work for people in that 5%, if it’s not relevant to the job.

    8. Just Your Everyday Crone*

      Curious here–I’m over 50 and have a 22 year old yahoo address, but I also have a newer outlook email address. I’m surprised when people have just one.

    9. Falling Diphthong*

      I associate yahoo addresses with people who do a lot of word of mouth business with years between referrals. “Oh, I know a great drum teacher/massage therapist/garden designer! Used her a few years ago. Let me give you her email.”

      I am endlessly surprised to learn that people are thinking “A gmail account–the ability to sign up for one of those is the bleeding edge of tech.”

      I have a (completely unused) gmail account which I needed to sign up for something or other, and anyone who used this to determine that I was probably a great back end coder would… not be onto something.

      1. metadata minion*

        Yeah, to me gmail is kind of usefully neutral and ubiquitous, and I wouldn’t assume anything at all about the person’s tech skills.

        1. pancakes*

          I think that’s the idea, no? To appear neutral to employers. I haven’t seen anyone say your email address is meant to convey you’re at the bleeding edge of tech. It seems the idea is to not have an address that might flag you as behind the times or out of date.

      2. Warrior Princess Xena*

        If one had to guess someone’s tech level based on email address, I’d probably say ‘bleeding edge’ (or at least, ‘more likely to be skillful than not’) would be having your email address be from your own domain – ie, That takes more skill than just signing up for gmail.

    10. fhqwhgads*

      Yahoo is a tell-tale sign of a person who doesn’t care about the security nightmare that is yahoo. Not necessarily “technologically challenged” assumption in the way aol flags. Definitely was never hip with the cool cats, even 20 years ago. At some point was probably considered “fine, whatever”.

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

        This. “Fine, whatever” is about the level of thought I put into choosing any email service provider. So many people used or use an email that was automatically assigned to them by their internet service provider –@comcast or @frontier etc.

    11. UKgreen*

      I wouldn’t pay a moment’s notice to what was after the, but I *would* pay attention to what comes before. I coach teenagers and I tell them that they need an email address that is a combination of first and last names/initials and random numbers that are NOT sixty-nine…

      Variously in the last few years I’ve had kids with things like ‘ellalikescats’ and (borderline OK) through to biebersbabe (ugh) to ‘hotsexaychick69’ (really not OK – she was 14!!!) and everything inbetween…

  10. Rafflesia Reaper*

    OP3 – Consider using a separate email just for job hunting. I end up on so many garbage recruiter mailing lists every time I try to find a job that I don’t want that clutter in my Real inbox.

    1. Sally*

      Me too. I have a personal domain that I use for my personal email, and I use a Gmail account for job searches. Every once in a while, I go in and delete all of the spam emails in the Gmail account and see if thereare any legit messages.

  11. Quake*

    I’m a little curious about #4. Would y’all recommend quitting at the beginning of the day and then just leaving? Announcing it at the beginning and then actually working the rest of the (now pointless) day? Workingg the whole day and then telling them you’re leaving at the end? Maybe just call and tell them at the beginning of the day?

    I honestly don’t know what I’d do in that situation or what I’d prefer as the manager.

    1. Professional Cat Lady*

      I think personally I would prefer for a new person on my team to tell me at the beginning of the day, and then we can take care of any paperwork and she can leave. That way I still have time to rearrange the workflow to account for the missing trainee.

      1. Weegie*

        Agreed. It’s also likely to be the best time to get hold of your manager either to tell them straight away or to request a brief meeting later that day. If you have some waiting time before you can break the news, you can use it to finish up any tasks, clear out your desk, delete emails, browser history, etc, and be ready to go as soon as it’s practical.

      2. Unaccountably*

        Good point. I didn’t have an opinion before, but it does seem like the beginning of the day would be better. You can start taking care of things right away instead of having to wait until the next day.

    2. Sherm*

      If there had been other applicants to the job, I would want to know very soon after the decision to quit was made, because there’s a chance that one of those applicants is still looking and could be hired instead — but who knows for how long? As for working the rest of the day or leaving immediately, it depends: If the employee happens to be up and running in such a short amount of time, then sure, I’d take a day of them assembling the widgets. But if the employee is in the learning phase, it makes sense just to leave.

    3. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

      I would have the discussion at the beginning of the day. If already contributing productively you might want to finish out the day / a few additional days but if “just” being trained it doesn’t seem to make sense to stick around. I was the trainer (but not the manager) of someone in this situation and that’s how it played out. It wasn’t because of my training that she bounced I promise :)

    4. Emmy Noether*

      I don’t think the day would be pointless. Every job I’ve had had me working on actual useful things from about day 3, it wasn’t 100% just training. So there’s probably something to finish up, or something to transfer to someone else, plus there’s all the administrative and paperwork stuff. A day seems reasonable after two weeks.

      1. doreen*

        That really depends on the job. I’ve had jobs where I was actually useful by day two or three – but those were also the sort of jobs where there wasn’t anything to finish up or transfer to someone else , there wasn’t any work that carried over from one day to the next and there were multiple people doing the same work at the same time. In those jobs, it wouldn’t have exactly been pointless to announce that you are quitting at beginning of the day and work the remainder of the day – but doing that wouldn’t have had any real advantage calling in the morning and quitting or working that day and quitting at the end.

        But I’ve had other jobs that required some combination of weeks of full-time training and weeks of on the job training so that an employee wasn’t really doing anything useful on their own for weeks or months – and in those jobs , announcing that you are quitting in the morning during the training period really does make it pointless to finish the day. For example, when I was a bank teller many years ago , I first spent a few weeks in full-time classroom training ( in a central location , not at a branch) and then a week or two working at a window with another teller. Quitting at the beginning of the day and working until the end of the day would have been pointless during that training period.

      2. MCMonkeyBean*

        Yeah, I was thinking while they aren’t likely to need to train anyone or do much for transitioning after such a short time–if they have taken on anything yet that used to be on someone else’s plate then the team might use a bit of time simply to shuffle assignments around.

    5. Less Bread More Taxes*

      I recently quit a job after two days. I found out that I’d be leaving at 5:30pm after the second day, and I thought the most courteous thing to do would be to let them know asap. So I sent an email around 6pm on a Tuesday letting them know that I would be leaving in a couple of weeks but that I’d understand if it didn’t make sense for me to leave sooner. On Wednesday an hour or so before I was supposed to come in, I had a kind of awkward call with my manager where he tried to convince me to stay but ultimately decided I shouldn’t come in that day at all.

      I know resigning via email and after hours is not the best, but I did think it was the best way to handle it. I was a contractor, so they saved the amount of money they would have had to pay me for coming in on Wednesday. Also, because it was so early on, my email address hadn’t been fully set up yet, and my whole first week involved meetings with coworkers to learn more about the team, so I figured I’d save people the effort.

    6. I should really pick a name*

      If you do it at the start of the day, your employer will let you know whether you should work the rest of the day or not.
      What makes sense is going to depend on the specific job.

    7. MCMonkeyBean*

      I’d probably plan to stay the whole day, but prepare for the possibility that you might get sent home earlier.

    8. kiki*

      I would talk to my manager early in the day then offer to work the rest of the day. If there is some benefit to having me there for the day (like if they need coverage or there are some simple tasks I can wrap up), they can take advantage. They also have a full work day to plan for the next day (if they need coverage or want to start calling back other applicants).

    9. Just Here for the Free Lunch*

      I just had this happen. The person (who had been in role for 2 weeks) resigned at the beginning of the day and offered to give us 2 weeks notice. We said thanks, but that we’d rather just have that day be their last day. They turned in their laptop and badge and left. No sense in wasting more of anyone’s time in that situation.

    1. allathian*

      Yes, this.

      I like a combination of both. We have annual performance evaluations and professional development discussions, where both the manager and the employee fill in an online form with our perceptions, which we then discuss together. Anything even slightly problematic gets flagged before the discussions, which for me have been conversations to ensure that we’re both on the same page.

      I’m a senior SME, and don’t get a lot of feedback day to day. I also don’t need constant confirmation that I’m doing a good job. Sure, it’s great to feel appreciated for doing my job well, and to be thanked for going above and beyond occasionally, but I don’t need effusive thanks every day to do my job.

    2. oirishgal*

      Also consider how you are interpreting tone. It may not actually be terse. It may be that your individual personal style includes more “soft language”? Is gender in play? For example I (f) once had my tone commented on by my manager (f) for being to brisk when i gave out standard work instructions. I would say “please do x” vs “would you mind please doing x, thanks”. I pointed out that she did not have any problems with my male colleagues’ tones who wrote the exact same way i did. Her answer was “that’s different”. The only difference was gender. I am polite and say please and thank you but I don’t ” soften” my message anymore since reading an article about inherent gender bias in workplace communication.

      1. ecnaseener*

        This feels very off-topic to the question being asked. The tone thing was one example of feedback they sometimes need to give, and they didn’t give enough details for us to adjudicate a particular situation for them because that’s not what they need help with. How about we trust that they can use the search bar to find other posts on this website about tone and feedback if they’re unsure about any aspect of that?

      2. My Useless 2 Cents*

        This is something I definitely see both sides too. As a woman, and also as someone who is fairly blunt by nature, I too try and limit my softening language. It often comes across as weak and wishy-washy and I have enough trouble being taking seriously to begin with. However, tone in written communication is very difficult, requires some work on the writers part to make sure it is coming thru correctly, and the burden does/should fall mostly on the writer as they are the one conveying the message. Especially when critique is involved as it is a more sensitive subject.

        For me, the key issue here is public visibility. If the chat is open to everyone on the team, individual critique should be saved for private communication (other that the standard editing critique that chat is already used for)

    3. Green great dragon*

      Yes! You’d still want to consider in individual examples (someone who prefers text should probably still get a phone/video for serious problems), but definitely ask.

    4. Overthere*

      I’ll throw this comment here to the 2nd OP…

      Be careful of calls = bad. When I first started managing a remote team I found that every time I called someone it was either because I had to talk to them about something performance wise or that something had gone really wrong. I didn’t want the only time they heard my voice to be a bad thing. So I would randomly call about something small or neutral.

      So if possible make sure you are having regular 1:1s and or spreading out the reasons for the calls.

      1. Slow Gin Lizz*

        Excellent point. I also second the 1:1s (I mentioned them below) because then you can save up all positive and negative feedback (although by negative I really mean “room for improvement”-type feedback) and give it to them all at once.

    5. Slow Gin Lizz*

      Yes, not a bad idea to ask them. I don’t like phone calls and am perfectly happy to receive feedback on Teams but other people might prefer the phone calls. Also, it seems to me like some of these comments could be addressed generally in a weekly one-to-one meeting as long as they’re not emergencies. The examples OP gave are the kind of things that seem appropriate for weekly meetings since they seem to be general trends by the employees and not emergency situations. Those kinds of things really don’t need a separate phone call, IMO, but can be addressed in the kind of meeting that’s more like a quarterly review and not just a “hey, I gotta tell you this quick thing!” kind of call.

  12. Rainbow*

    #4 – I wish I’d done that! Though it took me a bit longer than 2 weeks to smell a rat king here.

  13. Lady Knittington*

    LW one, what would happen if you rephrased the question to: ‘do I want people to think that I’m a creep with no professional boundaries’. What would your honest answer be?
    Good luck with the job hunting.

    1. Cthulhu's Librarian*

      Use job hunting to hunt for a job, and a dating site to find dates. Doing things the other way around is just shudder inducing.

  14. TLC*

    Re: #2 – if you have a standing meeting with your employees (weekly or monthly or whatever) that’s an opportunity to chat in-person without it being a big *call from the manager*.

    1. Storm in a teacup*

      Was coming here to comment to say the same.
      LW2 a weekly or monthly catch up is a great idea, for a 2-way chat about how the employee is doing. It’ll also give them space to ask you any questions they may have too

      1. ferrina*

        Yep, I was going to say the same thing! And it’s a time to point out any patterns of good behavior as well!

    2. allathian*

      Yes, that’s true. Regular meetings also normalize talking with your manager in general.

    3. JustaTech*

      Exactly! And it can be a quite short thing a well: my weekly one-on-one with my boss is usually just 15 minutes of “how was your weekend, what do you have coming up this week for work, is there anything you need from me (boss), is there anything I should be working on that wasn’t on my list (me).”

    4. Curmudgeon in California*

      This. A good manager does regular 1:1 meetings with their people, both to give feedback and also become aware of any concerns/issues that the person has. In a remote environment, this means a regular video call. Feedback, etc, are best with faces.

  15. Evergreen*

    LW5, also keep in mind you don’t need to negotiate if you don’t want to. If you’re happy with the salary, and won’t kick yourself in 6 months time for not asking for more, it doesn’t actually matter if you’ve left money on the table.

    1. Less Bread More Taxes*

      Yep, I did this for my current job. In my recent job search, I had an interview offer revoked after I named my salary requirements, and while I know that particular company is an outlier, I didn’t want to risk it happening again with an actual offer. My salary is not the highest that I received an offer for, but the benefits are good, and I’m happy here.

    2. Cat Tree*

      Also, negotiation doesn’t have to wait until you get a formal offer. A lot of places will call to discuss salary expectations after the interview but before they make an offer. It’s perfectly fine for it just be a discussion and then immediately accept the offer if it lines up with that discussion.

      I think a lot of the advice for young workers is that negotiation should be a game of chicken where you have to press hard and be willing to walk away, or least convince them that you would. That may be the case in some industries, but in most industries it can be a more collaborative approach.

    3. Mockingjay*

      Agree with @Evergreen. Also, OP5, you can ask in the interview about retention policies. What does the company offer to attract and retain good employees? Training, career paths, cross-projects (teams created from multiple depts.), internal transfer opportunities, and so on. These are all things that a good company will bring up or be willing to discuss.

      Look at it this way: this company is giving me a solid job to begin with; as I gain skills and experience, I can build my career from that point (whether with them or another company).

    4. kiki*

      I’m actually at a job where I’m glad I didn’t negotiate my salary, even though I knew I could have and likely would have gotten it. The starting offer was high enough that I was happy with it and being paid what I am makes me feel less beholden to having a wildly high output.

      1. ferrina*

        Yes! I didn’t negotiate my salary at my current place. They offered higher than what I would have asked for, and I was extremely satisfied. You aren’t required to negotiate, especially if you’re already happy!

    5. Toasty*

      I would add to this – as long as you’re happy with the salary AND it’s consistent with what others are earning. Just because an offer is double what you’re currently making doesn’t automatically make it a fair rate.

  16. JM in England*

    Re #5

    It may sound counterintuitive, but when an employer first extends a job offer is the time that you’re in the strongest bargaining position (ie they have found their best candidate and don’t want to lose them and start the hiring process over again).

    1. tennisfan*

      To add to this, point number 5 of the first link Allison shared on whether to ask for higher compensation is pretty salient I think. Once an offer is in hand, likely the OP has to little to lose with making an attempt, following the parameters Allison describes.

  17. Turtle Duck*

    I have had the same hotmail address for 20+ years and I never understood the concept of an email client going out of fashion. They all do the same thing! Hotmail is basically Outlook now anyway. Why would I go through the hassle of changing my email address and updating everyone?

    1. Other Alice*

      It’s less about going out of fashion and more about some of them having notorious security breaches.

      1. Turtle Duck*

        In that case a lot of companies (the majority of companies?) that use the Microsoft Suite are in deep trouble because hotmail = outlook all and all that goes with it. How come no one bats an eye when it is a work e-mail client? It’s just the name that causes an issue?

        1. Cthulhu's Librarian*

          You seem to be laboring under a misconception here; An email client is not the same as your email server or host/provider, and the part after the @ (your domain) is what identifies what email server a message is being sent to. @Outlook does not mean the email is being sent to outlook (the client) – it means the email is being sent to outlook (the servers). If I see a business where everyone is using @gmail, @outlook, or @yahoo email accounts for business correspondence, I do take my business elsewhere, because it means they can’t be bothered to do the minimally professional step of setting up a domain for themselves – this is problematic because I can not verify if I am actually interacting with someone who is part of that company or not (to say nothing of what it means for their access controls and the like), and because it means they are more prone to security breaches, because they doing anything to actively manage their server’s security settings.

          So, A company using the Microsoft suite is often using outlook (the program) for their workers to access their emails, yes, but that does not mean they are using microsoft as their email provider, or that microsoft had any inherent access to their emails (this is changing as microsoft moves so many of their programs to cloud computing solutions, however). They could just as easily and securely use thunderbird, or any other email client for their staff – because the client is not (typically) where a data breach happens.

          Data breaches tend to happen at the server level, simply because that is the most efficient way for a attacker to spend their time – rather than only getting the emails that Person A is privy to in the company, the attacker can siphon massive swathes of data across the entirety of the company. This is why the yahoo security breaches are so notorious – they repeatedly had the data of virtually every yahoo email compromised, because of how their server was structured, and them refusing to adopt any mitigation techniques after the first set of breaches.

          There is also a vast difference in the amount of effort that goes into securing the free email accounts provided to the public via hotmail/aol/yahoo/google, and securing business class emails by those same companies – mainly because of the contracts and legal obligations that come with providing a service for money, versus providing it for free, and the fact that other corporations are generally in a much better position to file lawsuits than individuals.

          1. Willow Pillow*

            All of this. There’s a massive difference between Hotmail and an Exchange server.

      2. L.H. Puttgrass*

        Yes, Yahoo had a series of really big (and frankly, rather embarrassing) breaches several years ago. But that means that Yahoo was insecure several years ago. It doesn’t mean that Yahoo is insecure now. And frankly, for the vast majority of e-mail users, the risks are not which e-mail provider they use, but weak passwords, lack of multifactor authentication, phishing, password reuse, and other boring “security hygiene” issues.

        1. Other Alice*

          My answer was strictly about the idea of a mail client going “out of fashion” which is not a thing. Personally I don’t care which provider someone uses and I’m not even in hiring.

          1. Turtle Duck*

            I mean, based on the conversation here, and my overall life experience, email clients “going out of fashion” is definitely a thing. I have heard so many reactions to my hotmail e-mail, like “wow, you still use that?” and I never figured out why not… Same with comments here that say “at least it’s not aol” etc. From the way I see it, why would you change your e-mail address that you have had for a long time and if the user interface works for you… I find it silly that some e-mail extensions are “more hip” somehow!

            1. My Useless 2 Cents*

              I’m with you. Why should I go thru the hassle of changing my email and updating everything linked to that account just because some “great” new company comes along that will itself be out of fashion in five years. It’s not like you hear “Geez, you still have that same phone number. It’s been like 20 years!”

          2. fhqwhgads*

            I think you’re getting stuck on the idea of “out of fashion” in a vacuum as opposed to why.
            Aol is frowned upon because it was basically “internet access for dummies” in the 1990s, and someone still using an email from that gives the impression of perhaps not knowing any more about the internet than they did in 1998.
            Yahoo is frowned upon for numerous major security issues over extended periods of time. Maybe the last big public one they cleaned up their act? But their history suggests they care about dealing with the bad PR fallout more than they do actually securing their stuff. In other words, Yahoo is untrustworthy, so someone who still trusts Yahoo after all that, may be deemed to have questionable judgement.
            It’s for the most part not a matter of “oh x provider isn’t ‘cool’ anymore”. I guess some people may be judgey in that way, but the reputations across the board are not just about “well that’s old”.

        2. Observer*

          But that means that Yahoo was insecure several years ago. It doesn’t mean that Yahoo is insecure now.

          That would be a reasonable conclusion to draw if Yahoo had ever done ANYTHING to mitigate the mess – which they did NOT – and Verizon and the current owners continued to invest in upgrading the infrastructure to be reasonably sound. Verizon dis NOT do the necessary work – they realized that they could not do the work at a cost that made any sense for them, so they sold the company at a steep loss to a venture capital firm. Think about it – it was going to be SO hard and SO costly to make Yahoo stable and reasonably secure that they took a $4.5 BILLION (yes, with a B) loss on the deal rather than try. Do you really think that a venture capital firm with an imperative to make a quick return and zero experience managing a company like this is going to do better?

        3. Observer*

          he risks are not which e-mail provider they use, but weak passwords, lack of multifactor authentication, phishing, password reuse, and other boring “security hygiene” issues.

          Not true. Sure, all of those things are true. But shoddy security on an account is going to exacerbate all of this.

      3. Agnes*

        So many companies have had security breaches – would you not hire someone if they mentioned they shopped at Target?

        1. pancakes*

          They aren’t all equal in that, no. The Yahoo breach remains the largest on record, the company was late to disclose it, multiple executives were found to have known and failed to take appropriate steps, and the company is known to have mishandled other tech-related initiatives as well, like its purchase of Flickr. “All these companies look the same to me” is an understandable feeling, but they do have specific strengths and weaknesses. Yahoo doesn’t have much going for it besides familiarity.

          1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

            also, I believe Target sells groceries and stuff, rather than being a tech firm that’s supposed to know about tech stuff, so I wouldn’t judge them so harshly.

            1. Anon72*

              They are still a multi billion dollar company. They can find someone that knows what they are doing with data security.

              1. Observer*

                And the financial fall out to Target was actually significant – they lost sales for quite a while afterward. And that was for ONE breach. Which is fine. I think that they deserved to lose sales.

                Yahoo was breached multiple times. EVERY SINGLE account that they had was compromised at least once, most of them multiple times. The company KNEW about all of the breaches, and refused to fix the problems that lead to the breaches and in at least one case actively hid the breach from people instead of making them change their passwords.

                Target got punished in the market for messing up their security ONCE. And they had it coming. But they also fixed the problems going forward even though tech is not their raison d’etre. And they did have the infrastructure they needed to make the change stick.

                Yahoo – a technology company who has the security of their users’ email as a prime responsibility knowingly repeatedly compromised that security. Not only that – it’s not just that they messed up and didn’t follow proper procedure. They simply did not build the infrastructure they needed to change anything. And all the evidence we have leads me to believe that the infrastructure is still lacking. Why would anyone who cares about security still use their email and trust them?

          2. Curmudgeon in California*

            I worked for Yahoo when they had one of their big breaches. They even kept it from most people internally.

            The political situation inside the company at the time was… horrible. A CEO who liked to directly fiddle with things that they didn’t really understand, a quarterly stack-ranking regime (aka “how to pit your employees against each other”), silos within silos, and a tendency to reward flashy “new” things over maintaining/improving security on existing services.

            The destruction of Yahoo Groups started at the same time. I have a whole exposition about them taking a dump on their dedicated power users to try to attract more “casual” users, not realizing that the power users were the ones who maintained the groups.

            /me steps off my soapbox

    2. pancakes*

      You wouldn’t need to update anyone if you switched on automatic forwarding to the new address.

      1. allathian*

        Or simply have several addresses for different purposes. I use gmail for most things, but I have both a yahoo address and a hotmail address that I can use to sign up for websites, etc.

  18. Usernames not required*

    When I’m recruiting I don’t care what email provider a candidate uses – google, yahoo, outlook – doesn’t matter to me. A casual email address like jackandjill1986 etc might raise an eyebrow but even then we’d still interview the candidate if they matched the requirements.

  19. Still*

    LW5, you say that you have no negotiating power because you don’t have other options, but it sounds like you would bring a lot to the job and have every reason to negotiate something closer to the top of the range!

    You have ten years of relevant experience in the field, have the advanced degree they prefer, and you’re already a known quantity within the company: your current manager can confirm that you’re great to work with, reliable and deliver results. Plus you already have a realistic idea of what it’s like to work for the company so you’re more likely to quickly get up to speed, and to stay for the long term. It sounds to me like they have every reason to pay you towards the top of the range.

    1. Erica*

      Came here to say this! You’re a known entity at your company and familiar with their culture, way of doing business, etc. That’s a huge draw on top of whatever skills and qualifications you bring to the role! Go get ’em

  20. Josephine*

    One time I literally just did my job as a cashier and a customer found me on Facebook and sent me a message thanking me for helping him the day before. Didn’t help him with anything other than ringing up his items, as I do with everyone else.
    Ew. He must have been almost 50. I was 23.

    1. NotRealAnonForThis*

      Reason number 3.5B why I am so thrilled that the book of faces did not exist when I was in high school, college, or retail. There were enough creepers WITHOUT it.

      1. Verde*

        +1000000 to that. It was bad enough as it was, just the trail of jagoffs who tramped through the store I worked at in person, then would come back with friends. So. Gross. If there had been social media, I would have moved to a one person island when I was 20.

  21. bamcheeks*

    LW2, do you have regular one-to-ones with your staff? This sounds like exactly the point of a regular 1-2-1, so they don’t feel like every time there’s a meeting in the diary or the phone rings it’s because they’ve Done Something Wrong.

    1. irene adler*

      How does a candidate determine that asking for a higher salary won’t just result in the employer withdrawing the job offer entirely? Jobs don’t grow on trees and that’s a legitimate risk when negotiating for higher salary.

      1. just a thought*

        That is VERY unlikely to happen and is not a legitimate risk.
        Recruiting takes so much time and resources that the job offer is very unlikely to rescinded for normal behavior like negotiating. Maybe if the candidate doesn’t pass a background check or does something that would have gotten the candidate fired, but definitely not for normal job offer behavior.

        Alison answered a letter where that happened here and talked about how it’s NOT normal:

      2. I should really pick a name*

        Asking for a reasonable salary increase isn’t going to result in an offer being withdrawn unless the employer is ridiculous.

  22. Chilipepper Attitude*

    I work in a public library and we provide a lot of tech support. It is very clear to us that there is a correlation between email provider and tech skill. It’s not 100% but it’s pretty clear.

    If you have an AOL address we groan inwardly because you are probably going to struggle a lot to learn. If you have yahoo or hotmail or any like that, it’s 50/50, and if you have gmail or a private domain, that’s usually going to go well.

    We teach basics like how to use your email, how to use windows 10 or a Mac, how to use our apps for ebooks, all the way to how to use our 3d printers and basic coding. So people can be any age and using some of that for the first time or they can be as old as the hills and have been trying to learn their AOL for years.

    1. BubbleTea*

      If I squint I can see why AOL might suggest poor tech skills, but I’m not sure having gmail indicates they’ll have good ones. My stepdad has a gmail address but he is firmly convinced that he is somehow magnetic and causes computers to malfunction, because things go wrong so often (it is way more probable that he pressed the wrong buttons).

      1. Cthulhu's Librarian*

        I don’t know that the correlation is actually about good tech skills – in my experience, it is more about the attitude the population bring to learning tech skills. So I see a similar trend; when someone brings in a laptop running Windows XP, or an old Nokia phone, chances are good we’re going to be in for a rough time.

        Learning technology can often be a continual process, as updates, terminology, and locations of commands change, and older email services like AOL (or *shudder* Juno) often correlate to someone who is going to be resistant to that truth and the corresponding mindset that will set them up for success. When it does, they want to learn a set process which will last them the next 10-20 years – sometimes related to a specific task, sometimes related to general technology use – and that is just a fundamentally unreasonable ask, given how quickly and how much technology changes over time.

        Newer accounts and devices don’t mean the person actually has good tech skills, but they do often mean that the person is going to be willing to engage in that continual learning process, and will be more comfortable with experimentation.

        1. Riot Grrrl*

          I hate to say it, but this is my experience. Not everybody has great tech skills, but there is a world of difference between people who actively help you help them and people who seem to be actively determined to make a mess of it, seemingly so they can prove themselves right that “all of this is hard and I can’t do any of it.”

        2. Gracely*

          This! My inlaws still have their @earthlink or whatever email address, and it is a literal nightmare trying to help them with anything tech related, because they always want one simple fix/process that will work forever, and that’s just not how technology is. Any time there’s some kind of change (needing to upgrade software, etc.) either my spouse or my SIL end up wanting to tear their hair out dealing with them. Sometimes nothing will change, but they forgot how to find something because they only use it sometimes, or they’re trying to find it on their tablet instead of their laptop. On the other hand, my grandma has a gmail account, and of her own accord, bought a computer and (once my cousin set it up for her), basically taught herself how to use it and keeps up with changes as they come. The only tech support she’s ever needed from any of us was swapping out her modem when she changed providers.

        3. Chilipepper Attitude*

          Very much this about set processes!

          I say some folks want a recipe for every thing but I can only give them a flow chart. Pointing that out to them really helps when “the google” moves something.

          Also, to whomever said this, it is very much a difficult process to get an email account for some people. First, some don’t understand the big picture of how it works and where to sign up so they wind up paying for a service that does it for you but can be a scam or just overpriced. Second, they don’t understand some of the things they are asked or what it means when it says email address already taken (but that’s my name, who took my name!?). Or they don’t get what 8 characters, upper case, lower case, and one special character (but not that one!) means. And some don’t have a phone that receives texts that they can reliably use when signing up. It is really hard for some people.

      2. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        that’s probably because someone set his gmail up for him… I’m an oldie, I use gmail and I set it up myself, and I don’t have too many problems.

      3. quill*

        And sometimes people are just locked into elderly systems because that’s what they used to use for work.

        Example: Had to make a gmail address for my mom after she changed careers, because she’d been using the one provided by the school she taught at for 15 years. Mom’s tech skills are pretty much limited to “either google the problem or ask one of the kids what to google” due to years and years of working only with the school’s franken-macs. So while she’s up to date in terms of email addresses, IT is going to spend a lot of time whenever they hang out with her. She’ll be polite. But she absolutely will not be a quick fix.

    2. Alpaca Bag*

      You would probably just raise an eyebrow at me, then, because I have addresses at Yahoo, Gmail, an old Lycos account, [SchoolName], and [FirstName]@[MyName].net, a custom domain I set up in 2000 (and felt like I was late to the party when I did it).

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

      I think you have a bit of confirmation bias. The folks going to the public library to get tech support IME already skew to the technologically challenged. I still have my AOL account but as a graphic designer, I’m well-versed in computer technology and the public library wouldn’t even occur to me to go to for tech support — there are so many other options.

      1. Chilipepper Attitude*

        Possibly true re confirmation bias. We have had much older patrons, like the woman in her 90s who just needed help with one quirk in a library app and we have had young people who don’t know how to email bc they only text (email is old school).

        That’s why I said email address correlates with how a session is going to go, it’s not a guarantee.

        The library is one of the few free places to get help from a person I find. So that might be the bias, it’s ppl who want help from ppl, not google.

  23. RebelwithMouseyHair*

    OP3 if you’re thinking of starting up a side business I would say that it’s best to have a separate email for that, so that you look at that email when working on it, and you don’t look at it when you’re not working. That way you don’t miss work emails in amongst the inevitable spam and newsletters that you get as punishment for not ticking the “I don’t want the newsletter” box when ordering something.
    Might as well choose a modern email, maybe even your own domain if you set up your own website, which is the most professional thing to do. (I just use gmail for my business, never got round to doing my own website, but I get plenty of work from LinkedIn where I’m in contact with lots of clients and colleagues).

  24. Ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss*

    The interesting thing to me is that my Yahoo address is only a few years older than my Gmail address. My Gmail address is nearly 20 years old already, so it’s not that much fresher than Yahoo.

    1. EPLawyer*

      I got my gmail address in law school. that was less than 10 years ago … right, mid 2000s? RIGHT???

      OH WAIT. DAMN.

    2. Becca*

      I’m actually the other way around, my yahoo email is newer. I have a gmail address in my maiden name that I only use for Google account access and spam. My regular email in my married name wasn’t available on gmail when I got married so I have it on yahoo instead.

  25. Hiring Mgr*

    Personally I couldn’t care less about email domains (also, Yahoo is only a few years older than Gmail so it should be moot I’ve had gmail since 2004!)

    My question is how does this manifest ? Do some recruiters just pass on candidates because they have Yahoo or Hotmail? As someone who depends on recruiting partners to find the best candidates, I’d be furious if I found out they were doing this

    1. irene adler*

      I cannot say for a fact this is the case. But those who review resumes DO look for “easy” reasons to exclude them from moving forward. And this is certainly something they can latch onto as a criteria for exclusion. Just like a long job history or the year of college graduation. Helps to whittle down the candidate pile to a manageable number.

      I know a recruiter in biotech. She specializes in finding the proverbial purple unicorn. When she worked with a client recruiter, she was very off-put at how the client recruiter rejected resumes she submitted citing reasons as AOL email address or year of college graduation or they simply “looked” like they were going to ask for too high a salary. To no one’s surprise, client could not figure out why they never found their purple unicorn.

      1. Dana Whittaker*

        Oh dear, are we back to removing dates of graduation? I removed mine for a while, but then put them back on because it was asked in every online application. How does one get around that in ATS?

        1. A Yellow Plastic Duck*

          You could try putting in a more recent date online, then explain that you mistyped when asked about it later.

          Odds are they won’t check your college credentials till after the first interview.

          Of course, there is a risk they could run a college check for that year, not find you, and then drop you from the process.

        2. irene adler*

          I’ve not encountered that one myself. With some numeric entries, you can put in all 9’s or all 1’s or all 0’s and it will accept the entry. Clearly no one graduated in 9999 so folks will know that is incorrect.
          With dropdown menus, well, guess you have to put in the correct figure. I’m not sure what the workaround is for that. Put in a date in the far future maybe, that is obviously incorrect.

          That’s a lesson for folks: discrimination affects folks in ways one never expects.

    2. Lilo*

      So for whatever reason in my field we get a lot of Chinese based fraud/spam, so for us the red flag emails are more like qq and those long numeric domains. I’ve never seen a candidate use them, however.

      It really is low effort to make a dedicated job searching email. However, LW here has their work email and doesn’t seem to plan to leave their job so I guess I don’t really see the problem.

      1. MCMonkeyBean*

        Yes, it’s an interesting topic to discuss in general, but in this specific instance the only person bothered by OP’s email is one random person and there is really no reason they need to worry about it right now. If they decide to start job hunting they might want to set up a new account and have it forwarded, but that’s a future problem lol. (Although if they think there is ever a chance they might want one I guess the longer you wait the harder it is to get a name you are happy with)

    3. A Yellow Plastic Duck*

      It’s one drip in the drip, drip, drip of age discrimination.

      It’s the same reason you don’t want to put the year you graduated on your resume if you are an older person (Google once had a policy not to hire anyone who graduated BEFORE a specific year; outright age discrimination; I’m sure other companies still do this–officially or unofficially).

      It’s the same reason that if you have 30 years of experience, you only put the last 15 on your resume. Someone will look at the 30 years, do the math, and say to themselves: we’re not hiring this 50+ year old.

      It’s been my experience that once you get in front of someone the age discrimination dissipates. They now see you as a person and realize your age is no big deal.

      But, don’t fool yourself. When you’re just a piece of paper or online profile it’s easy for a hiring manager to think (consciously or unconsciously): too old.

      When job hunting you need to take every legitimate advantage you can get. Proving to the world that your AOL address works just as well as any other is not the hill you want to die on.

      1. Omnivalent*

        Google was sneakier about it. They used to ask for college GPA and required proof his transcript, which is more difficult for people who didn’t just graduate and which of course shows your age.

      2. Important Moi*

        Also, people can be very uncomfortable admitting to themselves and others that they have those biases and prejudices. Everyone likes to think of themselves as a good person.

    4. MCMonkeyBean*

      My total guess would be that very few people would consciously weed people out for that, but a lot more might develop a subconscious impression.

    5. alienor*

      I wouldn’t pass on someone just because they had Yahoo or Hotmail, but in combination with other factors it is a tipoff. If they have a Hotmail address and their resume features a lot of good, current experience and up-to-date skills, I’ll figure they’re just using an older address for convenience and interview them anyway. If they have a Hotmail address and their resume has jobs going back to the 90s and it looks like they haven’t learned anything new since then, I’d have strong reservations. (For the record, I’m pretty old myself and I do still have a Yahoo address, I just use it for signing up to things now so I don’t get spam in my regular account.)

      1. Hiring Mgr*

        Yeah but are you saying you would have fewer reservations if that same candidate had a Gmail address?

        1. alienor*

          I wouldn’t say a Gmail address alone would make up for a resume that wasn’t the greatest, but the Hotmail address would be one more piece of evidence that they hadn’t made a ton of effort to keep up with technology.

  26. Lilo*

    I work in a formal mentoring role at my job. For quick questions and urgent messages (“Wait, don’t send X, I just realized we need to do Y first”), I use instant messenger. For detailed feedback on writing, it’s done via email, using track changes in Word for edits. I use this to make sure I’ve timely returned all questions and to track work (I create a separate cloud folder for each mentee and I actually keep their work until our mentoring relationship is complete). For more general serious discussions I do them in person/phone/video chat (all trainees and mentors used to be in the building but it’s now they have the option of being remote).

    I really recommend critiques on writing via email. You want to give them time to incorporate and insert edits. Doing it verbally means they have to remember each point you made and that can be more difficult. It also gives them time to digest points privately.

  27. Dana Whittaker*

    I just absolutely hate the Gmail interface. It drives me utterly insane that I cannot sort by sender, and have to search instead.

    If I knew the sender, then I could search, but sometimes companies use multiple iterations of their name, and sometimes I just want to sort by sender to capture all emails from X in a row for chronological reasons.

    I still have my daughter’s birth announcement email from 22 years ago on my original Yahoo account (which is unique but not sleazy), so I will never get rid of it.

      1. What's in a Name?*

        You can find all emails from one sender this way, but not sort like in Outlook where a simple click at the top of any column sorts all messages by that data field. It is a big drawback to gmail, I couldn’t believe it didn’t have this simple functionality when I first started using it. I use the find all emails from a given sender feature in gmail quite a bit.

        1. pancakes*

          It appears there’s a browser extension that allows that. I’ll link to it separately. Complaints like this are often pretty widely shared and someone will develop a work-around before long.

  28. I don't mean to be rude, I'm just good at it*

    Now I have to worry about email snobs. First, it was designer jeans, then Jordans’, I don’t drive a Tesla, but I have to worry about gmail vrs. everybody else. Some of the wealthiest people I know have AOL emails. They are concerned about accumulating wealth. They are very smart people

    1. pancakes*

      Wealthy people aren’t likely to be held back much by discrimination in hiring, since they don’t tend to be in serious need of a job. They can probably continue not worrying about their AOL addresses coming off as out of date, on account of people who contact them often needing whatever they’ve reached out for more than the wealthy person needs them, if that makes sense. For people who aren’t wealthy and are looking for work, I don’t think it’s outlandish to say they might want to think more about the way they present themselves to employers.

    2. Unaccountably*

      I’m pretty sure there is nothing on Earth so trivial or pointless that someone, somewhere, will not be an utter snob about it.

      However, when you’re talking about a power differential between you and someone who can afford to ignore you, it’s important to remember that wealthy people are not often on the wrong side of that power differential or any other. People on the right side of power can afford to do whatever they want.

  29. LilPinkSock*

    You know, #1, I would really love to live in a world where admins aren’t derided as valueless, people with bright personalities aren’t dismissed as vacuous and unprofessional and obnoxious, and women at work aren’t immediately relegated to “should I date this one?”

    Leave us alone to do our jobs, please.

  30. Sylvan*

    OP1: Don’t do it. If you use a dating app or something and you bump into her there, swipe right? But unless something obvious like that happens, don’t do it.

    OP2: I’m not a manager, so please take this with a grain of salt. Several. People at my workplace use chat as heavily as yours, and people use it to provide feedback frequently. It’s fine. I appreciate receiving feedback in writing so that I can refer to it later, whenever I work on a similar project.

  31. Just Your Everyday Crone*

    LW2, I think you might want to change a few things. First, I think managers should have some one on ones with people by phone or Zoom. That’s the place to bring up sensitive/personal work feedback. Second, though, maybe you need to cool it. E.g., you mention a situation where someone didn’t get the tone of a staff email quite right. If that means a bunch of people asked who peed in the email writer’s Wheaties that morning, tell them that. If it’s just that you would have written it differently, stop and consider that there is not one right way to write an email and that not everyone will interpret tone the way you do, and whether it’s worth addressing the tone or whether you’re trying to micromanage people into being just like you.

    1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

      yeah, I once got hauled over the coals for a convo by email that went
      “Dear Client, I tried calling you and just got your answering machine. Please call you call me back
      Best regards,
      Phone +33 01 42 32 52 62
      Fax +33 01 42 32 52 63
      “Hi Rebel sure what’s your number?”
      “01 42 32 52 62”
      because my last email was too terse. The client called me within seconds of receiving it, and was warm and friendly, answered my questions and placed another order, so I’m pretty sure he wasn’t offended, only the boss was.

  32. Jamboree*

    I just want to say I very much appreciated and am looking forward to our next Mortification Week.

  33. Just Me*

    LW 1 – Never connect with someone on LinkedIn to ask them out, and never plan to ask someone out who you might be working with in the future. If you know for a fact that you will never work with her and, as Alison says, have reason to believe that she may want to connect socially, then you can look her up on non-work-related social media and connect that way.

    I used to have a role where I did a lot of immigration casework, and I was frequently working with men who were around my age. I’d been asked out by clients on the job, and when you’re a woman in that situation you have to think a) is this man trying to undermine my professionalism? b) does this man think that some sort of flirtation or romantic entanglement will give them an advantage getting what they want? c) even if the first two aren’t true, this is a huge conflict of interest and if the genders were reversed it would be extremely predatory for me to date this person.

    One former client added me on Facebook AFTER I was no longer working with him and asked me out. I said I couldn’t do so even with former clients (this was a lie, I just wasn’t interested) but it was a much better scenario than trying to field gross questions while I was at my desk.

  34. ProfeshAndFresh*

    In addition to what everyone else is saying to LW1 – aka NO don’t do it… It also reeks of desperation and unprofessionalism. You came to the interview to find a job, not to hook up. Just like the HR person came to the interview to do her job.

    It really boils my pee when people think that every opportunity is an opportunity for a relationship. Unfortunately this is the real world and you aren’t the main character in it. This ain’t gonna turn into a hokey Hollywood romance movie I’m afraid.

  35. anonymous73*

    #1 No. Just don’t.
    #3 I don’t think it’s an issue, but when I got laid off in 2020 I created a new Gmail address that I used specifically for job hunting. My main email account isn’t necessarily unprofessional or offensive, but it may give off a silly vibe so I made one up that was more generic to my name.
    #4 Do what’s best for you, but unless something really bad happened in the new job, I’m not sure you could really know that you were misled after a week or 2. If you haven’t left already, you may want to give it a bit more time before making a decision.

  36. Veryanon*

    LW1, please please please do not ask out the recruiter. When I was doing a lot of recruiting, a lot of male candidates misinterpreted my professional warmth for an invitation (and why is it that it’s primarily men who do this???? that’s a whole other discussion). One particular instance stands out in my mind. A candidate called me after the interview and asked me out. I told him no thanks, I am married (which I was at the time). He paused and said “Happily?” *facepalm emoji*

    1. Rainy*

      Ahahahahah I have never, ever understood why people do this.

      Cf e.g. “What, you can’t have friends?”

  37. Lilo*

    I’m going to add another reason why LW1’s thing is a bad idea. If a job candidate hit on me, I would 100% feel obligated to report the interaction to my supervisors out of ethical concerns. As someone who has done hiring we are very, very particular in our interactions with applicants. Anyone doing hiring is supposed to avoid any non formal communication with applicants, to keep everything above board (there was a nepotism influenced hire issue a while back that led to some serious reforms).

    1. Et*

      I would be very very very annoyed. The whole ‘no smoke without fire’ comes to mind. Why would I want to mess up my amazing career because a pervert thinks it is ok to hit on the HR person? The irony to it being HR indicates he’s dumb.

  38. Observer*

    #3- I’ve had a Yahoo email address since I was 25. I’m now 20+ years north of that.

    Whether or not it’s going to look unprofessional really depends on your field and your background.

    Some examples:

    * If you are an IT professional, I’m going to be looking askance.

    * If you are a teacher and use your email account for WORK stuff, that’s a big fat nope, but if you use it for personal stuff, I don’t care.

    * If you are applying for a bookkeeping job, for example, and are used to using your work account for work, the only email address I don’t want to see your resume coming from is your current work address. Yahoo? Couldn’t care less.

    * If you are in a field where you need to just be up to date and comfortable with current / the latest technologies, I’m going to want to probe just a bit with a Yahoo address. I won’t automatically disqualify you, but I’d want to hear a bit about your thinking on adopting new technologies and when it’s time to cut your losses and how you plan for likely adverse tech events. (The odds of Yahoo collapsing, starting to charge for their email service, or getting rid of he email service, are pretty high. Not certain, but high because their current owners bought the company to make money in the short term.)

    From what you say, I wouldn’t blink at your Yahoo address.

    1. Curmudgeon in California*

      WRT Yahoo addresses and tech people: I have email addresses that I only use for job searching, and I sunset them after a couple years. But If I didn’t want to spend my personal time administering an email server, or even getting email with hosting, I might have a Yahoo address for job searching.

      My usual is something like “”, and I set it to bounce after a couple years. Otherwise the spam from garbage recruiters pushing $15/hr on-site data entry jobs on the other side of the country overwhelms my inbox. Some of these people see anything to do with computers on your resume and assume that you really want a low paid help desk, data entry, or printer maintainer job, even though you have over a decade of experience as a Linux systems engineer.

      But even though I am capable of administering an entire bespoke email server, I really, really don’t want to unless I’m getting paid for it. It’s about the same amount of work for one address and it is for a hundred, because the set up and security stuff is what takes the time.

  39. No Soup for You*

    #1 Yes absolutely ask her out, as long as you don’t want the job and probably be blackballed to all her HR associates at other companies!

  40. Don't Ask Out Your Recruiter (from a recruiter)*

    OP1- I’d like to offer some perspective here. I met my now-fiance at work. I am also a Recruiter by profession. TL; dr DO NOT hit on the recruiter.

    This is more than likely not the first time (or the 10th time!) that she will have been propositioned by an applicant. She likely feels a lot of fatigue about continually needing to deal with this, and you’ll be yet another person who doesn’t understand professional boundaries.

    A major component of my work is to be pleasant, friendly, and helpful to applicants. I can’t tell you how many times that professional friendliness has been perceived to mean something else. I shouldn’t, but I still feel immediate shame and anxiety when people do this, and I worry that I must be doing something wrong for people to approach me that way during a professional interaction. If you ask her out, even if you feel she is free to say no, it is highly likely that she will strongly resent being put into the position of needing to reject you at all. You will very likely end up on a do-not-hire list. You’ll be “that guy” who doesn’t get it.

    Work place romances, when they happen successfully, are almost always the result of getting to know each other over a period of time, and knowing when and whether those advances would be welcomed. This is how I met my fiance- we were peers, we got along really well, and after an office happy hour that extended well into the evening, when we were the last two there, he tentatively reached over to take my hand. The rest is history.

    It’s hard to meet people (or at least, it always was for me, so I may be projecting), and it’s easy to feel that when you get an opportunity, you should take it, because you don’t know when or if another one will come along. If that is how you feel, I truly empathize, but this is not such an opportunity. Don’t do it.

    *And don’t do the old add-her-on-linkedin play to try to coax things from the professional into the personal. She’ll see through it immediately. Ask me how I know this. :-)

    1. Ellis Bell*

      This is so well explained. I particularly like the LinkedIn warning, which honestly should be on their homepage.

    2. quill*

      This, also – culturally we have specific times and places that people go to look for dates. Apps, but also (pandemic permitting) singles gatherings, bars, untold numbers of activities where it’s no longer societally discouraged to be a woman looking for a date. The era of being asked out at work / in the grocery store / wherever and it working out is gone, if it was ever more than singular anecdotes.

      OP #1: get a dating app and don’t add your interviewer on linked-in, just chalk your experience with her up to practice being professional with a woman you find attractive.

  41. CleverUsernameGoesHere*

    OP1 – there isn’t much upside and there is a whole lot of downside. Don’t do it.

    Dating in the workplace is dicey enough as is. What OP1 proposes is an all around bad idea.

    – She’s there to work, not to be hit on
    – You don’t have the job yet, and hitting on her won’t help
    – It could hamper job searches in the future too

  42. Foley*

    OMG this made me think back…I had a Yahoo email years ago and just logged into it. Every folder is empty. Apparently, it’s 14 years old. Now I’m going down the ‘delete this damned thing’ rabbit hole…

    1. Free Meerkats*

      Just a few years ago, I finally deleted my AOL email. Only reason I hung onto it was AOL’s dating site was where I met my wife – back in ’96. Back then, “We met on the internet” was conversation fodder. Now, not meeting on the internet is almost unusual.

  43. Florida Fan 15*

    For letter #2 (the feedback one), it might help to remember that feedback isn’t just for problems. Telling someone they did a good job and giving kudos is feedback! Are you calling out the positive as well as the negative?

    If people know the boss will give props in addition to corrections, they won’t get so freaked out by getting a call from you. Nobody wants to hear from someone who only points out their faults.

  44. Super Anon*

    LW 1, you remind me of a time I was at the gym lifting weights… Per my doctor’s advice surrounding some postpartum issues. Some guy saw me and decided that this no frills gym was obviously a place to pickup women, and started trying to talk to me. He did not take hints (loud counting of reps, my walking away) and completely abandoned his own workout to talk at me. Maybe he was genuinely interested in me due to my amazing command of deadlifting (dripping sarcasm there!), but more likely he was interested in himself and What He Wanted. With no regard to whether I had any care for his attention, zero expressed interest, and just trying to do my thing.

    Don’t be that guy. You don’t know this person at all. You cannot possibly be interested in THEM, you just find them easy to talk with. That’s probably why they were hired. Don’t make it a reason for them to leave (I left that gym).

    1. Rain's Small Hands*

      Oh, I went through that – it was way back in the old days when you had a card at the gym. Some guy left me a letter attached to my card – I’m sure he thought it was romantic, but it was so creepy. All about how he watched me when I worked out and how he hoped he’d have the courage to talk to me someday. How he’d figured out my gym schedule so he could be there at the same time. I never went back to the gym – which since I had a contract, was expensive, but I didn’t feel safe.

      Some days I am so happy for my the superpower of invisibility menopause and age have granted me.

      1. Ellis Bell*

        … watched you work out and…. figured out your gym schedule. Wow. Did he hide in long grass too?

        1. Rain's Small Hands*

          It was a pretty easy schedule to figure out. I was a college student and would head in after MWF classes. But yes, creepy. Guys can be really creepy.

    2. Bess*

      I think this gets at why this stuff is so demeaning and upsetting. In this interaction, he literally has no idea who she is, but knows what she looks like and how she conducts herself professionally for like 30 minutes. That’s enough for him to decide his pantsfeelings override her likely discomfort at being approached this way on the off off off off chance she would welcome this attention (spoiler: probably won’t!)

      Boundaries are really important. Your pantsfeelings for someone are irrelevant when they are interacting with you in a brief and professional capacity. They are not a Potential Romantic Interest just because you noticed them. It’s exhausting even outside of work context but in work context it usually feels barfworthy.

      It’s a bit like hitting on someone with a ring on. Like…why? WHY. Maybe there’s a non-zero chance they’ll respond but is it worth the 99.9999% chance of imposing on someone that way and making them feel dehumanized and demeaned?

  45. Super Anon*

    I was rocking a postpartum body… And the bags under my eyes to go with it… probably spitup stains on my shirt. I was NOT HOT.

    I’ve also had guys get on ellipticals on either side of me and try to chat me up together…. When I was wearing headphones and running full tilt.. in no condition to just have a chatsie-poo with the little dears. That’s how I started thinking of them, since they had the social obliviousness of toddler. Unfortunately, they were about a foot and a half taller than me and I was afraid to leave the gym alone after that… And yes, I ignored them for 30 minutes until they decided I was “in the zone” and couldn’t hear them This was after deadlifting guy… When I thought: I’ll just go at a different time. That really didn’t work.

      1. Rain's Small Hands*

        I followed it. And yeah, I’ve had the unwelcome attention (in physical form – ass grabbing) while wearing a baggy sweatshirt and no makeup at all. And there is my own personal favorite – being stuck on an airplane between two of these “entitled individuals” for three hours.

        For the people out there who wish they would get this sort of attention and haven’t – it really isn’t all its cracked up to be. Its often a guy you aren’t attracted to – or if you are attracted to him, a conversation shows him to not share any of your interests or values (but he generally doesn’t realize that because its all about him). Its often a guy who turns around and calls you a bitch or a tease when you turn him down. Its often a guy who won’t let you read your book on a plane (and its a book you really wanted to read) or finish the paper you are working on in a coffee shop. Its often a guy who wants to know why you won’t date him, and the only acceptable answer is that you are already the property of some other guy. It seldom lives up to the romance novel hype.

        1. Super Anon*

          Or, you know, they don’t respect that you are happily married and highly not-interested. Same as the guy who thinks “thanks, have a nice day” is a come on.

          I’ve actually had the physical issue at an all women’s gym too. Some “lady” who randomly decided to get in my space to ‘correct my form” – who are these people and is it any wonder I don’t ever go to a gym???

        2. N'Moose*

          And seriously – do you really want to be the person so desperate to date that you are willing to go out with the guy who is disrespectful of your time, wishes & professional norms? Oh – and lets not forget that he doesn’t actually know anything about you except that he doesn’t care about your time or agency and has zero respect for professional norms… We can do better – don’t date the douche, don’t advocate for jerks to be able to talk to/ask out/torment those of us who just want to do our jobs – how about we all reward the decent humans who have respectable boundaries by only dating those who have them?

        3. Et*

          Those people have experienced it. They enjoy it (a few people on this thread are the classical examples).

  46. Pobody’s Nerfect*

    OP5 – always ask if salary can at all be increased when starting a new job! If you phrase it right, it shouldn’t hurt to ask. The worst they can say is no, but most managers and hiring depts expect the candidate to try to negotiate at least a little. I just got offered a new job that I’m really excited about; twice in the interviews and offer they re-stated what the advertised salary was, but when I asked if there was any flexibility once I got the offer, they still gave me a nice increase! Always ask!

  47. What's in a Name?*

    I have three email addresses, including a fancy-schmancy alumni one from my prestigious undergraduate institution. I have everything forwarded to gmail for simplicity, but could log into each account separately if I wanted to. FWIW, gmail has gotten much better lately with filtering out spam, especially the offensive kind.

  48. Lance Magillicuddy*

    I didn’t read every comment, but I think it is important to remember that if it’s a “free” interwebz service, you are the product, not the customer; so you can and should assume that your email is being mined for data regarding you and your purchasing habits and lifestyle. I’m not sure why everyone thinks that such an important service as email should be “free.” It’s relatively easy to purchase your own domain, and there are any number of email providers that will provide email service for a relatively small yearly fee, and without your data being mined or subjecting you to ads within or to your email. I’m on the wrong side of my 50s, but I can assure you that I notice when someone has a hotmail or aol or yahoo domain email, and I assume that they are not particularly tech-savvy, or lazy or not interested in cyber-security. Also bear in mind g_d forbid you ever need tech support related to a yahoo or aol email account. Your tech support will be exactly what you pay for the service, namely zero.

    1. New Jack Karyn*

      I. Don’t. Want. To.

      It’s easy, I don’t have to think about it. I’m tired of being looked down upon by Masters of Tech because I just want something easy to learn and use.

    2. Curmudgeon in California*

      The hosted email still takes time. I do it out of vanity, and because I collect domains. My hosting provider is pretty good, but I still have to do security checking.

      I pay about $120 a year for my hosting, and more for quite a few domains. My hosting is relatively cheap. But if you aren’t a Linux sysadmin, you can very quickly get into areas you don’t know anything about.

  49. Observer*

    I know I’m late to this, but I have to say that all of the reasons given for not moving from a Yahoo account make me more convinced, rather than less, that a Yahoo account is a bad sign for *someone in information technology (IT)

    * It’s too much hassle
    If someone can’t figure out how to get a new email set up, with forwarding etc. taken care of in 10-15 minutes MAX, they have no business getting within 10 feet of an IT installation.

    * Google is terrible (and all of it’s variants)
    How does anyone in IT in 2022 think that Google is the only alternative to be had?! Not just for email, but for search, too.

    * I need my old archive and a new service is going to make it harder to access it
    This just doesn’t make any sense. None of the reasons I’ve seen for this claim are factual. (eg No, you don’t need to log out of one email to log into the other email.)

    * Yes, Yahoo messed up, but that doesn’t mean that they are still insecure.
    Given what we actually know about Yahoo’s past and present, this is just dangerously naive. I would not want someone with this mindset making any sort of decision around my users or infrastructure.

    * Yes, Yahoo messed up. But who cares, because people are stupid anyway and their bad security hygiene makes Yahoo’s lack of security irrelevant.
    Words just fail…

    * Yes, Yahoo messed up, but others have messed up to0, eg Target
    The answer to one company failing is not to let another company off the hook. Especially when one company (Target) failed once in something that was not in its core competency, and has since cleaned up its act; while the other company (Yahoo) failed repeatedly in something that IS in it’s core service, and did not clean up its act. In fact, it never made an investment in trying to clean up its act. And even with that, a lot of people actually DID stop shopping at Target, either permanently or till there was some reason to believe that they had improved – enough people that their sales took a hit.

    Again, I am talking about people IN IT.

  50. quill*

    OP #1: It’s good that you asked instead of just doing it, but the answer is still no. Generally speaking, giving the impression that you were focused during the interview about whether your interviewer was a potential date is not going to look good for you professionally.

  51. Emoo*

    I got an extra 5k (50 to 55k) just by asking in my response email to their offer. This is my second professional job, and even at 50 it was a raise from my first job, and I would have accepted it anyway – but it does no harm to ask! Even if you (like me) get anxious about that sort of thing.

    Also my boss told me later that he ought to have made a higher initial offer in the first place, lol

  52. nom de plume*

    Pet grammatical peeve: it’s two weeks’ (<– apostrophe!) notice. Two weeks OF notice – that's a possessive, hence the apostrophe.

    Just like it's the Veterans' Administration, but you know.

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