updates: the wall of shame, the stolen laptop, and more

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are four updates from past letter-writers.

1. My manager posted a “wall of shame” of people who didn’t volunteer to work more

As many of you guessed, I’m an RN and provide direct patient care in my unit. I’ve occasionally thought of moving on, but honestly, I love the doctors I work with and most of the staff as well. I’m one of the most senior staff and I feel like we improve patient lives and make a difference.

For those of you who were encouraging me to take a pic – don’t worry, that is the FIRST thing I did! I sent it to Alison with my original post, but I didn’t want to out myself or my colleagues, so I asked her not to post it.

I gave myself the weekend to calm down and when I went back to work the next week, the posting was down. I asked my charge about it and he said, “Oh yeah, I told [supervisor], ‘You should take that down. It’s really pissing people off’ and she said, ‘Really?’ and looked embarrassed and took it down right then.” So I decided that was good enough for me.

In the meantime, there have been other management issues that I haven’t loved and I’ve been brushing up my resume. If any readers want to hire an RN with 20+ years of experience in critical care and cardiology, hit me up!

From the comments: I really do like my supervisor – she was a great coworker until recently. And yes, she HAS picked up OT to help us. She’s not a villain, IMO, but she was never taught to manage people (most nurses aren’t) and is in a bad spot. I didn’t shame any coworkers because yes, some of them were eager or at least willing to work OT. There were enough of us that felt like me, though, which is why I stepped up. My issue wasn’t with the OT, but how it was being presented.

That said, I have a super snarky sense of humor and I loooooved all of you who suggested posting job openings and “The beatings will continue until morale improves” and health boundaries stuff: you are my people.

For the commenter who said that if healthcare workers can’t talk honestly about mental health, then where are the rest of us: I feel you and I’m sorry. I’m an overweight, depressed (but medicated!) nurse and I CAN advocate for myself, but I still hurt when I hear the biased comments and thoughtless criticism. If you are my patient, I care about you and I will defend you and I know that I’m not enough. I’ll keep working to change the system from the inside, I guess.

2. My employee keeps freaking out that lower-paid coworkers aren’t as productive as he is

I took a bit of a middle ground approach with your advice. I emphasized to “Tim” that I was satisfied with the rest of the team’s work. After some time has passed, I have gradually raised expectations for the rest of the team (but privately and through individualized training that I didn’t go out of my way to let “Tim” know was happening.) Task by task they built up their knowledge and efficiency. And low and behold, the newer team members began taking on more. The relationship between them and “Tim” isn’t cozy, but they are at least civil and I don’t hear weekly complaints anymore.

I have also set “Tim” on an advancement path to another team where he will build on his existing knowledge, but his work will be more siloed and won’t require so much interaction with team-members. His role will be back-filled by a new hire that seems to mesh better with the team.

Lastly, “Tim” has also recently started seeing a therapist outside of work to deal with personal stresses, and since then, he has been more easy going and less irritable than before.

So far, it seems like a happy ending!

3. Employee is using disability protections to do whatever he wants (#3 at the link)

After reading your response to my email, I had a talk with our manager and what to do about his bad attitude and attendance. The problem child was off that day, shocker.

Didn’t need to do a whole lot though and everything kind of feel into place. The next day when he came back he told one of the people he was working with that he knew he didn’t have long in the shop so he might just smash up some material on purpose just to go out with a bang. Well that’s all she wrote, the person working with him relayed that message and we gave him the boot literally one day after you posted my email.

He was brought back in a few days later to meet with the owner to turn in keys and final paycheck. He cried, apologized and begged to give him another chance. Didn’t though and he is history! Last we heard he’s still unemployed.

4. Do I still need to invite my former coworkers to my wedding? (#4 at the link)

I ended up reaching out to the coworkers that had been kind to me post-termination and let them know they were still welcome at the wedding, but I wouldn’t be sending out invitations to those I hadn’t heard from. I also let them know I understood if attending would make things difficult for them with my former boss, and that there were no hard feelings if they weren’t able to come. One asked if I would serve as a reference for them, and another offered to serve as a reference for me which was very kind. For several reasons, I now realize this was just not a great place to work, and I feel as though our inexperience was taken advantage of in a major way, since most of my coworkers had little to no prior work experience themselves.

I know some folks were confused why I invited coworkers at all—I wasn’t planning on it until my boss mentioned something to me about coming to the wedding, and it seemed like they expected an invitation. Another coworker was also planning a wedding around the same time and there was a lot of discussion about them inviting the entire team as well, so I saw it as an expectation of working for a small company. Since this happened, I’m working on holding firmer boundaries in my personal and professional life. I realize now that after my termination, I got stuck in an anxiety spiral and became fixated on this issue, which really wasn’t much of an issue at all in the long run.

I was lucky to have my fiancé’s support during my brief period of unemployment, so I was able to laser-focus on wedding planning, mental health healing and job hunting. After these past few months, I can confidently say that the wedding went off without a hitch and, in the meantime, I landed a fantastic new position in a new field that I absolutely love! Thank you so much for your response and to those that commented advice too!

5. How to tell your boss a sex worker stole your work laptop

My friend wasn’t thrilled with your and the readers’ responses. I had omitted/changed some minor details to protect his identity, which led to some incorrect assumptions. When the theft happened, the first thing that he did was contact the police and hotel security.

Ultimately his work didn’t press for further details. He got the sense that they really didn’t want to know more. These weren’t the actions of a criminal mastermind so the perpetrator was apprehended quickly and the laptop was returned with no issues.

{ 89 comments… read them below }

  1. Iroqdemic*

    I love update season!!

    #4- I was laid off from my job ONE MONTH before my wedding (mind you this was in Ye Olden Times of the early ’00s), so the invitations had already been sent to everyone in my small office. Everyone actually came, except the big boss, who laid me off and I found out later didn’t tell anyone else in the office he was doing so. Still a little salty he didn’t buy me a wedding gift! /sarcasm

    Also- I hope your wedding went off with just one hitch! (badum-tiss! Thank you I’ll be here all evening!)

  2. MEH Squared*

    OP#1, I’m glad your supervisor understood that what she did was the opposite of motivating and ceased doing it with little fuss. I also wanted to let you know that I spent a week and two days in heart ICU last year (one week of that in a coma; I suddenly woke up) before being moved to the PCU for five more days. I was so impressed with my medical team, especially the nurses who treated me respect, dignity, and kindness in a time when I was extremely vulnerable. Thank you for the work you do and I hope you find a better job (if that’s possible!) soon.

    1. Jennifer+Strange*

      Seconding this! I had gallstone issues this past year (which started two months after giving birth!) and had two hospital stays in the time it took for me to get the gallbladder removed. Every nurse who looked after me was a gem and really went to great lengths to make me feel safe and taken care of.

      1. GythaOgden*

        I’m British and I actually work in public healthcare, but I’ve also been on the opposite side of the healthcare services and despite the chronic issues with service provision, nurses, doctors and my physiotherapists after my ankle injury have been wonderful people working in difficult circumstances. Healthcare is expensive to provide and there’s always the struggle to adequately provide for the public while keeping costs down, and for us, I actually think some pooled risk insurance for the better off, European style, would help us in this country with the rising costs of provision, particularly labour and the cutting edge treatments we need to provide. My husband got such wonderful care and treatment while going through kidney cancer, but while we didn’t pay a penny (even his meds were free — I pay a yearly subscription for mine, which I think is fair given that only about 10% of people here actually do pay for medication because of all the exemptions, and someone has to pay for it at some point), it can’t have been cheap to provide the marvellous medicine.

        But yeah, the way the UK as a whole responded to the pandemic and the way everyone involved works really hard to make what they can out of what they’re given is amazing. There are things I’d change about healthcare funding — even changing the name of National Insurance, which pays for the health service through the tax system, might help people feel a closer degree of ownership over the system as if they were paying directly for actual insurance — but there’s no doubt we earned the George Cross we were awarded last year. (Everyone got a tiny badge in recognition of our service through the pandemic, and we got a pay rise this year that helped the lowest paid more than the higher earners, amounting to about 10% for me. Justice at last!)

      2. History Teacher*

        Back in 2017, I had an outpatient heart procedure where I was in the hospital for several hours. The nurses and doctors who took care of me before, during, and after the procedure were so friendly and just overall awesome! So much respect for those good people who work in healthcare.

    2. Irish Teacher*

      Also adding to this though from a somewhat opposite perspective. I was in hospital three years ago and had an operation on my neck that meant I wasn’t supposed to lift things or reach awkwardly. I felt somewhat guilty bothering the nurses to do things like get my bag for me when they had so much more important things to do, but they never acted for a moment like I was putting them out.

  3. PsychNurse*

    As one RN to another, it is a damn good time to be a nurse right now. I have several colleagues who have walked off of jobs and right into new and better ones, no questions asked. And I say that as someone who has only worked outpatient! You’re cardiac and ICU?— the world is your oyster, get on Indeed and get you a big signing bonus.

    1. Anon+Supervisor*

      I’m not a nurse, but I am in HealthCare, and I agree with Pysch Nurse. Cardiac and ICU nurses with experience are in demand all over.

    2. FrontlinER*

      Yup can confirm. Just got a new job at a better hospital with a huge signing bonus for day shift (amazing) and I had four different hospitals competing to have me because I am an experienced ED RN. Go forth with your amazing background and enjoy watching everyone fight over you.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        I really hope that the demand for nursing can drive some quality-of-life improvements in addition to higher wages. Nurses shouldn’t have to sacrifice their health to provide care for others.

    3. AnonRN*

      5thing or 6thing this. OP, look for teaching hospitals, Magnet hospitals, etc as you might find better ratios. Staffing is very tight everywhere but at my (Magnet) hospital we have capped ratios and it’s not nearly as crazy as some places I hear about from our travel nurses. One TN I work with will only take contracts at Magnet teaching hospitals that use EPIC…her personal criteria for finding decent places to work.

      If you want to go, the time is now! Obviously, read your contract carefully, but if you are 20+ years in at one institution (I’m not sure if you are but IF you are), you may not get a lot more benefit from staying there vs going to a new hospital system and staying long enough to be vested in their retirement plan…then you could potentially have 2 sets of benefits going for you.

    4. MI Dawn*

      If you are tired of being in the hospital – look into working for health insurance! We LOVE people with experience in various areas and the pay (at least for me) is better than the hospitals around where I am, benefits are very good, vacation time is good (nearly 3 weeks of PTO time, but we also get 12 holidays (11 scheduled and 1 “floating” holiday that you may use for any religious observation). And we are ALWAYS looking.

      1. NotRealAnonforThis*

        The RN who was assigned to my daughter as a case manager by our insurance company when she was suddenly critically ill was an angel sent from above, I swear.

        She could explain things to us, she could make things happen, and quite honestly, my child got to go back to school on the first day of school in no small part due to this RN’s advocacy (in conjunction with the advocacy of the rest of her medical team and the school principal).

        1. Risha*

          I’m glad you mentioned that. I said something similar in my comment below. I also work for an insurance company (in quality dept, not CM) and people don’t realize how much good we do. They think we’re all about denying claims and preventing care. But we go above and beyond for our members and make sure they have access to all the care they need. We also help them with transport to doctor appts. The CMs advocate for members and actually argue with providers to ensure the person gets the appropriate care.

          (I hope your daughter is well now!)

          1. NotRealAnonforThis*

            Thank you!

            Its like nothing happened. The only remnant is a faint surgical scar. There’ve been no long term lingering effects from the illness or the (sometimes flat out nasty) treatments required.

    5. NewJobNewGal*

      Please look up your local transplant programs. They would be thrilled to have a critical care nurse on their heart transplant team! If there is an organ procurement organization in your area, they could also use your expertise in non clinical roles, medical review/patient outreach.

    6. Rn for almost 30 yrs*

      If you are at all interested in education and or sales- you could look at working for a vendor. Rn here- I ended up working with an EMR vendor in multiple roles. I’ve been an educator for implementations, provided support services for users, and done configuration. Sales folks love to have someone knowledgeable to meet with potential clients. Current role is as an interface analyst. I haven’t touched a patient in 15 years but still feel like I make a real difference in pt care.

    7. Risha*

      I’m an RN as well and I agree with you. Right now, there are so many jobs out there for us. If you don’t already have one, get a compact license (hopefully your state is part of the compact). Once I got my compact license, a whole bunch of remote jobs opened up that I wouldn’t have been able to apply for before.

      LW-If you’re looking for a side job, try phone triage. It’s easy money and you do it from the comfort of your own home on weekends only. It can bring in extra money if you need to quit the fulltime job sooner than you expected. With your cardiac/ICU experience, you would also be a great candidate for complex case management at an insurance company. The company I work for has a cardiac CM dept as well as a dept for people who just got d/c’d from the hospital. Most MCOs do have these types of programs. It’s great money and you work regular business hours, no weekends, no holidays. The insurance company I work for pays the same or more than the local hospitals do. Oh, and no “wall of shame”. You can safely say no to overtime without repercussions.

      I actually do both (insurance company M-F and triage on w/e) and I would never go into direct care again. I make great money and have almost no stress.

    8. IndyDem*

      I know I’m late to the game, but Biotech/Pharma hires nurses for a variety of roles, many of them patient facing. I know a few nurses who are now Patient Educators.

    9. Firecat*

      You think so?

      My experience is that all the area hospitals and clinics are understaffed. Support staff are as burnt out as clinicians so they are leaning on nurses more. My patient load is higher then ever. The result is toxicity is at an all time high while moral is lower then ever.

      It’s cool to get paid more but I wasn’t exactly underpaid before with OT and Call pay and would gladly take $3/hr less and for a return to 2019 toxicity and burn out levels.

    10. Abogado Avocado*

      #1, I am probably not your patient, but have experienced health issues in the past two years and have been immeasurably helped by the wonderful care I have received from nurses. So, please, do know that I, a patient, greatly appreciate you and your brothers and sisters in the nursing profession. Your knowledge, experience, willingness to listen, kind touch, and kind words help us heal. And that is more than enough for this patient. Thank you.

    1. MEH Squared*

      I wondered that, too. The letter was very brief. Alison (and the commentariat) can only go on what is sent in.

    2. ecnaseener*

      I wonder that too! Weird to just announce your displeasure without saying what it is you don’t like. Especially when the question was pretty straightforward (in that there were basically 2 options)

      1. Julia*

        OP was announcing someone else’s displeasure, to be fair. Also, as we have seen, OP seems… generally given to tantalizing brevity :)

        I will say, I was annoyed by the responses to the question (and pointed that out in the comments at the time). Both Alison’s and the others treated this like something furtive that would likely result in the loss of the guy’s job, making the assumption that he hadn’t filed a police report and that the employer would have a lot of interest in exactly how this went down. I think it demonstrates how Americans can’t conceive of a society with less stigma around sex work, honestly. The assumption that no police report had been filed in particular displayed regional biases.

        1. TexasTeacher*

          If they were in the US I would assume it was a delicate situation because of the illegal behavior.

        2. nnn*

          He wrote to an American advice columnist who’s of course going to see things through an American lens. That’s not criticism, that’s going to be the case whenever you write to a columnist in a different country than your own.

        3. Wannessa*

          I think the assumption that no police report had been filed was more about lack of details in the letter, honestly. That’s step 1 for theft everywhere I know, so that feels pretty obvious…but people in stressful situations don’t always remember the obvious step-1 process. If that isn’t mentioned in their question it becomes the first recommendation. Generally if people have already tried things to remedy the situation, they mention that when they ask for advice. I’m just not sure how anyone would be expected to divine that from the scarce information provided.

          1. Snow Globe*

            Particularly since the question was how to inform his employer what happened. I would assume that if a police report was filed, the employer would get a copy of that (it was a work laptop, the company owns it), so they would definitely know.

        4. Well...*

          Yes i think this comment section often extrapolates untrue details and pounces on LWs in a way I find distasteful (how does it help them?) Turning around and blaming the LWs for too much brevity also feels like they are here to judge, not help.

          1. Going for a different name*

            Admittedly, this is the biggest reason I’ve scaled way back on reading this blog. After update season, I’m going to look into blocking this site on all my browser because these comments sections have been negati ely impacting my mental health.

        5. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

          Honestly, the letter contained few details and Alison was not unreasonable to assume that a police report might not have been filed if he is asking how to let his company know. As it is technically company property, they would have been notified of the theft at the time of filing the report.

          It also was not unreasonable to assume there was a stigma associated with sex work in this case, since he was asking how to notify his employer. If it was just a case of not wanting to share his business in general, but no stigma issues, the answer would obviously just be “discreetly.” Why was he asking if it is not a big issue? And if it is not, Alison and commenters would need more detail and information to understand what concerns the guy has in order to address them.

        6. Observer**

          Both Alison’s and the others treated this like something furtive that would likely result in the loss of the guy’s job, making the assumption that he hadn’t filed a police report and that the employer would have a lot of interest in exactly how this went down.

          All of those were perfectly reasonable assumptions given what the OP actually wrote in. Something being legal doesn’t mean that there is no stigma around it. And beyond that, the really big issue that the person would have needed to explain is why on earth was a stranger in his hotel room.

          MANY of the commenters pointed that out- even if the person knew that in his workplace no one would care about the fact that it was a sex worker, a lot of people would still question his judgement.

          What makes it interesting is that the OP explicitly explained that it was a sex worker rather than just “someone he brought into his room” but didn’t mention that he’d already reported it to the police. Considering that the latter was left out because the OP thought that this was “not relevant”, it’s also reasonable to assume that they DID think the sex work WAS relevant. If it really was a nothing burger, why did the frame the question that way?

        7. Gerry Keay*

          I think the assumption that no police report had been filed was because OP didn’t say that a police report had been filed.

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

      There were some unnecessary posts about the morals/ethics/legality of sex work, and judgement about leaving the laptop unattended with a stranger, etc. Now knowing that it was already reported leaves me wondering what they expected to read too; like we were supposed to come up with a way to return the laptop they hadn’t thought of, tell them how to hide the theft, or absolve them of any responsibility.

      1. Julia*

        I think just how to handle the situation diplomatically? I mean, would you know what to say to your employer? I wouldn’t. Lots of people write in for help with wording.

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

          Yeah sort of, I’d definitely leave the “sex worker” out of it: “My company laptop was stolen from my hotel room by someone I left unattended while I used the toilet. I have already filed a police report and alerted hotel security in an effort to recover the laptop.”

          1. Curmudgeon in California*

            Hell, even a genuine masseuse would be in your hotel, not for sex, but could steal stuff. Or even the maid or room service. Or it could be a casual acquaintance for that matter.

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

              Honestly it could even be someone you know well but still shouldn’t have trusted — an ex, friend, cousin, neighbor, coworker — the profession or relationship of the thief isn’t really that relevant, other than it MIGHT lead to recovering the item faster.

        2. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

          Then they need to make that clearer. The OP was not clear on what type of advice his friend was looking for. Alison was not unreasonable to assume that a police report might not have been filed if he is asking how to let his company know. As it is technically company property, they would have been notified of the theft at the time of filing the report. Also, knowing it is not illegal is not the same as knowing there is no stigma. The letter writer did not communicate the issues they wanted addressed, and Alison’s response was reasonable based on what she had to go on.

    4. TexasTeacher*

      Also would’ve made a much more interesting update if the sex worker HAD been a criminal mastermind!
      Not so great for OP’s friend, though.

    5. Roland*

      A lot of people were preemptively judging the friend for being super dodgy by not reporting it, so maybe… Not doing that.

    6. Well...*

      Maybe more helpful advice? This was a rare instance where the advice was off-base and didn’t help LW, and exaggerated how bad the whole situation was. A few ideas:

      – scripts for how to talk to the employer diplomatically and honestly about what happened
      – recommendation to file a police report if it hadn’t been done yet (rather than an assumption that the friend wouldn’t do that to cover the whole thing up)
      – some advice for how to help coordinate between the police and employer in a way that’s transparent, professional, and minimizes everyone’s risk

      Instead the advice read to me like, “all is lost, this is bad, no one can help.” Which didn’t happen and didn’t help LWs friend.

      1. Well...*

        I love this blog and think AMA as more than earned a few off base answers for strange situations like these, and for shorter answers now and then. Still, I think we can hold space for LW wanting more at the same time, and I think the commenters could have helped as well.

      2. commonsensesometimesmakessense*

        The letter was not specific enough. Alison was not unreasonable to assume that a police report might not have been filed if he is asking how to let his company know. As it is technically company property, they would have been notified of the theft at the time of filing the report. She is also reasonable for assuming there is a stigma and that the employer might look askance at sex work, since that is a prevalent reality even outside the US and even in areas where it is legal, and because OP’s friend wanted advice on notifying the employer. If it was just a matter of wording it or how to be discreet, then that should have been made clear. I think anything wanting in the response is the direct result of the letter writer being vague in not just details, but in the type of advice being sought.

      3. kitryan*

        I’m not sure how useful scripts could be provided without knowing more about exactly what the prevailing attitude is towards hiring a sex worker or whether a police report was filed – those would be key factors in how and what to tell the employer. I think based on the provided info, you’d need several options there. Not knowing what the country/local is would also make it difficult to give recommendations on coordinating w/police and employer, as that’s going to depend a lot on local law enforcement and their recommendations as well as whether the person’s willing to file a report in the first place, all of which we don’t know from the submission. I agree, there’s not too much actual advice, other than that it seems like a bad situation, he’ll probably have to file a police report, and to tread carefully .

        1. kitryan*

          But where I disagree, is whether there was sufficient info provided that would have allowed for this kind of more specific advice.

    7. Junior Assistant Peon*

      Your friend is overthinking this. He should just say he accidentally left the laptop on a train, in a coffee shop, etc and nobody turned it in. Happens all the time.

    8. Random Person*

      Yeah, What did the friend want to hear? That it was no big deal and in fact, the company would probably be thrilled he lost his laptop to a kleptomaniac sex worker?!

      1. Ellis Bell*

        Kleptomaniacs don’t steal laptops. When high value items are stolen, it’s really more of a business model kind of thing. (Not a great one, obviously).

    9. Ellis Bell*

      The fact that a police report was filled changes the advice entirely! You would then just say: “My laptop was stolen from my room, which I already reported to police. Here’s the crime number”. Then answer the questions as they come: The employer might ask if it was stolen by a guest; they’re unlikely to ask if it was stolen by a sex worker. Usually companies only care about the details for insurance, which a police report takes care of. It wasn’t a foregone conclusion that a report had already been filed either; honestly my first instinct would be to tell my employer, and ask if they needed one.

  4. El Efanto*

    From #1:
    > she was never taught to manage people (most nurses aren’t)

    Almost no one is! That’s why people turn to Ask a Manager!

    1. Nodramalama*

      What answer did LW #5 want?! I feel like Alison’s response was spot on. Even if it is legal it is likely that the employer will not look kindly on their sensitive work property being stolen by a sex worker

      1. Caliente Papillion*

        Would it being stolen by a non-sex worker be ok? One would assume they just wouldn’t want it stolen by anyone.

        1. Irish Teacher*

          I think it is more that there could be judgement about inviting somebody he didn’t know into his hotel room and then leaving them “alone” with the laptop. Even if that isn’t exactly how it happened (and from the post, it sounds like it wasn’t really), I could see an employer thinking “why did you invite a stranger to your room?”, “if you were going to do that, why didn’t you at least lock the laptop away in a safe/in your suitcase?” and even “well, she must have been alone there a long time in order to find the laptop, take it and leave the room without your noticing.” The last isn’t really true, but people often majorly overestimate how long this stuff takes.

          The fact that it’s a sex worker could be an additional problem if the boss disapproves of sex work, but even apart from that I could easily see a boss reacting differently to “my laptop was stolen from my hotel room by somebody I invited in there” and “my laptop was stolen out of the luggage compartment while I was on the bus.”

          I’d hate to tell my employer my laptop had been stolen while in my possession at all, but I would be particularly worried about saying it had been stolen by somebody I’d invited to my room.

          I’m glad it worked out OK. And yeah, I’m not surprised that somebody who stole from somebody who could likely recognise them in future isn’t exactly a master criminal!

          1. Princesss+Sparklepony*

            I’m not sure but I think sex workers who steal rely on the stigma of hiring sex workers to provide some protection from consequences. People don’t want to publicly admit that they are paying for sex. Or admit to the police or their employers what they were up to. Especially if it’s anything that isn’t plain vanilla.

    2. Ellis Bell*

      I do feel like there are jobs where management is less visibly or ably practiced than others though. I think most jobs have a lack of good management training or principles, but some are circumstantially bad as well. When I’ve worked in offices, if you’re a manager, managing is your only job and while you do some things privately; a lot of your management decisions are pretty transparent. In an office floor environment, or in meetings, the logistics will be discussed, and people coming up behind you into management might be involved in rolling it out. If you’re a good manager, this will be passed on as modelling what to do. I noticed straight away when I went into teaching, that teacher managing is not like that. In teaching, management is done by another teacher, on top of the job of teaching. Their management decisions happen at home after other work is done. Their employees are considered only after their students are looked after. It’s just very, very different and much harder to be a good manager, or to be mentored as a manager because everyone is so scattered, busy and the manager role is on top of everything else. I’m curious if nursing is similar.

  5. Onegmtoanother*

    #1 I work with a lot of healthcare staffing agencies and they are DESPERATE for talent right now. You could probably get a job anywhere you wanted with a massive raise. Literally they’re not even interviewing in some cases. Best of luck!

  6. Quickbeam*

    For OP #1…..I recently retired after 35 years as an RN, my second career. I want you to know I understand and feel your pain. Few people understand the stress of loving work yet being pressed 24/7 to work *more*. My wall of shame include being denied PTO for a class reunion and a family funeral. I had to call in sick for my brother’s wedding. The demands are unceasing. Keep your eyes open, there are lots of opportunities out there!

  7. Swiftie*

    “My friend wasn’t thrilled with your and the readers’ responses.”

    1. Don’t take strangers back to your hotel room without first securing valuables (especially ones like company laptops)
    2. Maybe don’t tell people you failed to do #1 when your company laptop gets stolen
    3. Don’t write into an advice column about how you failed to do #1

    1. Elan Morin Tedronai*

      I’d have told him to say, “Sorry boss, I got hooked when a hooker hooked my company laptop. How do I get off the hook?”

      But I’m a little more evil than the general commentariat, so there you go.

    2. Well...*

      Wow ok so only people who don’t make mistakes are allowed to write in? That minimizes the impact an advice column can have but go off I guess…

      1. Sunwing*

        Obviously everyone is allowed to write into an advice column; the point is don’t be mad about the advice you receive in response to your question. This ‘wasn’t thrilled response’ sounds like the friend was hoping everyone would say it’s fine to lie and sweep the details of the sex worker under the rug when Allison and the comments said they had to be honest. If you can’t accept the advice given, don’t write into an advice blog.

        1. Risha*

          Yeah, I don’t understand what the friend isn’t “thrilled” about. His actions caused the laptop to be stolen. Why wouldn’t you secure all valuables prior to inviting a stranger into your room? If he wants to be upset with someone, he should be upset with himself.

          So many people don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions and want to be soothed even though it was their fault that something happened. When I come across people like that, I just don’t give them any advice despite them asking. I’ll tell them that I hope whatever they decide works for them.

          LW, your friend doesn’t have to take Alison’s advice (or anyone else’s for that matter). Tell him to go ahead and do whatever he wants. He can lie to his employer if he wants. No need to be un-thrilled with the responses here. He can choose to not follow any advice that he doesn’t like. However, I’m wondering if he’s the type usually that doesn’t accept responsibility for his actions.

          1. Well...*

            Woof this is a lot of assumptions. I don’t think anyone wanted soothing, just like, helpful advice. The advice given wasn’t all that helpful in this case (which makes sense because it’s a bit strange, esp from a US point of view, to imagine sex work not being stigmatized more than any other theft)

        2. Well...*

          Lol what? Advice blogs are subject to criticism just like anything else. Also not being thrilled is a far cry from not being able to accept the advice.

          You can’t hold any room for someone wishing they had gotten more useful advice? Really?

    3. Ellis Bell*

      Giving people hindsight advice to redo actions which it is too late to change? That is usually a great way to ensure nobody asks you for advice ever again! It not only renders the advice unusable, it comes across as maddeningly smug even if you think you’re just stating the obvious. You’re also not putting yourself in a sympathetic position should you ever make a mistake yourself.

  8. HearTwoFour*

    OP5, I remember your original letter so I went back and skimmed the comments. What made your friend so unhappy? The majority of the comments thought the situation was fairly neutral, since sex work in your area is legal. I didn’t get a judgemental tone from Alison, either.
    If it was just that people assumed the police hadn’t been called, that’s on you.

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      I went with making sure all necessary authorities had been called first, because it was unclear in the letter if it had been done.
      I’m not sure exactly what was being expected, but alert authorities and fess up with a neutral explanation seemed to be all that was available to OP and their friend.

      1. HearTwoFour*

        This response echoes the majority of comments in message and reaction. I didn’t see anyone shaming, or laughing at the friend. For that reason, this update was a bit jarring, starting out with the friend “wasn’t thrilled” with the responses.
        Perhaps the friend crafted this salacious situation, hoping to cause more drama and pearl-clutching. I suppose if my goal was to offend people and they weren’t offended, I too, might not be thrilled. (?)

    2. Observer**

      I was wondering the same thing.

      Also, I get that LW’s want to leave out irrelevant details. So, even though I wouldn’t have thought that it’s an irrelevant detail, I can understand why this information was not in the original letter. But, it WA NOT THERE. Why on earth would you expect people to have assumed that he notified the police?

      1. Ragged and Rusty*

        I once worked with someone who’s work laptop was stolen out of his car at a gas station and he didn’t call the cops or tell anyone it was missing for 3 days.

        So yeah, I can see not assuming LW’s friend had alerted the authorities.

        There’s also no magic words for this situation. If you leave out that the person invited in was a sex worker it’s “A stranger gained access to my room and robbed me while I was in the shower.” But then you could get in trouble when the company sees the police report with the details.

        1. Observer**

          Well, not necessarily. Because the OP’s friend could probably have said (what it sounds like they wound up saying, more or less) “I invited someone to my room and they stole my laptop while I went to the bathroom.” That’s really enough information for the company IT.

          I *still* think it looks bad for the employee, because it was just bad judgement, but it avoids getting into details that don’t really matter (and that the employer apparently doesn’t want to know.)

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      I agree, this was a great update, and had the benefit of not only appeasing the employee in question but making the whole team more productive. Yay!!

  9. Slow Gin Lizz*

    Oh, James, you dug your own grave there. Wonder if he saw the AAM question and that’s why he sabotaged himself the very next day.

    1. MassMatt*

      James in letter #3 did indeed dig his own grave. People that weaponize what few protections employees have (disability and discrimination) jeopardize those protections for everyone. What’s the likelihood this employer will be willing to take another chance on someone with a disability that needs some accommodation? I won’t shed any tears for James.

  10. J!*

    OP #1, it sounds like you and your coworkers need a union! I’m glad someone speaking up got her to take it down, but yikes.

  11. Risha*

    LW4, I’m glad to hear that you’re working on setting boundaries. It’s difficult at first to set a boundary with pushy people, but it gets easier each time you have to do it. Think of it like this-they are the ones being inappropriate, not you. Just because your coworkers want to be invited to your wedding doesn’t mean you have to invite them. People can want anything, that doesn’t mean they will get it or are entitled to it. Some people are so pushy and intrusive. I cannot imagine asking to be invited to a coworker’s wedding. Moving forward, try to keep more of your personal life out of the work setting, even if it’s something exciting like getting married. As you have seen, some people really lack sense and believe they can intrude on anything.

    It’s extremely important not to tell coworkers anything. Let me tell you a story. Several years ago, my husband and I bought our first home. I was so happy and told some of my coworkers at old job. They actually looked up my home on Zillow to see what it looks like and how much we paid for it. They were making comments about the inground pool and asking to be invited over for a BBQ. They were asking how much we put down and how much is our mortgage. I was so stunned I just stared at them. The nerve of people! When I told them we’re not having any BBQs at the moment but they can come over and help us unpack, they suddenly didn’t want to be invited anymore. The only reason why they even knew my address was because I had to update it with our admin and she shared it with these nosy people.

    I learned my lesson that day. Whenever I speak to my coworkers, I never tell them anything. When they ask how my weekend was, I always say something like “oh it was quiet, just spent the time cleaning up” or something similar. This still makes me appear cordial while I get to maintain my privacy. I wouldn’t tell them my real plans. Try to be friendly enough to not get complaints (believe me that happens) but not let them know anything about you. They’re only coworkers, not friends.

    1. raincoaster*

      “ I told them we’re not having any BBQs at the moment but they can come over and help us unpack.”

      You are a legend!

      1. Risha*

        Thank you lol. But I was so pissed that day and when I said that, it came out in such a way that they could probably tell I was annoyed. I would never even think of doing that level of intrusiveness to a coworker. Nowadays, I’m cordial but distant with coworkers.

  12. raincoaster*

    #3 was so, so satisfying. You should do an Ask The Readers post about which posts they’d most like to see updates to!

  13. TayLovesTacos*

    LW#3–This is a perfect example of play stupid games, win stupid prizes! I’m glad it was quickly resolved for you!

Comments are closed.