my company pays my rent and they keep forgetting, talking to your boss about the Adderall shortage, and more

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

1. Is this a red flag from a new hire?

I’ve been the manager of an IT Help Desk for about nine months in my first managerial role. Recently, I hired on a new senior technician (let’s call him Joel) to assist and mentor my three support technicians and take some projects off of my plate.

Joel is really smart and has been a great addition to the office these past couple weeks, but he’s getting a little restless with how undeveloped some of our systems are that he has to work with. This is a known problem, my predecessor really dropped the ball at keeping the organization up to date, and we’ve been doing a lot of catch up since I got here, but we’re slowly establishing better standards and practices, and building a lot of that infrastructure.

Joel, however, is a little blunt and said to me this morning in a chat that “honestly, he doesn’t want me to think he’s abandoning us, but if a spot opens up on our related but separate system infrastructure team, he will be applying,” and expressed that he doesn’t understand why his current position couldn’t include some type of hybrid with that team already.

It can to some extent, and I told him this. We’re meeting tomorrow to discuss more. But the point of the position he’s in is to help mentor the younger technicians and to use his experience to address some of the more complex tickets they can’t handle, and I need him to focus on this. I also took this a little personally, because it was a level of bluntness I was not expecting, we’ve tried to be very open and accommodating to him, and it took months to hire someone for this role, during which time, I was doing both jobs.

Is this a red flag behavior two weeks in? Or am I overreacting?

I don’t think it’s a red flag about Joel himself, just that he’s not happy with the job so far. But that’s an important thing for you to know, so it’s good that he told you and that the two of you are scheduled to talk about it more.

It’s pretty normal for people not to know exactly what a job will be like until they’re in it, and Joel sounds like he’s realizing things about the position that he didn’t know before coming onboard (and who knows, maybe he wouldn’t have taken the job if he’d known those things earlier). You’re understandably frustrated because you spent months hiring for the job, while being overworked because of the vacancy, and now only two weeks in you’re hearing you might have to start that all over. But that’s not Joel’s fault — if the job doesn’t suit him, it’s better to figure that out now.

When you meet with him, the best thing you can do is to approach it collaboratively: here’s what I need, here’s what you need, and let’s figure out if there’s a way to get both our needs met. If there are ways to tweak the job to make it work better for him (like the hybrid idea he floated), talk about those. (One caution: you should be realistic about the fact that you might lose Joel if he concludes the job isn’t right for him, but you also shouldn’t agree to things in the interest of keeping him that would be real problems for your team — like if you really need someone doing X full-time, don’t agree to make X part-time unless you have some other plan to get the rest of X done … or unless you conclude that making X part-time really would be better than having the position vacant again for Y months.)

But don’t blame Joel for what he said. It’s bad luck when this happens, but it’s a good thing that he’s being transparent with you.

2. My company pays my rent — and they keep forgetting

I work overseas, and part of my deal is that my company helps me cover the rent in this country. It’s about a 50/50 split, and my half comes from paycheck contributions — so they withhold many hundreds of dollars from each check, combine it with their own contribution, and the finance department sends the money over to my leasing agency. They set it up this way to entice people to make the move, and it makes it easier for local landlords to accept us when we arrive.

Only twice now in the last few months, my company hasn’t paid my rent. So I’ve had to scramble to a) transfer thousands of dollars to the local currency, and then b) expense that money back so I get it refunded. Today they apologized, but they have been dodging emails asking for updates about what happened and also about how I can get reimbursed. (The last time involved a new process and a few too many steps that didn’t used to be there.)

I’m having a hard time figuring out how angry to be about this situation. It’s a gigantic global corporation. I know they’re not broke, so it’s not a cash-flow issue. It’s just that the department in charge of this HUGE PART OF MY LIFE is very bad at their jobs. I am outraged, but no one else seems to be. My immediate boss has my back, but it’s not like he can fix this broken department either.

So help me out here: this is nuts, right?

Yes. One mistake, fine — not great, but mistakes happen. But twice?! They should be treating it with urgency and figuring out how to ensure it doesn’t happen again (and how to assure you that it won’t). The fact that they’re being so passive about fixing it is more infuriating than the mistake itself.

Can your boss escalate this for you? It also sounds like you or he should stop sending emails (which are more easily ignored) and start calling — get an actual person on the phone and find out how they’re going to fix this.

One thing you might request: since this has now happened twice and has caused you major inconvenience each time — and is a breach of their agreement with you — would they be willing to pre-pay your rent for the year? Or at least a larger chunk at a time?

3. Should I let my boss know I’m struggling with ADHD because of the Adderall shortage?

I was diagnosed with ADHD in my mid-20s and have been prescribed Adderall for the past few years. While I have always been a high performer despite my ADHD, Adderall made a huge difference in my day to day ability to work more effectively.

Unfortunately, there’s a severe Adderall shortage. A few months ago, I started experiencing problems trying to get my prescription filled, but was able to call around and find it. Now, the shortage is so severe my doctor has had to switch me to an alternative medication. It’s still early, but it’s not having nearly the same effects and I’m really struggling with concentration and prioritization of tasks.

Understanding that this is (hopefully) temporary, should I bring this up to my boss? Teammates? I’m not particularly shy about sharing this type of information, but I know there is some stigma around stimulant use (and also maybe even wades into ADHD as a formal disability, which I’ve never really disclosed).

You can let your boss know the essential part of what’s going on — which is that you’re working with your doctor on getting a condition treated — without disclosing specifics. Otherwise, with ADHD and other conditions that get stigmatized, there’s too much risk that your boss will start to see everything you do through the lens of your ADHD, even if only unconsciously (for example, seeing a small mistake as a sign of ongoing disorganization when she otherwise would have given you the benefit of the doubt).

You could say this: “I want to let you know that I’m working with my doctor on a medication switch and it’s taking some experimentation, so if you notice me seeming off my usual game, that’s why. I’m actively working on it and hopeful it’ll be resolved soon.” There’s no need to disclose more than that.

4. What’s up with job postings disappearing within 24-48 hours?

I’m currently on the job hunt in a competitive, creative industry. But repeatedly, I’m running into a frustrating situation: the job posting I’m hoping to apply for disappears in 24-48 hours. What’s up with this? And why don’t most job listings mention when they will close? I follow your advice on resumes and cover letters, so even if I can prepare my application the day I see it, I often like to review everything the following day. I’ve spent probably 12 hours at this point on applications I couldn’t submit.

Sometimes it’s because they got flooded with applicants in the first day or two and only feel they need X number of people in their candidate pool, especially if they see they already have a bunch of strong people in there. I don’t think this is good hiring in most cases (you want the best person you can get, not just the best person from the first day of applications — and strong candidates who aren’t as actively looking often apply later in the process) but people do it.

Other times it’s because they already have an internal candidate they want to hire and they’re just going through the motions by posting the job (often because their internal rules require it, although this obviously isn’t in the spirit of that policy). Other times the position is pulled because something changed — they need to tweak the job description, or someone on that team just resigned and now they’re reconfiguring both positions, or they have a hiring freeze, or they’re allocating the budget somewhere else.

Job postings often don’t include deadlines because there isn’t a hard and fast one; the job will be open until it’s filled, or until there are enough strong people in the pool.

{ 303 comments… read them below }

  1. Same*

    OP3, take it from me and my hard earned experience: do NOT tell your boss about your ADHD.

    An ex-boss who forced me to disclose my ADHD illegally fired me over it, and while I got a settlement and they had to sign an NDA, it took months and was horribly stressful.

    Basically the only time it might be safe to disclose is if your boss has it, too.

    1. Mid*

      I don’t want to pretend it’s always safe to disclose specific medical conditions, but I also don’t want everyone to think that it’s always a bad idea.

      I’ve disclosed at my last three jobs that I have ADHD. One was a retail job, one was a very small company (less than 15 people) and one was a large international company. In none of those jobs did I have any backlash or retaliation. All of them were supportive, and it helped give context to some weird behavior they were seeing from me (when there were med shortages, when I had to change meds, when I changed insurance, etc. and it impacted my work performance.)

      This is a “your mileage may vary” situation for sure, but there’s a strong tendency to only share the worst cases, and not the good outcomes. Many companies won’t risk illegally firing someone so blatantly, and many are actually supportive beyond that.

      1. Fikly*

        Here’s the thing though: there’s absolutely no way to know before you disclose if it’s safe to do so. You can see all the green flags in the world, including other coworkers being treated well, and still end up with horrible consequences for yourself.

        Most companies will do anything illegal they think they can get away with, and the rest will do illegal things they don’t realize are illegal. And it’s incredibly hard to prove that you’ve been fired illegally when there’s no need to fire someone due to cause.

        1. Happy meal with extra happy*

          Nope, your second paragraph isn’t true. Most companies are not doing whatever illegal actions they can get away with.

          1. allathian*

            Yes, this. Some obviously will, but others will do more than the law requires because whatever it is aligns with their values. This may include supporting neurodivergent employees.

          2. Same*

            I worked in employment law for a long time. Unfortunately, Fikly was spot on with their comment, based on my experience.

            1. Harper the Other One*

              Wouldn’t that be a case or confirmation bias though? Working in employment law you naturally see the companies who are breaking that law, because people don’t get involved with employment lawyers when everything is great!

              1. WellRed*

                Yeah, I think it’s a stretch to say most companies are willing to do anything illegal if they can. I agree they may not realize it when they are doing something illegal.

              2. redflagday701*

                I would believe selection bias is at play, but also that working in employment law would give you a good cross-section of employers to gauge trends from. And the trend — at least in the U.S., and I assume plenty of other countries — is for businesses to maximize their gains in whatever ways they can get away with. There’s a reason wage theft is by far the largest form of theft and that offenders are rarely held accountable.

                1. Happy meal with extra happy*

                  You don’t get a good cross-section – you only hear from people who are upset about their jobs and you have no clue about the countless other places of employment. It’s like concluding from this website (which, honestly some people do) that based on the letters here, the vast majority of employers suck.

              3. Smithy*

                I think a big part of this is around what they do and do not realize is illegal, even if it doesn’t come from a place of malice. While Elon Musk’s current behavior around labor law as peak employment malice may be coming to mind – I’ve known far more “oopsie” running afoul of employment law that’s hurt employees.

                In one case it was a woman hired for a job she was promised up and down that OF COURSE they could get her a work visa for the US. She quits her job, starts working “as a consultant” for the US organization, gets a home in the US and is actively move her things when she gets the “oops, we were wrong – can’t get you a visa and technically haven’t really been working with you in the most above board way for the past six months. Sorry!!”

                It’s that same impulse of thinking you can skirt paying taxes on employee bonuses if you give them as Visa gift cards and in a parking lot off company property. The thinking of ask for forgiveness and not permission, but regarding employees with less power and money than management has.

                1. I am Emily's failing memory*

                  Still, the comment above claiming that “most” companies knowingly violate the law is exaggerating the discussion, unless the caveat “if they think they can get away with it” is supposed to be accounting for all the companies who from a pure risk management standpoint just follow the law because they’re not willing to gamble on whether or not they will get caught.

                  Yes, there are some corporations who retain lawyers to help them avoid getting caught, but a lot more who retain lawyers to make sure they don’t accidentally run afoul of any laws, and a lot who break them law out of ignorance because they don’t have lawyers retained to catch their mistakes.

                  I’ll grant that many in the third group are still knowingly being crappy because they mistakenly believe the law doesn’t restrain them (hello half the small businesses with tyrannical owner-founders I’ve known), but that’s different than saying they knowingly break the law because they don’t think they’ll get caught.

                2. Starbuck*

                  Honestly, I think most employers DO violate laws – we know, for example, that the biggest form of theft in the country by dollar value is wage theft, and it’s not even close. Overtime and break violations are pretty widespread, in some industries it’s the norm. A lot of it is ignorance of protections, and a lot is just not seeing those things as serious enough to bother with because that’s just how it’s done.

              4. Same*

                You ask a fair question, but to be honest, no. It is extremely common at almost all employers, large and small, and that includes most law firms.

                Employment law doesn’t exist because all the good employers decided, out of the goodness of their hearts, to make it fairer for the rest of us. These protections were won at great cost, and there are also constant attempts by employers and their lobby groups to wind these protections back.

                People who have worked at places where they haven’t had their rights violated fall into two main groups: the very lucky, and those who don’t actually realise what’s been done to them.

            2. Happy meal with extra happy*

              1) This is such selection bias – of course you’re going to see the worst cases. But unless you’re filing suits on behalf of everyone in your area, I don’t know how you’re qualified to say that.

              2) Funnily, I was also an employment law attorney for a short period of time. All I can conclude from my experience is only a fraction of the potential new clients who called us actually had scenarios where the employer possibly broke the law. I’m not talking about situations where it may have been a case but would have been too difficult to prove. I’m talking about cases where if we could prove everything the person said was true, there still would be no legal case.

              1. Willow Pillow*

                You have your own selection bias in the cases you see. Multiple employers have discriminated against me under similar circumstances (autism instead of ADHD). I haven’t pursued any of them legally, however, as I was able to fight it directly and I have always had to choose being able to pay my bills over a prolonged retraumatization via legal battle. I have heard similar stories from way too many others to count, and that’s assuming they have the resources to to obtain a formal diagnosis.

                I wouldn’t say every employer is trying to do something illegal, more that they’re trying to do the least they are required to do. It has definitely been true in my experience that people don’t know they’re acting illegally, however.
                That’s worse in a way, however – people can get super fragile being told that their good intentions are having the opposite effect. I would love to see you buck that trend as I tell you that you’re only adding to that bias against autism and ADHD affecting every aspect of our lives.

                1. Happy meal with extra happy*

                  I’m not quite sure what you mean by saying that I’m adding to bias against People with autism and/or ADHD? I’m only pushing back against the initial statement that all employers are breaking the law (or, in other words, that no operation is functioning legally).

                  As I said in my comment you responded to, most of the calls we got had no legal basis. I’m not including calls we got where people were fired or treated poorly due to disclosed disabilities in the “no legal basis” group – that’s a legal basis and likely correct, though incredibly difficult to prove.

                2. Willow Pillow*

                  I am sure you have good intentions in advocating for your profession, but you’re inserting yourself in a conversation where people are saying “disclosing my disability has harmed me, this is my lived experience” to nitpick a small facet of the commentary. You even did so in response to someone with significantly more experience in your area than you have. You’re implicitly communicating that whether mistreatment is outright illegal is more important to you than the fact that said mistreatment is widespread.

                  I read and understand what you’re trying to say, and I reiterate that you have your own confirmation bias.

          3. Kev*

            The point Fikly is making is that disclosing a mental health condition is very risky and there’s a power imbalance between employee and employer.

            1. laser99*

              Yes, exactly. When I was diagnosed with ADHD all I heard was,”Oh, EVERYONE has that now!!!” as if it were a fad. Experience has taught me not to reveal anything at work that can be used against me.

            1. ofotherworlds*

              To clairify,I have ADHD, Autism, and OCD severe enough that I need to disclose and ask for accommodations. About 20% of people discriminate against me. But another 20% goes above and beyond to help me. And the remaining 60% do their best to comply with the law without doing anything extra.

        2. just talk to people*

          I’d add onto this by saying, it’s not just a matter of protecting against retaliation or illegal actions but also against human error/people being people. Disclosing mental health/disability problems can irrevocably alter the way people think about and relate to you.

          I disclosed mental health problems in my work place last year, specifically 1) because my supervisors were kind people who I didn’t fear retaliation from, 2) because there was a culture of other people at my same level disclosing. I wasn’t discriminated against, but the disclosure didn’t help how my supervisors perceived me, how they related to me, or how I chose to relate to them.

          I won’t say people should never disclose –– obviously there’s folks in this thread who disclosure has worked for –– but the possible outcomes are way more widespread and intangible than concrete disadvantages, such as firing, missed promotion, etc.

          1. EPLawyer*

            Yeah. I would not discriminate if someone disclosed ADHD. But, I am human and as Alison said I might start seeing everything as an ADHD thing. I won’t mean to, but I might. Even something as simple as asking instead of the person raising it, do they need an accomodation when its just one of those days that we all have.

          2. Smithy*

            Yeah, it brings to mind the recent trend of the last few years of “X is a sign of undiagnosed neurodivergent diagnoses” or “Y is a trauma response” on social media.

            It’s not that all of those videos highlight symptoms that aren’t associated with diagnoses like ADHD or PTSD, but en masse can serve to make it seem like everything you do is a symptom. I am a woman and work on a team of mostly women in an industry heavily composed of women. And woman who on average would identify themselves as feminists. But it doesn’t mean we aren’t challenged with issues of patriarchy around women at work on our team and in our sector.

            One way I’ve seen cut across a number of groups that can be marginalized (i.e. women, mothers, the disabled, etc.) is a move by managers to not assign as much or as many high profile projects or tasks to someone. It’s a proactive decision made based on the perception of how much work they have the bandwidth to take on. And when this is egregious it’s far easier to catch and push back on. But very often it’s far more subtle – where two tasks are assigned but one comes with business travel and the other doesn’t. One task requires managing a team of 6, the second has a team of 2.

            As a one off, no big deal. The second time, the project with the team of 2 was of a more interesting subject matter. And so it takes a longer time to realize that over time, you’re getting assigned less prestigious work and on a slower path to promotion. Or have been moved off the promotion path entirely and siloed as an individual contributor without a growth path.

            1. OfOtherWorlds*

              Here’s a complication… I have autism, ADHD, and OCD, and they are severe enough that I will not be successful in a full time job without formal ADA accommodations. I don’t have a choice about disclosing since I need to request accommodations – in fact my most recent job was found through a state department of vocational rehabilitation. I of course want my employer to take my disability into account when assigning work so that I don’t end up with an assignment that’s impossible for me. Of course, I don’t want someone higher functioning than I am deprived of opportunities they could succeed in just because I couldn’t do them. Having someone who doesn’t need to disclose their ADHD disclose it could help me by giving me someone I know is an ally. But someone who doesn’t need my accommodations doesn’t need to be compared to me, and I don’t need to be compared to them either. So if you don’t think your employer is up to treating people with the same diagnosis differently, then not disclosing your ADHD publicly is probably better for the both of us. Please do tell me privately though, I hate feeling alone.

              1. Rach*

                I hear you and am in a similar position. My manager when I first disclosed (which I did out of necessity) was awful (not on purpose, he just was a bad fit) but my new manager is awesome, recognizes my contributions and we’ve been able to create a great little disability friendly bubble in my tends-to-be-toxic job (STEM field). Disclosing is a risk, some have to take that risk and sometimes it pays off (I hate that it doesn’t always).

                1. Varthema*

                  Hi OOW, I hear you. I’m diagnosed AuDHD but am an A+ masker, and I disclosed at work. It was indirectly, through a townhall presentation on neurodivergence in which I used “we” a lot when referring to ND people, but think it was pretty clear. I felt a little bit weird about it, almost fradulent since I’m one of the lucky ones who doesn’t need accommodations, but I was thinking along your lines. It’s something I can do from my position of privilege and safety (my manager and skip-manager are really good people whom I have a great relationship with) to help normalize neurodivergence in my whole company so that someone who feels less safe doesn’t have to be the first.

          3. Zweisatz*

            Yeah, people don’t need to be doing anything actionable or bad, but can still have their view of you colored by the disclosure.
            Maybe they will skip you with a tough project because they think it’s too hard right now. Maybe anytime somebody else is sick it’s neutral, but every time you get sick it means something.

            I’m not advocating against any disclosure ever, it’s a personal decision. But I hold it like Alison: Keep it vague and, if possible, also a temporary matter (in what you communicate, even if it’s chronic).
            I also recommend going back later and closing the loop with “Remember the thing we discussed? Yeah it is resolved now.”

        3. Delta Delta*

          Or, they’ll do things just in the wrong way. I worked with a great guy who had ADHD and he disclosed it. Big Boss swung the complete opposite way and literally let everything slide with him because he was afraid if he created any sort of accommodation it would look discriminatory. Coworker’s office frequently looked like three hurricanes went through, he blew deadlines, and he did other things that made more work for everyone. When there were legitimate issues with this, Big Boss would just say, “it’s just his personality and I can’t do anything about it” as a way of creating an accommodation. That’s… not effective. (And yes, former coworker is legitimately a great guy and when he went to a workplace with proper accommodations he totally flourished)

          1. ferrina*

            Yeah, I think more often the danger is individuals who have no training on how to respond to these situations. I opted not to disclose to a manager who herself had ADHD, because she tended to compare people that she saw as similar to herself with herself (so if I had ADHD, clearly she should expect the same of me as she does of herself, even though I had 10 years less experience). The company itself tries to be supportive, but it’s made up of individuals who have very little training in these things.

      2. Mrs. Cookie Monster*

        I’ve been fairly open at work about my ADHD, and with the medication shortage I’ve felt the need to give a head’s up as well to my boss and a few other people I closely work with that I’m a little off my game. I’m sure reactions vary a lot by company, but it felt like the right thing for me because 1) I’m fairly high up in the organization and have been there almost 10 years; and 2) I work in the behavioral health field, including with many people who are in recovery from substance use disorder, so disclosure feels like an important, and not uncommon, step towards destigmatization.

        Like Mid said above, you need to consider your own context – particularly your previous performance and the culture of your company – but I wouldn’t necessarily feel like ADHD is something you need to discuss differently from any other health issue.

        1. Grandma*

          Remember not so long ago when ADHD/ADD was considered by the medical profession as only a children’s issue, that no adult ever had ADHD-that any adult looking for Ritalin was just a druggie looking for an excuse? I’m not sure that assessment has entirely left the planet.

          1. I have RBF*

            True. One person I know recently had an intro with a psych who considered ADHD only a kids thing. He’s an adult, and has been on meds for years.

            I had an ADHD Dx as kid. I was told that it went away when you were an adult. It did not, I just learned ways around it, but it has had lifelong impact on my work and ability to get promoted. It ruined my ability to get a degree, although I tried.

            I’m not on medication, although I probably should be.

            1. Caroline*

              Then surely… going on the medication would be a good thing? If you’ve been diagnosed, then that diagnosis has not changed, surely?

              I get that as people mature and (in theory) learn ways to manage their flavour of ADD, which is clearly also a spectrum, so some people will struggle really badly and globally, while others may not have such an issue in ways that make adulting massively more difficult than usual, but the diagnosis never goes away.

        2. Rainy*

          This has been my experience as well. I was diagnosed last year, in my late 40s, and had a lengthy track record at my current employer of being a high performer (and being very reliable and responsible), and I’m pretty open. I work in higher ed, though, and I think that makes a difference. As with you, though, disclosure feels like an important step towards destigmatization–it didn’t cost me anything and it may make an important difference in the future for someone else.

          I had trouble getting my meds a month or two ago and I was out for about 5 days, 3 of which were work days, and I kept it together at work but it was so much harder than I remember it being before meds.

        3. But what to call me?*

          Similar with me and ASD. I work in a disability-related field, so disclosure for me is partially about advocacy. The people around me should also have some idea what my disability does and doesn’t mean, and if they’re wrong about that I’m happy to educate them, because they need to know this stuff.

          However, it doesn’t hurt that I’m a knowledgeable, competent, reasonably well-liked employee in a field with a serious graduate school bottleneck problem that means pretty much everyone everywhere can’t find as many of us to hire as they’d like to, so they’d be shooting themselves in the foot to either fire me or make me want to leave. And I’ve got enough accomplishments and specialized knowledge behind me now that it’s hard to see it as something that keeps me from doing my job.

          But I am aware that even in this context I’m setting myself up to work harder on my professional image than I otherwise would have to. I’ve chosen to because 1) advocacy and 2) I’ve spent my whole life trying and failing to look neurotypical, and things have gone a whole lot better since I’ve been able to say “hey yeah I can totally do this supposedly easy thing you asked me to do, but in order to do it I need *this* because *this*, so I’ll just do that and have what you asked for done in a moment, thanks.”

          It’s definitely a risk, and more of one the less secure you are in your position, and probably one some people in some contexts shouldn’t take, but it’s not such a ‘no never do that ever’ thing as it sometimes gets presented here.

      3. Zombeyonce*

        I’m another case of successfully disclosing ADHD. While of course there’s some risk and it really depends on your boss/employer, it’s not always doom and gloom. I didn’t disclose this at my current job until I had been there awhile and proven myself. I didn’t disclose for accommodations but to personally advocate for other neurodivergent people using our product to make it more accessible.

        My boss (and the one previous that I also disclosed to) and my coworkers have all been incredibly supportive. I’ve also heard from more than one person on the wider team with questions about getting diagnosed and tips on working successfully with ADHD, plus questions from parents on my team w/neurodivergent kids. Though it’s not right for everyone, for me, disclosing has been a really positive experience.

      4. Linda Evangelista*

        I came here to say this. I’ve received nothing but total understanding and zero stigma when disclosing my ADHD at my current job, and (I’m pretty sure) it’s also a protected disability under the ADA. You’ll know best whether you’re in a safe place to disclose. I’ve been lucky the shortage hasn’t affected me tremendously yet, but I know I could speak up if and when it does.

        1. Eldritch Office Worker*

          It is, but if employers are going to be shady the ADA doesn’t necessarily mean much.

          I also freely disclose I have ADHD – frankly because I don’t want to work somewhere where that would be an issue. And I have a professional background where I feel well educated on how to protect myself and others. The shortage is definitely impacting people in my office and I make sure they have safe ways to talk about it if they aren’t comfortable fully disclosing.

          I think that we should share our good experiences, but I also don’t want to swing the pendulum too far – because if you aren’t 100% sure how you’re employer will react, it is a real risk.

        2. ferrina*

          I’ve had good experience, but I’m also very picky about who I disclose to. I generally don’t tell bosses- I don’t have any accommodations that they could help with, and I don’t want them to mentally be wondering if any issues are related to the ADHD. Like if I didn’t respond to that email because I got distracted. Or did I drop the ball on X because ADHD? (no, I’m working on it and it’s going as predicted, so no discussions outside of planned communications).

          I will occasionally tell colleagues. Most recently a colleague who was struggling disclosed he has ADHD (I already strongly suspected it), and I shared that I did as well. I was in a mentoring role, and it was great for him to have someone who got it and had been through some of the same struggles. I also speak with enough knowledge about certain things that it’s fairly obvious I have personal experience.

          Part of it is that while my ADHD is integral to me, there’s also other aspects of me that are integral that I don’t want to share. I had a crappy childhood that gave me cPTSD, which will occasionally flare up, or I’ll run into a weird maladaptive habit that I developed in childhood out of necessity. No one wants to talk about traumatic childhoods at work (including me), so I leave that part under wraps, but it intertwines with my ADHD in my personal history.

      5. Freya*

        I’m an HR manager in a department of one (small 150 person company). I have openly disclosed my ADHD to our owners, my management team, and employees when relevant. I also tell them that I am in therapy and taking anti-anxiety meds (when relevant).

        I do this because I know I am in a position of power and have proven myself to be a good employee regardless of my diagnosis.

        I want to model that ADHD should not be stigmatized and is deserving of accommodations and understanding just like every other disorder or illness.

        1. ferrina*

          My boss recently disclosed her anxiety to her team. She’s an amazing boss, and I appreciate her disclosing (it also wasn’t a big surprise- I have a close friend with chronic anxiety, and my boss had a couple habits that mirrored my friend’s coping techniques).

          This conversation has me wondering if I should disclose. I’m in a role where I could be a role model and promote visibility, but I’m also scared that if I do disclose, any future mistakes I make will be “because ADHD”. I want to be judged on my work, not my health.

          1. Freya*

            I think it really depends on the context. I only do it when it seems relevant.

            For my boss (our President/owner), I told her when I was first starting on Adderall so she could understand if I was suddenly improving in areas or if anything I was doing changed. I was already 1.5 years into my role, so I had proven that I could do my job without issue.

            For my management team, I’ve brought it up during our monthly team discussions when we discussed how we as individuals prefer communication or processes to be taken care of. I disclosed and then stated that email is my preferred communication style because I can remember to get back to them despite constant interruptions.

            For employees, I typically disclose in 1:1 settings when they are upset about something at work, or talking about their own mental health/medical issues. I disclose to help them feel more comfortable with talking to me and just working at our company in general.

            So far, I’ve only received grateful or understanding responses.

          2. Rach*

            My boss disclosed his anxiety to me, and it really helps me feel ok discussing ng ADA accomodations (he doesn’t need accomodations).

      6. Theon, Theon, it rhymes with neon*

        I can name 4 people in my part of the org, including my boss, who have disclosed their ADHD, and I’m used to hearing from people that they’ll be less than totally productive until the Adderall shortage at their local pharmacy is resolved. I can also name people with executive functioning disorder, depression, anxiety, OCD, speech processing disorder, and dyslexia. I’m starting to feel like an exception in that I *don’t* have neurological or psychiatric issues. And the more people disclose this information, the more other people are comfortable doing the same. So it can go well.

        I’ve also seen a different boss decide that being out about your depression and having work-related complaints meant that he was off the hook for addressing the work-related issues, and he could just tell you to go on FMLA. So it can also go badly. You have to know your audience.

      7. ToS*

        For the mileage-may-vary, if someone in HR or a similar non-supervisory area works with accommodations – they can be a buffer, so the supervisor knows this is legit. The accommodation person can also caution your boss into not reading too much into this – it’s temporary.

        Frankly, employers who need focused workers should be lobbying for the shortage to end – it’s like sending people to work without their glasses on!

        Yes, there are is more demand this long after C19 has been on the scene. More mental health challenges, addressing short term and long term brain fog because C19 affects neurological functions, an aging baby boomer population, and all of this is on top of the existing ADHD academic support.

    2. Tiger Snake*

      I feel for what you’ve experienced, but I don’t think just Never Disclosing is the right option. Effective, what OP3 is describing is that they have a medical conditions that impacts their work, and they need work accommodations for when medication isn’t available.

      Regardless of what the condition is in question, having ‘as needed’ accommodations is a perfectly reasonable expectation to be able to work with your manager on. Plenty of managers are able to do that, but many companies need some sort of declaration to cover their side legally about what accommodations they can offer.

      A bad company will exploit every loophole they can. A bad manager will judge and target you. But silence prevents a good manager from being able to give you the consideration that you’d be due if only you gave them the information to let them help.

      1. yala*

        Yeah, tbh, disclosing is what let me keep my job, and what got me the accommodations that help me actually perform up to par.

    3. Kat*

      Unless I have to be out for an extended time, I’d never tell my employer about my medical conditions. They can and will use it against you at times no matter the law.

      1. Sylvan*


        They might have what appears to be a positive response when you disclose it. But later, the information may still affect their view of you negatively. I’ve been through this with ADHD and other conditions multiple times.

      2. Elitst Semicolon*

        In my previous position, I went abroad on a program with my supervisor, who was also a good friend. While I was there, I unexpectedly experienced a minor but unpleasant health issue that affected my overall mood, and she noticed this. Because we had a good working relationship and because I thought she’d be compassionate as a friend (…and because she pushed), I told her more than I would ordinarily tell an employer. She responded by accusing me of “hiding a dangerous medical condition” and “being crazy” (her words, not mine) and told me she’d never consider me for the program again because of my “condition.” It took me another few years to get out of that job but we never had the same relationship and I never trusted her either professionally or personally after that. Everyone’s situation is different and anecdotes ≠ data, but my point is that even employers/supervisors you assume will be supportive can surprise you in the wrong way.

        1. Willow Pillow*

          This. Disclosure is incredibly high-risk. There is a lot of privilege in being not needing to disclose, and we need more neurodivergent people to be out to help society catch up to the concept of neurodiversity, but no individual is obliged to put their safety and livelihood at risk for those goals.

    4. Chick (on laptop)*

      Yup. I have ADHD and would wholeheartedly agree with this. Too many people who don’t try to understand it, it’s not worth taking that risk.

    5. Luna Lovegood*

      I wouldn’t disclose my ADHD unless I needed formal accommodations that I couldn’t successfully do my job without. When I feel off my game, I am tempted to explain why, but most people don’t understand ADHD — I didn’t until I was diagnosed as an adult. When I forget to send an email or take a little longer to finish something now, my boss assumes there is a good reason for it (and probably doesn’t even notice a lot of the time). If I disclosed, it probably wouldn’t add any benefit, but it might make her notice occasional mistakes or delays that wouldn’t have been an issue otherwise. As a high performer and perfectionist I want to explain why when I’m not at 100%, but it probably won’t help with even the most supportive bosses unless they’re already concerned about my work.

      1. anonymous brain*

        I can’t help but wonder if people who have successfully disclosed are not from underrepresented groups. I would personally not disclose, because I already have other areas in which I lack privilege.

        The other major issue is that you can’t un-disclose. Once you disclose it’s like a Schrodenger’s Pandora’s box: it could be fine or terrible,but if it’s terrible, there’s no going back… or it could be fine until your boss leaves and someone horrible comes in to replace them, etc.

        1. BuckeyeIT*

          Oh, exactly this! Once the cat is out of the bag, you can’t shove it back in.

          Prior to disclosing I was temporarily filling a role & told I’d get it permanently, which was a promotion. Not long after I had to disclose and suddenly I was passed over for someone far less qualified. When asking why or how I could improve-“officially it’s seniority. Off the record- I didn’t think I could trust you with your mental health issues”. I had been 100% sure that this boss would be supportive when I informed her of my ADHD & depression. Now I won’t disclose unless I’m to the point of needing official accommodations because historically for me it’s had negative consequences.

        2. Rach*

          I’m a white woman in a male dominated STEM field. So, yes, disclosing felt extra risky but I had to to get accomodations. I’m now on our disability ERG board and try to help others in my org.

        3. Mid*

          I mean, I’m not a straight, white, financially privileged male, and I do work in an industry that is heavily dominated by that demographic. I am aware of the risks that comes with disclosing, but I’m also aware of the risks that not disclosing has. And, I am fortunate enough to have skills that make me widely employable, and am willing and able to leave a company if there is backlash to my disclosing. I won’t pretend I don’t have a lot of privilege in that.

    6. Avril Ludgateaux*

      Basically the only time it might be safe to disclose is if your boss has it, too.

      Not even then. Plenty of people have a perspective of “I can handle [condition] just fine, so you should be able to, too.”

      I think the only safe time to disclose is when you know the person you are speaking to is wholly (key word: not selectively) empathetic and trustworthy. I hate to say this, because disability and neurodiversity empowerment is one of the things I am actively engaged in, including through work. There is the answer I want to give based on the world I want to live in – you should always be open about your disability and/or neurodiversity in order to normalize differences and eliminate stigma! – and there is the answer I have to give based on the world we do live in – you have to make decisions to protect yourself, and that often means keeping personal details (such as health, mental health, disability, etc.) close to the vest.

      1. Nameo*

        I agree with all of this. My partner and I both have ADD, and sometimes I still find myself thinking, “I can do X with no problem, why can’t they??” I have to remind myself that our nuerodivergence manifests differently, duh – but I would be very wary to trust that a manager with ADD would do the same for their employee.

        That said, I DID disclose my ADD at my last company, as I was successful in my role and I had seen the company be very supportive of others with ADD. I didn’t need accommodations, I just wanted to decrease stigma and relate better to some of our clients. It worked out really well in that case, but the risks of disclosure always need to be weighed carefully

    7. H3llifIknow*

      This comment and others like it really have me baffled, TBH. My husband, son and daughter ALL have ADHD and all take either Adderall or Vyvance for it. They’ve all been very open with their employers (in one case, the govt since there’s a clearance involved) and there’s been literally barely a raised eyebrow. It is SO common. In fact usually it was “yeah my XYZ has it too and meds are a godsend for him/her” type of response. I can’t even imagine why a boss would CARE about ADHD let alone FIRE someone over it. It’s not like you’re a heroin addict who might start stealing cash to support a habit, or saying, “Hey so thought I should let you know I’m a paranoid schizophrenic who occasionally hears voices telling me to hurt people, and you’re often that person… so… ” where there might be a “holy crap” response. It’s… ADHD… I really hope the “bad reaction” stories are from years ago when maybe it was less understood than it is now.

    8. H3llifIknow*

      This comment and others like it really have me baffled, TBH. My husband, son and daughter ALL have ADHD and all take either Adderall or Vyvance for it. They’ve all been very open with their employers (in one case, the govt since there’s a clearance involved) and there’s been literally barely a raised eyebrow. It is SO common. In fact usually it was “yeah my XYZ has it too and meds are a godsend for him/her” type of response. I can’t even imagine why a boss would CARE about ADHD let alone FIRE someone over it. It’s not like you’re a heroin addict who might start stealing cash to support a habit, or saying, “Hey so thought I should let you know I’m a paranoid schizophrenic who occasionally hears voices telling me to hurt people, and you’re often that person… so… ” where there might be a “holy crap” response. It’s… ADHD… I really hope the “bad reaction” stories are from years ago when maybe it was less understood than it is now. And to be clear I am NOT trying to downplay anyone’s experience… I’m just honestly baffled because it’s SO counter to what *I* have seen and it seems such overreaction. It’s not like ADHD makes people violent; I just don’t get the … bias … It’s weird.

      1. H3llifIknow*

        Ok somehow I submitted when I was doing something else before finishing my thought and then … submitted again? Excuse the almost duplicate post!

        1. anonymous brain*

          It really varies by employer and culture, your family is lucky. Younger people seem to be more open to sharing in my experience,but it’s also generally easier for them to get another job if they have issues. Age discrimination is another issue and it’s harder to be out of work later in life with more financial obligations etc.

  2. scurvycapn*

    RE LW#2: Since you’re established there now, would it be possible to ask them to flip the situation around? Instead of deducting money from your paycheck and failing to pay your rent, could they instead provide you the other half of the rent so you can pay it on time?

    I mean, I’m sure they’d need receipts, but that would be probably easier to manage than “holy shit, am I going to get evicted?!”

    1. JSPA*

      Could turn a business cost (for them) into taxable compensation (for the letter writer).

      Best would probably be, they prepay an entire spare month (as extra deposit), plus they automate informing the LW of the monthly payment.

      If they’re late, the deposit is used to cover, and LW has a month to bug them to top that up again.

        1. JSPA*

          In many places, I expect it would. But the rates can be different for “in kind” vs “direct,” or different at the local vs federal level. And (as others have touched on), paying directly could require a new contract, one where the LW is more at risk in terms of damage to the place, or needs to cover the insurance, or prove deeper pockets than they have, or go through an onerous background check, or whatever.

          Asking the company to float the month’s worth of extra deposit (which they would normally recoup at the end) seems absolutely fair, as it covers (exactly) their portion of past shortfalls, and is the minimum needed to prevent the same thing happening a third time (which they can hardly argue is impossible, after it has happened twice).

          I’ve used this method in covering for a friend who’d had [issues, details not relevant] such that their landlord was ready to cut them loose. It took three extra months’ deposit to quiet the landlords’ qualms, but was still by far the simplest answer.

          And yes, the friend got their issues back in check (to a first approximation, for a while), and yes, the deposit all came back at the end, minus $50 for a (legitimate) minor repair.

          So this strikes me as a very legitimate ask.

    2. amoeba*

      Yeah, that’s what I came here to suggest. In Europe, at least, that’s usually how it works, you get an additional “rent stipend” on top of your salary. Not sure how the legal situation is in your company/country, but could at least be worth asking!

    3. Sloanicota*

      If that’s not an option, perhaps at least you could ask them to put a month or two in escrow or have that paid ahead, so their failure to plan doesn’t become your emergency? I don’t like that they’re taking money out of your paycheck that’s not getting used the way they said it was. That sounds … bad.

      1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

        I think part of the problem is that there’s 2 sets of systems here. The payroll process (that deducts OPs portion from their paycheck) and then the accounts payable process that remits it to the landlord. A complication to that may be that they aren’t on the same cycle, such as if OP is paid every 2 weeks/4 weeks but the rent is due by calendar month.

        As such there isn’t really a link between the 2 sets of processes. It does have the de facto effect that the company have made a deduction that hasn’t been used as it should have been. I wonder theoretically (because I don’t think it’s the right course of action here) whether there is an “unlawful deduction” component. She agreed to the deduction, but on the basis that it’s used for payment of rent, but then it wasn’t.

  3. Application Overwhelm*

    I currently work on a team that closes job postings within 2 days after posting. It’s done because we know that if someone applies after a couple days their application will never get seen, so we prefer to not pretend otherwise. It’s a company that is well-known, and weirdly beloved, within the industry. And openings at the company for what my team does are pretty rare. This means that when we post a job, we get 500-1000 applications a day. Some are inevitably totally unqualified. But because of being well-known and weirdly beloved, we also get a lot of really strong applicants, and always end up with at least a couple people we’re trying to decide between. Maybe it’s still the wrong thing to do, but the reality is that we simply can’t process more applications than that and the hiring manager truly does at least glance at every single one himself (yes, this should be done by recruiters, but that’s another story).

    1. Pink Flamingo*

      But do you think your company misses out on great candidates? Does your company’s practice mean that, if I wish to work there, I’d have to check the openings daily?
      (Seems a little nuts to me, but it’s obviously not stopping your company receiving applications).

      1. Your local password resetter*

        They get 1000 applicants, including a lot of strong ones. So they’re probably happy with the quality of their candidate pool.

        1. MassMatt*

          The short timeframe works for this well known and “weirdly beloved” company, but not every company is Apple, though many clearly wish, or even pretend, they were.

          The job market is still fairly tight, several people I know who hire for skilled positions are having a lot of trouble filling them. The average company is not going to be served well by closing the application deadline after two days.

          1. Application Overwhelm*

            Although you are quite wrong, I appreciate the attempt to guess the company. :) But I do agree this is an edge case that wouldn’t work well for most places.

      2. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

        It’s like picking anything-you don’t need the Best Possible candidate, even if you could accurately pick them out from all the 2nd best people. Same as ordering a meal, buying a house, choosing a mate or picking out new curtains. You need a pretty good idea of what you want, a rough idea of the options available, and then decide on one you like (presuming they like you back, when applicable). If you keep looking for the Best Possible, you’re going to look forever.

        1. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

          +1. I hate the very idea of the “best possible” candidate, because it is just as much a myth as “the one,” and is weaponized against everyone who is not a straight white male (to varying degrees). There are tiers of candidates that range from “very highly qualified” to “you must be kidding.” But no one candidate is the dream candidate who will clearly be so much better than the rest, (and even if there were, it would be hard to know that from the hiring process!)

        2. goducks*

          Yes! Yes! Yes! I need a solid hire, but I don’t need the theoretically best possible candidate. How could one even determine who that is, anyway? I need someone I’m confident can do the job well, and will be a good fit for the team.

      3. Allonge*

        Probably they miss out on great candidates, but that is also true if you keep the application open for a month. Except then they would need to review 15-30k submissions, which is just about impossible.

      4. Application Overwhelm*

        Are there other great candidates we don’t interview? I’m sure. But we already get more great candidates than we need, that’s not a problem. And if we left it open longer, it’s extremely unlikely we’d even see the resumes of those other great applicants because they’d be buried.

        Like any other company, I’d hope that anyone super fixated on working at this one place would setup a LinkedIn alert or similar for job postings.

        1. Allonge*

          Also, this system becomes pretty apparent very soon by definition, as long as there are a decent number of jobs advertised. If someone really wants to work there, they will notice in no time at all that all applications close in a day or two, and they can plan their next steps based on that.

          1. Pareto*

            This. A major employer in my area has a pattern of closing jobs after about 3 days. I’ve prepared an application only to have the posting closed before I could apply. So now I know, and if I see a posting on a Monday, I’m aware that I absolutely do not have until the weekend to focus on my application, I need to probably work on it that same day or the next. I can assure you that they have well qualified applicants every time, they’re a household name and are locally known for paying very well.

        2. Elitst Semicolon*

          Do you require a cover letter as part of your application? That’s hard to turn around on such a quick timeline.

          1. New Jack Karyn*

            I have a template cover letter, that I adapt to fit different postings. Also, it sounds like this is a place people really want to apply to, so it’s not unlikely that plenty of folks have one targeted to this employer on tap–just needs a quick review for necessary minor changes, and throw it in the hopper.

          2. art*

            You don’t need 2 full days to get a cover letter out, from “exists only in your head” to “submitted and done”
            I don’t care what the excuse is, you just don’t.

            1. "Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps"*

              What an unsympathetic take. I guess those with kids, elderly parents, multiple jobs, and several commitments need not apply. I know many people whose only opportunity to get to job applications with a clear head is during the weekend.

            2. Nina*

              I’m so glad your one job pays adequately for your needs and doesn’t require any overtime and that you have a stay at home spouse and/or maid and no kids or elderly or disabled dependents to care for, or apparently unmovable community commitments, and that writing and editing a good cover letter takes you less than an evening. Many people aren’t in your position.

          3. Application Overwhelm*

            No. There’s an optional space to put one, but they’re very rare for applicants to include in the industry in general.

      5. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        Yeah – if they’re getting 1000 resumes to go thru in 2 days I don’t blame them from closing the window quickly. All I would say is please be honest that the job will only be open a short time.

        1. amoeba*

          I mean, I’d say most people are probably aware. In my field and area, there are a few similar companies and if you’re in the field, you know how their processes work. (In that case, sadly, you have to apply within the first week or two but the posting will remain online for literally months until the position is filled. It sucks. But people know and basically just… stop applying after week three, as you can see by the number of applicants on LinkedIn…)
          Those places are so well-known, I think it’s pretty unlikely that a lot of people just kind of stumble upon the posting without any prior info.

          1. Allonge*

            Plus, not everything in life will have a complete disclaimer on how it works attached. I certainly would appreciate it, but it’s just not possible.

            Obviously the company should not lie and say apply by [two months later] when they expect to close in two days, but other than that, it’s part of life that we will not always get all opportunities and there is a learning curve on this.

        2. Area Woman*

          I don’t understand this mentality. I don’t owe the general population a fair chance at applying. I need to look through resumes and find a good candidate that can do the job. My company does not exist to give people jobs. In my industry (biotech) we are growing and have lots of openings. Things are posted a long time and we might hire several people while it is still up, which is equally confusing and annoying to some people.

          That said, I don’t owe anyone an explanation about that either. We have people who keep applying again and again after we phone screen and don’t think it would be a good fit. Yeah, there are still openings but we’ve already rejected you.

      6. DataSci*

        It doesn’t matter if they miss it great candidates, as long as they also have multiple great candidates to choose from, which Application Overwhelm says they do. This approach wouldn’t work for every team but it clearly works for them.

        1. Application Overwhelm*

          Exactly. This is likely a fairly extreme edge case, but I shared it because it still seemed like an edge case that the LW might find interesting.

    2. Sloanicota*

      In this case, I’d rather see a more thoughtful application process with some extra steps, versus the super-short window. There’s just zero correlation between “people who happen to be looking at this job site within 12 hours” and people who would be good at the job. Rather the reverse, if anything. *Maybe* if you figure some people are dedicated enough that they’ll set up an alert or something …

      1. amoeba*

        Hm, when I’m actively job searching I certainly have a LinkedIn alert and also check the page daily. I’d assume most people would do the same (and thus see the posting as soon as it comes up)?

        1. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

          And given a really popular place to work, even people who are not actively searching may have an alert set for jobs from DreamCo, Inc.

      2. Colette*

        That’s not true – Application Overwhelm specifically says they get a lot of really strong appliants.

    3. Internal Recruiter*

      similar here, if we get flooded with resumes in the first few days, we will pause it to give us a chance to get caught up. However, we do reopen when we are caught up, so please check back in a few days if it is a position you are really interested in.

      1. feline outerwear catalog*

        As someone job hunting in a tight market rn, it’s totally not worth applying to a job after a couple days unless you need another job to list applying to for unemployment benefits.

        There are a few rare exceptions, like internships or some higher ed jobs, but it’s really tough out there right now, especially for the recently laid off folks, sigh.

      2. Relentlessly Socratic*

        We got flooded quickly with applicants for some positions and they were either wildly overqualified in terms of years working, but not actually qualified for that position, or with applicants with zero qualifications (think pizza delivery applying for data science). I think some of the latter were people ticking the “need to apply for unemployment” box, but the vast number of mismatches made us pull the posting to see if it needed re-writing.

        We carefully edited the level (3-5 yrs experience) to target the level, and really emphasized the required experience, then still got flooded with unqualified people. We needed to pull the posting many times just to weed through the applicants.

    4. Pierrot*

      I think that if your company does this, they should also put in the listing itself that applications will close in 2 days and must be submitted before then to be considered. Ideally when a candidate sees an application for a job where they want to apply, they’d get the application shortly after they see the listing, but sometimes if they have a lot going on with their current job or family, they might wait a couple of days and assume it won’t hurt. If they see that it’ll close in 2 days, they can prioritize the application.

  4. Clydesdalesncoconuts*

    Lw1- it sounds like Joel has a more direct communication style than what you are used to. You will need to be prepared to have more people speaking up for themselves and being open about their likes and dislikes in the workplace- especially if they were not made aware of certain things before being hired. If no one disclosed that the programs were outdated or insufficient in some way, that may be a red flag to Joel now as a new employee.

    1. Porchy*

      Yes! And this is impacting Joel more than you’re thinking, and it’s a sign that he may also train your help desk employees on how to communicate proactively with you in ways that will be helpful.

      Joel’s team is almost certainly seeing tickets related to bugs that were fixed in versions of software you haven’t upgraded to.

      They’re seeing tickets for needs that they can only solve by proposing new software or modules that aren’t compatible with your current software.

      They’re probably getting tickets that they need the software vendor’s support on…only to call the vendor and hear they ended support on that version of the software 2 years ago.

      You need to share your roadmap to getting the system current with Joel, and solicit his ongoing feedback on the priority order of which systems you’re tackling when – if you haven’t already…just give him a voice. What data are you getting from the helpdesk team on ticket rates, and is there any way to involve them and Joel in helping you make the case to transition faster? They’re a pipeline to feedback from users about the system, use it! Soliticing their help like that and giving them regular updates on integration projects (even if you think they should get that from their surroundings) will help soothe the frustration of working in a system that is terribly out of date.

    2. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

      Yes, I read that as a classic, “I didn’t like what this person said so I’m going to complain about process/tone.”

      1. MigraineMonth*

        I’ve made it bluntly clear to my manager that I’m willing to work up to 25% with Problem Client, but if he assigns me 100% to that client then I will quit. It’s information my manager needs to know if they want me to stay, so it’s polite and professional to let them know.

    3. Birdie*

      If I worked in IT, I would think the OP was writing about me (I do fundraising data management). I’m continually amazed at just how outdated, out-of-compliance, and plain backwards so much stuff is in my office. Like, YEARS behind what most people in the industry are doing and using. But the response is constantly “baby steps” and “this works well enough for now” and “it’s not really a problem.” Which has now made me persona non grata in my office because I’m like “We have to change this now because [we’re out of compliance/this is taking an extraordinary amount of time because our system is from 2002/I know you think this is working but it’s not actually working].” I unknowingly joined an extremely insular team that is extremely unwelcoming, so you can just imagine how much they hate the new person who was hired specifically to make changes!

      Yep, I’m job hunting. They’ll be on their 4th person in this role in 2 years once I depart.

      1. CommanderBanana*

        And I’m sure they entirely lack the self-awareness to realize that they are the problem!

        1. Birdie*

          I just finished a meeting with my manager and a couple other and now I’m drafting my 2 week notice. I literally spent an hour explaining, “We can do X with Software A, or Y with Software B, but Software A cannot do Y, and Software B cannot do X. I’m sorry, but those are the limitations of these systems. How do we want to proceed?”


          Okay then. Good luck filling this position, and good luck finding anyone willing to stay in it for any amount of time.

      2. I have RBF*

        I almost wondered if “Joel” was my coworker, only because I haven’t written in.

        My current company is so far behind on basic infrastructure and processes in my area it isn’t even funny. When I started, even though there was already a person in another department supposedly responsible for what I was now tasked with, those systems hadn’t even been patched in a year and a half. Now our group is getting more stuff thrown over the wall, with inadequate access or information, from the same group.

        I started as a contractor. When I went regular, I knew what I was getting into: modernizing the infra bit-by-bit, by gently wresting control away from the group that built it like topsy. It’s a long and delicate process, but upper management has our backs, as long as we are… gentle… about it. I still have ended up in arguments with people on the other team.

        TL; DR: I feel you, and the LW. It happens in more companies than you might think.

      3. Gumby*


        A piece of business software that my company uses still says “Copyright 1998” on the splash screen. Pause for a moment to let the horror of that sink in. The software has had updates/patches since then but the general look and feel and the way it functions is in line with that era.

        Other providers in this space have software is lightyears more user-friendly, accessible, integrated with other business software, etc. There is movement towards getting it replaced so I have hope that might happen in the next year or two.

  5. Fikly*

    LW1: I say this as kindly as possible, but your question is a sign that you haven’t learned the critical managing skill of inserting distance between you and the people you are managing – this isn’t a personal friendship, and it’s not a relationship between coworkers, either.

    You’re asking if a new hire telling you what isn’t working for them about their position, and giving you a heads up that they may be looking to transfer internally is a red flag about the new hire. This is amazing transparency from the new hire. Would you rather have this information now, or find out there’s a major issue when they give notice for either an internal transfer, or a job at another company?

    Just like you might hire someone, and find out that they aren’t a good fit for the role, someone can accept a position and find out it’s not actually a good fit for them. It’s not a personal attack on you. Yeah, it’s frustrating from a business perspective, but that’s all it is, business.

    1. JSPA*

      Yes; talking about being a “team” at work tends to bring in sentiments more appropriate for situations where everyone has a similar stake in the outcome, and in feeling bonds of pseudo-siblinghood.

      But even in sports teams (or marriages), people are allowed to leave if they’re feeling stuck in a role or situation that doesn’t fit them!

      Your higher is showing you an incredible amount of respect by trusting you with the honest truth and making it possible for you to plan collaboratively. That’s huge, and not common.

    2. AD*

      This seems like a slightly uncharitable interpretation of OP1’s letter. They have a new direct report two weeks into the job who is making clear that he likely intends to leave the position. It seems like she’s trying to figure out if she can successfully keep him in the job or if the level of dissatisfaction he has expressed about the role is pretty much a lost cause. I don’t see her conflating her reports with “personal friendships” and her questions seem reasonable to me.

      1. September*

        I think it was because she said, “I also took this a little personally.” If she can find a way to make it feel less personal, I think that would be better for everyone. But yes, her questions are reasonable and important.

        1. AD*

          Sure, but that human response is not the same as conflating personal “friendships” with employees, and there seem to be a whole lot of comments excoriating the OP here today. A new hire indicating they’re looking elsewhere — two weeks into a new job! — is an issue, and OP seems aware enough of the situation to realize there are infrastructure problems at play.

    3. Anne of Green Gables*

      I agreed with you until I realized that Joel had only been in the position for 2 weeks. I agree that flagging for his manager (OP) what is frustrated by is a good thing, but saying to someone that you would jump at the chance to work on a different team after only 2 weeks feels off to me.

      1. Slothy*

        Yes, my thought was…if they’re relatively new, maybe best to take a month or two months…to settle in and get the lay of the land. Two weeks is still so new.

        1. Andy*

          What for? Thatbseems like waiting purely for the sake of appearance. Or worst, waiting whether you get complacent in two months. Two weeks are enough to recognize that position and kind of work are not it.

          OP wants him to focus on mentoring of old systems only with nothing else to do. Sounds like the employees wants normal senior position. The two are different situations and there is nothing to suggest employee misjudged the situation.

      2. Filosofickle*

        I’m struggling with that, too. I get why it could also be seen as refreshing, but it’s also really early to have formed such a strong opinion and be voicing it so bluntly. Pushing to move teams and thinking you know how a role should be structured as a brand-new employee is a lot! Hopefully they can find a solution.

        1. MigraineMonth*

          I think two weeks is enough for a senior IT professional to find out what version of various programs they are supposed to support, and how far out of date/out of support those programs are. As a job, there’s a large difference between investigating new IT issues and reporting bugs to the software creators and investigating known issues that can’t be fixed because you’re stuck on outdated software. It can also affect one’s ability to get new jobs if your only expertise is on old software versions (ask me how I know!).

  6. PollyQ*

    LW#2 — There is a decent chance that the problem is not disorganization, but cash flow. I’d think about starting a discreet job hunt on the basis that it’s possible your company may not be in business much longer.

    1. Properlike*

      Or it could be abject incompetence. I’ve experienced it in more than one company, including one place that entered my name wrong in all official paperwork that was the basis for logins, email addresses, retirement, etc.

      1. UKgreen*

        Yeah, I’d go incompetence too. It took my previous employer THREE attempts to get my fairly simple ordinary British name correct on my contract, and two months to remember to change my address on the HR system when I moved house.

      2. Sloanicota*

        Yeah I used to work at a foundation that had trouble paying invoices regularly. The frontline staff to handle that were the most junior, and there were very stringent policies (government dollars) – that plus a poorly-thought-out check run schedule, and the result was misery. I always thought it was such a shame since the work was important and the money was there.

      3. Marketing Unicorn Ninja*

        My maiden name, which became my middle name upon marriage, is a non-traditional spelling of a common Irish last name. At a previous job, I filled out all the paperwork and arrived on my first day to discover that HR had entered it incorrectly because, ‘That’s not how you normally spell O’Haera so I fixed it for you.”

        Lovely, but it’s wrong, and now none of my official paperwork matches my legal name so you’re going to have to trust me that I do, in fact, know how to spell my own dang name.

        1. EPLawyer*

          I fixed the spelling of your name, person I never met before. Like how does that even process through the brain.

          1. Chirpy*

            Unfortunately, happens to me all the time. Yes, I do in fact know my own name, and have for multiple decades longer that you, the person I just met….ugh.

          2. Just Another Zebra*

            I had this same issue with my maiden name. It’s very uncommon (I’ve never met someone with the name who wasn’t related to me) and people would correct it to the much more common word that said name sounds like.

            I remember very sternly telling one of my college professors, “It’s three letters. How on Earth are you messing up a name that is three letters? And if you’re writing my first name with it, it’s six letters. It’s not hard!”

          3. Emmy Noether*

            Add me to the list of people to whom this happens all. the. time. Especially non-Germans are always SO proud they “caught” it. Nope. Wrong. I spell my name that way because that’s how it’s spelled.

          4. elle *sparkle emoji**

            It happens to me frequently. Normally it’s just one or two letters because my name doesn’t follow English spelling rules as it’s not English(think Hansen instead of Hanson), but sometimes people will just sub in an entirely different name. Like doesn’t even sound close. I typically have to say it and spell it right away or else it will have rogue letters.

          5. Kayem*

            People like a friend of mine (“Alex”). They often tell me about “weird” names they see at work and laugh at how people “misspell” them. There’s one name that’s a favorite target. Alex thinks the person just doesn’t know how to spell a common name and thinks it’s hilarious that the name now sounds like it has a lisp. I would argue with them and point out that making fun of someone’s name is disrespectful just because its the first time seeing it, especially for someone they know nothing about, but it did no good. Finally, I got fed up, went over to their computer, and googled the name. Turns out it’s a common spelling of a traditional Greek name.

            Alex shut up after that, but I think it’s just because they were embarrassed this happened in front of other friends and didn’t want a repeat. What’s silly is we both live in the southern US where people get names and nicknames and different spellings that are plenty “weird” to others, but Alex doesn’t bat an eye at those because they’re used to them.

        2. Anon Forthis*

          I have a Scottish name which doesn’t have a capital letter after the Mac. My university always entered it on the system with a capital letter. I would go and see student services and ask for it to be changed, and they would ask for ID. I assumed the point of the ID was that I was proving I was in fact Anon Forthis, and they could take my word for it that I was Anon Forthis and not Anon ForThis. But they kept insisting they needed to see Anon Forthis written on my ID, and wouldn’t accept any ID that said ANON FORTHIS– which pretty much includes everything. I think I had to go three or four people up the management chain before I finally got someone who could take my word for it and change it.

          And then it would change back at the beginning of the next academic year, and I had to do the whole thing again…

          1. I have RBF*

            Ugh. I used to work with the directory at a large private university. The number of times the system would take an input only in ALL CAPS, then store it as Title Case, was astounding, because it would always mangle mixed case names. Other times, someone would input a name like “OBAMA”, and then when it got changed back into lower case someone else would “fix” it to be “O’Bama”. At least when it got to the directory people could go in and update their preferred name.

        3. Colette*

          When I worked in software purchasing, vendors would “fix” our email address to one that didn’t exist.

        4. Lily*

          This has happened to me as well. Someone actually said to me that I spell my name “wrong”.
          Er, no. No I don’t. I know how to spell my own name.

        5. Nina*

          My surname and first name are both really common English verbs. They’re pronounced and spelled exactly the same as the relevant common English verbs. Literally everyone with more than a third-grade education knows how to spell them.

          Literally nobody spells or pronounces my name correctly on the first try because apparently it’s not a name.

      4. Wheezyweasel*

        If it’s a multinational company that offers these benefits, there is a good change that they have a vendor doing most of the work on their behalf. I worked for a global relocation company for the last 3 years, and the relo company will be responsibile for the physical moves, travel costs, tax gross-ups and rental payment assistance, tax preparation and straight cash payments to the employee. Relocation companies will pay out these costs to the various parties as needed and then invoice the multinational company monthly. Therefore you may have 2-3 other accounting folks involved with that rental payment – landlord may need to submit an invoice to the multinational, who passes it to the relocation company. It arrives too late to process that week’s payment cycle and you miss the rent deadline. You tell your employer about the issue, they call the relocation company to issue a new check, or as you say, just have it expensed. Now repeat this process for all the employees with the same situation and multiply it by the # of clients the relocation company is serving.

        1. Daisy-dog*

          Yep, definitely a possibility. And for rent, which is due on a set day of the month which can be any day of the week, that can be harder when there’s a cycle based on a day of the week.

          Highly annoying that they are passing on all those extra steps to the employee though. Should definitely be managed by the person who is that vendor contact at the company.

    2. New Jack Karyn*

      The letter says, “It’s a gigantic global corporation. I know they’re not broke, so it’s not a cash-flow issue.”

      Let’s take the LW at their word.

      1. BubbleTea*

        Yes, it’s quite possible that the company accounts are publicly available, or at least visible to staff.

      2. Bob Howard*

        There are plenty of instances where a “gigantic global corporation” turned out to have huge cash flow issues. I think PollyQ may have a point. Some quiet digging around may be in order: Are there other invoices and bills the corporation owes that have to be chased up?

        1. amoeba*

          Eh. My large corporation is notoriously bad at paying their bills to external suppliers (luckily not salary though!). It has nothing to do with cash flow and everything with our not very competent purchasing department.
          Also, für a large global corp, I’d say that amount of money is most certainly absolutely insignificant…

          1. I went to school with only 1 Jennifer*

            It might have everything to do with a conscious decision to pay their vendors slowly. If they routinely go net 60 instead of net 30, that’s a lot of money staying in their accounts for an extra month, generating sweet sweet interest. (And it might even be that someone has decided to not fix the problems in your purchasing department because it’s having this desired outcome.)

        2. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

          Giant corporations may have cash flow problems, but half a month’s rent is a rounding error. It’s like if someone was getting their house foreclosed on needed to come up with a dime.

    3. Shiny*

      Yeah, being in a similar situation (but my company paying my rent in full) it’s much more likely to be a process issue. Especially with big companies, there are often a lot of steps in between receiving an invoice and submitting payment. My current landlords had to get used to the (slight) delay between asking for payment and getting it.

      But then my colleagues who process my rent payments aren’t incompetent. I wouldn’t be surprised if LW2’s colleagues are some combination of apathetic and incompetent, and they’re not feeling the pain of this at the moment. It needs to be escalated, and the LW needs to find a way to make them the recipients of the ire when the rent isn’t paid on time.

      1. Emmy Noether*

        They’re probably both incompetent and don’t have a good system set up. Rent is one of those things that really, really should be set up as some kind of automatic payment. It’s due predictably at the same time each month for the exact same amount, and you really don’t want to miss it, so it’s really the ideal use case.

        Why have the landlord spend time each month invoicing, someone spend time processing, and have a real risk of something going wrong? It makes no sense. If having the bank automate it is not an option for some reason, at least somewhat automate it in-house, especially if there are a lot of those payments. The only reason not to is if one can’t be sure there’s enough money in the account at that point in time.

        (But then I live somewhere where standard rental contracts include a clause that you have to set up automatic bank transfers.)

        1. hbc*

          Yeah, I can understand some reluctance to make it automatic so someone lays eyes on everything and they don’t accidentally keep paying rent for someone who resigned 6 months ago. But after screwing up twice, they should accept that risk rather than continuing to mess things up in the other direction. Getting. an employee evicted or having them quit in frustration is a business risk too.

          1. feline outerwear catalog*

            Yes, especially if this is a benefit they offer to multiple employees, they could even set something up with the landlord where they adjust once a year, like person A moved out so let’s put that money to person B’s rent if they are in the same building or property owner.

            It sounds to me like this is a routine thing for the company, and LW isn’t a one time exception or something like that.

          2. Emmy Noether*

            Even then, I’d think it’s less error prone to set up autopayment and specifically cancel it when processing exit paperwork, than to rely on someone manually processing a stack of rent invoices each month to correctly look up if each renter is still employed there. That’s bound to go wrong frequently.

        2. I have RBF*

          Every company has bills that must be paid by X date every month, like telephone, power, etc. No “Net 60” or “Net 90” will fly with the phone company. Companies often wait until the last day to pay these, because interest generation is important.

          The problem is that the accounting department hasn’t put the rent payment on a “Pay on first of the month” schedule check run. I’m pretty sure that they have other stuff on a regular check run about that time, so it’s basically sloppy accounting in that area.

          I would be livid after the second time, and would want to know what process had been put in place to prevent a third occurrence. If it happens a third time I would start looking for a new job, because they weren’t keeping up their end of the contract.

    4. DJ Abbott*

      Yes, it could be cash flow. If it is, they won’t let anyone know until there’s a crash that makes headlines. I remember such things from the 90s – WorldCom, Baring Bank.
      Maybe I’m too impatient, but I would be trying to find a way to control the entire rent payment so I can make sure it’s paid.
      If that can’t be done, maybe automating it as others suggest would be good.
      If you get them to pay a larger chunk of your rent in advance, be prepared for this same thing to happen when it’s time to pay again.
      Good luck!

    5. Underrated Pear*

      Jumping on this thread so it’s seen – LW, please make sure you know what your legal rights and obligations are if this continues to be a problem.
      Story time… I used to work for a company overseas in a similar situation. Basically, the company leased hundreds or thousands of apartments and sublet them to employees, so rent was taken out of our paychecks each month. It had worked this way for years, decades even. Until one day when everyone showed up to work and the doors of every branch across the country were locked, because the company folded and owner disappeared (I honestly forget the details, but that’s essentially what happened). Within the next few days, everyone I knew who worked for that company was getting knocks on their doors at 6am evicting them from their apartments, because – surprise! – although the employees had continued to have rent taken out of their paychecks, the company had not actually paid that rent to the landlords for many months. Which no one knew until that moment.

      Now, because of the laws in this country, the employees were actually legally allowed to stay in those apartments for a few months, but most people didn’t know the law since they’d only been in the country for a relatively short time. They were bullied out of their apartments and homeless. It was terrible. Thank goodness I’d left for another job a few months before.

      To the LW and the commenters above saying it’s unlikely to be a cash flow problem: unlikely, maybe, but stranger things have definitely happened. At the very least, protect yourself and don’t let yourself become homeless because of your employer.

      1. DJ Abbott*

        LW2, there needs to be some sort of transparency, or maybe you can check with the actual owner of the property, to make sure the rent is paid in full every month by your employer. And then this won’t happen to you.

    6. Kayem*

      It could easily be the case that the company overall is doing fine, but one division or subsidiary has a cashflow issue and because of whatever tax regulation, they can’t transfer funds. I used to work for an employer like that. The first division had funding galore, anything we needed in office supplies and equipment were ours for the asking. Then I was promoted to the same division of a different subsidiary, which had such poor cashflow, I was grateful to get my paycheck on time.

      For the second one, I lived in company housing and they paid all utilities. But after having power, water, and sanitation shut off because the company didn’t pay, I opened utility accounts in my name for my address and submitted for reimbursement every month. It was easier to go through that hassle than not having a safe and sanitary place to live (until I escaped to a new job).

      Though if getting reimbursements is difficult and those also get delayed or “forgotten,” LW2 should try to go with Alison’s recommendation. They should do whatever they can to prevent late payments. I don’t know how it is elsewhere, but in the U.S., late rent payments can impact everything from credit scores to finding affordable rentals, regardless of the reason.

  7. Eric*

    #5, another possibility of that it’s whatever platform they are using. I’ve tried posting the free job ads on LinkedIn, and to encourage people to pay, they will “deactivate” then after about a dozen people apply, unless we “promote” them.

    1. English Rose*

      Yes, that’s what I was coming here to say. External job boards do vary in their practice.

      Also, in our organisation, we do always put a closing date for adverts, but usually also a caveat that we may close the vacancy early if we get enough candidates. Then people are on notice that they need to apply quickly to time-critical vacancies.

      1. Elitst Semicolon*

        I really appreciate the “Applications close on April 1 or after 500 applications, whichever comes first” sort of timeline. If it’s a job with a particularly desirable company or type of duty, it opened on March 1 and today’s March 10, I can make a relatively informed decision on whether it’s worth my time preparing an application.

        1. feline outerwear catalog*

          I generally do except for a bizarrely and sternly worded one that said they would only look at the first 50 applicants. There were so many requirements for how to apply, etc. I definitely skipped over that one, lol.

          Speaking of which, there’s sometimes postings on indeed where people type unfiltered notes that probably aren’t meant for job seekers, like “we want someone who is up on current practice on x field, not someone who learned it 20 years ago and didn’t keep up.” oof. I wonder if there’s some kind of internal notes field and people are typing in the wrong box, but they are entertaining at least.

          I check linkedin and job boards to see how old a post is and how many people applied, but then apply directly on the company website to protect my data. I’m also assuming it goes right into their HR system. I’m not sure how applications get forwarded to HR from job boards, like are they incomplete compared to what the internal app asks for, does the HR person have to copy them into an internal system manually, etc.

          P.S. Allison, that would be a great post idea, how does HR see and filter resumes, how do they use the output from ATS, etc.

          1. I went to school with only 1 Jennifer*

            I get that alllll the time in emails from recruiters, where part of the text is commentary like your example. It’s clear they’re forwarding something on without cleaning it up at all, and while I appreciate the extra information I’m getting, some of that information is about the recruiting agency’s professionalism.

    2. Katness*

      Yes. When you see it, it might be the 10th time they’re reposted it – reposting after a day or two each time. This is not universal but not uncommon on LinkedIn, from what I can tell as a job searcher.

    3. Sloanicota*

      This is a good point and explains what LW is seeing. If LW is seeing these jobs on linkedin or a similar site, they may also be able to find the posting elsewhere, particularly the company’s own jobs board, for longer. (Or not, but it’s worth checking).

  8. Andy*

    LW1: If this completely healthy level of care about nature of own work, career and ability to keep learning on the job is “too much bluntness” for technical person, then it is red flag about you as manager. The engineer was not even blunt. He was open about own interests and communicating.

    I know I am blunt here. But managers who do not allow people to communicate these create a lot of harm. It makes it impossible to fix issues or find positions where the person actually fits.

    1. TheLinguistManager*

      I feel like this is pretty harsh on LW1, who’s writing in specifically to ask for a gut check. Assuming that LW1 was upfront about the challenges the team is facing in the interview (and we should give them the benefit of the doubt) I would find this pretty blunt myself, for a 1:1 after only two weeks on the job.

      And indeed, even while having an emotional reaction (and who wouldn’t, after an extended, tiring hiring period and then onboarding), LW1 is still engaging with Joel’s statement by setting up a time to talk further about it. Nothing suggests that LW1 is going to take some adverse action, just that they want to know if they should prepare for a rough time getting Joel to do all of his job, or if there’s some action they should take that they’re not seeing.

      1. andy*

        What would be non-blunt way of saying that? By that I mean, expressing exactly that thought instead of some other thought.

        1. WellRed*

          A few weeks into the job? Maybe give it a little more time before you start complaining.

          1. ecnaseener*

            Mmm, I disagree with that. Two weeks is enough time for an experienced person to understand what the job is. He’s not complaining for the sake of complaining, he’s being honest about the current job being a bad fit for him and asking to discuss solutions. No point in delaying that – if he ends up quitting soon, better to have only invested 2-3 weeks in him than several weeks.

            1. September*

              Agreed – this wasn’t complaining. And it sounds like the LW agrees his assessment of the job is pretty accurate. He’s letting his manager know that he might not be there long-term, but he would like to discuss ways in which the job could be restructured so that he’d want to stay. There’s no point in pretending he’s happy in the job if he’s not – it’s not personal.

              1. Humanitarian*

                Why is employee owed a role that he feels suits him better after only two weeks? Curious.

                1. fgcommenter*

                  Why is employer owed an employee to stay in an unsuitable role longer than two weeks?

          2. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

            I think the LW should think about what information they gave about the position–did they not accurately describe the role? Maybe they did, but it’s worth thinking about. And the reverse is also possible, that this person never wanted this job but wanted a foot in the door at this organization.

          3. Andy*

            So basically, there is no way to communicate that observation based on what you said. I have such manager now – I don’t tell her things, no one does. And well, guess what, this is most ineffective team I ever seen with people being on positions unsuitable to them right and left.

            Two weeks are enough to see that role is something different then you expected and that you are harming yourself by being there. Way worst to wait for two months till you say that, really. Especially I country where people can give their 2 weeks notice and be gone.

        2. hbc*

          I think it would have been much better to ask if the balance of work will stay pretty much the same for the foreseeable future, and what the role will look like if/when the junior coworkers start being able to handle the complicated tickets. I think that signals the right amount of…unhappiness with the current state without declaring that you’ve already got a foot out the door.

    2. Ellis Bell*

      The bluntness is not unprofessional or problematic, in fact it’s helpful. However it probably was personally alarming to the OP; they’d been working hard to do the role as a second job, in addition to hiring for it. They’d probably only just started to relax. The fact that Joel was blunt is an indication that he feels confident about his ability to move on quickly and probably wouldn’t stick it out long. I think it’s right that OP is feeling disconcerted by what that implies, but they need to use that alarm to work with this employee, not against him.

    3. Parenthesis Guy*

      The red flag is that this engineer was hired to be the SME for one aspect of the help desk and mentor junior level staff in this area. After only two weeks, this engineer has been focusing on a different area and wants to work with a totally different team. If I’m the manager, I’m concerned because I want this guy to be a resource for Area A, and if he’s spending half his time on Area B, then that’s a problem. If Area A had more senior resources, then that matters less.

      1. Andy*

        So basically, there is no way to communicate that observation based on what you said. I have such manager now – I don’t tell her things, no one does. And well, guess what, this is most ineffective team I ever seen with people being on positions unsuitable to them right and left.

        Two weeks are enough to see that role is something different then you expected and that you are harming yourself by being there. Way worst to wait for two months till you say that, really. Especially I country where people can give their 2 weeks notice and be gone.

      2. Humanitarian*

        Yep. I’ve seen many times people get hired for role just to get a foot in the door. Two weeks in and you’re looking elsewhere? That’s dishonest. I don’t understand the excuses here.

    4. Humanitarian*

      “He was open about own interests and communicating.”

      …which he should have done at the interview. Don’t like a job after two weeks? Then quit and go elsewhere. It’s not complicated.

  9. John Smith*

    LW2, are you in a country that has good legal protections? In the UK* for example, it can take months – even years – for someone to be evicted in a reputable rent agreement. A couple of missed rent payments should probably result in a strongly worded letter asking you to pay up before another strongly worded letter is sent. Also, who is the rent agreement with – you or your employer? If the latter, I’d be less inclined to worry. Obviously you don’t need this at all, but I’d view this as your landlord’s and employer’s problem.
    *With the clowns in power, soon about to change!

    1. BubbleTea*

      In the UK you can be evicted after two months of non-payment. Yes, the court process can be a bit delayed, but it’s perfectly lawful for eviction to happen quite fast.

      1. John Smith*

        Lawful, yes, but having worked in the sector, it’s extremely rare. In corporate cases (where employer pays rent) we were quite happy to wait 6 months before starting proceedings and I understand that is (or was) the norm, as agents knew they would get paid eventually. The quickest eviction I recall from when proceedings were initiated was 7 months, and that was with a cooperative tenant. Most lasted twice as long at least.

    2. Rosie*

      I once temped at a multinational that took a relaxed attitude to paying rent for colleagues overseas on time, until the day their office in a middle eastern country was stormed by armed police and the man whose rent was 24 hours late was held at gunpoint until it was paid. Their global policies about this were revamped more or less on the spot. Shortly afterwards the poor guy in the middle of this sent a letter to HR laying out what his new terms and conditions for staying employed there would be. He got everything he asked for, and could probably have gotten more. You cannot take a relaxed attitude to this as a foreigner and neither should your employer.

      1. John Smith*

        I wouldn’t call a country that allows armed police to do this as one with high legal protections though.

        1. EPLawyer*

          But it sure got the point across that this is a BIG DEAL that could result in serious repercussions.

          LW, go back in and look for the letter about the person whose pay was screwed up TWICE and what she did to correct it. Her manager was not thrilled but your manager has your back. You need to escalate this and make it extremely clear it cannot happen again.

          If this is a perk they are offering to get people to come work for them, then they need to make it work. Or it loses it value as an incentive.

        2. Dahlia*

          The company wasn’t in that country. What Rosie is saying is that that company needed to take it more seriously because they put one of their employees who was working overseas in another country in serious physical danger.

        3. Grammar Penguin*

          Rosie didn’t say it was one with legal protections, just a middle eastern country. Although it’s clear that landlords’ interests are very well protected.

  10. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

    OP1 (new hire expressing concerns) – To me someone being direct as Joel is would be a gift! He’s plainly stated what the issue is and his concerns.

    I think there are a couple of things being conflated here though. You had a spot for a Senior Support Analyst which Joel is now doing – however he can’t do that job to the best of his ability, and to how he knows it should/could be done to the real benefit of the company, because of antiquated systems, red tape, processes that don’t make sense etc. He has (I presume) stated directly what ought to be changed about those systems – and as an “outside pair of eyes” he is well positioned to do this.

    Meanwhile… he’s waiting for a spot to open up on the Infrastructure side, because (I’ve inferred) they are able to work more in the way he wants to without being strangled by process issues etc. He works fairly closely with them already (also inferred) so knows what that team would be like.

    I would encourage OP to think about the pace of actual change in this team and whether those issues will ever be resolved. Sentiments like “just do your job Joel!” (not stated but seemed fairly clear to me) won’t produce anything constructive of course. As he’s only been ther 2 weeks I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s reached out to other opportunities he previously was in the process for.

    Senior Support Amalyst can be a strange sort of role actually. You have the depth of knowledge and experience to solve all those weird obscure things, but spend 90% of your time dealing with overflow trivia…

    Suggestion: Can you make Joel part of the change programme to get those changes moving? I think he would be all over that!

  11. The devil on your shoulder*

    LW#2, wow that is such an infuriating scenario.
    My reaction would be not to get angry, but get even. In other words: if your accounts department sucks at their job, how far can you weaponize your own incompetence?
    If simply not paying the rent an option?
    How quickly would this escalate?
    Is it your name, or the company name on the lease?
    Do evictions have to go through court system in your country?
    If you do get evicted, do you have a company card to just pay movers, storage, and a hotel for yourself?
    Well, that last one is maybe taking it a little far.
    Maybe just turn in the receipts for expenses in 15 separate Word documents with poor quality scans, but each at least 1MB file size and named with different variations of “receipt.docx”
    But even if you end up doing none of this – it’s fun to think of ways to get even :)

    1. Heather*

      How would any of this help OP in any way? They presumably just want to reduce the amount of stress and uncertainty relating to where they live in a foreign country, not increase their risk of eviction. And no offense, but as revenge fantasies goes this isn’t particularly effective, it would just penalize whichever payroll person gets stuck processing OP’s needlessly complicated receipts.

      1. I went to school with only 1 Jennifer*

        I see all the time where people conflate “the company” and “a person who works for the company”. This is a great example of it.

    2. MigraineMonth*

      What? No, do not do any of these things. They’ll hurt you far more than the company.

  12. Where’s the Orchestra?*

    To OP 5, postings at the health system I work for have the time frame listed slightly differently. We say that the posting will be open for three weeks or when we receive 200 applications, whichever happens first. If there’s more than one opening it may be a slightly higher number of applications accepted – but HR feels that they can’t keep hiring on a swift timeframe if they have thousands of applications to go through (which happened – one position with one opening and they got 1100 applications for that position in four days).

    Could we miss a good candidate or two – possibly. But at the same time the fact that we’re only accepting so many applications is also clearly posted as part of the job listing.

  13. Shiny*

    I’m pretty shocked by the situation LW2 is experiencing. I also work overseas, and my company pays for my housing in full. When I first moved in, there was some anxiety from the landlords about getting the rent and deposit in time, as I live in a part of the world where fraud is extremely common, but they’ve settled down and know they get the rent in a timely manner every month.

    But that’s in part because, as my company pays in full, I was able to make an arrangments with the landlord that they would bill my company directly. Obviously, if my company suddenly starts not paying, they would eventually evict me, but they know that I won’t pay them directly. It’s complicated for the LW by the fact that there is a cost share, but is there a way to set it up so that the cost share is over the longer term? So instead of needing to pay half and half monthly, perhaps the company is directly responsible for the rent for 6 months and the LW for the rest?

    Regardless, LW2, you need to find a way to make this your company’s problem and not yours. When you get calls asking about payment, firmly tell them to call whoever the POC is at your company and refuse to engage further. This is pretty outrageous, as is the fact that no one is treating it with any urgency. Please know that this is NOT normal and you need to escalate this quickly until it is resolved.

    1. WS*

      +1, I have also been in this position and the landlord billed the company directly. It didn’t come down to me to scramble at the last minute.

      1. Shiny*

        Exactly. And it sounds from the letter that the company purposely sets it up so that the LW is not on the hook for making the payment, even though half of the money is theirs. So there is really no reason that the LW should have to scramble! Though I know that for a conscientious person, which I’m sure the LW is, the obligation to pay on time can feel intense.

        Maybe if the company has to eat a few substantial late fees, they’ll develop some urgency around paying on time.

        1. EPLawyer*

          Depends on whose name is actually on the lease. If LW signed the lease, even having this arrangement with the company, the landlord does not care that the company promised to pay. They are going to the person who signed the lease.

          LW needs to deal with her company to get this straightened out. Not make it the landlord’s problem to chase down the money.

  14. Irish Teacher.*

    LW3, I think you could just say something like, “because of a medical condition, I’m currently having problems with X and Y. I hope to get it sorted soon.”

    1. AVP*

      Does the language change here if it’s actually unlikely to be sorted out soon?

      Where I live the shortage is dire, all of the other meds they recommend switching to are also unavailable (because so many people switched already) and there really doesn’t seem to be a solution anywhere in sight for this. It’s been going on since at least last summer.

      Asking for a, um, friend who is running out of my hoarded emergency supply very quickly. (My boss does know about the adhd, though, as we knew each other socially before I took a job here.)

  15. Vanilla latte*

    LW1 – I was in Joel’s position a few years ago. I took an internal role that was sold to me as a senior position, but in reality was more of an entry-level, admin assistant role. Coupled with some concerning behavior with my new manager (anger management issues), I decided to have a transparent conversation with my manager and let him know the role was not what I had envisioned and if there was some way to either work it out or for me to look for another internal role that was more aligned to my level/skill set.

    Manager seemed caught off guard but refused to do anything. I tried talking to HR about the situation but there was little they could do. I found out that some background info about how my role came about and that the hiring manager and the leadership were deliberately deceptive about the role when they interviewed me and other candidates.

    I stayed in the role for a few months before leaving for an external role. My manager acted completely shocked that I was leaving, even though we had had multiple conversations about my concerns.

    Sometimes when people are trying to tell you there is an issue…it’s because there is an issue.

    1. I should really pick a name*

      This is the flip side of the recent letter about employees being shocked when they’re fired.

    2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      I have also been a Joel in a few of my past jobs. I’d get hired to do X, show up on my first day, and find out I’m instead doing Y. First time it happened, I had the same reaction you did; left for an external role after a few months. No one was shocked though, including the owner, who half-heartedly told me “oh we didn’t know you were THAT unhappy.” (Everyone else made a point of walking up to me to say “I’d have done the same in your place.”) At one job, I had a teammate in the same situation and watched him being frank and open about the fact that he was not doing what he’d been hired to do. Our managers then worked with him to make sure he got to do work that was a better use of his talent. He moved up through the ranks quickly and was an amazing contributor. So I followed his example and spoke up when I felt I needed to do different work or move teams.

    3. Chirpy*

      I’m currently having this issue. Management doesn’t like me “complaining” but also won’t do a single thing about the issue that’s been going on for years. I’m out as soon as I can find a new job and they will be completely screwed without me.

    4. Happy meal with extra happy*

      But you weren’t in Joel’s position. Joel is being asked to do the role he was hired; he just doesn’t like the older systems he’ll have to use in that role. It’s not an invalid complaint, but this is not a bait and switch situation. Up until now nothing wrong has been done to him, and if OP follows the advice of Alison (which is likely because they had the foresight to seek a gut check on their immediate response), nothing wrong will still be done to Joel by the company.

      1. Willow Pillow*

        I have been in Joel’s position and I don’t think your bar is reasonable – Joel doesn’t need to have anything explicitly done wrong to him in order to be dissatisfied. Getting stuck with outdated systems is a specific issue within tech and it can really hinder job prospects.

        1. Happy meal with extra happy*

          I think you may be misreading my comment. I said his complaint was valid.

          1. Willow Pillow*

            And yet “He just doesn’t like the older systems he’ll have to use in that role” communicates the opposite. I can see why you would identify with LW here.

            1. Happy meal with extra happy*

              What’s wrong about identifying with the LW? I understand their concerns along with Joel’s concerns. It’s a sucky situation because it sounds like it’s not an issue about the role itself but the technology used to do the role. If Joel’s not going to be happy in the role as is, he should 100% walk if necessary, but it still sucks for the LW to lose a new employee so quickly.

  16. emecheta*

    LW1 as others have said, not a red flag at all.
    In fact, Joel’s giving you some good insight on possible discrepancies between the job posting and the actual job. It sounds like Joel thought he’d be doing more substantial, proactive work rather than babysitting techs that are learning to use an outdated system. (Which indicates a much bigger problem with your company and their disinterest in tech relevancy).
    If you do need to hire someone new, make sure it’s clear your hiring someone familiar with “old system” to oversee and deal with the quirks of that system. And you’ll need to find for someone that’s not looking to advance too much in their career

  17. Jennifer @unchartedworlds*

    LW1, I agree with the people who are framing Joel’s bluntness as a kind of asset to you. It reminds me of a book I was just reading – “Leadership is Language”, by L David Marquet (same person who wrote Turn the Ship Around). One of the themes of the book is how bosses often get left in the dark because people don’t want to contradict them or bring bad news. He phrases it in terms of “communicating up the power gradient”. When that’s made difficult, teams don’t run as effectively, because they miss out on the info that doesn’t get shared.

    1. Anon in Aotearoa*

      I’m reading this same book! I thought of his examples in the book when I was reading the letter. (Excellent book; it’s already changing how I communicate with people).

  18. JSPA*

    RE #3, wouldn’t it be great if companies proactively said,

    “we understand that there are several very commonly used medications in short supply at the moment. Please know that we have instructed all of our managers to accept ‘I may require short term accommodations, details to be determined, due to a medication shortage’ at face value, without further probing for details” ?

      1. Nespresso_Addict*

        I absolutely would cry with relief at such a message. It’s hell trying to ration what little remaining supply I personally have – saving my pills for the days I think I will *most* need to be on my game. For what it’s worth, when calling around to pharmacies again yesterday I found that my local CVS now has the brand name back in stock, just not the generic. Hopefully insurance companies will be willing to cover the branded product under the circumstances.

        1. Queen Ruby*

          Rationing is not fun at all. I stopped taking it on weekends and when I have quiet afternoons at work so my supply lasts a little longer.

    1. I have RBF*


      It’s not just Adderall that has shortages. A disability group I am in has had people complaining or even freaking out over various medication shortages for the last six months or more. Adderall, Stratera, Ritalin, etc, IIRC have all had shortages. It’s the “invisible hand of the market” screwing people over.

      Many of these meds have severe withdrawal symptoms, plus not having them screws with a lot of people’s livelihoods. An email about general medication shortages for both physical and mental conditions would be a welcome thing. Even something like a blood pressure medication shortage can have consequences for people’s work.

      1. anon4medical*

        My steroid inhaler is apparently also used to treat lung inflamation in covid patients. I’m taking a puff every 2.5 days, instead of daily, and really focus on holding it in and moving it around.

        I can absolutely feel that my lungs are protesting when I take that (so welcome) deep breath with the meds, and it’s distinctly worse if I let 2.5 days get to 3 days.

        There are any number of jobs where, “yeah, not really breathing right” will impact performance!

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

    Re: #2

    It has happened twice already, so it’s probably a deliberate effort by your employer to get out of the rent sharing agreement.

    1. SarahKay*

      I think you may be under-estimating the side-effects of working for a large company that considers cost to be the primary (and often only) factor when out-sourcing specific functions.
      I work for a global corp with healthy and excellent cash-flow, but this is exactly the sort of thing that would be out-sourced to the lowest bidder and would be done badly as a result.
      The people most affected by the poor work will be lower-level; they will complain to their managers who may well escalate it, but it certainly feels like the reports of poor performance never get high enough up the chain to reach the person rubbing their hands in glee over the cost savings they’ve gained.
      Basically, incompetence rather than malice.

      1. bamcheeks*

        I’ve also been in a situation where this was done in-house but because it was a one-off, unique payment and for such a low amount it wasn’t prioritised in anyone’s processes. The finance office had people whose main jobs were Salary payments, Petty cash amounts, casual timesheets and expenses sheets: Regular accounts from major suppliers which billed monthly. Large one-off payments of £50k and over.

        One off payments that didn’t fit into any larger process and were substantial to me but minuscule by the organisation’s accounting systems just very easily fell between the cracks very easily. (Same reason the same employer was bad at paying one-off freelance staff: there just weren’t enough of them for it to be a a substantial piece of someone’s job, so they’d constantly get deprioritised.)

    2. Mockingjay*

      I lived overseas for nearly a decade. Transocean issues like this crop up frequently, even for companies and agencies that a large portion of their work is conducted overseas. New hire in accounts, system update that didn’t account for foreign tax rule, any number of things.

      @Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd noted upthread that payroll and accounts payable are likely not synced; I can attest that is the case. Given that it’s happened twice, OP needs to escalate the problem, but I doubt it’s a matter of corporate insolvency, just corporate incompetence. It can be fixed.

  20. Hiring Mgr*

    I don’t think it’s a red flag that Joel is raising concerns, but there’s also nothing wrong with being frustrated that a new hire is already talking about transferring teams after just a couple of weeks.

    1. JSPA*

      Oh, for sure. But if you focus on the frustration, you lose the chance to have a strong part-time person, and thus several weeks-to-many-months of decent coverage.

      Even Joel is wanting to transition to the other job full-time, he may still be willing to make a gradual shift, in the name of getting two excellent references when he eventually moves on.

      And from what was written, it sounds like Joel feels underutilized (and the comfort of working with processes that have already been aligned for efficiency, instead of being very, “in process”). It’s possible that he’s hoping to use the other team as a model for how this team could function better, and that he legit thinks it’s possible for him to mold the role in such a way that it indeed only takes 30 or 40% of his time.

      If he’s right, that’s a win for both of you.

      And if he wants to ditch some of the job…it’s still potentially a win. If someone is successfully handling 75% and 95% of was originally conceived as 2 full time jobs, just because he likes the challenge and wants the growth prospects…and in the process, leaving some money on the table…the answer may well be to hire a temp for the grunt work. Still a win, all around, if you let it be one.

      And if he helps you whip the department into shape, but steps on a few toes? Then transitioning (mostly) out to another department, after that, is also possibly the best answer.

      1. Hiring Mgr*

        All of that is possible – but after only a couple of weeks there’s no way Joel knows if any of this is the case. It sounds like he was hired for something specific (helping train the others) and now doesn’t want to do that role.

        It’s fine to be blunt and have concerns and questions, and there’s no need to take it personally, but I’d still be side eyeing Joel a bit here

        1. JSPA*

          If I answered a posting for a senior technician, and that posting referenced “helping” the newer / younger team members, “mentoring” them, and dealing with complex questions beyond their abilities, I would not draw from that description the idea that I’d primarily be training junior technicians on new systems, training junior technicians in general, de-facto managing junior techs, or sweet-talking junior techs into feeling comfortable with an ever-changing process, as their new manager institutes a series of changes.

          I wonder if the LW, being new to management, somewhat conflates “mentor,” “trainer,” “manager,” “skilled backup,” and any number of other roles, just because LW has been trying to be all of those things to all of his reports?

          Plenty of job descriptions end up landing as a “bait and switch” not because the people in management who write the descriptions are jerks, but because they have tunnel vision as far as how they’re imagining the role, and they use descriptors that to an outside person would instead suggest quite a different role. Unless the job description literally said, “80% of your job is to teach the juniors all that you know, and help them deal with changeover to new systems,” I’m thinking that Joel could equally be writing in, here.

          1. Colette*

            There’s no indication that Joel was in any way mislead about what the job entailed. It just sounds like he doesn’t like the job that he took.

            1. JSPA*

              I’m quoting the LW’s own words, though. They describe the role in two quite different ways. It’s not such a jump to think that one of those ways might have been more fully reflected in the job description, than the other.

        2. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          It sounds like he was hired for something specific (helping train the others) and now doesn’t want to do that role.

          Agree 100%. The red flag is that the job Joel has and the job Joel wants to do are not the same job.

          In private, LW#1 probably needs to find a private time and place to remind Joel that “if he likes the cheques, the gig that he has now is how he continues to get them.”

          1. nnn*

            No! If Joel is someone who’s confident about his options, he’s likely to walk that day. I would after hearing that. It’s so dismissive and patronizing. The manager doesn’t always have all the power. In this case Joel might have more.

            1. Willow Pillow*

              Yeah, I don’t remember where I read the story (AAM? Not Always right?), but I distinctly recall a talented new hire calmly saying “oh no, that won’t do” and walking out on his first day of the job. Joel very likely has more power than LW does.

                1. Willow Pillow*

                  Thank you for finding that!! If LW chooses to give Joel an ultimatum and he calls them on it, they are in the same place they were before he started. If LW likes not having all the projects and the mentoring on their plate, they’re gonna have to do some conceding.

          2. Phoenix Wright*

            Wow, this is certainly a way to lose an employee in record time. This is so disrespectful that I’d probably consider quitting on the spot if anyone spoke to me like that, and I’m someone who hates confrontation.

            Joel knows full well that he needs to do his current job if he wants to keep being paid, otherwise he would have quietly stopped doing it while still cashing the check. He’s complaining because he doesn’t want to do this specific work but would prefer to remain in LW’s company, and frankly LW should be grateful that he’s giving her this heads up. Many others would simply quit without notice when they realize the job isn’t for them.

            Antagonizing Joel would help no one. His only options aren’t “stay and do this job” or “stay and do a different job”; there’s also “quit and do a different job for a different company”.

            1. Colette*

              I’m actually not sure the company should put a great deal of effort into retaining Joel – there’s not really a benefit to the company to retaining someone who has worked there 2 weeks.

          3. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

            Did I read a different letter?

            In two weeks, Joel is already badgering for role hybridization that LW has already acknowledged and wants out already? If he’s being this blunt about his dissatisfaction to his supervisor, those he’s supposed to be mentoring are likely hearing similar things. Having been around Joels in the past, it does nothing good for morale.

            In two weeks, even a Sr. Support Analyst, has he even fully ramped up to the entire role?

            If he walks out, LW#1 dodges a bullet and she does what she should do anyway; hire someone who wants to do the job to fill the open position.

          4. Appletini*

            Attitudes like this are why we have laws against demanding sexual favors from employees.

          5. Nina*

            That sounds like an amazingly efficient way to lose a brand new employee and start hiring all over again.

            The job that Joel thinks he was signing on for and the job Joel actually has are obviously two different things, or he wouldn’t have signed on for it. Having to work with inefficient systems when you know how to make them more efficient but aren’t allowed to is a special kind of hell and I can totally see not wanting to stay in a role under those conditions.

        3. Eldritch Office Worker*

          I agree. There are certainly situations where you join a job and immediately know it’s not for you – and maybe this is one of them, I don’t know. But I think it’s more typical to give it a couple of months, get past the transition/onboarding weirdness, and see what the long term will actually be like. I can’t fault Joel for being a direct communicator, but I might have kept this under my hat a little longer.

  21. Sssssssssssssssssssssss*

    When I was determinedly job hunting in 2010 and applying for all the federal government jobs I remotely qualified for, the job posting was up for a few weeks.

    A few years later and again out of work, I noticed that federal job postings were up for a few days, sometimes only two days.

    As I live in the my country’s capital, federal jobs are very common…and very desired due to the good wages, benefits and pension. The sheer number of applications and the onerous interview process is probably why they started closing jobs after two days.

    One job I applied to in the 2010 volley took eight months from initial application to final rejection. They were booking university lecture halls to do the initial testing round as there were so many applicants. I don’t find this the best use of my tax dollars!

  22. HonorBox*

    LW2 – I’d second the suggestion made above that you talk to your landlord about setting up billing directly with the company. That gives you a little more flexibility and grace perhaps in a situation like this.
    Having said that, I’d be escalating this all the way to the top of the escalator. It isn’t just that they aren’t paying… they’re not paying with YOUR money that is being withheld from your check. I’d ring your boss. I’d ask them to ring whoever is the right person to move this process faster. You cannot and should not have to have this financial exposure and this is exactly the sort of thing that causes people to leave companies. Them not paying your rent is exactly the same as them not cutting you a paycheck or allowing you to use your PTO. This is an agreed upon part of your compensation and it is putting you in a really precarious position. This can’t happen again. Mistakes happen. But once. A second occurrence means there’s a process broken, someone not doing their job correctly, willful harm. Any of those things need to be cleaned up.

    1. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

      I think talking to the landlord, about all of this, is definitely one of the most important steps.

      Explain what’s going on, ask if there are other arrangements they’d prefer (like annual prepay), make sure they have good contact info for your employer’s accounts payable people (including ways of handling language issues, if any). It’s not your job, and you shouldn’t have to be doing this, but since you are in effect the face of your company in this locale, it’s something you’re going to end up doing now and then anyway.

  23. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

    OP2 (rent) – Who is actually named contractually as the tenant? You or the company? If it’s the company – why is the landlord chasing you personally for payment? Redirect them to otur company rather than pay it yourself. If it’s you – why are the company paying directly rather than remit the money to you and you pay the rent? This arrangement seems like the worst of both worlds.

    Are there other people (who you’re in contact with) in the same position? If so can you find out whether they’ve had the same issue? (Might help in informing the approach to take)

    I think although it’s a standard approach, it isn’t a standard payroll process and has an element of being ad hoc to it. It’s probably on a list (or mental list) of things to do each month rather than automatic. I wonder if the missed months are where the usual person had PTO or was sick or whatever and someone was covering and didn’t know it needed to be done.

    Especially if it’s at the company’s request that you’ve made the move – this is shoddy.

    1. I'm Just Here for the Cats!!*

      I can totally see a landlord taking advantage of a foreigner living in their country and relying on a company to pay. They may have cornered her or not let her into the apartment until payment was met or threatened immediate eviction.The landlord could have been counting on this foreigner not knowing the landlord-tenant laws in that country and figured they could strong arm her.

  24. I should really pick a name*

    I think this is a flag that you should make sure that all relevant info about the job is being communicated during the interview process.

  25. HailRobonia*

    The Adderall shortage is the one that makes the news, but ever since COVID hit there have been shortages of many other medications – I think many are from supply chain issues.

    As Alison and others have said, you don’t need to go into specifics. Many years ago when I was inexperienced, when I would call in sick I would give TMI. My boss was fantastic, and she took me aside one day and said there was typically no need to share all that information – just say I will be out sick and if it is something more serious, maybe give a heads up that I might need multiple days.

    Then she gave some advice that could have come right out of AAM: she said she would never judge people for their physical or mental health conditions but some people do, consciously or unconsciously, so in my career I should keep that in mind.

  26. Art3mis*

    Re: #3… I was diagnosed with ADHD much later in life. I’m not medicated because they don’t seem to work. And it seems like every doctor’s response to first line treatment that doesn’t work is just to shrug and give up. I’ve been able to maintain a good work history, if there’s decent training. My current job does not have decent training and I’m struggling a lot to learn the ins and outs. I don’t want to disclose it to my manager, I don’t think it will change anything. And I can’t say that I’m working with my doctor on a medical condition because I’m not. (And don’t tell me to find a new doctor, I’ve seen so many doctors in my life, and most just do.not.give.a.flying.f*ck.)

    1. anon ADHDer*

      Have you worked out any particular things that help you, specifically? For example, having a quiet working space that doesn’t have a lot of stuff lying around helps me immensely, so in your case I might tell my new boss that I have found that having that greatly improves the quality of my work, so would it be possible to, say, order me a pair of headphones and a little closed storage unit to hold the office supplies currently scattered across my desk. (In other words, ask for stuff that helps you without mentioning the ADHD part of it.)

  27. NNT*

    LW5- If you’re repeatedly seeing this, it’s almost certain that positions you’re applying for are super competitive and are being unposted as soon as a certain number of applicants is hit. I am a recruiter for a well known health insurance company, and I unpost every job posting within 3 days maximum. One time I left a posting up for a week and ended up with 4000 applicants, which hampers the functionality of our applicant tracking system, and makes it impossible to review everyone anyway. But I have been on the other side of the equation, having positions I was interested in for this company repeatedly taken down before I could apply for them, so I understand the frustration. You likely need to accept this reality and alter your approach.

    For me, I invested some time in writing a few versions of cover letters to this company when there were no positions posted, so that once I saw something open I could quickly tweak it and send my application materials in. I set LinkedIn alerts so that I would immediately know if a job was posted.

    Basically, there is usually a single person on the other end reviewing resumes, which by its very nature means bandwidth is limited. The reason you limit the pool is to avoid having candidates waste their time sending materials you know you’ll never have time to review. But if you can get the timing right on applying, I’d argue you can make this an advantage for you- if they’re limiting the applications they get, that likely means they are really trying to review them all. Reviewing them all means that if you get yours in, and you are a great candidate, your materials won’t get buried the same way they might if a company left a posting up for weeks and weeks. Just find a way to make this work for you, and you may discover it works out really well. (It did for me)

    1. OP4*

      Thanks for the advice. I’m in a creative role that isn’t associated with writing, so even though I have about 10 different versions of cover letters, it can take me an additional hour or two to finish tailoring everything to fit the role perfectly. There’s a huge range of responsibilities that I take care of and I have different examples of each. So it’s not as simple as “have a cover letter ready to go.” I guess I need to let go of being able to reread everything at a later time, then.

  28. JTP*

    Re #4 — I’m also in the creative field. Sometimes they also get pulled because they were scams.

  29. Queen Ruby*

    As someone who can barely function without Adderall, the shortage has me almost in panic mode (almost, because I have a few weeks supply left lol). I honestly do not know how I will get my work done as effectively as I usually do, and I’m terrified of the impact this could have on my job performance. I’m a client-facing project manager overseeing 12 projects – I need to be on top of everything and that means staying very organized! I’ve been at my job for 8 months, so I’m still new-ish and proving myself. My manager knows I have ADHD and take Adderall. I’m pretty open about it, mostly I joke about it, and no one has ever reacted negatively, mostly they’re just curious about how Adderall works and how it helps me.
    I dread having to ask for accommodations in the event I can’t get Adderall. I’m certain my manager and company would be totally supportive of anything I needed, but the fact is that even with that support, my performance will probably still suffer. That scares me! I interact with so many people and wouldn’t want my reputation to be affected.

  30. Meowmmy*

    OP #3

    It highly depends on the culture of your company. I work on a small team where about 75% of the (very talented) team members have ADHD. We have a very open culture and great bonds with each other.

    One of our top people has been suffering from the Adderall shortage, and has let us know about their struggle. There is no shame surrounding this is in my company. In a less accepting culture (ew), this might be problematic or lead to some bias against you.

  31. Rebecca*

    LW2: I worked in international schools and they almost always provided some kind of housing assistance.

    You have to make it their problem. Right now, you’re solving the problem FOR them. You have contact with the rental agency – can you explain the situation? If they start chasing your employer for the rent instead of you, they don’t have you solving it for them, and a few late notices on bills coming across their desk is a problem to solve. Failing that, I had to threaten a school once to complain to the well known, highly reputable organization that ran the job fair and recruitment that they hadn’t fulfilled all the requirements of my contract, which might have resulted in them not being able to use that organization and their reputation in the future. SUDDENLY I got all this backpay to correct errors they’d been dragging their heels on – is there something like that you can do?

    I know it feels like your problem because you are the one who is living there – but your employer is dropping the ball, not you. Next time the landlord asks for rent, give them your employer’s phone number.

  32. anon ADHDer*

    OP #3: If you feel you need to say more, you might tell your boss that because of a medication shortage, you are being switched to a new medicine. You don’t have to say which medicines/what diseases are involved. That way, you are also subtly saying that your previous (presumably good) performance occurred when you were already sick, i.e. nothing has changed about your work, it’s just that the pandemic-spawned supply chain issues are hitting us again ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    (There’ve been shortages for ADHD, allergy, and asthma medications in the last year or so, so this isn’t going to out you as having ADHD.)

    1. Eldritch Office Worker*

      Of those, ADHD is most associated with cognitive ability, so it’s unlikely that they aren’t going to make that assumption. I’m not saying you aren’t technically correct, any medication interruption can be disabling, but it’s not realistic to assume people aren’t going to connect the phrase “medication shortage” with adderall and ritalin right now.

    2. Cat Lady in the Mountains*

      I was recently on the manager side of this conversation with one of my team members (she disclosed her ADHD ages ago, but just told me how the shortage was impacting her this week). Honestly, the toolbox is the same as if she didn’t specify the medication – express support, ask her what she needs, renegotiate priorities and expectations if she wants to, point her to our benefits where they’re helpful, open the door for her to come to me if she has other ideas. I appreciate that she trusted me enough to tell me what she was experiencing, and it made the “what’s most helpful right now?” conversation a little more straightforward. But I certainly don’t know how different medical situations affect different individuals, so I can’t offer “because it’s ADHD as opposed to asthma here’s what we’re going to do.” (And I really, really don’t think that’s ever a manager’s role.)

      So if your manager is generally supportive of medical stuff/life stuff, the benefits of being specific are marginal — it probably won’t change the outcomes you get — and there’s lots of risk.

  33. Moonlight*

    I wouldn’t recommend giving your boss an excuse to live out her biases via letting her know you have ADHD. I have had terrible experiences here (literally exactly what Alison said might happen from a manager who’d likely swear up and down that she’s supportive of people with ADHD – having good intentions isn’t always enough!)


  34. Matcha Latte*

    OP3: I was hit by the Adderall shortage at the end of last year. My ADHD is truly debilitating without medication, and I had to take a medical leave for about a month. I’m no longer having issues getting my prescription, but here’s what I told my manager:

    “I have a neurological disorder which requires medication for basic functioning. There’s currently a national shortage of my medication, and none of the pharmacies in my region have been able to get any stock. To be clear, I’m not in medical danger without it, but without this med, my condition is highly disabling.”

    Fortunately, we’re in HR and I have a teammate who is open about her own ADHD. I’ve chosen not to disclose mine, but it’s possible my manager put the pieces together based on news headlines about the shortage. If he has, I wouldn’t know, because his behavior toward me hasn’t changed, so I consider myself very lucky.

    1. Moonlight*

      You’re so lucky that if he put the pieces together it hasn’t affected his behaviour! That was not my experience at all, which sucked.

      1. Matcha Latte*

        Oh totally, I just hope it stays that way! I’m so sorry you had a negative experience, that must’ve been so hard.

  35. Cruciatus*

    #4 — I encountered this just yesterday (and a few weeks ago). A good employer in my city posted an administrative assistant position starting at $42K (this is more than I make at the university I’ve worked at for 7.5 years). It was posted on Tuesday, on my lunch break yesterday I was ready to apply and…it was already gone. Fuuudge! Only, I didn’t say fudge. They did the same a few months ago for the same title, but they had it up 4 days. I figured I’d be able to apply to this new one in time (2 days!!) based on the previous timeline but…nope. But now I have my cover letter ready. So frustrating because I’m (on paper anyway) a really good fit for this position and I had the thought that Alison did that they don’t necessarily have a great pool of candidates. Just an excessive pool of candidates. All the more frustrating because I’m just ready to move on and I have my eyes set on that position to start and now I will have to wait for who knows how long before it comes up again. Sigh.

    1. OP4*

      Hugs! I also swore a lot each time I clicked submit and the next page read “This job positing is no longer open.”

  36. Looper*

    LW1- Joel has done you a favor by being very clear about where he’s at. Do him a favor and be VERY clear about what you need, up to an including telling Joel you will start looking for a replacement. Neither of you are in the wrong for having needs, but don’t engage in wishful thinking with someone who is telling you they are ready to leave. You both need to start looking for a better fit, so go ahead and do that.

  37. ADHD Manager*

    As an HR Manager who has ADHD and works with other strong leaders who also have ADHD, I will always disclose to normalize. However, I also recognize not all employers are as accepting and they make their own assumptions on your performance. I say it should be at the employees’ discretion. I just don’t want to live in a world where I cannot openly be myself.

    1. Eldritch Office Worker*

      Seconding the value of people with influence (and job security) disclosing to normalize. It’s incredibly valuable for that example to bet set, and for stigma to be challenged.

      But also agreed, that’s a personal risk that should be at individual discretion. Not everyone has the same risk tolerance, and not everyone is facing the same risk depending on their background, position, and many other factors.

    2. Dawn*

      Given that you are the HR manager in this situation, I would suspect that you can disclose with rather less risk than most people.

  38. Rapunzel Rider*

    OP3, totally not work related but thank you for the reminder that I need to call in for my Adderall refill.

  39. ArtK*


    I’ve made a career out of going into places where things have been neglected or just badly maintained. It takes a particular mind set to deal with those situations. It can be tremendously frustrating — there’s a permanent dish in my desktop from banging my head on it. (Not really, but you get the idea.) Many of those projects have failed because management wasn’t completely committed to them. “It’s not completely broken so we’re not going to spend the money to fix it” is all too familiar.

    This likely is the first time that Joel has been in this kind of situation, and he may not have the right personality to deal with it. In your conversation you need to identify the situation and make it clear what the time frame is for fixing it and what his role will be in doing that. A project plan would be a good place to start: “We’re updating software X by the end of the month, software Y can’t be updated until X is, so it will follow…” If you just say “yeah, the current situation isn’t good, but we’re working on it,” I guarantee that he’ll walk. Give him a plan and he *might* stay if the time frame makes sense and you can convince him that it’s realistic.

    1. ArtK*

      By the way, the magic term is “Technical Debt.” That’s what you’ve got and have to pay down.

    2. Elle Kay*

      Are you in my head? Because this is my whole world.

      It’s definitely one thing to be hired for a job that is specifically to manage “old tech” and even one where the goal is to “upgrade old tech” but timelines, projects, and commitments are required and so few places want to give them.

      But also a lot of businesses just seem to be oblivious to the fact that they’re asking expert level technical folx to come in and manage outdated tech while delaying and delaying necessary changes for “reasons” (usually $$$ they would rather keep for themselves) and then when said experts point it out and/or try to find better systems, they get told to stay in their lane. I think offering a project plan that has real details and real adherence is the only way you can convince someone who is in this latter category.

      (Ask me about the time management wouldn’t let us “upgrade” a Windows 2000 server that was only running a file share because “reasons” even though that machine was exposed to the internet AND got cryptolocked at least once a week. It was 2016.)

  40. KatEnigma*

    LW1: Joel has enough experience to know just how effed over his department is, and how unacceptable that is. The college hires didn’t realize this. YOU didn’t realize it, apparently. Instead of getting mad at Joel, fix it. ASAP. Don’t hire someone with experience and then get mad that they, you know, use their experience. Joel knows he can get hired tomorrow at many places, where the tech isn’t years out of date!

  41. anon4this*

    I’m the main FT front desk worker at a relatively small academic library (for almost 5 years) and recently we had our feedback survey that’s taken every 2 years. I was pulled aside by my supervisor and told that a survey respondent named me as being rude during an interaction and felt that it was “racially motivated.” There was no further elaboration or details. I can’t think of a specific incident this would be about, especially if the time range is over the past 2 years. I interact with multiple students almost every day of different races. Not all of my interactions go 100% great, but I generally try to do my best to help them. Also for context, I’m an Asian American (though I know this doesn’t mean I can’t perpetuate racism).

    Both my supervisor and I take this very seriously but due to lack of details, it’s hard to know what else to do next. She said in general that she trusts me (my previous performance reviews have been very positive so I think she’s being honest there). We have had conversations before about me needing to improve my customer service skills (personal phone usage and proactive greeting of patrons). This along with hiring a new part-time front desk person and getting our student workers to be more attentive, she sees this as an opportunity for a customer service reset. We plan to talk again in April.

    My intended goal (once my acute distress towards myself wears off) is try to be more self-aware and do better in my all of my interactions. But that feels so abstract, I feel like I’m missing something more pragmatic or more directly related to unintentional bias. Does anyone have any experience or advice with matters like this?

    Some additional info:
    – I’ve felt stagnant at my current job for a little while plus the pandemic I think has ground up a lot of energy I used to have for customer service friendliness and I’ve felt myself becoming more brusque than I’d like to be.
    – My supervisor also said my face mask could make my expression/demeanor harder to read as positive (I’m the only one still consistently wearing one among library staff).

    1. anon4this*

      Augh, my phone was glitching reaaly badly and I meant to post this to the open thread. I’m so sorry!

  42. AcidQueen*

    OP3, I wanted to comment that I have been experiencing a medication shortage since November for a compound injectable, so it’s not just for ADHD meds! Mine is pretty embarrassing to explain so I’ve had to kinda make vague references to it all. When I called out sick, I pre-empted my boss by saying that the medicine shortage is making me feel off, but I’m working with my doctor on a solution (so I don’t have to hear unsolicited advice). I did add that in the future I may need to go back in to the doctor’s office for immediate medicine/treatment and may cause times I’m out sick. Short and sweet!

  43. s*

    LW 5, I’m also in a competitive creative industry and 24-48 hours is pretty common for entry and lower level jobs. IME it’s a combination of what Alison said about being flooded with applications right away, and a very tight turnaround (posting the job application Monday hoping to interview on Wednesday and hire someone who can start Friday.) Basically I learned to have a cover letter template and resume ready to go and drop everything to submit it when a job opportunity arose.

  44. Dawn*

    LW3: If you can afford it, this might also be a good time to talk to your doctor about possibly taking medical leave or intermittent leave.

    Not having your mental health medication can both be absolute hell and is no fault of your own here; you should not feel guilty if you have to take some time off to figure it out or to wait out the shortage.

  45. Fish*

    LW2: I’m not familiar with your rent situation, but I can say that big international firms can be incredibly bureaucratic, and certainly in the accounting department.

    Apologies for the vagueness, but at a past employer I requested a check for Payee X. Several weeks later, Payee X politely notified me they hadn’t received it.

    I discovered the check hadn’t even been issued yet, because this payment required OK’s from several other people. One of them hadn’t responded despite Accounting’s repeated follow-up emails, and that was holding up the check.

    For me, the issue wasn’t whether the firm’s procedure was or wasn’t efficient. It was that the approvers needed to know their prompt response was called for, and then they needed to respond promptly.

  46. CLC*

    Maybe it’s because I’m well into middle age, but I’ve been totally open about ADHD at work for several years. My current company claims to be inclusive of neurodiversity. I wasn’t able to get Adderall XR for the first time in 15 years 6 weeks ago and I’m stuck taking instant release which does not seem to work for me at all. I had no problem mentioning it to my manager. She understood. I still don’t have Adderall XR though and it still really, really sucks. I don’t think most people without ADHD understand what a big deal it is. It’s one of the most effective medications for anything ever, and it allows people to feel calm, comfortable, and focused. Without it every day is like forcing a square brain into a round hole.

  47. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    #1 – Joel is —

    a) being candid with you and trying to get the most out of the organization
    b) using his experience to help you reach your goals and (one thing I’ve seen often in IS/IT)
    c) is likely over-qualified for what you’re asking him to do.

    He’s working with you, not against you. And if someone wants to move forward/upward, and he/she is qualified – as a manager, you’re helping EVERYONE if you try to make it happen.

  48. lulu*

    Be great if employers did put deadlines on jobs. I can’t tell you the number of times I have worked on my resume and cover letter; let it sit over night so I could proofread with fresh eyes in the morning, only to see the job disappeared in the middle of the night. So frustrating!!

  49. Office Gumby*

    OP 4 – I feel your frustration. I’ve been on both sides of the line for these quick-closing jobs.

    I can give you one reason why a job posting might close within 48 hours. Like Alison mentioned, often a job posting might be closed once a certain number of applications has been reached.

    We have a particular position where I work that is highly desirable. So much so that it’s not often one spot comes available, because once people get in this job, they tend to stay for life. I kid you not. It’s a sweet, sweet job. *I* wouldn’t mind having that job, and would work it until retirement.

    The last time we posted an opening for this position, we received over 600 applications within the first 24 hours. By the time we closed for applications at the 48 hour mark, we had over 800. No way and no reason would we have considered keeping it open for longer than that. If we can’t find a suitable candidate within those eight hundred applications, somewhere something’s gone terribly wrong.

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