should I be worried by maxed-out company credit cards, an aggressive-driver coworker, and more

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

1. A recruiter got angry that I contacted a company directly

Someone contacted me through LinkedIn and said he was recruiting for an executive assistant role and asked if I had any contacts who might be interested. I used to work as an administrative coordinator with a specific community that the organization he was hiring for also worked with. I asked if he had a job description and any other information about the company, which he provided. The job description was thorough, but it wasn’t on company letterhead and when I checked out the company website, they didn’t have the job posted.

I was starting to worry that this might be a scam. I may just not be used to working with recruiters but I wanted to be sure before I sent it to anyone I knew. He also had the same name as a TV character (think Walter White), which made me a little more suspicious.

This is where I may have messed up. I didn’t think it would be a big deal to contact someone at the company he was recruiting for and just confirm that this was a legitimate position. I left a message with reception and left it at that.

I got an email from the recruiter the next day saying he heard that I had contacted the company and he was obviously hurt and angry. He sent me a rather hostile and condescending message about how this had never happened to him before and he deals in trust, etc. and made it clear he was no longer interested in my help.

I messaged him back apologizing for offending him but said that I’ve known people who were scammed while looking for work, I wanted to be sure this was a real opportunity, I don’t think it was unreasonable for me to contact the company, and I didn’t regret doing it. I got another rude response about how I don’t understand recruiting and then he blocked me.

I know I shouldn’t let this bother me, but I haven’t been working for three years because I had a kid, and I’m starting to think about going back to work. Now I’m sort of dreading the prospect. Was I wrong to have contacted the company? For what it’s worth, I considered applying to the job myself but decided I’m not ready for a full-time job as busy as this one seemed like it would be. At the same time, this company seemed really cool and even if I don’t want to work there now, maybe I will in future and have burned a bridge there.

Lastly, should I inform the company he was recruiting for about the messages he sent me? He didn’t swear or threaten me but he was definitely rude and immature. But I admit that I may just want to tell them because he was a jerk and it cheesed me off. If I was already wrong to contact them in the first place, I should probably quit while I’m ahead.

There are legitimate reasons recruiters are sometimes annoyed if a candidate contacts a company directly, including that the company may have hired them to recruit for a position that isn’t public yet (for example, because it’s a new role/initiative that they aren’t ready to publicize yet, or they’re replacing someone who doesn’t know they’re being replaced — which would also be reasons the job wasn’t listed on their website). Companies also sometimes hire recruiters when they don’t want to be bothered by calls from candidates.

But the recruiter’s reply was ridiculous and over-the-top. He could have simply explained what the issue was (or declined to work with you further if he felt that strongly). Sending you a hostile message about how this had never happened to him before (is he brand new to the work?) was a weirdly intense reaction.

I wouldn’t bother putting energy into informing the company. They know him, they don’t know you, and it risks muddying your name with them a little (even though it shouldn’t). You’re better off just figuring he’s not someone you would want to work with and moving on.

2. Can I do anything about my aggressive-driver coworker?

I work at a campus hospital in a medium-sized city. Sometimes, like everyone else, I encounter rude drivers on my morning commute: people who tailgate, people who cut you off, people who tailgate you until they get the chance to pass you and then cut you off as tightly as possible to express their anger that you were only going three miles above the speed limit in a residential neighborhood — you know, humans! Unfortunately, over the last year, one person has done this so frequently and with such vehemence that I now recognize both his face and his Audi. (Once he passes me, he immediately begins tailgating the next person, and I’ve seen him cut off plenty of other people. So I think this is just the terrible, terrible way he drives.)

Can anyone do anything about this? We work at the same place. We park in the same parking garage. With minimal effort, I could find the name to match that scowling face, and frankly I’d like to make him a custom bumper sticker with a cartoon version of his face and his personal cell phone number printed on it, along with a “how’s my driving” message. Anyway, what I would like even more than that is to just never think about this man again, but instead he pops up at least once a week being a real jerk behind the wheel. The answer is just, “you just have to let this one go,” right? There isn’t even a possible work-related reason this man should have to get his shit together? (Yes I’m autistic, no I can’t ever let anything go, yes OF COURSE I wish that was not the case.)

Yeah, you probably have to let it go. I suppose in theory you could leave a note on his car telling him he’s endangering other people — which would have the subtext of “some of the people you’re tailgating and cutting off are your coworkers, which means you’re not anonymous” — but I’m skeptical it’s going to do much good. If you have campus police, you could potentially alert them but I’m not sure they could do much with the report. Ultimately, there aren’t really good options here. (I do like the bumper sticker though.)

3. Should I be worried about maxed out company credit cards?

I work for a healthcare group that recently got bought out by private investors. It’s been a challenge for a few reasons, but I am nervous about one situation in particular. All the offices share one line of credit for our office credit cards. Most things, including bills, are charged to this account. About two months ago, I had some transactions for supplies decline. I emailed our accounting team and it was resolved in a day, with them stating they needed to pay down the balance.

This month, the same situation happened. I went to charge about $40 to the credit card for supplies, and the card declined. I emailed our accounting team, and no response. A few days went by and more bills were declined. Payments for vital supplies to run the business would not go through. No one responded to my emails questioning this, or emails from another staff member at another office. It took seven days for the card to work again, and no one has addressed what was going on. I’m nervous that the new investors do not have the money to be paying our bills. I do know our office is generating enough money to cover our expenses, but I’m not sure about the other locations. Could this be an indicator of a larger issue? Should this be a big enough red flag to look for another job? I don’t want to wait around if I’m seeing indicators that this business could be going under or is being mismanaged!

Yes, it’s a red flag. Either they’re not investing enough money to keep the business running or their systems are so disorganized that basic things aren’t happening, which means other basic things might not be happening either. (For example, are you going to find out three months from now that your retirement contributions were never deposited?) It’s possible there’s some less alarming explanation, but when payments for vital supplies aren’t going through, there’s a problem. I’d start looking around.

4. My employer hasn’t prepared for my departure

I gave notice two and a half weeks ago that I was resigning from my job for a new opportunity. My boss acknowledged the resignation, and talked about how she’d have a plan in place for my transition. I am now two days from my last day and my transition plan of who will take over my projects is still incomplete! I work in a client-facing role, and less than half of my clients have been reassigned to other client managers. I have clients who do not even know that I am leaving (if I haven’t met with them as recently) or know that I am leaving but still do not have someone to take over the projects from me. I also worry I won’t have time to bring my team members up to speed on the projects or introduce my clients to their new project lead.

What do I do? How much responsibility do I have in this situation? I worry I won’t have time to transition my projects before I go, and I don’t want to leave my clients or coworkers in the lurch because my leadership was ill-prepared.

Ultimately, this is their responsibility, not yours (unless you’re in a senior role where you’d be expected to lead the transition work yourself). That said, in a lot of roles, ideally you would have been taking the initiative on some of this — “here’s a list of my projects and where they stand, we need to train someone on XYZ, these clients still need to be reassigned,” etc. (and then what they did with the info from there, if anything, would be up to them). On the other hand, there are some roles where you wouldn’t even be expected to do that.

At this point, since you’re two days out, I’d give just give your boss a list of all of this and leave it with her; even if you ideally would have done some of it earlier, she’s been more responsible for managing it than you are are.

One thing to think about is how you want to handle clients who still don’t know you’re leaving. If you haven’t been explicitly told not to tell them, in many cases it would make sense to email and let them know (although be aware some companies very much don’t want you to do that without their okay, so you need to know your company on this one).

5. My interviewer offered me a feedback call but then never got back to me

I recently interviewed for a job and got a rejection email. In the email, the interviewer said, “If you would like feedback on your interview please let me know and we can arrange a time to speak.” I was happy to hear that, since I’d really like to get a job at an organization like theirs. I thought the offer to speak was a little strange, since usually I’d expect to get feedback via email if at all, but I went with the way they offered and replied asking when would be a convenient time for them.

This was four days ago and they haven’t replied. I wonder if I should have offered times myself, or suggested receiving the feedback by email to avoid taking up their time. At this point, can I follow up or should I just leave it be?

Sometimes people make offers like this fully intending it at the time but then higher priorities intervene. Other times they make the offer without thinking (sometimes because they’ve seen others make similar offers and haven’t thought through what’s really involved). Who can say which it is in this case, but it would be fine to follow up once after at least a full week has gone by — something like, “Just wanted to check back on this. I know you must be busy but if there’s a time that works for you in the next two weeks, I’d love to take you up on your offer for feedback.” If you still don’t get a response, let it drop at that point.

{ 373 comments… read them below }

  1. nodramalama*

    LW2 yeah you cant do anything. being a rude and aggressive driver isn’t a crime unless its SO aggressive its considering negligent or dangerous driving, so I don’t think informing anyone would do anything. Additionally, if you tried to call them out they’d likely just say that other drivers (i.e. you) are bad/slow/not paying attention.

    1. Emmy Noether*

      Huh, I thought that tailgating and cutting people off (endangering other traffic participants) was a punishable offense. Is it not in the US?

      Here (Germany) tailgating is punished by fines, or even suspension of the driver’s license, depending on speed and distance. For example, less than 40m (44yards) at 80km/h (50mph) can lead to a 100€ fine and one point towards losing one’s license (8 points and the license is withdrawn). 40m is not that close – an aggressive tailgater is certainly closer. And Germany has relatively cheap fines and low punishments (auto industry lobby, don’t get me started).

      You’d have to alert the actual police for that kind of consequence, though, and I don’t know many people who would do that, even in places where it’s less fraught than the US.

      1. D*

        Reckless driving can in fact get you a fine in the US, yeah. And if he gets into an accident, he’ll probably also get tagged with a ticket for following too closely, depending on where he is. He IS actually committing (minor) crimes.

        1. Cmdrshprd*

          Maybe this is getting into semantics, and it can vary state by state.
          But generally I think low level traffic offenses (no turn signal, minor speeding, tailgating etc…) are civil in nature aka you get a fine, but not criminal that you can be put in jail.

          Depending on the severity it can rise to a criminal offense, I think in my area speeding 35+ over can make it reckless driving and police can arrest you and impound your car, you can face jail time in addition to fines.

          Based on OPs description it could be enough to rise to criminal reckless driving if they are all being done at the same time frame.
          But I think if they are more individual instances (but repeated) tailgating, cutting off, speeding would likely be civil only traffic infractions and not criminal.

          1. Don't Send Your Kids to Hudson University*

            Traffic offenses are typically criminal, even if they don’t carry a potential penalty of jail time. So your understanding is correct that something like a ticket for speeding or following too closely most often result in a fine only, that doesn’t make them civil but rather more minor criminal offenses. Check in what section of a state’s code those kinds of violations are located and in what section of a court’s docket those offenses will be scheduled.

      2. I'd Rather Be Eating Dumplings*

        Yes, some of what OP describes could be ticketed, but it would have to be the police.

      3. Irish Teacher.*

        And surely breaking the speed limit should be actionable too, though I know that unless he is going significantly over the speed limit, it’s more the sort of thing he has to be caught in the act of than that one would report. I know the LW didn’t exactly say he was going over the speed limit, but she implied he was even worse than the people who speed to the extent that they even think other people who are breaking the speed limit are going slowly, so I suspect it’s likely he is going over it.

        1. RussianInTexas*

          I don’t think you can ever get a speeding ticket without police radar’s recording. There is zero way you will be fined for speeding just based on someone’s say so. Which is how it should be, I wouldn’t want to get a speeding ticket because someone THINKS I am going too fast.

          1. Cheesy*

            I’ve had people angrily gesture and shout to slow down when I used to drive a work truck and would in residential areas. I’d be going under the speed limit at the time as well, since our vehicles had fairly strict speed monitoring. We had the “How’s My Driving” stickers and people definitely did call in on workers as well, even when it outs them as being in the wrong, like complaining they didn’t yield when the caller was the one who had a yield sign and our driver had the right of way. Even in my own neighborhood, there’s a grump of an old man who walks his dog and gets mad at everyone for driving too fast, even as the “Your Speed” sign the town hung up before the school lights up green for being under the posted speed limit.

          2. MigraineMonth*

            A radar recording is excellent evidence, but it’s hardly the only accepted evidence. Cops are allowed to testify in traffic court, and usually their testimony is the only evidence for other violations (e.g. failure to stop at a stop sign, not signaling before changing lanes, reckless driving). They might have to explain how they made a speed estimate (e.g. “I was driving at 60mph when the defendant passed me”), or the defendant might challenge their expertise, but the evidence is allowable.

          3. Selina Luna*

            You definitely can get a ticket without police radar. It’s unusual, but I’ve gotten one for 15 mph over the speed limit because the cop was going 5 over the speed limit and I passed him without realizing it.

      4. MK*

        Even if you do contact the police, they aren’t going to do much based on OP’s word. Ideally, if they are conscientous, they will post an officer to monitor him on his daily route.

        1. Emmy Noether*

          True. I think for a fine there’d have to be actual evidence of speed and distance. At a minimum, a police officer would have to witness it.

          It is a crime though (and rightly so – tailgating can lead to really bad accidents), and shouldn’t be downplayed as being just the way some people are.

          1. doreen*

            In the US, not every punishable offense is a crime and that may be what nodramalama is referring to For example, in my state a “crime” is generally defined as an offense that may result in imprisonment of more than 15 days. Tailgating itself is not a crime in my state but reckless driving is.

            1. Emmy Noether*

              Ok, but both a crime (in the legal sense) and a punishable offense (crime in the colloquial sense) are illegal, which means that in theory, something can be done about it by the state.

              Is “worthy of >=15 days of imprisonment” the relevant threshold for being able to do anything? I’d think it would vary by how busy law enforcement is otherwise.

              1. doreen*

                Nope – the threshold for being able to do anything is usually going to be whether a police officer saw the offense or whether there is some sort of proof other than a person simply reporting it. For example, speeding and red light tickets can be issued in some places based on camera evidence – but dash cams are a different story because those official camera’s can determine speed and are regularly calibrated in a way that dash-cams usually aren’t. If somehow a person is able to report tailgating while the driving is still going on and the police are in a position to see the person driving that way, sure , they may get ticketed but that’s going to be a rare event just because of logistics. But nobody was saying that it wasn’t illegal to drive that way – the statement was that it isn’t a crime which often has some bearing on what can be done. For example, a police officer may be able to arrest someone for a crime that wasn’t committed in the officer’s presence but only be able to write a ticket for a traffic infraction they witnessed.

          2. M*

            I live in Europe and I don’t drive so take this with a grain of salt if needed. Couldn’t the LW use a dash cam to film the driver tailgating and cutting people off and give the footage to the police?
            If he does it so often, the footage would probably have his license plate so the police could fine him or whatever punishment there is for tailgating and cutting people off.
            Would that be a solution of am I entirely wrong?

            1. Velawciraptor*

              So, most police departments wouldn’t bother issuing a summons for traffic offenses documented on a dash cam because 1) the license plate lets them know who the vehicle is registered to, but not necessarily who was driving and 2) in order to authenticate the video and for the defendant to then avail himself of his right to confrontation, they’d have to bring in the LW to court as a witness and they might not be sure what sort of cooperation they’d get from LW. Officers generally only cite reckless or careless driving that they’ve witnessed themselves, unless there’s been an accident they respond to after the fact and they have other drivers who are willing to substantiate such a claim.

              1. M*

                Ah, oke, thanks for the explanation. Sounds like a dash cam in general would be useful, just not for this because the police wouldn’t do anything with it for now.

            2. CommanderBanana*

              It isn’t a bad idea to get a dash cam, though! They’ve gotten progressively cheaper, and especially if you’re driving a car in any sort of official capacity, it’s a pretty good CYA in case something happens.

        2. Anonymous for this*

          If this is a drive through a neighborhood, police can notify a company that their employees are being a problem and will be aggressively stopped and ticketed.

          My company sent an email to the whole building saying this is unacceptable employee behavior, that we take pride in being good neighbors, etc.

          I just wish they’d do it again because with turnover and pandemic, people are back to speeding through the residential neighborhood.

          1. Bast*

            One of my Old Jobs was in a city surrounded mostly by apartment buildings. There were company wide announcements and police intervention aka towings and tickets several times due to a rash of occurrences that made life difficult for the residents of those apartments, including: blocking driveways, illegal parking, speeding down the streets. People came to recognize the same offenders over and over and would come into the building to complain about them.

        3. RussianInTexas*

          In my city there is no enough police to answer to the actual crimes, there is no way anyone would waste any money posting officers to monitor one bad driver, out of about 2,000,000 that are on the road at any given time.

      5. The Rafters*

        Alerting the police here won’t do much. They have to actually witness it themselves and even then, would probably result in only a smallish fine unless they cause an accident.

      6. Lucia Pacciola*

        “You’d have to alert the actual police for that kind of consequence”

        I’m curious how that works in Germany. Is there a police hotline you call, give the description and location and they dispatch a cop to the next on-ramp to pounce?

        1. Emmy Noether*

          Maybe? I don’t think so, but as I said, I don’t know anyone who would actually alert the police, so I don’t actually know.

          I was thinking more along the lines of alerting the police to a place/time where a lot of infractions tend to occur, and, depending on how busy the police is and how credible you sound, they may choose that place to set up a control point one of these days. Then they’d be able to catch the person in the act.

      7. Bumblebee*

        I really enjoy that Germany seems to have some sort of matrix about this!

        I think the thing is, a lot of this probably violates laws most places, but you have to actually be caught doing this. If there’s no police there to see it, you get away with it.

      8. Michelle Smith*

        It certainly is in Virginia. Ask me how I know…

        (I don’t drive anymore, it’s much safer for everyone.)

    2. Observer*

      being a rude and aggressive driver isn’t a crime unless its SO aggressive its considering negligent or dangerous driving, so I don’t think informing anyone would do anything.

      Some of what the LW described actually could be ticketed. But I still don’t think that anyone is going to do anything with your report.

    3. ChattyDelle*

      I would honestly be worried about any kind of contact with the driver. someone with poor impulse control (which I’m going to be kind and assume that’s the issue. rather than road rage), might react very poorly to any kind of contact from the LW about their poor driving.

      1. MK*

        It’s actually very common for otherwise very calm people to behave agressively behind the wheel; it’s like they are getting personality transplants in the car.

        1. Cat Tree*

          Honestly, that hasn’t been my experience with drivers that are *this* extreme. I had two family members who drove like this and they both prone to have tantrums about tons of other this things too. They had less impulse control than a toddler. I wouldn’t risk it.

          1. Cheesesteak in Paradise*

            Having just seen a 60-something man throw a temper tantrum because IKEA’s cafeteria doesn’t have to-go boxes, can confirm.

          2. StephChi*

            I encountered a guy a few weeks back who was tailgating me on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago during a blizzard so closely that I couldn’t see his headlights. He was driving a Porsche SUV (what a surprise) and was upset because I was driving the appropriate speed limit for conditions. I do admit that at one point I was so frustrated with him because he wouldn’t back off that I gave him the one-fingered salute. He eventually passed me and felt the need to roll down his window (in a blizzard, remember) and flipped me off for several hundred yards, shaking his hand to be sure I understood how angry he was with me. My dude, you were the one who was driving like an ass, not me.

            I have kind of a crappy car (13 year old VW), so I almost would have been OK with him rear-ending me, since the damage probably would have been enough to total it, and I probably would have been able to get more than that out of him because he would have been ticketed for reckless driving.

            WRT the LW, I’d probably be tempted to put a note on his windshield (typed, so he wouldn’t be able to tell who wrote it) telling him that he’s going to injure or kill somebody, possibly one of his co-workers someday, if he doesn’t calm down behind the wheel. Tailgating is one of my three biggest driving pet-peeves. The other two are failing to use a turn signal, and playing with the phone while driving.

            1. Cyndi*

              You are a much, much braver person than I for driving on Lake Shore at all that week. I think I called off “sick” one day because the sidewalks were so perfectly slick that I chickened out of walking a block and a half to the train.

        2. Cheesy*

          It’s a strange dichotomy. I’m typically a very calm person. I have a 40 minute commute that is 95% is highway driving, with most of it being 2 lane county highways before I get onto the 6 lane state highway. The quickest way to get me out of my calm demeanor is trying to play road police, or trying to “punish” other drivers. I’m talking about people who purposely slow down when you come up behind them, or try to block people who are going faster by matching speed with drivers in other lanes and causing back ups. I will very slowly catch up to someone over several miles and suddenly the distance between us shrinks extremely fast and we’re both now going 5 under the speed limit and I just want to get around you at the first possible opportunity, and then the other driver will accelerate when you try to pass so you take much longer in the oncoming lane.

          1. Username Lost to Time*

            “try to block people who are going faster by matching speed with drivers in other lanes…”

            So, I always thought that’s what was happening until I had a live-in partner who struggled with driving (anxious, overly cautious, easily distracted, and a bit short-tempered at times). That partner would zone out and unintentionally default to the speed of other drivers. You ever see people sitting at an intersection and no one goes when the light turns green? That’s two or more people who were all waiting to follow the traffic around them. Incompetence, not malice.

      2. WellRed*

        My rather zen friend who works as a massage therapist isn’t ragey but I was quite surprised by her driving which felt a bit aggressive.

      3. Pastor Petty Labelle*

        Yep. A judgte lost his job over a road rage incident. Tailgating and cutting off the driver he felt wasn’t going fast enough. While apparently gesticulating and yelling at the driver. Turns out he was just as much a jerk out of the car as in the car. We all dreaded appearing in front of him. Other judges if they saw you on the street would at least nod and acknowledge your existence. This guy would pretend not to see you. Needless to say we were relieved when he was removed from the bench.

    4. münchner kindl*

      Wait – traffic law allows both tailgating and cutting people off? It’s not considered harrassment or endangering??

      Wow. My first thought was contacting traffic police, especially if this guy is doing it regularly, but if US law allows it …

      1. Not your typical admin*

        There are really no US driving law. Each individual state has their own laws and regulations. My daughter just finished drivers ed and got her permit, so I’ve been helping her study all the laws for our particular state. I think the issue is that some of the behavior described is subjective. We all know what tailgating is, but how close do you have to be to someone for it to legally count as tailgating? It’s also very unlikely for the driver to get a ticket unless the behavior is observed by the police. And unless the person is driving a company car, their work won’t get involved

        Probably the best thing for OP to do is to contact their local police departments traffic devision. They could probably post an extra person in that area to monitor traffic temporarily.

      2. Insert Clever Name Here*

        No, it’s against the law in the US but the police have to catch him doing it. Unless he’s doing it like in a school zone though, I doubt it would be a high priority for state troopers or local police compared to other issues. If it’s happening through a neighborhood or school zone and multiple complaints were received from multiple people, mayyyyyybe then.

        Also, dude has almost certainly gotten tickets for this before (from a trooper being in the right place at the right time, etc) but that doesn’t phase everyone.

      3. uncivil servant*

        Do the police in your country ticket drivers for tailgating or running stop signs based solely on reports from other drivers? If not, it sounds like it’s equally legal in both places.

        1. Emmy Noether*

          I don’t think any country with a decent legal system tickets people on a private individual’s say-so. It doesn’t make whatever ticketable offense *legal*. Legality and possibility of conviction are two separate things. The question is more what counts as proof, and how to get there (dashcam? get a police officer on the scene?)

          1. uncivil servant*

            That’s exactly what I mean. Someone says “nothing you can do”, Europeans race to assume this is yet another example of the US being a hellhole because apparently driving aggressively is legal. It’s not legal, it’s just that what the OP witnessed is not in itself sufficient to have the driver taken off the road.

            1. Emmy Noether*

              Mh, I think the issue was interpreting “not a crime” in the colloquial sense as “not illegal”. Europeans are probably not well enough versed in the US legal system to know what is technically a crime, a felony, a misdemeanor, an infraction, a ticketable offense, or whatever term.

              It wasn’t clear why the poster thought nothing could be done about it, and it definitely read as “it’s not illegal”. Since we are regularly surprised on this site what is legal in the US, well… I’ve just started taking commenters at their word.

              Also, as sufficiently discussed, something probably *could* be done about it, if one gets the right person to witness it. And probably couldn’t convict on the LW say-so even if it rose to the severity of a crime. So whether it’s technically a crime, or some other word for illegal action, is a weird point to get hung up on.

              1. doreen*

                Europeans are probably not well enough versed in the US legal system to know what is technically a crime, a felony, a misdemeanor, an infraction, a ticketable offense, or whatever term.

                I don’t think that’s exactly the problem , that Europeans don’t understand the US legal system. I think it’s far more likely to be a translation issue – in American English “crime” doesn’t cover every illegal act. Perhaps in other languages, the word ordinarily translated as “crime” covers everything from failing to register your address when you move all the way to murder but although every US jurisdiction will have its own definition , no one would call parking in a no -parking zone a crime , not even colloquially although it certainly violates the law.

                1. doreen*

                  You don’t have to register your address in the US when you move, but it’s required in some European countries.

      4. Maggie*

        Cops in NYC not only wouldn’t react if someone drove like this in front of them, but they are themselves notoriously dangerous drivers. It’s essentially the Wild West in a car over here.

        1. Betsy*

          Yes, and thank goodness NYC is an anomaly (driving-wise and in so many other ways, good and bad). I lived in NYC for ~20 years, and for the three years I lived in New Jersey, it felt like being jerked back to reality every time I popped out of the tunnel in NYC. “Oh, right! Back in the city – this is how we drive here!

        2. MassMatt*

          I grew up in a beach town close to NYC and every summer would dread the influx of NYC drivers. Running lights, tailgating, honking, not honoring the right of way, etc. We would see someone driving like a jerk and think “They’re from New York” and sure enough they’d have that orange license plate.

          This is probably true of city drivers everywhere. Cities are crowded and expensive, everyone is in a hurry.

          1. Beany*

            As an occasional visitor, I’m still amazed anyone drives in Manhattan. (Yogi Berra: “it’s too crowded”)

            Years ago I picked up my visiting mother from JFK and drove her back to my place in central PA. Foolishly, I decided to take the tourist route through downtown Manhattan using the Queens & Lincoln tunnels. There followed a fun couple of hours, taking a slower-than-walking-pace trip past the Empire State Building.

          2. Cicely*

            …and this is the reason I cringe when I see slow drivers insistent on cruising in far-left passing lanes, especially on interstates. Some drivers get so impatient with that, they start driving dangerously because they’re in a hurry or whatever. I’m glad some states have started ticketing those slow drivers who refuse to cruise in the right-side lane. Emergency vehicles need the left lane as a default as much and as often as possible.

            1. TeaCoziesRUs*

              I agree, although I get twitchy constantly changing lanes. I feel like it’s more dangerous to weave between left and right lane to get around slower traffic than it is to stay in the left lane. But, then… I do have a bit of a lead foot.

      5. 1-800-BrownCow*

        Most states (I assume all, but I’m no expert in traffic laws for all states) in the US, you can be fined for tailgating or reckless driving, but you need to be caught in the act. In the 30+ years I’ve been driving, I’ve called the police only one time when I was following 2 very reckless drivers. They were tailgating, racing (on a 2 lane road, so 1 car would get into the oncoming traffic lane to “race” the other driver where passing was not allowed), and swerving all over the road. Main reason I called was because the road was very busy with traffic, people driving horse and buggies, and bicyclers. They almost hit 2 bicyclists, so I just had to call it in. I kept following them while on the phone with the dispatcher, but once we got to an area where there was less traffic, both vehicles took off at a high rate of speed, so I told the dispatcher I was probably going to lose sight of them. A minute later a police vehicle passed me and a few miles up the road he had one of the vehicles pulled over and he had me pull over too (he had a description of my vehicle). He confirmed I was the one who had called and told me the other car was way further ahead so he wasn’t able to pull over the 2nd vehicle. I have no idea what happened after I left or if the driver was fined or not. But basically, me calling police while in sight of the reckless drivers and describing what was going while the police were dispatched and getting “caught in the act” was about the only way they may have gotten fined. I know people who’ve called police after the fact, and even with a vehicle description and license plate number they’ve been told there’s nothing the police can do unless the police catch the driver while they’re driving recklessly.

        1. Turquoisecow*

          I have seen signs urging people to report reckless driving by calling a specific number. I’m glad that at least in your case they did something about it, as I was always skeptical of how useful that would be.

      6. Cat Tree*

        Can we please stop making these broad sweeping statements about the entire US based on minor comments?

        Of course it’s illegal. Enforcement varies by jurisdiction, exactly as it does in any other large country.

        1. Roland*

          Right, if something doesn’t sound right, consider not believing it based off of one online comment. Yes even the US has laws occasionally.

        2. Daisy-dog*

          Yep, driving too close to another car is illegal where I am. That driver probably knows where the cop hot spots are and drives marginally better there.

          1. Cicely*

            I once had a friend follow me home from work to help me with an errand, and she was pulled over for tailgating me. She was and still is a dear friend, and I stopped, too, just so she wouldn’t lose sight of me, but privately, I was grateful that the officer lectured her on driving too closely behind another car (no ticket, though). Because yeah, Lisa, WTH? lol.

      7. Student*

        It’s a matter of how our traffic enforcement works. If you do this stuff to a police officer, you will get a fine.

        If a normal person tells a cop that somebody else is driving dangerously, the cops will not bother checking on it. The cops take in a fine when they catch people doing this. The cops have a harder time collecting a fine successfully if they don’t witness the behavior personally, and the fine for most of this behavior isn’t big enough to make it worth their time to relocate themselves from other things they are doing to investigate.

        The main exception to that is drunk driving. Cops will often respond to call-ins that you suspect a drunk driver, if you can provide sufficient info to make it easy for them to find. The fines are much bigger, and the community backlash to drunk driving accidents is much bigger than other accidents, so it becomes worth their while to respond.

        Finally,the US has more than our fair share of mean people out to get others. If the cops were to bother responding to civilian calls on stuff like this, then the civilians would mainly use it to harass each other, instead of to make traffic safer.

      8. Lacey*

        There are laws prohibiting both, along with a lot of other driving behaviors that still happen really regularly (speeding! running red lights! passing on the right!)

        The problem is, unless an officer or traffic cam sees it or they actually get in a wreck – those laws can’t be enforced.

        Now, this is a regular occurrence. I think the OP could note the time of day it happens, possibly even the days of the week it’s mostly likely to occur, and contact the police to suggest they set up a patrol or speed trap.

        No saying they would, but they might.

    5. Elaner*

      LW2, I disagree. As a safety person at a similar sized hospital, I would say call it in to the safety reporting system even if you don’t have a plate #. Driving in this aggressive manner is a pedestrian safety issue for folks that have to walk near this audi in the parking garage or on crosswalks nearby. If your safety group doesn’t handle pedestrian safety, your parking and transportation department might. Good luck!

      1. Boof*

        Yea; if they are regularly being a pest/borderline hazard on work property work *might* take an interest, if it’s large enough to have a parking or public safety group you could Try calling it in, but only if you know the license plate, and exactly where it is at that moment

        1. Polaris*

          That’s about what it takes, I think. You can drive like an absolute glassbowl down the street we’re on, but once you turn into the company parking lot, they actually DO pay attention and care to who is trying to turn in a NASCAR qualifying time on the lot ring drive (which is on company property, not public streets).

      2. milkdudsnotdrugs*

        I completely agree! Any business SHOULD be concerned with employee safety, even if an incident is happening after hours- provided it directly involves multiple employees, like this situation. Particularly a HOSPITAL who likely very regularly sees the devastating effects of vehicle/road accidents.

        Although there may not be much the hospital can actually do to stop this, having the knowledge about an employee’s seriously poor judgement, whose actions are directly putting other employees in potential harms way on a daily basis, would be valuable information to have.

        The company I work for had this very same issue with a younger, very impulsive adult, who was displaying similar driving habits. Those of which frequently nearly resulted in serious accidents involving other employees, while on their way to work.

        Although the company couldn’t do anything to stop this, they did take it seriously enough to speak with him (more than once) about how unacceptable this was. Multiple employees complained and the behavior was well documented, but it did happen outside of working hours and company property.

        In the end, it did speak volumes about this man’s lack of care for the safety of others, which was closely watched to ensure it did not extend to areas of work involving work-place safety. Spoiler alert, it absolutely did.
        Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to speak up in these situations.

        But if it feels wrong/extreme to speak to HR about this concern, it would not be out of line to alert the police to a repeated hazard to the safety of others, including transit times, make/model of vehicle, driver description and license plate number. What is happening is dangerous and someone should speak up. At the very least, maybe an obvious police presence along the route for a couple of days could serve as a deterrent.
        The key is to approach it with a tone of concern, not irritation.

      3. AggroTurkey*

        100% agree. OP, I would strongly recommend reporting this behavior. A hospital has high levels of pedestrian traffic, including disabled pedestrians who can’t easily move to get out of a vehicle’s way. This is a pretty serious safety hazard. The fact that it’s an employee doing it- repeatedly- makes it even worse, and more likely that something bad will happen.

    6. Ally McBeal*

      I agree that informing campus security won’t help, since the issues are happening largely off-campus. I think leaving a note on his car would be a decent measure to (1) get this itchy issue out of OP’s brain and (2) remind the coworker that he’s being a glassbowl and it’s impacting (at least one of) his colleagues.

      1. Michelle Smith*

        Agreed BUT don’t be a jerk about it! I know the temptation to make a snarky joke or say how you really feel. Don’t. Leave the emotion out of it. Last thing you need is to have this guy report *you* for harassing him at work! If you really want to leave a letter, make it polite and emotion free.

        Really though, the best thing to do would be to move on. Every bit of advice I’ve found on the internet about how to respond to aggressive drivers is to get out of their way, refuse to make eye contact, and not return any rudeness or inappropriate gestures.

      2. Not that other person you didn't like*

        “Hi Roger,

        Next time you cut someone off in traffic or tailgate aggressively, you should make sure it’s not CEO/Dean/Scariest Surgeon/Head of HR name (whichever option is relevant and the biggest deal for your situation – you want the one that’s going to make the hairs on the back of his neck stand up).

        Watching out for you,
        A Concerned Friend”

    7. lilsheba*

      I say report him to the campus police and possibly HR because these asshats are a danger on the road and need to be stopped.

    8. AnonInCanada*

      LW2 yeah you cant do anything

      …except curse internally “Where’s a $*)!@&!ing cop when you need one?” Maybe OP#2 can find some YouTube videos of dashcam footage of aggressive drivers getting instant justice as a cop sparks them lights up and pulls them over, wishing the jerk coworker in that Audi was that driver. It may help them.

    9. Pensive*

      A former co-worker (at a small company) took the bull by the horns on this one. She recognized her co-worker when he aggressively cut her off on the way to work. So she went to his cube and greeted him with “Hi Crazy Driver!” He was confused, so she explained that she was the person he cut off that morning. He said “No, I’m not crazy, just aggressive”. She said “_I’m_ an aggressive driver…_You’re_ crazy”. She was helped by the fact that she knew him before the incident, but I’d like to think it at least made him think twice about driving aggressively to and from work since he’s likely to know someone he’s cutting off.

      1. SopranoH*

        I feel like there’s a decent chance that this guy is a surgeon. This is very in character for an A-hole surgeon. If somebody could find his mid level and have them tear him a new one, it would probably take care of the problem.

    10. Rach*

      My work campus (large tech manufacturing) has security that patrols the parking lots and we have a “safety culture” so this really depends on what company culture is like. We are absolutely encouraged to let security know about safety issues in the parking lot with identifying information so they can address the issue.

    1. LW #5*

      I guess I panicked because I’m not used to being offered feedback via a phone call! I have an update already. I didn’t follow up, and about a week after I wrote to AAM I finally heard back–the hiring manager had been away on work travel. We eventually scheduled the call and I got helpful feedback!

      1. ferrina*

        That’s wonderful! Thanks for the update!

        I was going to say the same thing as Alison- I’ve been known to offer things, then get swamped with work, then when I finally re-emerge a month or two later, it feels too late to do the thing I originally offered. Glad it was just a week of work travel in this case!

      2. Formerly Ella Vader*

        Great! In your original letter, you also commented that it seemed odd they wanted a call rather than an email. I came here to say that part didn’t seem odd to me – it’s a more sensitive, more personal thing, where the person might want to gauge your response as they went, and figure out how much feedback you wanted and how gentle to be with it. As well, maybe they wanted to say some things not quite off-the-record but not in writing, such as “I think we may also be replacing another member of the team soon, so if you don’t mind we’ll keep your resume on file for that”.

  2. AcademiaNut*


    Honestly, confirming that a job prospect is both real, and located at the stated company, seems like excellent common sense to me, and blindly trusting random Linked-In connections who are looking for job applicants seems like a good way to get caught in whatever scam is going around. Doubly so when you’re being asked to refer other people (who may trust that *you* know it’s a legitimate contact).

    I kind of wonder if he was in fact running something dodgy, and was angry at being caught out by the company whose name he was using. Maybe a bait-and-switch type scam, or he was planning on later trying to get application money, or even just building a list of contacts for the future, with no particular job available now.

    1. ThatOtherClare*

      The reply does sound suspiciously like a liar who has been caught out, especially in conjunction with blocking all contact and running away.

      We’ll never know, of course, but nevertheless I’m super curious.

    2. Charlie*

      Yeah, my immediate thought was that (unless I’m missing something) LW never actually got confirmation he wasn’t a scammer and that the job really existed?

      I guess the implication is that if the company told him about the candidate outreach, he’s actually working with them, but I’m still not convinced he was legit to begin with.

      1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

        I thought OP must have got confirmation it was a genuine job, or it would have been a very different letter. I wondered if the company was keeping the role on the “down low” for some reason and the recruiter messed up by telling OP who it was for at this early stage. Who knows what that says about the company? But there must be a reason they were going through a recruiter, and it will seem to the company that OP has tried to bypass that, and potentially cause contractual issues e.g. commission.

        1. Awkwardness*

          That was my first thought. If OP was made aware of a job opportunity but did not apply through the recruiter, they may lose on a potential commission. This is their business model and if all people circumvent the process, they loose business opportunities. It is understandable that they are not happy, but the answer was over the top.

          OP – these recruiters/recruiting agencies should have a web presence, can be found on the Internet. I would always try to vet the recruiter first.

        2. OP #1*

          I never heard back from the company, just from him. I did mention his name when I left my message so he could have been legitimately working with them or they could have looked him up on LinkedIn.

          1. Amy*

            If the company contacted him directly, he’s certainly been tasked by them for recruiting for this role. Likely what’s called a “retained search.”

            Which means they are paying an outside recruiter to handle many aspects of the process that would otherwise be handled by HR or an internal recruiter. In a retained search, the company will often re-route the resumes their receive directly back to the recruiter.

            There’s almost no scenario where the company would be looking up a random uninvolved recruiter on LinkedIn and telling them company business about an unposted role based on a phone call from a candidate.

            1. Tybalt's Cat*

              If it wasn’t a legit job opportunity, I can see a company not being pleased that someone was using their name as part of a scam. In that instance they might look him up to tell him to stop.

              1. Amy*

                At that point, legal would have been involved and it wouldn’t have happened between one day and the next morning.

                I’d put money on this recruiter being retained by the company on a search that’s not yet been made public.

      2. Hekko*

        The fact that the company told the recruiter and didn’t answer OP suggests there is a real connection between them.

        But I just realised the connection may be that the “recruiter” or someone close to him works for the company and intercepted OP’s e-mail. Not sure how the scam would work then, but then, I have no idea how the other scams around fake jobs work, so can’t judge how far-fetched this is.

      3. MCMonkeyBean*

        I don’t think he could possibly have known OP reached out to the company unless the company told him so I don’t see how he could not be legitimate.

        I think he was overly rude and aggressive, but I also think from his perspective it seems like OP was trying to cut him out of his commission. I think there are ways to make sure you are not getting scammed that don’t involve engaging the recruiter and then trying to go around them.

    3. MK*

      I am honestly not seeing what kind of scam you all are thinking of. Unless and untill the recruiter asks for money or information that they could potentially use for nefarious purposes, like a ssn, what kind of danger was the OP in? And, no, the recruiter’s reaction isn’t evidence of a guilty conscience; it’s more likely he has a big ego and is easily offended (and let’s be frank, most people wouldn’t be thrilled with being considered a potential scammer, they would just hide their annoyance better).

      1. bamcheeks*

        I mean, at the very basic level of scam, it’s extremely normal for recruiters to find jobs that they haven’t actually been contracted for and try to insert themselves into the process by proposing candidates (lots of companies have “CVs from recruiters will not be accepted” for that reason) or approach candidates about made-up jobs in order to get more CVs on their books. Neither of those results in a financial loss for the candidate, but they are basically taking your time and your personal details under false pretenses, and they’re both pretty widespread practice in the field. I think it’s quite possible that the recruiter was trying to do that kind of thing and didn’t like being caught out.

        1. ferrina*

          It’s a pretty low-level scam so a recruiter can make themself look good and rarely with repercussions for the job seeker. The red flags are when the ‘recruiter’ starts asking for unusual personal information- like if they claim to need a social security number for a background check when you haven’t even interviewed, or they need a driver’s license for a non-driving job, or they need money for any reason. A normal company will never ask you for any of this (at least, not in the U.S.). You will eventually need to provide some info for tax purposes, but that can even be on the first day of employment.

          My rule of thumb is that my resume is that I never put anything on my resume that I wouldn’t be comfortable putting on a billboard. I never know who will pass my resume along to who. It also makes me less worried about the resume falling into the wrong hands- if it does, then it doesn’t really matter. I get to enjoy the benefits of network connections and minimize the risk of bad actors (of course, one can never fully eliminate that risk)

        2. learnedthehardway*

          Whenever that happened to me – when I was a Recruiter / Recruitment Manager in a corporation – I would blacklist the recruiter / their firm and tell them to cut it out.

          One company I worked for would not hire ANY unsolicited candidate from an external recruiter, under any circumstances. Another’s policy was that they were not contractually obligated to pay recruiters who put forward unsolicited candidates, so if we wanted the candidate and could figure out who they were (these resumes come in with identifying details removed), the candidate was fair game if they were qualified (ie. we could go ahead and talk to them, even hire them, and the company would refuse to pay any fees).

          It IS underhanded for anyone to pretend to represent a job/company for which they have not been contracted to recruit – but candidates can usually figure out if the role is legitimate or not by checking the company’s career’s site and by asking the recruiter if they have a contract to do the recruitment.

          1. It's Marie - Not Maria*

            As an HR Professional, I 100% agree with you. We make it clear we do not use Third Party Recruiters, and any time one tries to present a candidate to us, we make sure it is clear this is unwelcome. We may have contacted a candidate or two to let them know they were being jerked around by that Recruiter as well, to help them out in the future.

      2. STW*

        I work in a University Careers Team. We’ve absolutely had scammers pose as a recruiter on behalf of a legitimate company with a fake job. In one case, after putting a candidate through a recruitment process, they asked them to send money to cover their office equipment expenses (that would be reimbursed.. of course it never was). In others it’s been a data mining exercise to get resumes and contact information. It comes up fairly regularly and we now always ask for proof from a recruiter that they have authorisation to recruit for the company before we advertise roles to our students. Legitimate recruiters never have an issue with this.

        1. bamcheeks*

          Oh, I think I remember this– there was a scam a couple of years ago that targeted international graduates, and told them they had to send some money so the employer could sort out a work visa. :-(

          1. Gracie*

            It’s an INCREDIBLY common scam – get a text saying “This is Madelyn from Indeed, we’ve heard you’re looking from a job, here’s an absurdly well-paid one where you get to work from home”

            It turns into “what’s your personal information” (like SSN for the US) or “here’s a online cheque to buy equipment” (the cheque is fake and the ‘equipment provider’ is the scammer) or “you have to deposit some bitcoin to access the platform and get your money out, but you can see that you’ve earnt so much money today!” (you have earnt nothing, it’s just numbers on a screen) or “please send us the code you’re about to receive to confirm you’re real” (it’s your password reset code for a social media or google voice account)

          1. STW*

            Generally they provide us with a contact at the company they are working on behalf of – normally CC’d into the email. We can then contact to confirm the legitimacy independently. It’s a fairly common ask for Universities (I’m in the UK). Most recruiters are very happy to address our concerns (if they don’t we won’t advertise to our students so obviously a little different to an individual candidate). But then we deal with a mixture of agencies and recruitment management type companies who manage whole graduate recruitment stages posing as the company rather than as an agent too.

        2. AcademiaNut*

          That’s the kind of thing I was thinking about. The extra layer of asking for recommendations for other people would work too – if you get a message from a colleague or friend about a job opportunity, you’ll be less suspicious than if a random stranger contacted you.
          Remote interview, offer the job, then ask for ID or financial information, or money for a background check, then vanish.

          1. Miette*

            I saw a media story late last year where the victim was told he was hired, asked to complete new hire paperwork, which included banking info so he could receive direct deposits for his paycheck. You see where this is going… he was robbed of several hundred dollars. OP was right to be skeptical initially.

        3. jojo*

          Do faux recruiters often push back when asked for proof? Do their responses look anything like the recruiter LW1 was dealing with?

          1. bamcheeks*

            A lot of them are just sending out hundreds of automated emails, so if you get back to them to ask for proof they just ignore you and focus on the positive leads.

        4. samwise*

          Yes, or then they follow up with needing personal info to proceed. My son, a recent college graduate, was contacted by a “recruiter” who said he was perfect for NN job, and they needed (long list of info, some innocuous but also ssn) to present him to the hiring company. My son is generally trusting, but he can smell a dead rat when it’s waved under his nose.

          Identity theft averted.

      3. Prof*

        I had a clearly fake recruiter send me a test to fill out, so I suspected getting answers for a skills test was the why of that scam….

      4. Tina Belcher's Less Cool Sister*

        It’s unbelievably common for scam “recruiters” to ask for personal information as part of an “application”, or to pull the “we’ll send you a check to cover office supplies and you send us back the rest” scam. I think it’s incredibly wise of OP to confirm they are dealing with a legitimate recruiter before proceeding.

    4. Malarkey01*

      It would be incredibly odd for the company to not return LWs message but contact a random scammer (how would they even have his number?) if this was not legitimate.

      1. EvilQueenRegina*

        If it was something like he worked for a real recruitment company, but the company hadn’t actually been working with that recruitment company to fill any vacancies and the recruiter was just inserting himself into the process for the commission as Bamcheeks describes upthread, then I can see the recruiter’s number being easily publicly available and the company calling him asking what he was playing at and asking him to stop. Not sure why they wouldn’t reply to OP though.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          It could be as simple as this is very important to OP, but keeping OP in the loop is a low priority to the company. Someone alerted them and they took it from there.

    5. Amy*

      This recruiter probably a blowhard. But that said, there are plenty of confidential searches.

      It’s not uncommon for candidates to get a very detailed description of the role and a moderately detailed description of the company (for example, this is a mid level marketing firm with a focus on digital media) without the name of the company initially. This is because the search is not yet public, often because of an internal issue with the current occupant of the role.

      The company has told the recruiter they don’t want the information broadcasted – either internally or externally. Which is probably why the recruiter over-reacted the way he did and was yammering about trust.

      1. Office Chinchilla*

        I am wondering if the receptionist is the one being replaced, and found out via the voicemail from the OP. Back in my temping days, I was called to go back to an office where I knew they had recently hired someone. (I didn’t want the full-time position, but I filled in until they hired someone and then trained her.) I asked if the person I was replacing knew yet that she was leaving. They said she had been informed. Turns out she found out the next morning when the temp agency left a message that I was available and would be there the next week.

    6. Falling Diphthong*

      Yeah, it’s not at all clear to me that this was a case of the company saying “We must alert our legitimate recruiter, Walter White, that people are going around him!” It may well have looked like “So I passed the question up the chain, and someone contacted this Walter White fellow and asked him what the heck?” (I can easily see a company going through a few “Well I didn’t list it, but could Jesse or Saul have listed this?”)

      It’s ridiculous to cite the importance of trusting you to complete strangers you have contacted out of the blue on Linked In. That part alone is a red flag.

      1. Slow Gin Lizz*

        Yeah, any good legit recruiter would completely understand that the OP may have been skeptical and would have been happy to find ways to reassure OP that they are, indeed, a legit recruiter. Good people who are honest do not get annoyed when their legitimacy is questioned in an instance when they might not have appeared legit. This guy may very well have been legit (I actually believe that he was) but he was not a good recruiter if his response to OP requesting reassurance that he was legit was to say, “No one’s ever questioned me before!” It sucks, OP, that he responded so poorly to your very reasonable concerns, and that this company that you would like to work for is working with him. Here’s hoping his attitude will come back to bite him soon and you will find a good job without having to work with such a jerk.

    7. Former Recruiting Industry*

      I wasn’t a recruiter but I worked at a recruiting company for 8+ years. What was described seems very on-brand for that type of work and typical. There is a high level of confidentiality like mentioned, but recruiters get VERY upset when they’re circumvented for any reason. The biggest thing is that they like to control the flow of information, right or wrong, between client and candidate. They also are extremely paranoid of being cut out of the hire and missing out on their commission.

      1. Former Recruiting Industry*

        And I hate to say it, but many in that line of work are a bit immature or fresh to the workforce, or are extremely sales driven and a bit abrasive. Not excusing how they reacted, though.

    8. Not on board*

      Yeah, I agree here. My sister was nearly scammed last year and another contact was recently nearly scammed as well. Scammers will prey on anybody and people who really need a job make good targets because they tend to overlook things because they really need a job.
      I think going forward, there needs to be more transparency from recruiters to prove that they are not in fact scammers.

    9. learnedthehardway*

      I disagree – from a recruiting perspective, what the LW#1 did is called doing an “end run” around the recruiter. It sounds like their intentions were good, but the recruiter (reasonably) interpreted this as the candidate deciding to evade one of the parts of the process and/or as an attempt to boost their candidacy by saving the company some money by cutting out the recruiter. (I assume that the recruiter was working on a contingency basis – that means that the recruiter only gets paid IF their candidate gets the job.)

      The recruiter over-reacted – their client let them know about the candidate, so the client seems to not be one of the nasty companies that will torpedo their recruiter relationship to get a candidate – but the recruiter probably also didn’t believe the LW that they did this innocently. It’s uncommon but not rare, regardless of the recruiter saying it is the first time it has happened to him.

      As a PSA – if contacted by a recruiter about an opportunity, you shouldn’t contact the employer directly. A) The recruiter WANTS to place candidates – they will present you, if you fit the client’s specifications. Also, they may have future opportunities for you. B) The company WILL know that the recruiter contacted you – the recruiter keeps records and can verify to the company when they reached out. So it won’t save the company money to cut out the recruiter (and most companies won’t because they don’t want to destroy that relationship). It just ends up looking like the candidate is a bit under-handed about trying to jump over the process. Honestly, I’ve seen candidates get knocked out of hiring processes because of this kind of thing – the company thinks, “Well, if they’re bypassing parts of our hiring process, what are they going to be like to work with? Will they do an end run around other people to get their way?” C) If the company does torpedo their relationship with the recruiter to hire the candidate without paying the contingent fee, what will they do to employees? If they renege on contracts and don’t act in good faith with the recruiter, what does that say about the organization and its culture?

        1. Amy*

          Recruiters generally pre-screen candidates based on a 10-30 minute call / Zoom + looking at their resume.

          At that point, they generally become just the conduit to the actual company, setting up the interview with the hiring manager etc.

          They should never need your SSN (beyond asking if you can legally work), private information (beyond the resume) or money.

          1. SailAway*

            Yeah, but I don’t want to send my resume to a scammer or spend time having Zoom calls for a job that doesn’t exist. OP took a very reasonable step just to confirm the job was legit.

            1. Amy*

              This recruiter contacted the OP via LinkedIn, presumably based on the resume. That part is already out there.

              Companies using recruiters is extremely common. If you are looking for a job, spending 15 minutes on a pre-screen will probably take much less time and effort than calling the company and trying to confirm things just to avoid a 15 minute call.

              A major reason that companies use recruiters is because they really don’t want candidates calling them. They want a vetted list of 3-4 options and will pay $15-30K for it.

              You can certainly check to see if it’s a reputable recruitment firm. And it’s good to be knowledgeable about the large recruiters that specialize in your field.

              But being so cautious that you won’t take a call may not always be helpful when looking for a job, especially in industries that rely heavily on recruiting.

              1. Nephron*

                The LW was asked to share contact information or ask others to contact the recruiter for the job.

                I might be willing to spend a half hour of my time with a fake recruiter or risk my resume or info, but referring other people to that is a higher bar.

                I have had bad experiences with recruiters, but I am willing to roll the dice for my own job search. Cold contacts that want me to give them other people to give bad experiences to should expect some push back.

          2. Stipes*

            Even just giving someone my resume before I’ve confirmed they’re legitimately recruiting for a real job, is something I might not be comfortable with.

        2. K in Boston*

          I was thinking about this, and the best I can think of is, taken all together (and noting that this is completely based off of me being American):

          1. Check the recruiter’s LinkedIn. At least in the US, a recruiter will have a LinkedIn. Does it look active? Do they have connections?

          2. Do a quick Google search on the company the recruiter works for. Is the company either 1) based in the US or has very clearly defined operations in the US, or 2) very transparent around where it’s based? (I’ve come across a few companies that seem to WANT you to think they’re in New Jersey or Texas, but 30 seconds’ more digging indicates otherwise.) Not that the US isn’t full of scammers itself, but I live in and work in the US and don’t have any special authorization to work overseas that wouldn’t be handled via me working through an American firm — It’s very hard to believe that the American companies you’re trying to sell me on thought that a recruiting company I’ve never heard of with zero identifiable US presence would get better leads than the alternative.

          If the recruiting company looks legit, they should have a phone number, so I would think you can give them a call to ask if the recruiter works for them if that’s your concern. That way you’re keeping contact within the recruiting company and not jeopardizing the recruiter’s relationship with the client organization…but certainly welcome to be told whether or not that makes sense by people more familiar with the recruiting sphere than I.

          Given how advanced scammers can be, this certainly isn’t foolproof, but I think they’d make for reasonable first steps.

      1. fhqwhgads*

        If the OP were contacting the company directly to try to apply and do an end run around the recruiter, sure. But what happened here was “hey company, this recruiter says he works for you, and I want to make sure it’s not a scam”. A normal response from the company would be “yes, please go back to the recruiter for all contact about this” or “all postings are confidential and we cannot confirm anything”. A normal response from the recruiter would be “so and so at company let me know you called. It’s a confidential posting and they asked me to contact you to keep things in the proper channels” Or whatever.
        It makes no sense to blow up and yell at someone as if they’re trying to circumvent you when all they’re doing is trying to make sure you’re not making shit up, which is widely known to happen and not at a paranoid thing to be concerned about.

  3. Bruce*

    I also like the idea of the bumper sticker with the jerk driver’s cell phone # on it, but dont’ get spotted putting it on! Check for security cameras too

    1. Emmy Noether*

      I was wondering how illegal it would be to do this. It probably is, isn’t it? Tampering of some kind? Bummer, because it would be hilarious.

      1. The Prettiest Curse*

        I suppose it could be seen as property damage if the sticker was difficult to remove and caused damage to the car’s paint as well.

        1. Chas*

          I was thinking maybe it’d be funny to make the bumper sticker and send it to him anonymously through the internal work post, or something (if that’s possible) to send the “hey, we work with you” message. I wouldn’t dare put it on the actual car myself!

              1. LWH*

                I think some of the advice I’ve seen in this comment section is joking and some of it is serious. More importantly though, I kind of got the impression that LW2 is hoping someone will tell them to do something like this, and am worried about them taking it to heart.

      2. MCMonkeyBean*

        If I wanted to do it, I’d put the sticker on a magnet so it would be easily removable and not risk getting in trouble for damaging the car.

        I do actually think there is some chance that being alerted to the fact that they are regularly encountering coworkers on their drive might make them think twice. One time I honked at someone and then saw they were a coworker and I was so embarrassed. My honk wasn’t even meant to be aggressive, more the kind of honk that means “hey I think we’ve been waiting so long that you stopped paying attention and have not noticed it is your turn to go” but of course there is only one honk sound and it’s hard to actually communicate all that so I just felt super weird about the fact that I had honked at a coworker.

    2. Meat Oatmeal*

      Oh, yeah, don’t actually do the sticker. But the idea is hilarious, LW2! I legit stopped reading for a moment and paused to imagine it and smile. I also liked the parenthetical at the end of the letter. You’re a good writer.

      1. Lacey*

        Yeah, I love the idea, but it’s probably not advisable in real life.

        I’d be pretty tempted to leave an anonymous note though.
        Or, set up a google account under another name and leave a bad review of your workplace because one of their employees is endangering people and give the make and model of his car as the identifier.

    3. bamcheeks*

      I do love this idea, though I definitely wouldn’t risk it myself. I would clap anyone else who did, though!

      What I *would* feel completely entitled to do is complain about him to colleagues. If you’ve noticed him that often, it’s quite likely someone else has too and I would feel Very Vindicated if someone said, “Oh, silver Audi, numberplate D1KHD, comes down the A39 from Llamatown? Yes! He’s a wanker!” And if it turns out MULTIPLE people have noticed him and someone knows that he’s in Pharmacy and it eventually gets back to him — well, WHAT A PITY.

      1. RVA Cat*

        The fact it’s a hospital and an Audi makes me think he’s a doctor and known to be a jerkass. Dr. Strange crashing his Lamborghini comes to mind. I hope karma never hits him that badly, but especially that he doesn’t harm *someone else*.

        1. SarahKay*

          I was watching the Dr. Strange film during a period when I was very heavily involved with the Health and Safety department at work and remember thinking that the start of the film, with him driving too fast down a narrow twisty road in a storm, was like all of our “Here is an accident waiting to happen, don’t be this person” H&S training videos / courses.

    4. Seeking Second Childhood*

      It’s possible to like an idea without thinking it’s a good idea to do it. Funny but in advisable.

    5. Ann Perkins*

      Sticker damage issue can be resolved by ordering a magnet (or several) instead. My DH has frequent encounters w/ a super bigoted dude through an affinity group. He may have gotten in the habit of sneaking campaign magnets on the back of the dude’s car (and making donations in awful dude’s honor to causes that support victims of the types bigotry awful dude espoused). Fairly benign civil disobedience with no lasting property damage.

      1. Ally McBeal*

        I love this! I frequently think about signing up my more bigoted relatives for mailing lists from organizations I support. Sneaking campaign magnets onto their personal property might become my fun new hobby.

      2. Me, I think*

        I’ve seen bumper stickers or magnets around here with the message, “Don’t like my driving?” along with a big middle finger, or “Call 1-800-F—Y–”

        I was just thinking that this sort of message would be more appropriate on the dude’s car :)

    6. Colette*

      It would probably be considered vandalism – but also, actually broadcasting his number with an invitation to call him would probably result in him directing his anger at the people who called. Not a good idea.

  4. Observer*

    #3 – Maxed out credit cards.

    Please watch your paystubs like a HAWK. Check every detail, and if you have things like retirement account deductions, FSA, etc. make sure that what gets deducted actually winds up in your account! This stuff has to be transferred *immediately* so it should be posted by the next day.

    1. Roland*

      Yes! Job searching might take time but vigilence should be immediate. Including the most recent stubs from before you wrote in. Not paying back the credit card is extremely bad and doesn’t bode well for paying you either.

      1. NotRealAnonForThis*

        My experience was that there was a 3 month gap between the “voluntary 10% pay cut/austerity” and the first time that the company card was declined/maxed out. Then there was a 6 month gap between that first max out and the company completely ditching a third of it’s workforce. The first red flag with that company, in hindsight, was “oh we don’t do direct deposit”. They needed the float period to make payroll regularly.

        In short as suggested elsewhere in this thread: monitor your pay stubs like a hawk, make sure that all payroll deductions wind up where they’re supposed to wind up, and start job searching.

    2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      So much this. A company my parent worked for back in the day went under and then was sold (fortunately the purchasing company was incredibly financially solid). First warning of trouble was maxed out company credit cards.

      Time to polish up the resume and aggressively job search before things get worse.

      1. ferrina*


        This is such a bad sign. OP needs to be job searching asap and like Observer said, watching those pay stubs and contributions diligently. Especially non-salary/wage contributions- even well-meaning, well-organized companies have been known to mess up benefits deductions.

        1. Ama*

          Yeah as some context, my employer’s finance department has just been an absolute mess for over two years (previous department head resisted badly needed infrastructure updates until we were at a crisis point and had to change a bunch of it very quickly and we have also had some unfortunate hires that flamed out quickly) — and yet the *one* thing they have managed to do consistently is pay everyone on time and pay the credit card bills on time even in the midst of all their internal dysfunction.

      2. Pastor Petty Labelle*

        Cosigning. OP you know this is a red flag, you were hoping it was just a glitch in the transition.

        Get out when you can. Be vigilant until then. And never ever ever cover any expenses on your own card. You will never be reimbursed.

        1. Observer*

          I’m not sure that this is a bad thing.

          And even if it is, it’s better than people getting stiffed, unexpectedly losing access to their medical insurance and stuff like that.

        2. Also Alison*

          & perhaps the Attorney General for your city/state? We have a major situation with a failing healthcare system in my state & vendor nonpayment was a huge red flag that affected patient care. People died for lack of medical supplies.

          1. I Have RBF*

            … vendor nonpayment was a huge red flag that affected patient care. People died for lack of medical supplies.


            IMO, a medical practice not paying for supplies because of inability or unwillingness to pay its credit card is a big red flag. It means that the new owners are essentially abandoning the “going concern” concept, and just extracting cash while loading your employer with debt. This is what “private equity” vulture capitalists do – it’s their business model, and to hell with the people who need the company’s services.

          2. Enai*

            “People died for lack of medical supplies.”

            Please insert the appropriate “jaw on floor” emoji here. Because my jaw, she is on the floor.

            So, OP, maybe a little pandemonium might be a good thing to unleash? You know your situation best, though.

    3. emmelemm*

      Yeah, as Alison said: I have a friend who was getting “statements” that weren’t really statements saying that retirement contributions were being deposited, but they were, in fact, not, because the company needed the money and figured they’d “make it all up later”. It was not a good sign.

    4. Lexie*

      Not long after I started a new job I fielded a call from a vendor requesting a card number for payment. I let the owner know and she says she can give them the number but there’s no money there. Then I saw some financial information that she left out on the manager’s desk (common space that all staff used) and it did not paint a positive picture. I didn’t stay very long and a few weeks after I left one of my former coworkers texted me that they had arrived at work to find the doors locked and a sign saying the business was closed. Months later I had to track the owner down because she hadn’t provided my W-2 and I ultimately had to threaten to report her to the IRS to get it.
      So my advice to OP is get out now and make sure you have everything you are owed.

      1. Dancing Otter*

        Well, when you issue W2 forms, that eventually clues the IRS that you should have been paying those payroll taxes. If she wasn’t, then a certain reluctance isn’t unexpected.

    5. MassMatt*

      Tax withholding, also! It’s a huge violation, but bad companies will fail to withhold, or reclassify someone (falsely) as a contractor so no withholding is required, and in the worst case, do all that while still taking the money from the employee’s paycheck.

      A company failing to pay its basic bills is a huge warning sign. Protect yourself as much as possible, OP, and I would start looking immediately. If it turns out this is just a temporary thing due to the takeover, all you lose is some time, and you’ll have an updated resume.

    6. E*

      Also check with Social Security that your pay is reported correctly. I worked for a place for 9 months and had 3 W-2s due to ‘payroll company changes’. What actually happened is the 1st company dropped them, they cut our checks themselves a awhile and then transferred us all to a staffing company that offered a 60 day line of credit. They did not pay tax withholdings or report any income during the time the checks came directly from them.

    7. I Have RBF*


      If the new owners are shady about paying the company credit card, they may be shady in other ways. Verify your pay and deductions regularly.

      Other changes, like if they had done payroll through a service like ADP but suddenly brought it in-house, are also a financial red flag.

      Your nose for trouble is well tuned, IMO. There are shenanigans going on which may or may not be deliberate on the part of your private equity (vulture capitalist) owners.

  5. Not Australian*

    LW2 – invest in a dashcam, if you haven’t got one already, and send footage of your co-worker’s antics to one of the YouTube dashcam channels that covers your area: I promise you, there will be one. And there’s a reason many of them use the catchphrase “It’s always an Audi!”

    1. Tired and Confused*

      Where I live a lot of company cars are BWV so it’s mostly a BWV! Hahaha. A dashcam sounds good and it’s possible you could bring it to the police? A lot of taxi drivers used to do the cutting you dangerously just after overtaken you but it has decreased in recent years. I think it’s because there are more cameras around.

    2. Bilateralrope*

      After the video gets posted to one of those channels, what about sending management an anonymous email with a link to the video, a photo of the car in the company carpark and the question “does this guy work for you ?”

      I’d probably settle for passing the link around coworkers.

      Though this would require that the video shows something distinctive about the car. I’d expect the channel to blur license plates and faces.

      1. I should really pick a name*

        I don’t think it’s great to encourage people to bring issues like this into the workplace.

        1. LWH*

          A ton of the advice I’m seeing here would most likely just get LW fired. People get really caught up in their petty revenge fantasy without remembering this is for actual advice.

        2. RussianInTexas*

          This. It’s fun to think about petty revenge, but in reality, these things don’t work out well for the person who is taking the revenge.

      2. Not Australian*

        ‘I’d expect the channel to blur license plates and faces.’

        Nope! After all, the whole point of license plates is to be able to identify the driver!

    3. Evil Queen of Dysfunction*

      I live in a major city and my older son and I both drive a lot in, out and around the city. I joke its always a Dodge Charger and he claims its always a Nissan Altima.

      1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        I’m with your son — ALWAYS Nissans around here. We joke that’s what they give you when you lose your driver license. My SUV was totaled by a texting teenager in an Altima :P

    4. MassMatt*

      A dashcam would be useful if it actually catches the Audi jerk causing an accident, and maybe showing history of bad driving if an accident happens. I’m skeptical that the police will do much with footage of someone driving like a jerk.

  6. Maxed out seems odd*

    #3 – I’m kinda meh on this because I work for a company that was recently bought by a private equity firm and who have suddenly stopped paying all our bills on time. But also I’m in a position where I have some visibility into the finances and we are fine, just watching our cash flow. That being said, I’m not talking maxed out credit cards. Credit cards are always paid. I’m talking laying be does at N45 when our terms our N30. The credit card bit seems sketchy to me. So I guess see what makes sense to you.

    1. Maxed out seems odd*

      Sorry for the typos! I swear I check before I post and then autocorrect basically tells me to f* off after I hit post.

      1. Meat Oatmeal*

        Wait, what did you mean to type? I’m very curious what kind of situation the second-to-last sentence describes.

        1. Maxed out seems odd*

          Yeah, I definitely didn’t mean to say”laying” there. But i did mean to say that paying at 45 days vs 30 is a thing. Not maxing out credit cards. Just paying a little late. And we have the Cashflow to pay at N30. But that sentence was a lot of weird typos and I apologize for that. I do check my posts before I hit post by my phone tends to hate me I guess.

          1. Bruce*

            N45 is my employer’s standard terms, but we get push back sometimes. When that happens I get Purchasing to change it to N30, usually by saying “This is a small vendor with a niche product, we don’t have other options”. So far I’ve had good luck with that, most recently the CEO of a new vendor was kind of irate when the N45 terms were proposed.

        2. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

          It means their terms with the supplier are “net 30”, their contract says they have to pay those invoices within 30 business days. But they are paying them within 45 business days.

            1. A Girl Named Fred*

              Or slow AF. I work for a place that only cuts checks once a week, if they were submitted by a specific day the previous week. But my boss doesn’t work in my building, so it’s a crapshoot on when I can actually get them to sign invoices so I can submit them. Which means it can easily take three weeks or more to get the check sent, even if I processed the invoice the day I got it.

              I certainly don’t love that system or how slow we are, but it’s not malicious on anyone’s part.

              1. Observer*

                It may not be malicious, but it’s terrible management. And when it’s done deliberately, which is what @Maxed Out is saying is happening at their employer, yes it’s shady. I would suggest that Maxed Out keep an eye on things like their insurance payments and remittances because if they push the line on that stuff in the name of “managing cash flow” the results could be catastrophic.

            2. NotFair*

              Honestly sometimes (usually) it is simply a cash flow issue, and companies have to decide who they will pay first/on time – not that the others are not going to get paid. I work for a small company that incurs costs on our projects within a couple of weeks of it kicking off – yet our terms with our clients in some cases are 60 days. Meaning we don’t get a penny until we have been already working for 2+ months (sometimes even longer if it takes the client longer to get funding/a PO on their end). Meanwhile our vendor sends us a bill with 30 days terms. Combine that with payroll (which ALWAYS gets paid) and other expenses, sometimes we cannot pay all vendors on time. But they DO get paid. And we are cognizant about who we pay first – i.e., the independent contractor will always get paid before the multinational billion dollar company. Is this ideal? No not at all. But, it is very common in the business world and not necessarily “shady”.

              1. Maxed Out*

                Yeah. At (admittedly terrible) ex-job, when I started (as the finance person) their company credit card was maxed out — I’m talking $70-$80k. They were paying so much in interest and fees every month it was ridiculous. They were a small nonprofit and cash flow was definitely an issue. There were times that vendor payments were late and I had to tell staff they could absolutely not charge anything on the credit card. There were also weeks when I wasn’t sure if I would have enough cash to meet payroll. It was very stressful. But I came up with a plan, and it took about nine months, but I was able to successfully pay off/down the entire balance, and build up about 2 months of liquidity for them. They weren’t shady (at least not in the financial sense), just operating on very, very tight margins.

            3. Antilles*

              This is pretty common in my industry; all the written terms require payment within 30 days from invoice date. However, a vendor invoice gets resubmitted to the prime client as part of OUR invoice and they themselves have their own set process. So it can very easily end up with something like this:
              -Vendor sends us an invoice on Feb 21st, which based on our written contract requires us to pay within
              -We submit our invoice to the client on March 15th, because the prime contractor only allows one invoice per month
              -Client has their own “30 days to review before payment”, so the check doesn’t get cut until April 15th
              -We then pay the vendor, but now the “30 days from invoice” is actually more like 55 days or something.
              And nobody blinks an eye at the fact we’re technically behind schedule, but it’s just understood within the industry that it’s more along the lines of pay-when-paid even though the vendor contract doesn’t officially state that.

              1. MassMatt*

                This will depend on the industry and vendors but in my prior industry (specialty retail, with must-have new product released weekly) would absolutely not tolerate what you are describing, they would start shorting deliveries or halting them altogether until they were made current.

                There were many retailers that had trouble competing in the industry and tried these tactics but they wound up getting blackballed by major vendors and having to deal with worse vendors that charged more and delivered far less.

    2. M2RB*

      Yeah, I worked in accounting at the corporate office with locations across the country, and managing cash flow with credit cards can definitely be a thing. The corporate team might be struggling to adjust to the new owners’ processes (and vice versa) as they figure out how the company will operate under the new ownership. I see that you had issues with unanswered emails about this; do you have a way to call your corporate accounting/treasury team (or whoever supervises the credit card program)? I would call if possible (and I say that as a phone-hater). Call every day! Call every time the card is declined. “Hey, we don’t have money to buy receipt paper for customer transactions. Hey, we don’t have money to buy paper for customers to fill out forms.” Be the squeaky wheel.

      Outside of that, I agree with other commenters’ responses about staying vigilant for yourself (log in to your retirement plan and make sure those contributions are being made timely). If you see any delays on your own pay or those retirement contributions being made, I would peace out ASAP. If you don’t ever see any issues with those, and the credit card issue resolves itself, I would keep my eyes open for new jobs but not bail.

    3. Observer*

      who have suddenly stopped paying all our bills on time. But also I’m in a position where I have some visibility into the finances and we are fine, just watching our cash flow.

      That’s still a bad sign. There is a difference between watching your cash flow and being regularly late on bills. If you don’t have the cash flow to pay bills timely, that *is* actually a financial problem.

      Also, what the OP is describing goes waaay further than that. It’s not just that they are maxing out the card and not paying it on time. It’s that they are *sooooo* behind and are preventing *business critical* purchases from being made in a timely fashion. That’s a whole other level. If someone is doing this as a purely “cash flow management” measure, their (mis) management is going to bring down the company. And they will almost certainly find a way to stiff the staff as well.

    4. My Useless 2 Cents*

      I kinda fell meh on this as well and I think a large part for me is how recently was the company bought? While it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on the situation, I think it’s entirely possible that the accounting department is in a bit of a spin trying to balance what processes they had in place with those of the new company and the company credit card is lower on the priority list than making sure all the payroll, taxes, etc. are paid.
      Especially since it sounds like multiple locations are buying supplies on a single company line of credit without getting pricing approval before purchases. Without a very hefty line of credit solely for purchasing, it sounds like problems were waiting to happen even if there was never a problem in the past.

  7. Always Science-ing*

    OP #2: If you have a dangerous or threatening encounter on campus, campus police could be an option. I was working on a university campus several years ago and was almost hit in a crosswalk on campus by a driver who ran a stop sign. They were so close my swinging bag actually hit their car. They followed me for a block in their car after I crossed the street so they could scream at me out their window for hitting their car!?? Including saying “if you ever touch my car again I’ll kill you”. They also ran another stop sign as they sped away if I recall correctly. I reported it (including license plate and person’s description) to campus police as I wanted their driving on record in case they were involved in a future incident…well I ended up having to talk to the city police as saying “I’ll kill you” is considered a threat. And then the police visited the driver at their on campus office to have a talk with them about their actions (the police called me again afterwards to update me). I suspect that the driver drove a little more carefully after that…and probably also had some explaining to do at work.

      1. Caliente Papillon*

        JFC, with any luck he was put out to pasture. Imagine almost killing someone and then yelling at them about it.

    1. OnyxChimney*

      Reminds me of my college campus driver near misses. I had many close calls where I could feel the wind of the vehicle as it passed inches from my skin.

      But one glorious time I was walking across the cross walk which also doubled as a comically large speed bump. Some people tried to speed and cut off walkers anyway. One day I was halfway in the crosswalk when a car sped around the corner, cut into the other lane to swerve around me, passed inches in front me, and promptly ripped the bumper off their vehicle.

      They then pulled over into a nearby parking lot and called their mom. I’m not ashamed to say I made a scene. As a former drum major in Marching Band I could be loud. I went over to his car and pronounced his misdeeds for all nearby. Attention fellow (mascot) this idiot nearly ran me over and his cummupence is that he ripped his number off. Now he is calling Mommy for help like the big baby he his!

      A group gathered, his mom, who he unwisely put on speaker phone on full volume to hear over my announcement and the gathering crowd could be heard saying, you CUT OFF A PEDESTRIAN! No I’m not paying for the bumper. Shame on you I may take the car away if that’s how you are driving it! I taught you better. By the end of the spectacle the guy was surrounded by 30-40 classmates laughing and pointing. Ive w never seen a more embarrassed and ashamed person in my life!

    2. Jayne*

      Depending on the campus, there may also be cameras where they can check on the statement by the witness. My college campus has many, many cameras based on incidents that have happened here, so a hospital campus might also have cameras since it is an area where people are not, er, their best.

      I am not sure recordings from the campus cameras would be enough to issue a ticket, but it could result in a discussion with security about proper driving on campus. Also, if the person viewing the camera sees reckless driving, they can direct campus police/security to intercept them.

    3. SailAway*

      Yikes that’s terrifying! Hopefully the police put the fear into them.

      I was almost run over by a guy in a pickup truck who came zooming out of an alley without slowing down or looking for pedestrians. I was with my young kids and it was pretty scary. Of course before he zoomed off again, he took a moment to yell at us for not getting out of his way…on the sidewalk.

  8. Brain the Brian*

    LW3: Honestly, any time your company’s ownership changes is a good time to look around at what else is available in your industry. You don’t know what bizarre edicts will float down from on high that completely change the place you work. But this sounds worse than that, and I’d be running for the hills if I were you.

    1. Kelly*

      This is good advice. A vet company that touts itself as being SO WONDERFUL for its employees and owned by two friendly ladies quietly sold partial ownership to private equity. They claimed nothing changed, but their veterinarians were forced to sign restrictive new contracts or resign not long after. Several employees that I’m acquainted with quit pretty quickly.

    2. Smuckers*

      Read a few news articles about what’s going on with Steward Health in MA and it becomes pretty obvious that private equity and healthcare should never mix.

      1. Brain the Brian*

        There are a lot of industries with which private equity should not mix, IMHO. Healthcare, journalism, veterinary medicine, winter sports, education… the list goes on and on.

        1. MagicEyes*

          Private equity is quietly ruining everything good. I think most people aren’t going to be aware of it until it’s too late. It’s going to be impossible for individuals to buy single family homes because they’ll all be owned by private equity firms.

          1. Brain the Brian*

            Private equity firms are buying up ski areas and then cutting staff to save money while overselling tickets, leading to massive crowds with no staff to manage them. It’s not going well.

  9. RamieGrl*

    LW2: I would definitely report it to campus security and maybe file a complaint to the police department on a non emergency line. This guy is a walking time bomb and his weapon is a car.

  10. 'Enry 'Iggins 'Ead*

    At my 2nd last Job, they had a months notice (UK) and decided to have my handover at 3:15 on my last day, knowing I left at 4. It got to five past four with no sign of stopping and I’d had enough and said “Sorry, thats me finished.
    Sometimes you just have to let it go and accept they don’t care enough to give a smooth handover and they don’t care enough about your fellow workers. It’s highly likely when you leave they’ll blame you and use you as a scapegoat with your former clients. There is nothing muchyou can do except document how often you’ve tried to have a handover and explain to your colleagues what’s happening

    1. Smithy*

      I’ve had a few employers that were really restrictive on telling external contacts when you were leaving. Even if they didn’t blame or scapegoat, by doing things like having someone else just jump in a conversation after someone had left and go “I’m your focal point now” without much other context can still leave an odd tone.

      With that in mind – I’ve always made sure to do my best to connect with my external contacts on LinkedIn. That way if there is no way to announce my departure formally and my employer is taking that choice but without intent to actively harm me – I can counter that narrative when I announce my new job on LinkedIn. If there’s a more nefarious intent around, that’s something else, but for those who either have this as a flag policy or make things weird – it serves as a help counter.

    2. Ama*

      I am about to give notice at my work and I am honestly not sure how my bosses are going to handle it — I’ve been here for over a decade and I’ve seen enough people leave that I know that outwardly they’ll be professional but might be making some snide comments behind closed doors. I also think they’ll probably ask me to stay longer (I’m leaving to go freelance in a different sector) and when I refuse I’ll probably get thrown under the bus when they struggle to cover all of my duties.

      I will make sure my direct report knows the exact truth of what timeline I gave and why I gave it in the event that our bosses try to pretend I blindsided them or that my refusal to stay longer really messed things up, but other than that I’m resigned to them telling other people whatever they want.

  11. Where’s the Orchestra?*

    OP2, a couple thoughts occur to me.

    1) since you mention you are on a campus – report them to campus police – if they are as aggressive as you describe campus police may already have a file on them as well. I know a previous Campus style job I had tracked aggressive driver reports – and they were in charge of parking permits, too many complaints about aggressive driving could and did cost people their on-campus parking rights.

    2) Document all the times you are dealing with this person (someone above has mentioned a dash cam – they are helpful in that endeavor – and also help protect you should “Mr Aggressive” cause a crash you get caught up in) and then check with the local police dept. Not all cities have them, but both my city and county have “aggressive driver hotlines” that you can make non-emergency reports to for the greater good of all who are on the roads.

    3) the bumper sticker is awesome to doodle about to vent frustration about “Mr Aggressive” but I wouldn’t do it in real life. I just see it going badly wrong – after all, think how mad he is in a car……

    1. AnonInCanada*

      Some police departments also let you submit aggressive driver complaints online as well. A quick Google search found the form for my little part of the Great White North.

  12. Nene Poppy*

    Would someone please clarify LW1?

    I am reading this as LW1 was contacted by a random recruiter essentially asking them to be a candidate source? Is this correct?

    It is the recruiter who will be paid, not the LW1.

    If a random recruiter contacted ME with an offer, but after my turning the offer down, then asking me if I knew someone who might be interested, then that is fine. To contact me just because I worked for Llama Teapots seems really odd.

    It’s been a long time since I have any contact with recruiters and I don’t use LinkedIN – but is this a thing?

    1. GythaOgden*

      I got my job of ten years through being contacted by a recruiter because I had medical admin experience on my CV. It was by phone rather than on LinkedIn, but if someone is, say, trying to find a temp in a hurry like my guy was, then finding someone with relevant experience is kinda better than just spamming everyone, no?

    2. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

      Yes, I get approaches like this on LinkedIn all the time. “Your background at company x looks like a good fit for the experience we’re looking for to fill this role”. It’s also common that they say something like “if you aren’t looking at this time or if it isn’t a good fit, do you have any contacts that you might recommend”.

    3. Cat Tree*

      Yeah, recruiters are a mixed bag. Some are good. Many mass-message dozens or hundreds of people with resumes that are only tangentially related, and also add in the message that if you’re not interested in the position to please do their job for them (for free, of course) by sending it to people within your network.

        1. WellRed*

          If it’s legit, it doesn’t have to take OPs time (either she knows someone or not). It’s a good thing to be connected to other people and builds social capital for future job hunts.

          1. mreasy*

            Yeah, if it’s a legit role that OP thinks is worthwhile, they may know someone looking who would be a good fit, which I think is a natural thing to mention in general.

            1. GythaOgden*

              I refer them to my BIL, who is still looking for something after being his mum’s sole caretaker for several years and thus being out of the workforce for a while. I’m talking entry-level/low-level jobs to get him back in the ‘office’ (whether WFH or not) for a bit before he’s able to be a bit more choosy, but he needs a few leads to help him out.

          2. AngryOctopus*

            Unfortunately in science there’s a LOT of “please do my job for me” elements to this. I’m a cell/molecular biologist, and my LinkedIn shows I have many many qualifications under that umbrella. The number of recruiters who will contact me about immunology jobs, or process jobs, or QC/QA jobs, is STAGGERING. I have zero things that would show I’d be able to even do entry level at those jobs (aside from basic lab things that could translate to immunology), and these recruiters are all “with your experience I think you’d be a great fit for this director job, please pass it on if you’re not interested though!!”. Yeah, I’m not even a bad fit for these jobs. I’m not even playing the same puzzle. Learn your job and we can talk about me referring others who might be interested.

        2. ferrina*

          Nah, this is a mutual benefit situation. If OP has friends who are job searching, OP can put their name forward. If friend lands a job, yay! Win for friend and for the recruiter.

          I’ve done this a couple times. I always ask the recruiter to send me their info, then send that info on to my friend (rather than providing my friend’s info to a stranger). If I don’t know anyone that fits the recruiter’s profile, then I just say “nope, don’t know anyone.”

    4. Kelly*

      I get spammed on LinkedIn and my private email by recruiters. It got really bad after I posted my resume on a niche job site. One recruiter sent me a VERY nasty message because I didn’t reply to his cold emails for positions I specifically said I wasn’t interested in (I used to be a large animal vet and wasn’t interested in working in that hellhole field anymore for peanuts, but they sent me listings for large animal jobs all around the country). Heck I had private business owners do the same thing! One tried to recruit me to drive an hour commute round trip and said he was being generous in only making me do emergency calls on weekends. I DIDN’T WANT THE JOB AT ANY POINT.

      1. nona*

        The recruiters (usually male, in my experience) who chide you for not at least *responding* to their previous messages, and then follow up with 4-5 emails in the same vein is a total swipe left. They’re basically negging me, and I just don’t have time for it. If I was even incline to be job hunting, which I’m not.

        1. AngryOctopus*

          At OldJob we used to get call after call after call from one recruiting firm. It would start with them calling and saying “I got your info from a colleague (falsehood, none of us were looking), call us about this job you’d be so great for, blah blah” and progressively got more ‘chummy’ with offers for us to call them whenever, to call their cell whenever, etc. It would go on for months with one person (this job must suck if you’re still trying to fill it six months later!), then there would be a pause, then another person would call, same progression. Must have been an awful place to work, TBH. We just ignored them after a while because actually telling them we’re not interested/looking/please stop calling had zero effect on them.

        2. MassMatt*

          Given even really good recruiters with good jobs are going to get a lot of no replies, this reeks of either immaturity or yes, a negging strategy to guilt you into calling. Or why not both, LOL?

          I get a lot of calls and emails, both for jobs and for services I don’t want or need, it’s usually at least a couple per day. If you’re someone I don’t know trying to reach me for YOUR benefit, and you start to act huffy that I don’t drop everything to focus on you, that’s a sign we will never do business.

        3. JustaTech*

          I once had a recruiter reach out to me for a job that sounded interesting, I filled out the application and a bunch of forms (no bank info or anything) and scheduled a call, only to have the recruiter be *very* frustrated and annoyed at me that I didn’t have and RN and why was I wasting her time?


          Nothing about my LinkedIn indicates that I have an RN (I have an MPH, which is *not* a clinical degree), and the anonymized job posting didn’t say anything about needing any kind of nursing degree.
          Also, she reached out to me?
          It was so confusing it wasn’t actually that upsetting, but it really put me off recruiters.

    5. B*

      It’s basically cold-calling. I get these messages frequently, mostly from very junior recruiters who don’t appear to have much substantive experience with my field. I usually ignore them. If they were good opportunities, they would be able to fill them with a much more targeted search, or at least they would be staffed by recruiters who are not fresh out of college.

    6. TX_Trucker*

      I work in a very niche field within the transportation industry. I get contacts from recruiters constantly from LinkedIn. Some are very targeted messages that apply specifically to my work at ABC Company and ask if I’m interested or know a coworker who might be interested. Some messages seem very spammy and probably sent to everyone who even vaguely know what a truck looks like.

    7. MCMonkeyBean*

      “Do you know anyone who might be interested in this role” is a very normal opening line for recruiters. They mostly mean are YOU interested in the role, but maybe you’re not and you know someone else who might be looking.

  13. Carl Ess*

    LW2: Aggressive drivers kill people. I think your instincts are right. I would report them to the police or campus security or at least ask their advice on what to do. You could be saving someone’s life. Thank you for being concerned.

  14. Xero Deficit*

    LW1: I had a recruiter tell me I was unsuitable for a role so I did some research, found out who the company was and applied direct.

    I’ve been here 10 years now.

  15. A.P.*

    LW1 – If this was an external recruiter, then they get paid when they bring in a candidate who interviews successfully and takes the job. If someone contacts the company directly, then the recruiter won’t get paid.

    I’ve seen situations where the candidate does an end-run around the recruiter for one reason or another. Sometimes they feel they can get a higher salary by saving the company the recruiter fee. Other times, they have their resume submitted by a recruiter friend, so the friend will benefit from the fee. I’ve also seen messy situations where two different recruiters submit the same person’s resume, and the resulting fight over the fee turns ugly.

    While I’m sure the letter writer didn’t have any bad intentions, the recruiter may have thought otherwise, hence the angry response. (Not that I’m justifying his behavior.)

    1. Cat Tree*

      No, just having any kind of contact with the company directly doesn’t negate the recruiter’s pay. She would have to apply directly through the company, not simply ask to confirm that the position exists. Even if the recruiter incorrectly jumped to the conclusion that she was intending to apply directly, his reaction was over the top and completely unprofessional.

    2. Lady Sally*

      Yes, I agree it probably had to do with thinking LW1 was going around the recruiter to cut out his commission. Recruiters are very territorial about that, for obvious reasons.
      I’ve been on the other end and it’s tough. We had a local candidate we talked to a couple times, including an email from our HR six months prior to see if they were interested in a job. Then they show up with a resume from a recruiter, which means if we hire them now our cost just went up 25k from if they had talked to us directly when we emailed. It has to be a factor in the decision, esp if you’re concerned whether the person is likely to stick it out past a year or so.

    3. bamcheeks*

      In my experience, when a recruiter is commissioned by the company, it’s because the company doesn’t want to do the early stages (or sometimes all the stages) of recruitment themselves– they are paying the recruiter for their network of contacts, the early stages of promoting and having conversations about the role, screening candidates, and in some cases depending on the field, interviews and background checks. If that’s the situation, then when a candidate contacts the company to confirm the vacancy is real, they’ll briefly confirm it and then direct them back to the recruiter.

      I know there are legit situations where a recruiter can not want a candidate to contact the company directly, but in my experience it’s an indication that the recruitment isn’t entirely above board– the company is recruiting directly, and the recruiter is trying to insert themselves into the process, and claim a fee, or it’s not actually a live job.

      A recruiter getting annoyed at a candidate for going direct to the employer is shouting at the wrong person, IMO– if the company is conducting its own search AND has commissioned a recruiter, or is open to receiving applications from recruiters alongside its own search– well, maybe that’s custom you don’t want as a recruiter! But you don’t get to lambast candidates because you haven’t formed a proper contract with your client!

      And I’m always super pissed off at anyone who contacts you directly and then tells you that you’re bound by confidentiality that you never agreed to. If you want my agreement to keep something confidential, you get that first! You can’t give me information and then tell me I’m morally or contractually obligated in some way!

    4. Knope Knope Knope*

      Yeah this was my thought as well. The recruiter probably thought that OP was trying to end run him and apply or send applicants directly and he’d lose his commission. I’ll add this is very unlikely to have burned a bridge with this company in the future, just the recruiter who sounds like they were external.

    5. Daisy-dog*

      I think it’s a case where both participants didn’t exactly know what they should do. LW1 admitted to not being accustomed to job searching norms. And the recruiter might be young & immature (or just be not very good at recruiting). LW1 could have just chosen to ignore the recruiter once she saw that the job wasn’t posted on the company’s site and just monitor that site for the future to see if it does get posted. The recruiter could have just explained the circumstances if the company doesn’t want to be involved until the interview.

    6. TX_Trucker*

      My firm rarely hires a recruiter. But when we do, it’s always an exclusive contract and we expect the recruiter to do all the preliminary work. I only want to see the top 3-4 candidates. If a candidate were to contacts us directly, we refer them to the recruiter. We don’t work with “open recruiters,” because I have seen exactly what A.P. describes of recruiters fighting over a commission.

  16. General von Klinkerhoffen*

    LW2 (Road rage colleague) – do you have a dashcam? If his behaviour is dangerous, and it sounds as though it might be more than simply rude, then you could consider sending any footage you happen to capture to the police. Obviously don’t try to set it up, but if you see him then your camera will see him.

    That’s kind of a nuclear option but if he’s actually dangerous it might feel necessary.

    (accidentally posted on a different page – kettle hasn’t been on yet)

    1. Potoooooooo*

      With the dashcam, having a rear-facing setup as well as the forward looking view would be extra beneficial for catching tailgaters.

    2. LWH*

      I feel like all of the “send this to the police” comments are exceedingly optimistic about how much the police will care about or act on a report like this.

      1. Helewise*

        It depends on where you are. I’ve been in places where they can be responsive to these things depending on who you talk to, but that obviously isn’t true everywhere.

      2. Caramel & Cheddar*

        I was coming here to say this. The police have absolutely abdicated any responsibility towards enforcing traffic laws in my city and I had to laugh at all the suggestions they’d care one iota about this guy.

        1. RussianInTexas*

          Right. I live in the metro of 7 million people, some smaller localities police force MIGHT care, but the main city? Absolutely not. They only ever enforce speeding on the Beltway where the ticket revenue would be the highest. Otherwise, unless you crash and the police is called, they just straight up don’t care. They won’t even show up to the accidents that do not involve significant injuries or do not block highway traffic. When you call, they tell you “it’s going to be 3-4 hours, so you probably need to sort it out yourself”.

          1. LWH*

            I live in a small town and I think the driver would have to be going 60 in a residential area and hitting every single mailbox before they would care to even look at it. There’s no way they’re watching a bunch of dashcam footage of a guy who is just driving bad. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the tip hotlines or whatever are just an excuse to go pull over people they were wanting to pull over for something anyway and less them taking it seriously.

      3. Not Australian*

        No, the cops won’t care, but uploading to a YouTube dashcam channel will get the footage out there and you never know who might see it.

      4. General von Klinkerhoffen*

        In the UK there is a national police database you can upload dashcam footage to, and it has led to many arrests and convictions for dangerous driving.

      1. AngryOctopus*

        That’s true, but this particular recruiter doesn’t seem to have done anything to earn any trust, so to pop off about it seems like a lot.

  17. DawnShadow*

    Road rage driver – I once – once! had the pleasure of seeing someone acting like this pulled over by a cop. Oh the schadenfreude. So very satisfying. It was over fifteen years ago but I still remember it fondly. I hope that soon you will know the feeling!

    1. Lacey*

      Yeees, it’s the best feeling.

      I’ve experienced it twice and I always feel warm and fuzzy thinking about it.

    2. Panicked*

      Isn’t it the best feeling? A few years ago, I was driving down some pretty winding local roads. Some idiot in a yellow sports car blew right past me in a no passing zone then promptly lost control and ran his car into a stop sign at the bottom of the hill. I would have stopped to make sure he was okay, but the police officer who often parked his cruiser at the bottom of the hill just so happened to be there already. (The driver was out of his car and talking with the police officer, so I’m sure he wasn’t injured.)

    3. Elsewise*

      I love it when someone is speeding and generally driving like a jerk, speeds off pass you, and then a few minutes later you pass them on the side of the road having been pulled over. It’s happened to me a few times and the sheer DELIGHT I feel is unparalleled. “Oh! Oh! It appears we are still going in the same direction. And yet, though you were going faster, I am arriving first. What a fascinating turn of events! Ah, but the light has changed, and so I must be on my merry way. Faretheewell, fair traveler! Perhaps we shall meet again.”

      Apparently it makes me so happy I go Shakespearean with schaedenfreude.

    4. Macropodidae*

      I’ve witnessed it once. The woman was tailgating me at one point, but the road we were on has lights so, hilariously, she kept getting caught by the same lights I did, so she wasn’t too far ahead of me. Then the 2-lane road went down to one lane so she almost ran out of road to speed by a bunch of people merging right. I don’t think she even noticed the cop she blew by.

      At this point, I’m over a dozen cars behind her as traffic has slowed. I actually witnessed the cop go to take a sip of coffee, do a doubletake, and move to set his coffee down. He pulled out a couple cars behind me. Because of rush hour and one lane each way, it was busy, so he turned on his lights (but not siren), and, as one, a bunch of us pulled over to let him pass a few cars, because we expected it. Then he turned his lights off. He kept doing it: turning on his lights, sneaking up on her a couple cars at a time when oncoming traffic cleared, turning lights off. If I hadn’t been there to see it, I would have thought it was just a jerk cop sick of traffic.

      Two miles later he pulled up behind her in a left turn lane, and lit her up as soon as they both turned. It was glorious. It was also the only time I thought it would be fun to be a cop.

    5. Fluff*

      We have a saying, “Schadenfreude ist die reinste Freude.”

      Schadenfreude is the purest of all joys.

      Truer words have not been spoken.

  18. Cat*

    For maxed out cards, this was nearly the same case with me, calls from suppliers looking for payment were coming on the regular, months later I got laid off. Ensure your paycheck and contributions are correct every single time, and get job hunting right away.

  19. Cat Tree*

    LW2, I hate aggressive drivers. They’re so dangerous and we’re so powerless to stop them. It’s enraging. One thing I have found to help me deal with it is to remind myself that they’re living their lives in a constant state of misery and anger. I used to have two family members who drove like this so I can confirm that it really does carry over into the rest of life.

    I once drove to a vendor for work for a special trip that I don’t usually do. It was a new area for me to drive. There was a car aggressively tailgating me the entire time (also an Audi, naturally). Each time I turned I was hoping to be rid of him, but he was always behind me. As I got closer to my destination I thought he was going to the same place and it would be really awkward if he worked for the vendor as I would have to say something to the customer. He actually did follow me all the way there, then pulled into the parking lot, turned around, and left. Imagine that. He took time out of his day, drive out of his way, probably was late to work, and all just to make himself even more mad about me driving the speed limit! He could have just driven his planned route and been done with me earlier. But he chose to continue making himself mad.

    So when this jerk does this to you again, remind yourself that he’s risking both his life and his precious car just to save maybe 1 or 2 minutes of driving time. And be thankful that your own life isn’t so miserable.

    1. Jackalope*

      I’ve had slightly less intense versions of that. I commute by bicycle, and a section of my old route from my previous home involved riding over an overpass that had 2 lanes going each way through an area that was mostly retail. I’d be riding over the overpass in the far right lane, no traffic anywhere because it was 7 am and no one else had a reason to be there so long before the shops opened. Vehicles would pull up next to me in the other lane (which was fully empty) and the drivers would start yelling at me to get on the sidewalk – both illegal and not particularly feasible at that point. If they’d just driven past me in their wide open lanes I would have been out of their lives in just a couple of seconds, but they were so angry at my existence that they had to slow down and bully me for awhile before going on. Another time at the end of the day instead I thought a driver behind me was going to try to kill me. He was so angry at the fact that we weren’t moving at all and he blamed it all on me. The correct blame would have been on… the red traffic light ahead of us that meant that all of the traffic, me included, had to stop. I can understand how this stretch (not the overpass I mentioned earlier, but a few blocks down) was frustrating at the time – there was construction and for a block or two it was so slow that I was keeping up with traffic on my bike. But it wasn’t my fault, and I couldn’t move the traffic cones or stop the construction.

      1. bamcheeks*

        I usually cycle to work, but I drove today because I had some signage to bring. There was a bike on the dual carriageway (= two lanes of traffic in each direction, separated by a central reservation.) The car behind me passed the cyclist in the left-hand lane at about 40mph, despite the *completely empty* lane to their right, and the Highway Code making it clear that you’re supposed to give a full car’s width to cyclists on fast roads. Absolutely unhinged behaviour.

        1. Enai*

          I was very confused for a while until I realized: you probably live in a country that drives on the left side of the road, yes? Because I would be annoyed at a cyclist in the passing lane, too. Not to the point of hassling them or overtaking them too closely, but annoyed.

          1. Emily*

            anytime you see a cyclist on the road, you should assume they are doing what they need to do to get home safe. there might be glass in the road, they might be about to turn, potholes, or they want to be v.i.s.i.b.l.e.. or they know an upcoming intersection is not safe for them in the “slow” lane/that lane becomes turn only and they are going straight.

            despite refusing to kill 40,000+ a year in the US (like drivers as a whole) cyclists still have a right to get where they are going in whatever lane feels safest to them!

      2. JustaTech*

        My husband always records every commuting bike ride just in case (he uploads the videos to non-indexed YouTube to save them).
        He also discovered that by riding an extra like 3-5 miles out of his way on the completely separate bike path he could get home in the same time and not have to constantly dodge terrible drivers (and get stuck at stoplights).

    2. NforKnowledge*

      When I was learning to drive I accidentally cut someone off (mum was hassling me to get out of the overtaking lane NOW because someone was coming up far behind me), and they deliberately overtook me and then hit the brakes as hard as they could. My sister when she was learning had someone follow her all the way home after they thought she should have yielded (she had right of way) just to shout at her. Some people are fn terrifying

    3. NforKnowledge*

      My sister, when she was learning to drive and hence had a prominent L on the car, once had someone follow her home to yell at her because he felt she should have yielded, at a place where she had right of way no less! Some people are just fn terrifying.

  20. kalli*

    LW#4: Sometimes you can’t have everything done by a transition date, even if you want to.

    Would it not be simplest to just prepare a handover memo for each client (with a brief summary of their core issue, last action, next step, any important info) and place it on the respective file? That’s what every place I’ve been at with clients has done – if the next principal has been assigned then great, but if not they have a place to start; if the client makes contact whoever talks to them doesn’t have to sound like a total numpty even if they’re not on the file and don’t know anything else, and you’ve done your bit to hand over regardless of how organised anyone else is. Plus, anyone new on the file should ideally be doing a review anyway, but if they don’t have time initially they can find the critical stuff.

    If you have time you can even make a small spreadsheet or database with a link to each memo, who’s taking them over, who the main admin has been helping you out or anyone else who’s got some familiarity, any other people involved (partners, doctors, whatever, depending on your industry) and any critical dates, and send it to your boss and let them fill in any gaps.

    Then nobody can blame you if balls get dropped after you go, you’ve done your best, and you’re not waiting for anyone else.

    This is particularly helpful if some matters don’t have anything to do for a while so putting someone on them isn’t a priority right this second but will be eventually, if you have to notify clients of a new principal (add a column to your spreadsheet for this!), and in the event people start asking you questions after you leave – instead of being trapped forever like some letter writers previously, you can just go ‘I did a handover memo, check the file, bye’ and move on with your life knowing you did your best and that’s all you could do.

  21. Gozer (She/Her)*

    2: From the perspective of a car wreck survivor I share your fears. I get incredibly paranoid about the guy in the Audi riding 2 inches off my boot, or the lorry driver cutting in front of me, or the dipstick who drove on the right side of the road (we drive on the left here) because they wanted a parking space..

    But, I have to let it go unless they actually do something to someone else or the rozzers catch them. I took a few lessons with the IAM after the crash to give me the confidence to drive again and part of what they taught was the ability to concentrate more on what you’re doing right now and driving well and safely. It sounds trite but it does help – because if I worry more about crap drivers I’ll get too scared to drive again.

    3: And from the perspective of someone who ended a job via reporting them to the authorities for fraud the first sign of things going seriously wrong is the money being blocked. Whether it’s for pens, bog roll, IT equipment or salary it’s a serious problem. Once is a user error, twice is system error but thrice is the computer blowing smoke out the rear vents. You’re at ‘the server room is on fire’ level.

  22. DJ Abbott*

    #2, since you’ve noticed the aggressive driver, others probably have too. I expect it’s affecting his work relationships and possibly his growth and/or promotions in the job. We can always hope. :D

    1. Heffalump*

      “I see
      and I hear
      and I speak no evil;
      I carry
      no malice
      within my breast;
      yet quite without
      a man to the Devil
      one may be
      to hope for the best.”

      –“An Ethical Grook” by the Danish polymath Piet Hein

  23. Melissa*

    LW#2: if this guy is consistent with the time of day he drives in to work, and there’s a point in his commute that is clearly aggressive and dangerous, please talk to the police. If they have a way to narrow down to time, place, behavior, they might put an unmarked car in that spot for a couple of days.

    I’ve seen this work for an on ramp to the interstate that is immediately followed by a 90 degree right turn. A bad driver was getting on the interstate, but staying on the shoulder, and racing through that turn, then forcing his way into traffic.

    It hasn’t happen ed since the day he went zooming by on the shoulder to find a police car waiting for him.

    1. Betsy*

      I used to come into NYC via the Holland Tunnel, and people would drive on them shoulder to pass those off us waiting in the right lane and then cut in. This happened a lot, and it really infuriated me! The ramp has a sharp curve that you can’t see around, and one day when I came around the curve, I was so pleased to see that every car that had driven on the shoulder was being ticketed.

  24. Llama Llama*

    The only legitimate reason I can think of for 3 is bureaucracy. In my former role, we had refund companies substantial amounts of money and it always took at least 10 businesses days for it to happen. We had several approvals required to add a new vendor into our system (which honestly is appropriate). Then there was the actual payment itself which took at least two days.

    Maybe they are facing red tape as well? Red tape doesn’t care if it is ‘vital’ office supplies. All it knows is that they are setting up some stupid new system to pay bills.

    1. WellRed*

      But the credit cards are maxed out. That in itself is concerning, whether the bills are paid quickly or not. The lack of communication isn’t great either.

    2. Lexie*

      Depending on what the “vital” supplies are it’s entirely possible that they are need for certain people to do their jobs.

    3. Observer*

      Red tape doesn’t care if it is ‘vital’ office supplies. All it knows is that they are setting up some stupid new system to pay bills.

      Any decent system has bypasses for mission critical items.

      Also, the fact that the cards were maxed out is a problem – and any “new system” that causes that is either a bad system or incompetently implemented. And lastly, the total lack of communications is another issue.

      All of which is to say that even if it’s not malice, the issues here are significant enough that it is likely to harm the company to the point that the OP’s job could go poof *and* it’s likely that there will be some other glitch with other necessary payments to or on behalf of the OP.

  25. ecnaseener*

    Re #1, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a job description on company letterhead. Certainly not with recruiters, they usually just put it in the body of the email. Is this a thing?

    1. SnowyRose*

      Yup. I’m not sure about private companies, but I’ve participated in several executive searches for government agencies and it’s pretty common if they aren’t using a recruitment brochure. To clear, though, it’s the letterhead for the municipal agency, not the recruiter (although it could be cobranded if using a search firm).

    2. doreen*

      Not specifically job descriptions, but I often get emails from both private companies and government agencies where the body of the email is basically ” Please see the attached _____” and all of the actual information is in the attachment which is on letterhead.

    3. Filosofickle*

      I don’t think the LW was wrong to wonder about scams in this day and age, but I think they misread both signals they perceived as off. 1) Job listings are often not on “letterhead”, that means nothing. 2) The job may not have been listed BECAUSE they were going through a recruiter. It’s pretty common in my field to do it that way, both to make it easier on the company and to provide exclusivity for the recruiter.

    4. AngryOctopus*

      I also don’t think that legit recruiters would put a job description on the hiring companies letterhead. Too easy for people to go around them (or the LW referring someone using the letterhead so that person just applies directly). So that part seems normal to me.

  26. Hello Kitty*

    LW2: get a dashcam that does front and back viewing. This aggressive driver will cause an accident at some point. You can also clip the footage to show their driving and provide it to the police as a sample of their driving. I do not believe that campus police can do much. This would have to go to the local police/sheriff.
    Otherwise, do NOT engage. I’ve noticed that these people tend to be a bit unhinged.

  27. Chillafrix*

    OP #3 (LW3), you need to be worried about much more than just them not paying your retirement contributions.

    Companies have been known to stop paying health insurance premiums, but make an arrangement with the health insurer to pay them later, so the health insurance marks them as not in arrears. If you call your health insurer In those situations, they will tell you that there is no problem and you are covered. But they can retroactively take back your health insurance coverage if your employer never pays.

    You will then be responsible for paying those healthcare providers that you saw during the period they didn’t pay, even though you were told you were covered.

    Your company may have withheld your portion of the health insurance premium from your paycheck and never given that to the insurer either, and while technically they owe you that money, if they don’t have it, you will never get that back.

    If they declare bankruptcy, you’ll want to file a claim immediately so that you are early in the line before they run out of money to pay creditors.

    Some companies also withhold taxes from your paycheck, but don’t actually give that money to the government. In that case, you are not responsible for paying the government. It will be a pain to deal with your taxes, but you don’t have to pay those.

    I would get out if there ASAP and set up a google alert so you know if they declare bankruptcy or close. This is actually a tactic private equity firms use to make money for themselves and leave others in the lurch.

  28. mlem*

    For LW3: Private equity is legalized looting; it “imposes efficiencies” by skimming off money and forcing the organization to stagger along without sufficient capital, heedless of what this does to quality or the long-term health of the business. The investors do not care if they kill people — and no, that’s not hyperbole; check out the situation with the Steward hospital network in Boston. People have literally died from private equity looting of healthcare.

    Get out.

    1. Pieforbreakfast*

      The Oregon legislature just submitted a bill for vote on barring private equity firms from owning health clinics in the state for these reasons. Health care is a mess right now and this appears to be a big part of it.

      1. I Have RBF*

        I hope it passes. Private equity is usually the death of any business it touches. They are like vampires, sucking the lifeblood out of their victims and leaving a dead, desiccated husk with bankruptcy stickers all over it behind.

    2. Ali + Nino*

      I heard part of an interview on NPR with an author who had just come out with a book about PE buying up many businesses including in heath care…does this sound familiar to anyone? id like to read it but it does sound quite depressing…

      1. Hlao-roo*

        I found two books that might fit what you’re remembering:

        These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs―and Wrecks―America by Gretchen Morgenson

        Plunder: Private Equity’s Plan to Pillage America by Brendan Ballou

    3. I Have RBF*

      About Steward Health Care:

      Essentially, PE is following the standard PE model – buy a company, load it up with debt while extracting cash, then jettisoning it into bankruptcy, all of the money having been sucked out of it. The bit with selling it’s property out from under it and then leasing it back to them (for a large rent) is a prime example.

      There’s a reason that private equity is called “vulture capitalists”. They create nothing, they just buy going concerns, extract the value in cash, and then jettison what little is left to fall into bankruptcy, all of its capital having been looted.

      It is essentially anti-business. A proper business is presumed to be a going concern that uses capital to grow and expand. Vulture capitalists do the opposite – they extract capital and shrink businesses until they are small enough to “spin off” into bankrupt nothingness.

      PE tactics like that should be illegal. IMO they are essentially fraud perpetrated on the business.

  29. Jay*

    In the case of LW#3, the first thing that came to mind was Leveraged Buyout.
    Sounds like the new company is doing the standard “Private Equity Firm A buys Healthy Company B, forces it to take on every single scrap of debt it legally (and sometimes illegally) can. Then they transfer all of the money to themselves, leaving Company B drowning in debt with no way to pay it off. Company B declares bankruptcy and is sold off. Private Equity Firm A uses all the “profits” from this to purchase Healthy Company C. Rinse and repeat.” That’s a simplified explanation, but more or less what happens.
    If that is the case, get out as soon as possible.

    1. BradFO*

      Hi Jay, I’m LW#3. The CEO of the group who owns us now did offhandedly mention to me once the other practices he owned at one point went under. I wish I had absorbed more of that conversation at the time with her, but reading your comment made my stomach drop. You convinced me to start applying.

      1. I Have RBF*

        Yes, private equity does this. Put your track shoes on, and start applying. This guy is sucking your employer dry.

  30. Knope Knope Knope*

    LW 2 maybe I’m a worrywart but I would not do the anonymous note thing. I hear too many horror stories about people who turn to acts of violence when experiencing road rage and I’d hate to see this guy have an ax to grind against you specifically if he figures out who wrote it. I’m not sure if this was meant to be a joke suggestion or not by Alison, but Alison if you’re reading I’d be nervous about this one.

  31. HowRecruitersWork*

    OP1, it is getting less and less common to use recruiters for full time jobs – are you sure it wasn’t a contract or leave replacement position?

    Regardless, in most cases, contacting an employer directly after learning of a position from a recruiter will put you in the black books of both the recruiter and the company. At best, you will come across as incredibly naive. In nearly all cases it will disqualify you for consideration for the job because companies won’t want to pay a recruiter for someone who has contacted them directly and at best a direct contact from someone followed by a recruiter trying to introduce them as a candidate muddies the waters. If the company logs the initial contact they may reject the candidate and ding the recruiter/refuse to work with them in the future because the recruiter introduced a candidate they already know. So by contacting the company directly you are potentially negatively affecting not just your own likelihood of getting the job but also the recruiter’s reputation and ability to do business with the company.

    I’d have used more polite language, but I’d have been incredibly upset by this too if I’d been the recruiter.

    The answer to avoiding scams is to not give the recruiter non-public information, and if you feel something is off then not engaging with them at all. Taking actions that potentially harm both you and the recruiter (if legitimate) is not a useful or appropriate way to deal with it.

    1. kiki*

      I understand that maybe this is how recruiting has worked in the past, but with the rise of recruitment/ employment scams, I think recruiters will need to adapt and provide greater assurance that they are legitimate and that the role they are hiring for exists at the company. I know you say the solution is to not give the recruiter non-public information, but this recruiter was asking to contact LW’s network. LW would likely feel awful and responsible if connected this recruiter to people she knows and it turned out to be a scam.

    2. Cat Tree*

      Eh, still no excuse to be a jerk about it. Recruiters need to behave professionally just like everyone else.

      Frankly, I completely disagree with your claim that companies are using recruiters less, as I continue to be spammed by them constantly the same as always. I would be THRILLED to be blacklisted by a recruiter as that seems to be the only way to get them to stop bothering me.

      And as a hiring manager who has had to use recruiters, I absolutely would NOT blacklist someone for trying to go around that. I would just redirect them to the recruiter but I wouldn’t hold it against them at all.

    3. jojo*

      But OP1 wasn’t applying for the job themselves, they were being asked to refer other candidates to the recruiter. Why would the company have a problem hearing from them in this situation? OP1 wasn’t a candidate, and they weren’t even attempting to refer other candidates directly to the company, they were just trying to confirm they should in fact refer candidates to the recruiter. Asking because I’m truly curious and don’t understand due to a lack of knowledge about how recruiting works (which I think is common; a lot of people don’t know how recruiters’ jobs work, and I wish more recruiters would bear that in mind).

    4. 1-800-BrownCow*

      Less and less common? Maybe certain industries, but I’m approached by recruiters at least a couple times a month. At my company executive positions and higher are all through recruiters, and from what many of my contacts in my industry say (which is a pretty big industry), that’s the norm everywhere you go within our field.

    5. Zarniwoop*

      “Hey company X, I just got contacted by recruiter Y who claims to be representing you. Is he?”

      Why would the above be a problem?

  32. kiki*

    LW3: Having a situation with maxed out credit cards once but quickly resolved during a time of transition is more of a yellow flag to me– it could be an indication of issues, but it could also be an oversight during a time when more was being charge to the company card than usual after a new team took over.

    I am way more worried now that it has happened again and it took so long to resolve. It also appears they didn’t offer alternative means of payment to LW so that they could purchase vital supplies. To me, that seems like a huge indicator that this company, for whatever reason, does not have the fuds to pay its bills. I would start looking elsewhere if possible.

    1. Observer*

      I am way more worried now that it has happened again and it took so long to resolve. It also appears they didn’t offer alternative means of payment to LW so that they could purchase vital supplies.

      Exactly. Mistakes happen. But when they happen multiple times you have to worry. When the don’t get handled, there is no work around for the critical stuff and there is no communications? Yeah, big problems.

    2. Dancing Otter*

      What alternative means of payment, though?
      LW3 paying and putting in a request for reimbursement? Not on your life!
      Purchase order? Would the vendor accept a PO after having the credit card declined? Seems unlikely.
      Different card? Well, that kicks the problem down the road, but the company would have to qualify for another card, which sounds unlikely.
      It sounds to me like the company has a huge shortage of working capital. This is the sort of red flag that makes auditors issue “working concern” disclaimers.
      Start job hunting yesterday, LW3!

  33. Edward Williams*

    LW1 has no reason to apologize. Recruiters are lower than snakes’ bellie.
    LW2 should report the license plate to the police.

      1. Ess Ess*

        Agreed. I’ve worked with some very good recruiters, and I’ve worked with unethical ones. There are good people in the profession that do not deserve this comment.

  34. JP*

    At my company, I actually would report a coworker I saw driving their personal vehicle recklessly, and it would be welcome feedback. Our employees regularly use company vehicles with our logo plastered on the side for travel. Beyond the obvious safety issues, it’s an image issue as well. I can recall at least one person who was fired for a complaint that was called in about him while he was driving a company car. It was a last straw deal with him, though.

    That said, just because someone drives like a jerk in their own vehicle doesn’t mean that they’ll do it in a company vehicle. But it does seem more likely.

    1. LWH*

      I think there’s a massive difference between a company car and a personal car in terms of reporting this. I don’t think the personal car involves the employee in any way, it doesn’t make sense to me to report it to the employer.

        1. LWH*

          A lot of things employees do in their personal lives do that. I don’t think their bosses are the ones who should be dealing with that if it’s not work related.

  35. t-vex*

    #3 I had a situation similar to this at the nonprofit where I work – all our company cards were linked so any purchase went toward our overall credit limit. We had two things happening at the same time: the annual gala was coming up and the events department was charging a LOT of things, contrary to the overall purchasing protocols. Simultaneously, I had special project where I had flown people in and was traveling with them around the state trying to purchase hotel rooms and food. Two days in, my card declined, my coworker’s card declined, and we had a team of people standing around the hotel wondering where we were going to sleep.

    I called the CEO and he was LIVID. He put the whole thing on his personal card and gave me the info to charge the rest of the trip to him as well. Meanwhile our CFO spent 2 full days on the phone with the credit card company trying to expedite payment and/or get the limit raised. In the fallout, the events team got reamed a new one, and we changed the credit card providers completely and now everyone is responsible for managing their own credit line.

    1. CommanderBanana*

      My last (horrible) org had a (horrible, now fired) CFO who just…didn’t pay a bill. For a year. By the time someone noticed, we owed this company over $30,000, and they ended up putting the org on blast and emailing a bunch of board members about it. That finally caused the (horrible) CEO to do something about it.

      I’d love to know what it’s like to work somewhere with a functioning finance department, I’ve personally never had that experience.

    2. allathian*

      Phew! I hope your CEO got reimbursed by the company in a timely manner. It’s great to see comparatively wealthy people use their power, wealth, and high credit limits for something good for once. Sure, it benefited him indirectly because he certainly saved the company some reputational damage, but he was under no obligation to use his personal credit card to pay for all those hotel rooms.

      1. t-vex*

        Yeah, he’s pretty awesome. And I’m sure the CFO made sure he was reimbursed promptly, she was none too pleased about the situation either.

  36. jojo*

    As someone who has never worked with recruiters, I have a follow-up question about #1:

    Why would the company he was recruiting for not have simply responded to LW1 and said, “yes, that is a real opening, and please reach out to Recruiter on any follow-up questions.” Why would they neglect to respond to LW1, and instead let Recruiter know they had received a question about him?

    Is there any logical reason things would have played out this way–besides the possibility that Recruiter is in fact a scammer who was exposed and got chewed out by the company he claimed to work with, then tried to keep LW1 in the dark by chewing them out and blocking them?

    1. Caliente Papillon*

      No- I think it’s highly unlikely that the company would’ve contacted the recruiter about this if they didn’t have a relationship with him.
      So first whoever answered the call likely knew nothing and took a message, passed it on to someone who did know (is working with the recruiter) and then they let the recruiter know this happened. The recruiter getting back to LW via a message left at the company (basically) lets her know he is indeed linked to them. Recruiters get annoyed and territorial about these things, however realizing LW clearly doesn’t know how these things work he could have been less pissed when responding to her, but he was pissed and clearly done with LW.

    2. TX_Trucker*

      There are several types of recruitment models. In “exclusive” types, it works exactly the way you describe. In an “open” recruitment, the recruiter may be competing against other recruiters, and sometimes the hiring firm is also doing their own recruitment. In the second scenario, the recruiter doesn’t get paid unless they are the ones to identify the candidate and bring the application to the firm.

  37. Jam Today*

    I think I know where #3 works, the private equity firm that bought a large health system here just took the whole thing down; they can’t even pay for basic supplies needed for patient care.

  38. Sassparilla*

    #4 I gave my company 4 months notice and they never did anything about replacing me, handing off any of my responsibilities, nothing. Then when I left they accused me of leaving suddenly. You have no responsibility other than giving your notice. It’s up to them to make arrangements for an orderly transition.

  39. WhyAreThereSoManyBadManagers*

    Re: LW4: Completely their responsibility to manages the transition before you leave, for aspects that need your input. My last job I left, the bosses let almost the entire two weeks notice period go by before they got a clue & said Oh Crap we need lots of detailed information to pass on to the next person so they can do this job successfully, please tell us everything you know and have done day in and day out for years, and tell us in the span of half of a day how to do all that, quick before you leave teach us everything. That’s when you just laugh and say good luck and enjoy walking away from the dysfunction. Not your circus anymore. Bad managers don’t know how to handle transitions (or anything else).

  40. ChipDust*

    Re#4…I gave my company months of notice of my retirement and they made zero plans to handle the transition. I did what I could but was still getting new work on my last day. You can’t really force them to manage your departure differently.

  41. KellifromCanada*

    OP3, it appears that your company is or will soon be insolvent, and on any given payday you may find that they don’t have money for payroll. I think you should start looking for a new job right away.

    1. el l*

      This is not remotely normal to happen even once in a business setting. Not only that, it’s repeated, and with no communication. Yes, run.

  42. Jo-El*

    No doubt i’m in the minority here, but my tailgaters are on the receiving end of a light brake tap because “I thought I saw a kitten run into the road”.

    1. Jennifer Strange*

      I don’t break tap, but I do take my foot off the gas and allow my car to slow down naturally. That’s not me messing with them (or, at least, not just me messing with them); I’m making sure that if they do hit me I’ve decreased the speed a bit so as to lessen the damage.

      1. GreenShoes*

        My comment below somehow became un-nested, but yeah, slowing down perfectly fine. Brake checking not great.

        1. Bruce*

          When I was younger I admit I brake-checked people a few times, but I’ve seen the error of that. Instead I slowly let the room in front of me grow so that I don’t have to use my brakes suddenly. I also get out of the way if I’m in the inner lanes (the left lanes in the US), if someone is in a hurry I’m not going to intentionally block them. On a single lane road I’ll use a turn-out if it can be done safely. But if someone really wants to tailgate me I’m not going to speed up!

  43. GreenShoes*

    Brake checking is also typically illegal and just as dangerous and aggressive as tailgating :)

    @LW2 – I think revenge fantasies are about the best you can do in this situation. The only time reporting someone for bad driving to an employer works is when it’s a branded vehicle or it has one of those ‘report my driving’ numbers (and even with those all reports are taken with a grain of salt because yeah… )

  44. Dasein9 (he/him)*

    LW#2, you should probably stick to revenge fantasies over any actual revenge.

    In your position, though, I’d find out who the bad driver is so I could avoid working with him. This is not someone whose judgement or regard for others I’d trust.

  45. idea for LW2*

    LW2 might try reaching out to city officials about this. (This would be to share concerns about dangerous driving in a specific area–not just like to report this one dude, as gratifying as that would be.)

    I think they said “medium-sized city” so I’d start with LW’s own city council rep. One caveat on this is depending on how your city government is set up, reps may be assigned to particular districts. Ideally you’d involve the rep for the district where the dangerous driving is taking place.

    If LW2 is not a resident in that district, they’ll probably get less traction. These reps are responsible to their constituents, not any old person passing through who wants to complain about something. So an at-large rep would be a good person to look for, if LW2 lives elsewhere in the city. Again it all depends on how the city government is structured.

    It can be really effective to speak to your own city reps about stuff like this. I’ve seen neighborhoods get crosswalks built, increased patrols, other speed deterrents set up.

    But as other commenters have noted, a direct call to the cops is not likely to yield any results. City reps have to look out for their constituents if they want to keep their jobs (ie. get reelected). Meanwhile, police have no legal obligation to protect citizens (this is per the US Supreme Court not some political ranting of mine!)

  46. NotHannah*

    #2! I was a manager of a man who did the exact same thing. In my case, the tailgated co-worker (who was in another department but had to work with my department) complained to leadership. This led to my boss telling me I had to have a conversation with my direct report over his driving. I asked why as it was outside work but my boss said it was affecting our interdepartmental working conditions. So I called my report into my office and he asked why we were having this conversation, it had nothing to do with work? I explained what my boss said. However, there were no consequences for this. Just an uncomfortable conversation. Ultimately my direct report was fired for other multiple reasons, and it also turned out he had falsified his qualifications for the job too.

  47. Christmas Carol*

    Be very careful of company credit cards,depending on if/how you name is linked to the card, it is very possible that the lack of payment can be reported to the Credit Bureaus in affect your Credit History.

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

      It doesn’t sound like the card is in the OP’s name. Rather they use the card for purchases and stuff.

      1. Christmas Carol*

        But if your name is on a card as an “authorized user” it can be reported to the credit bureaus and affect your credit rating.

  48. Pita Chips*

    If LW1 had gone on to apply for the job through the company’s website directly, then I think the recruiter has a case to be miffed, though not to send a nastygram. That was completely uncalled for. A case of protesting too much, methinks.

    There are so many fake recruiters out there who do nothing but collect your resume and disappear, I see nothing wrong with contacting the company (especially if the job is not posted on their website or their LinkedIn) and checking to see if it’s legit.

  49. PettyBumper*

    LW2: Love the bumper sticker idea. It is peak petty and would make me laugh every time I saw it. Perhaps go with a bumper magnet though, as a sticker initiated and installed by someone other than the car owner could potentially be construed as vandalism to the car.

    1. Rachel*

      If I worked with these people, I would be more concerned about the employee who put a bumper sticker on somebody else’s car than I would be about aggressive driving.

      I don’t think people in this comment section grasp how truly unhinged the bumper sticker idea is.

  50. I Have RBF*

    LW #3: The big, huge, bright red flag here is “… recently got bought out by private investors.” This means that you have been bought by vulture capitalists who will load your employer up with debt after extracting all the value from it, and let it go into bankruptcy.

    The not paying the credit card is part of that. They have extracted cash from the business to the p0oint that the bills are not getting paid. The fact that no one in accounting is getting back to you may mean that they have been laid off, or that there is no money to pay it.

    If I were in your shoes, I’d update my resume and start looking now. Put your track shoes on and get ready to run.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  51. e271828*

    LW 3, I lived in a building where the utilities kept getting shut off because the landlord “forgot” to pay them.

    This is the work equivalent. You need to get out before the place burns down around you.

  52. Jodi*

    LW2 I used to encounter a dangerous driver like this on my way to work every morning .One morning I wrote down their licence plate and when I got to the office I called the police non emergency line and reported them. I told the police that I knew they couldn’t take just my word for anything, but I just wanted something on record in case the driver caused an accident. I got a call back from an officer letting me know he’d called the offending driver and let I’m know his dangerous driving had been reported. ( driver was sooo surprised as “ he never drives dangerously”)He also told me he might just park near that route for a week or so and watch the traffic while having his morning coffee.

  53. Ess Ess*

    OP #2 – contact the police non-emergency line and let them know that there is a repeatedly dangerous driver that is on X road between 9 and 9:30am (give whatever hours this usually happens) and is endangering other drivers every week.

  54. Nat20*

    OP #1, for what it’s worth, I don’t think you did anything wrong. Alison is right that his reaction was over the top regardless, but I also want you to rest assured that you didn’t do anything egregious to begin with. You didn’t go around the recruiter’s back to apply directly with the company, which *would* be an issue; you simply asked for confirmation that the role exists, which is not an issue at all.

  55. Jon*

    If a coworker being rude to me in a bar outside of work can be a work issue, which based on the past seems like it can, I don’t see why someone making the commute that work requires you to make, more dangerous, is any different and shouldn’t be addressed similarly to a coworker showing up at your favorite restaurant and causing a scene every day – not even targeted at you, but it affects your mental health and work culture nonetheless.
    This sounds like making work more dangerous which should be talked about.
    Depending on how much they care where you are, you could give traffic cops a heads up that an aggressive driver is creating dangerous conditions around the same time and place every day, which you could do even if you could only identify the vehicle and didn’t work with them.

  56. Inkognyto*

    LW1 – in my area companies that contract for recruiting, will disqualify you, if you also contact them directly. Like you are out.

    It’s for a variety of reasons. Some want to only deal with the recruiter. Others think you are trying to game the system by applying 2 ways. They also tell you going through another company for the same job will get you pulled. IE 2 recruiting companies.

    I’ve asked companies about it around here, and most will specifically tell me. “Do not contact the company directly it will get you removed from consideration.”

    1. Coffee Protein Drink*

      A pity they don’t see the difference between, verifying the job opening exists, and applying for the open position. I think there’s room for nuance there.

      To add my voice to a few others’, the OP wasn’t trying to do an end-run around the recruiter, rather they were trying to protect themself from a possible scammer. I spent half of last year out of work. I can’t tell you how many recruiters collected my resume and vanished into the either.

  57. StarTrek Nutcase*

    LW2, I worked a huge residential home campus, only staff drive. Each day, a husband would come at 4:55 to pickup his wife who worked in my building. He was so impatient she would barely be seated before he took off. Once exiting our gated campus, he was an insane driver – speeding, passing on right on 2-lane road, tailgating, etc. They went straight for 5 miles just like me so I got a real eyeful 2-3 days/wk whenever I left at 5 pm. (Mornings I always came in real early so.)

    So eventually I got his tag # & car model and as soon as I recognized he was out of gate & going straight, I called 911 about a reckless driver. Two miles later, I passed him pulled over by a cop. 3 days, rinse & repeat. Next day, coworker went throughout building whining. Another coworker said it sounded like his driving problem (this person lived in another direction so wasn’t suspicious). In next month, I called 3 times (guy was idiot not to change route home.) Then one day, she starts driving the car (don’t know where he went). She drove calmly our common 5- mile route. It was much less stressful for me.

  58. It's Marie - Not Maria*

    Credit Card LW- I would be very leery about this situation. I went through a situation like this where my company was acquired by an Investment Company. This Investment Group was buying companies and stripping them of their valuable assets. They put zero money into these companies, leaving them high and dry for essentials to keep the business operating. They would then turn around and sell whatever was left of the company they couldn’t sell for high dollar, leaving the company pretty much bankrupt and unable to operate. Start looking for another job asap!

  59. TeaCoziesRUs*

    LW#1 – The recruiter being that unhinged reminds me far too much of Jim Browning’s videos about how scammers ramp up pressure to make sure a scam is completed. I’m not saying the recruiter WAS a scammer, but I recognize the tricks.

  60. Petty_Boop*

    LW1: I have been contacted by 4 or 5 third-party recruiters for the exact same job via LinkedIn. Unless I’m contacted by an actual “Talent Acquisition”/Recruiter that is an employee of a company, I don’t work with them; I always apply directly at a company’s website, or if I have a contact who asks if I’m interested, I’ll pass on my resume to them (they’ll likely get a referral bonus). I find 3rd party recruiters to often by VERY pushy, often rude, and weirdly controlling of the process a lot of the time. All of which turn me off. I turned down a job once and recruiter sent me a diatribe about how I was being short sighted for not taking this (lower salaried than my at that time) job, and I’d reget it, etc… Don’t feel bad. The guy was upset because he would’ve missed out on a commission if you’d gone straight into the company, but that’s not your problem to solve.

  61. NameRequired*

    LW2: I really also love the bumper sticker idea! But, if you do decide to go that route, or maybe “Honk if I’m driving like an asshat” or something, do it on magnetic vinyl and NOT on an adhesive based bumper sticker, as if it can’t be removed easily (i.e. by peeling off a magnet) and it left residue or pulled some chrome off, it’d be vandalism.

    I don’t think you would really do the bumper sticker, but boy would it be sweet if you did. Just wanted to give a little heads up “just in case” you decided to :)

    By the way, MY solution to a tailgater is NEVER to brake check. That’s dangerous. Next time he tailgates you, just take your foot off the accelerator and let the car gradually slow. If he honks, look in the rearview mirror, make eye contact and wave. Let him get in front of you. Then follow him directly into the parking garage so he knows he’s done this to a colleague and maybe he’ll think twice the next morning! I believe there was a story on here once about someone who took a parking space or cut off someone in traffic…something rude WRT driving and then found out that person was the person he/she was interviewing with for a job. It didn’t go well for the writer!

  62. FlatWhiteWalker*

    I once interviewed for a job, didn’t get it, and was asked if I wanted feedback, to which of course I said yes. I awaited the promised email.
    A month later, still waiting.
    I sent them a polite follow up.
    Two months after THAT, still waiting (and had moved halfway across the world.)
    Even with the best of intentions, some people will just never follow through.

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