ask the readers

Looking for crowdsourced wisdom? Here are reader discussions about life at work.

the adult bibs, the talking shrimp, and other unusual office traditions

One of the most interesting things about offices is how they develop their own subcultures, rituals, and traditions. I recently asked about unusual office traditions you’ve seen or experienced, and here are some of my favorites you shared. •  My office has a “talking shrimp” that we use instead of a “talking stick” in brainstorming […]

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bombing an interview: let’s discuss

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I bombed an interview today. Like seriously bombed, worst interview of my life. My brain just turned off. Could you request stories of other humiliating interviews so I don’t feel so alone? I went straight home and got into bed and right now I am […]

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how do people manage jobs with cyclical periods of really long hours?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: About six months ago, I quit my role in a demanding, high-stress field that regularly demanded 60-100-hour work weeks. I made a somewhat lateral career change that resulted in significantly less hours and also significantly less pay. I don’t mind the pay cut since I’ve […]

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let’s discuss weaponized incompetence

Let’s discuss weaponized incompetence: when someone pretends not to know how to do a task well so that they won’t be asked to do it (also known as “strategic incompetence”). Sometimes this is used for ill (like the classic example of men who can’t seem to figure out how to do their own admin work) […]

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share your tips for work travel overseas

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: I’m going to be traveling for work (30+ hours of flights including layovers) after a few-year hiatus related to the pandemic. I usually fly overseas and I’m wondering if the readers have any travel tips? I usually try to pack food after getting food poisoning […]

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my husband and I share a home office — how do we make this work?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes: Has anyone successfully shared a home office (permanently) with their spouse/roommate/partner/etc and if so, what are your tips for success? My husband and I both work from home 75% of the time and have a three-bedroom house (currently occupied by our bedroom and our two […]

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