There are five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. My boyfriend left me for an intern at work and her manager called my girlfriend about it
My perennial significant other recently told me that he has had an affair for months and ended our relationship to pursue a relationship with the affair partner. He and I are both in our early 30s and met at work, where we are both still employed. The Affair Partner is an intern in our office who is over 10 years his junior.
Since the separation, I have been living with a work friend (“Diana”) and was out of the office for the last week on vacation that I planned before the separation.
Diana tells me that the intern’s manager called her while I was away and tried to start a conversation with her about the situation, including the phrase “how” [intern]As a manager, it’s my responsibility to ensure a safe work environment. ”Diana found the call confusing and unsure why he was contacting her or what he wanted from her. She stated that her involvement in the situation was extremely limited and ended the call.
I find the fact that he even contacted Diana, and in particular the alleged implication that I am posing some kind of threat to the intern, absolutely inappropriate and offensive. It feels creepy and unprofessional that he was snooping around at Diana instead of speaking to my manager or me directly, and also exaggerated for him to bring it up in the first place. Neither Diana nor I had any contact with the intern, we work in a professional environment where interpersonal violence is not an issue … it’s just bizarre.
Am I missing something here? Is he just doing his due diligence so he can tell HR that he spoke to someone near me and it doesn’t sound like I’m beating them up in the break room? Is that awkward and misguided, but ultimately not such a big deal? I would really like to tell my manager what happened and ask them to make it clear to the intern’s manager that any concerns they have about the situation should be directed to my manager or me, but I do worrying about overreacting (I’m quite traumatized and don’t react to things the way I normally would). When it comes down to it, my manager has been really supportive of the breakup and I think he would have my back.
What in the world. If he has any concerns, he should speak to Human Resources, not the temporary roommate of the person who was betrayed. And if he wants to provide the intern with a safe working environment, he shouldn’t be looking after you, but your ex. (And even if your ex or intern said something that made them believe they should be worried about you, they should speak to Human Resources and not call your roommate. He seems very pushy and stuffy.)
To answer your question, I’d say it’s clumsy and misguided and kind of a big deal. It stirs up drama and focuses its lens on the wrong person and likely makes an already dire situation worse. It is worth letting your manager know what happened and saying that you think it is excessive and asking him to stop everything this guy is doing.
2. We underestimated how long it takes a nursing employee to express pumping every day
We recently hired a nursing mother for our staff, understanding that she would take the time to express three times a day for about a year. She is paid for the pumping time. A comfortable private room was made available to her for this and she enters the time as a “general overhead” on her time sheets (not billable) – that’s around 90 minutes a day. Right now, after a few months, we are noticing how quickly this time adds up – in the last billing period (five weeks) it was almost 40 hours! Is there a tactful, legal way to ask her to make up some of that time (50%?) So that we can get more billable hours from her?
This is her second child so we know she isn’t new with this and is as efficient as possible. We have had a different breastfeeding mother in the past, but she didn’t seem to have the same problem – I don’t know why. (She was in the HR service for years before she had a child, so we just might not have noticed.) My employer is family-friendly, but when you do the math, that’s about 10 full weeks a year of paid work Pumping time, time that we cannot bill our customers for.
Ooooh, I don’t think you can undo this. When she accepted the job it was with an understanding that you were giving her paid time to pump. If you turn around now and say, “Wait, we didn’t realize what we were offering, so we want you to work more hours to make up for that,” she will feel rightly misled.
Unfortunately, you decided you couldn’t do this until you made the offer and she accepted. At this point I think you have to consider it an (expensive) lesson for the next time.
(Also, I have no personal experience with pumps, so I do asked Twitter if this expenditure of time is unusually high or very normal … and the strong consensus was “very normal”, especially when you consider assembly, tidying up and storage.)
3. The interviewers were obsessed with my commute time
I recently had a second interview with a company and wanted to hear your thoughts on something that came up in both interviews. The first interview was only with my potential chief executive, and towards the end she asked where I lived in my state, even though my address was on my résumé. I told her and she was very worried about the commute and asked very seriously if I could do it and if I could ride comfortably for that long. I told her it wouldn’t be a problem, that it would be comparable to my current commute, and that I didn’t have to worry. She seemed to accept that and we moved on. (My current commute is between 40 minutes and two hours and goes in the same direction as all other rush hour traffic. The new commute would be a constant one hour each day, against the traffic.)
The second interview was with her and her boss, the head of the organization. Her boss asked the most questions this time (and could honestly deserve her own letter with all the red flags she tossed) and seemed pleased with my answers. Then my potential big boss asked a few questions and was seriously worried again about the commute and said, “I know last time you said you were okay with the commute, but are you really okay with that?” I said again that it wouldn’t be a problem, but she kept pushing, looking shocked at the possible length of time I would drive and this time didn’t seem satisfied. In fact, the more answers I gave her, the more horrified she seemed.
I won’t take the job if it’s offered because of all the red flags your boss spat, but the focus on that is weirdly mine. What do you think?
It is not uncommon for employers to be concerned to think that you would have a very long commute to work; The concern is that you will burn out quickly and get into a closer job much sooner than you would otherwise have gone. They don’t want to invest in the education of someone who is going away in a few months because they can’t handle the drive … and some people say they can handle the commute well and then they end up walking away. Interviewers who have experienced this are understandably reluctant to sign up again. However, a one hour drive really isn’t that long (in my area it wouldn’t raise eyebrows at all).
Regardless, they achieved nothing by persevering the way they did. If it makes her too nervous, that’s fine – but constantly questioning yourself about it and expressing horror is overdoing it.
4. Use your spouse as a reference
I know, understand, and understand that you really, really shouldn’t be using a spouse (or family member or close friend) as a reference. But what if you MUST?
I haven’t been employed for about six years and plan to go back to work soon. Since then, I’ve had relevant volunteering to talk about, but not much of it. When I worked before, my husband was my supervisor (and there was no boss above him). The only other person I’ve worked closely with and even been able to talk about my work sadly passed away, so he’s really the only person I can use as a work reference! I worked with him for eight years, so the jobs before that are ancient news and on a much lower level.
So what do you think would be the best way to get it public and make it as minimal as possible to be a “strike” against me? I will support myself in my volunteering as best I can and I know they will speak good about me, but still!
Most employers will not contact him when they realize he is your husband, assuming they will not get an unbiased recommendation from him (and rightly so!). You can still leave that to them. I would put it this way, “I can put you through to my manager at X – but I want to tell you in advance that he is my husband, so I certainly understand if there is no point in speaking to him for reference. But I can offer you X, Y and Z from my voluntary work. “
5. Ask an interviewer about emergency tasks
I work in local government and it has become very common for employees across the organization to have emergency duties. Last year it was a multitude of tasks, but it was primarily seen as “in the event of a hurricane” or something similar.
In most cases, when activated for an emergency, every employee has a primary role to play, although there are no assurances that you will do that when activated, only what you have trained in advance community comes first , and we all understand that.
Apart from that, it is common for the job descriptions in this area to contain wording that draws applicants’ attention to the fact that they will have to perform various tasks in the event of an emergency activation. Would you consider the question, “What are some of the common emergency activation obligations for someone in this role?” To be a reasonable question?
Yes, it is very reasonable to want to know what emergency tasks might be assigned to you, and this is a great way to ask!
Connected: our library staff were all used to look after farm workers