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is allowing smoke breaks unfair to non-smokers? — Ask a Manager

Ask A Manager

January 6, 2011 A reader writes: How do I determine where the line is between enforcing policy and being a jerk? Example: my workplace (a restaurant) has no policy for smoke breaks. However, you also want to make sure that it makes sense to have that policy in the first place.

2011 90

employee can’t afford our team lunches, a frequently pregnant senior leadership team, and more

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This is unlikely to happen and even if it did, it would take at least a year to change the policy. And while it’s easy to think that at his salary level, he should see it as a cost of having a job similar to having to buy, say, a business suit, ultimately you just can’t know what someone else’s financial situation is. The board has tried multiple times to put systems in place to prevent crises during maternity leaves, but we aren’t getting anywhere.

2018 25

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tiny answer Tuesday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

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Employer requires internal interviews to be done on unpaid time. At our department’s staff meeting recently, we were informed that all internal interviews were going to be off-the-clock as a cost savings measure. While I understand that an interview with an external candidate would be unpaid (though it sure would be nice!), We all keep hearing from Jane how John also applied for Jane’s job and that he might have hard feelings. Paid maternity leave in the U.S.

2013 58

fast answer Friday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

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I just recently returned to work from maternity leave. My job requires me to sometimes travel, and these trips are generally two night stays, though occasionally just one. I had no problem complying with that part of my job description. Travel is part of my job description, I’m just not willing to do it at this point. I’m not ready to just quit, but I am aware that broaching the subject might lose me my job.

2013 53

short answer Saturday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

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It was my first job out of college and I was feeling really tied down and restless and wanted to try a new environment, so I switched from a consulting firm to working in an internal corporate role. I’m basically miserable at my new job. I liked my old job better and feel like I had a little quarter-life crisis and case of the grass is greener. I left a temp job about 6 months ago. When I told them I was leaving, they offered me a giant raise, which I declined.

2013 54

terse answer Tuesday: 7 short answers to 7 short questions

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Someone getting superior ratings who’s been turned down 12-15 times by his own employer — he’s either applying for the wrong jobs or something else is going on. Is your job description changing? Three weeks later, we moved to Canada for my husband’s job.

2011 70

my manager wants me to marry a stranger, exit interviews in toxic workplaces, and more

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If you haven’t had any attendance or reliability issues, then I’d say something like, “Have I done something to make you doubt I’d be anything other than honest with you and responsible with my job?” Exit interviews in a toxic workplace. The good news is that I’m going to be giving notice at the beginning of next month, leaving a toxic, paranoia-inducing corporate culture. Job searching when I might need 4-6 weeks off to donate an organ.

2014 30

short answer Sunday: 8 short answers to 8 short questions

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Here we go… Weird interview question I was recently asked in an interview if I thought I was smarter than my current boss. This is a really weird interview question, and I can’t figure out what they hoped to accomplish with it. Should I bother pursuing this job?

2011 71