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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 101

my coworker gets angry when we chew, peer interviews, and more

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Our workplace is all for accommodations when prescribed (and we do have policies around accommodations), but again, this is an undiagnosed condition, and she is not being asked to do anything to help alleviate her reactions. You might also point out that “no one eats around the person” isn’t one of the accommodations that the Misophonia Institute or the Job Accommodation Network suggest workplaces use.). Applying for an internal job on FMLA.

2019 62

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

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I have a small team, two staff plus me, and we’re all approximately the same age and salary (~$90-100k). 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. It’s five answers to five questions.

2018 63

parents who call in sick for their kids, interviewers who ask questions already answered on your resume, and more

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Similar to the advice I gave recently about being contacted by parents job-searching on their kids’ behalf , you should refuse to engage. Why do interviewers ask me about jobs that are already described in detail on my resume? For prescreening calls and at interviews, whoever I’m talking to always mentions they’ve read my resume and they then ask me to briefly tell them about what I did at the jobs listed on my resume. It’s five answers to five questions.

2014 72

manager ordered me to get along with a coworker, handling work when a family member is on trial, and more

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He put me on something else for the rest of the day, but as I was leaving informed me i could “deal with it or quit.” The way you describe the conflict, it sounds two-sided — in which case it’s not unreasonable for your boss to tell you to find a way to get along if you want to stay in your job. But my gut is telling me, they’ll be like the people who’ve already turned their backs on me and brush me off as someone incapable of the job at hand.

2013 64

getting a friend fired, employer is controlling workers’ LinkedIn accounts, and more

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My husband is unsatisfied at his job for too many reasons to name here and I’ve been encouraging him to give LinkedIn a try to reconnect with former colleagues and assist him in his job search. His concern is that if it doesn’t come to his email account (or even if it does), it might be a red flag that he is job searching. I have been unemployed (or on extended maternity leave) for four years. I left my previous job four years ago.

2015 69

short answer Sunday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

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The store had a black-out period where nobody could request time off for November and December of last year (for the busy holiday season), but on top of that, they have been told they cannot get time off from January-April because her manager will be on maternity leave. She has also tried contacting her HR department several times but gets a machine, leaves messages, then never gets a call back. Why do recruiters ask where you are in the job search process?

2013 67

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 58

wee answer Wednesday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

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Last week, my new manager came back from maternity leave, and while she is nice enough on the surface, I can tell we are going to butt heads a lot, or I’m going to be biting my tongue more often than I’d like. Overall though, my job makes me miserable and I am well past my breaking point here. Later, she did the math and realized the offered salary is $15k more than what was agreed to. I simply asked them to review my salary, which I know is underpaid.

2013 64

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 77

mother bought me plane tickets without asking me if I could get.

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Our tickets have been purchased and I am scheduled to leave in two months. I am scared of my boss on a good day and terrified I will lose my job for asking for this much time off so early in my employment. Our tickets have been purchased and I am scheduled to leave in two months.

2011 70

short answer Sunday: 8 short answers to 8 short questions

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I suspect that they have no idea what they hoped to accomplish with it, or how it would help them evaluate you for the job, and instead they’re just throwing out random questions because they don’t really know how to interview. Is 8 months long enough to stay at a first job?

2011 75