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I burned a bridge in a spectacular way — how do I deal with everyone talking about it?

Ask a Manager

A reader writes: I could use your advice on something. I know you’re not a fan of burning bridges, but I burned one, then dynamited the remains, then salted the surrounding earth. I currently work as a senior director of IT development for a midsize firm. Prior to that, I was employed by a large foreign-based outsourcer who provided IT services to a large manufacturer. I was hired at an average market rate as a director of development, in charge of two teams totalling 15 people.

everyone got laid off except me, men who pretend to be scared of women now, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. Everyone got laid off except for me. I work for a small business (3-5 employees) and I had known the company was having some financial trouble for some time. Everyone in my office got laid off except for me.

coworker assumes we’ll give him rides, can I fire a new hire for being pregnant, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. My coworker always assumes someone will drive him to meetings. I have a coworker who always assumes that someone will drive him to and from meetings outside our facility. He owns a car but usually takes public transportation to work since it’s cheaper and his wife can use the car. It’s one thing to give him a ride to a meeting from work because we are going the same place, but he never asks, he just follows you out to your car.

my coworkers make orgasm sounds while I’m on the phone

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A reader writes: My office prides itself on our fun, casual culture and how we are all a “family.” ” I’m not a fan of this, but I’ve been working there for almost three years and it’s been okay, if slightly annoying at times, until now. Two and a half months ago at an after-work happy hour event, a bunch of us were discussing movies when the conversation turned to When Harry Met Sally and from there to the scene where Meg Ryan simulates an orgasm.

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Why (and How) to Switch to a New HR & Payroll Platform

Not all HR & payroll is the same, but it can look pretty similar. If your current platform isn’t meeting your needs, let us walk you through how to differentiate between providers and give you some tips on how to select a platform that works best for your business.

Boss’s Day is a crock and we need to kill it off

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Boss’s Day is tomorrow, and it’s time to kill it. Sorry, bosses. But the day is a crock. Here’s why: 1. The power dynamics are all messed up. It’s not appropriate to solicit recognition from people below you, especially when they feel it’s obligatory! Plus, many offices have started doing celebrations that involve money – employees’ money – to buy gifts and meals.

my employee locked me out of a work document in a fit of pettiness

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A reader writes: I took a job a few years back to manage an area that previously did not have a manager. My employer doesn’t fire people, it just moves them around, and this area was the dumping ground for problem employees before I arrived, so I inherited some colorful personalities. One employee in particular, Jason, is infamous across the entire department for being very difficult to work with. He plays constant power games, loses his temper frequently, and has horrible people skills.

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my male boss won’t have closed-door meetings with me because he’s married

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A reader writes: I work directly with our CEO and lately I have noticed that whenever we are having a meeting (I am a woman and he is a man) that he will randomly open the door. I thought it was odd and so yesterday I asked him if there was an issue or was it just in my head. He responded by saying he is sensitive to the fact of opposite gender closed door meetings and that he and his wife have rules. I feel very conflicted hearing this statement and I am not sure how to move forward.

how work changes when you’re a woman: an interview with a transgender woman

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In a recent discussion about how men need to get better at spotting talent in women (and people in general need to get better at spotting talent in people who are different from them), a long-time reader and commenter, Tammy, mentioned that, as a transgender woman, she’s seen stark differences in the way people treated her before and after her transition. She offered to talk more with me about it, and here’s our interview. Tell us a little about you.

coworkers keep asking about my girlfriend, asking job candidates how lucky they are, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. Older coworkers asking about my relationship with my girlfriend. My girlfriend and I (we’re both in our late 20s) have been dating for just about a year and things are going very well. She’s an elementary school teacher and during her summer vacation she came into my office to meet me for lunch a couple of times. On one occasion we bumped into a number of my coworkers, so I took the opportunity to introduce her to everyone.

Candidate Screening Simplified

Speaker: Allen Samuel, Senior Sourcer & Serial Entrepreneur

When it comes to finding the right candidates for your company, you want to ensure that they are a good “fit.” By having an understanding of the job description, accurate skillset criteria and a short conversation with the hiring manager, you will be armed with the resources to quickly and effectively convert potential candidates to new hires. Join Senior Sourcer & Serial Entrepreneur Allen Samuel to learn the steps you should be taking in your candidate screening process.

my employer took my overtime pay away (with an update already included!)

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I sometimes answer letters privately that I don’t publish here (just due to the volume of mail I receive), and I thought this exchange was worth sharing (with the writer’s permission). Last month I received this letter: I just found out my position is switching from hourly to salary. My rate of pay isn’t changing. But I will no longer be eligible for overtime or to earn extra vacation time (we can earn around an extra week a year for not calling in sick).

to get an interview, I have to spend a week at a writing retreat at my own expense

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A reader writes: I recently saw an ad for a job that sounded great: reviewing creative writing manuscripts and giving the authors feedback. This is my field, I have the required degree and publications the posting asked for, and I’ve done work like this before. The money being offered was good, but not unbelievably, out-of-line-with-the-market good.

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the new overtime pay law is here (for real this time)

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The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final ruling today on the question of what salary level should make workers exempt from overtime pay, and here it is: If you earn less than $35,568, then starting on January 1, 2020 you must be paid overtime (time and a half) when you work more than 40 hours in a week.

my office banned email — we can only use Slack and all messages disappear after a few days

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A reader writes: I’m one of several part-time workers for a growing start-up. We all work remotely, so I communicate with my managers and coworkers entirely electronically. I’m one of the higher performers in my department, so I’m trusted with more responsibility, but my position is pretty peripheral in the organization so I don’t really have any clout in the larger context.

Wage Growth: The Last Employer Holdout to Attract Candidates

You get a job perk! And You get a job perk! Everyone gets job perks! While these perks may have helped get that stellar candidate’s foot in the door, this dynamic of severely low unemployment combined with a historically high job open rate continues with no immediate end in sight. Employers will do well to zero in on one lever many have been avoiding pulling: the almighty salary increase.

weekend free-for-all — October 12-13, 2019

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This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. This one is truly no work and no school.). Book recommendation of the week: Evvie Drake Starts Over , by Linda Holmes.

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my boss excessively Photoshops herself on our company’s social media

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A reader writes: I work at a respected firm in a niche industry. I graduated college this year so I’m the newest person here. Besides my manager (I’ll call her Elizabeth), everyone else has worked here for 15 years or more and has decades of experience in the industry. When Elizabeth was hired as a manager last year, the firm didn’t have any kind of social media presence. She changed that and she set up social media accounts for the firm.

weekend free-for-all – September 21-22, 2019

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This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. This one is truly no work and no school.). Book recommendation of the week: The Secrets We Kept , by Lara Prescott.

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someone is violating our bathrooms, coworker takes over my desk when I’m out, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. We have a building masturbator and don’t know who it is. I am a property manager at an office building and people have recently reported that there’s, well, a building masturbator. He apparently does his business several times a day while listening to music (?????) in a restroom that is open to everyone in the building. He has not been identified yet (and may never be).

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5 Culture Trends for 2019

As we approach 2019, major shifts in the work environment will continue to affect the ways companies do business. Companies that are looking to attract, engage, and retain top talent should leverage these trends to create workplaces where employees thrive.

weekend free-for-all – August 31-September 1, 2019

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This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. This one is truly no work and no school.). Book recommendation of the week: The Dearly Beloved , by Cara Wall.

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can I ask my coworkers why they didn’t hire my daughter?

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A reader writes: My daughter applied for a job at the university where I’m currently employed, in a department supervised by three very good friends of mine. I’ve known them all for over 20 years. I consider them great coworkers and friends. My neighbor also applied for the job.

I’m being physically bullied at work, coworker leaves bathroom in chaos, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. I’m being physically bullied at work. I’ve worked in the same office for about five years now. The department I work in seems to be run by a large clique of tight-knit friends (we’re all women), who are also close with management (they all hang out together outside of the office). Those of us who weren’t accepted into the clique are often treated as if we don’t exist, but most days are tolerable.

weekend free-for-all – July 27-28, 2019

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This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. This one is truly no work and no school.). Book recommendation of the week: Mrs. Everything , by Jennifer Weiner.

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The CFO Playbook: 10 Metrics to Transform Your HR Team

CFOs are losing faith in HR’s ability to solve problems with data. Discover the metrics your HR team needs to measure to become more data-driven.

weekend free-for-all – November 9-10, 2019

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This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. This one is truly no work and no school.). Book recommendation of the week: Nothing to See Here , by Kevin Wilson.

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coworker might be abusing her disability leave, employer shamed candidate over a swimsuit photo, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. I think my coworker might be abusing her disability leave. I have a peer who is on a short-term disability leave. I am not sure what the issue is; it looks like stress/exhaustion but, again, I don’t know the details. Another peer brought it to my attention that there is a lot going on in this person’s life.

my coworker turns everything into a doomsday scenario

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A reader writes: I’ve got a coworker (“Janet”) in a different department who’s senior to me in terms of ranking, but not my boss (she’s peers with my boss). I work with her on various projects from time to time, but she has this tendency that if something goes wrong, or she thinks it goes wrong, she makes it into a huge doomsday scenario and CC’s every person imaginable. She does this for things that do not matter.

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can you fire someone solely for being racist?

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In an interesting juxtaposition with a letter from earlier today, a reader writes: I know you have answered a few variations over this, but I am hoping for a more clear answer in reference to my situation. Recently, my company hired someone that was extremely racist. He worked with me on his first day, where he dropped the N-word six times.

When Recruiter Priorities Compete: Fill Speed, Growing Req Loads, and Diversity

It’s a question as old as the recruiting profession itself: How many reqs should one recruiter handle at a time? Even in our data-driven age of hard metrics and objective assessments, the answer is: It depends. Download this White Paper to discover the key factors that go into finding your answer to the req load question.

is my employee taking advantage of the flexibility I give her?

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A reader writes: In my current position (where I’ve been for two years), I’m a first-time manager of two direct reports, both of whom are salaried, not hourly, employees. One of them — who’s younger, less experienced, more eager — rarely asks to adjust her work hours or work from home, and is generally happy to do anything I ask her to do.

my boss has 10,000 unread emails

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A reader writes: Is it ever normal to have 10,000+ unread emails in your professional inbox? Yesterday I inadvertently saw that my boss had 10,965 unread emails. She is a general counsel of a medium-sized company and does not seem to be overloaded with work. The majority of her team (around six people) are very autonomous in their work and do not often need her insight. Her working hours are equivalent to mine, around 50 hours per week, which is considered to be normal working hours in my field.

fending off questions about baby plans, my office-mate throws temper tantrums, and more

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It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go…. My office keeps asking about my baby plans. I am a recently married woman who even more recently learned I may not be able to have children.

weekend free-for-all – September 14-15, 2019

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This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. This one is truly no work and no school.). Book recommendation of the week: The Lager Queen of Minnesota , by J. Ryan Stadal.

Why All the AI Research You’re Reading is Dead Wrong

Speaker: Ben Eubanks, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Principal Analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory

While we may be “people” professionals, it is part of our job to understand AI and how this technology can enable us to make smarter decisions and develop more efficient processes. Join Lighthouse Research & Advisory Principal Analyst Ben Eubanks where he will discuss how AI can be used for HR and recruiting processes, including how to create more human interactions and engagement through the strategic application of technology.