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our office may be haunted — how do I keep it from distracting from our work?

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A reader writes: I work for a small, conservation-based nonprofit with four full-time people, five contract employees, and a summer program of up to 16 young people. We work out of a tiny office located inside 20 beautiful acres of land with which we are creating a public park. The office is a 110-year-old private home that was a rental for decades before being converted into an office. It’s cramped, loud, and far from ideal, but the location is perfect for our work.

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.

my boss pees in a cup and dumps it in the kitchen sink

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Warning: This is a really gross letter. A reader writes: What can we do with a boss who urinates in a cup in his office and then dumps it in the kitchen sink even when we (all women) are sitting there eating lunch? We are certain of what is in the cup because it smells, is yellow, and it sits right on his credenza in plain view. He’s even left it outside the office, forgetting to empty it. A few weeks ago I was washing my lunch dishes and he dumped it right on top of my stuff.

how do I explain being fired for sharing confidential info with a friend?

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A reader writes: This is a two-parter: 1. How do I tell potential future employers why I got fired and have them still want to hire me? How do I explain to those potential future employers that the only reason I got fired was because I was ratted out by a coworker for a victimless mistake and was fired unfairly, without sounding defensive? Here’s the story: I worked for a large government agency, in communications.

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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.

I have no motivation to do my job

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A reader writes: I am absolutely done with my current job. I’ve been here for just over six years now and, honestly, I probably stayed here longer than I should have (I was starting to get bored around two years ago). However, my coworkers are lovely, my boss is super supportive, the benefits are amazing (I will have 35 days of PTO this year plus sick time on top of that!) and the health insurance is fantastic. I just hate my actual job.

Video 86

my boss lied to my coworker about his firing, insecurity and graduate degrees, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. My coworker is being let go for not doing his work — but that’s not what our boss told him. I have a coworker, Fergus, who is being let go because he doesn’t do his job.

my boss makes me wear her clothes, eat her food, and say I’m grateful for my job

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A reader writes: I was hired about six months ago at a small business. I’m in my mid-20s and this my first professional job after completing grad school. It’s just me, the owner/director, and a part-time assistant. Because we’re such a small office, I spend a lot of time one-on-one with my boss. Sometimes she’s a lovely person, other times she’s quite difficult to handle.

a follow-up on the boss dumping pee in the sink … with Ask a Clean Person

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After Monday’s letter about the boss who pees in a cup and dumps it in the kitchen sink , I asked the brilliant Jolie Kerr of Ask a Clean Person to weigh in. Jolie is a cleaning expert, advice columnist, host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person , and a regular contributor to the New York Times. She wrote an amazing recent profile of Charo !) There is no better person to answer the many burning questions that many of us had about the cleanliness element of this debacle.

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.

How to Create a Business Case for Recruitment CRM

Speaker: Jack Wei, Madeline Laurano, and Celinda Appleby

Learn how to build a robust business case for recruitment CRM with analyst Madeline Laurano. Celinda Appleby, Global Talent Attraction Director at VISA, joins her and shares her strategy for deploying a CRM in line with VISA’s talent acquisition strategy.

I responded angrily to a rejection — can I get them to consider me again?

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A reader writes: I’ve applied twice to a long established small theater troupe on a farm. I followed the specific instructions to apply to this summer and last summer’s first session apprenticeship. Well, last year I was rejected and here starts the problem. It seems I must have missed the deadline because their response said they were full. When I read the rejection email, unfortunately I reacted defensively and aggressively.

personalized rejection letters are crushing my spirit

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A reader writes: I recently graduated from college and am trying to find that first full-time job in an increasingly shrinking industry: book publishing. I’ve volunteered at small presses, had three six-month long internships, and have a great network of publishing professionals. If I send out my resume, I’m getting responses and doing really good interviews but find myself repeatedly getting rejections.

I run a business and I feel exhausted and exploited by employees

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A reader writes: I currently lead a manufacturing business that I co-founded. Because a previous related business failed in the recession, we have been in the trenches, at the coal face, behind the plough — whatever metaphor you prefer — for over a decade now.

update: coworker complains about my tattoos

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Remember the letter-writer whose coworker kept complaining about her tattoos ? Here’s the update. So, the situation with Carol has been resolved. I actually spoke to her the same day you posted my letter; I ran into her in the break room and she started in again. I interrupted her and said, “That’s enough. I have asked you politely and now I’m telling you – stop commenting on my tattoos. They don’t come off, I’m not going to cover them, and they’re not against the rules here.

Reality Check: Is Your Employee Experience Initiative Working?

Having a robust framework for defining and measuring the success of Employee Experience (EX) initiatives will not only help you communicate the value of EX projects to leadership teams, it will also enable you to identify if and when a new initiative is headed towards failure early on. Discover best practices for measuring the success of employee experience programs - and what you can do if things go wrong.

how can I tell if I’m a good manager?

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A reader writes: In the last few months, I’ve gone from being an individual contributor to now managing a team of several employees. While I absolutely love my new role and feel alive doing what I do, I’m not oblivious to the fact I’m still very new at managing people and have lots of room to develop. In fact, one of my commitments this year has been to grow my self-awareness.

can I report my daughter’s affair to HR, exit interviews in tiny organizations, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. Can I report my daughter’s workplace affair to HR? I am a supervisor in the security department at a hospital. My 27-year-old daughter, with two young daughters of her own, also works at the hospital in a different department. She has since entered into a relationship with a married gentleman who works directly under me. I have spoken to both of them about terminating this relationship because I feel it is improper.

how do incompetent people get work?

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A reader writes: I’m long-term unemployed and have been looking for work for years, on and off, as I had support and I found job seeking just so depressing. One of the worst things I have found when I have been applying for jobs, and when just doing general shopping as a consumer, is I see people who are employed and I know I could do a much better job than they are doing.

my dad says I should offer to work for free to prove myself, hiding my dating life as a teacher, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. My dad says I should offer to work for free to prove myself. I was wondering about a piece of interview advice my father and I recently disagreed about (for context, I am a college student who most recently interviewed for internships, and my dad is a small business owner who regularly hires for office positions).

How to Build a Competitive Benefits Package

An attractive benefits program can be a highly effective recruiting and retention tool. But to make benefits a competitive advantage, employers must get creative with their benefits strategy or risk losing out on the best talent. Learn how to build a benefits package that your employees will love.

I ran into my new boss in the apartment of my one-night stand

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A reader writes: I recently engaged in some, um, consensual adult activity under the mutual understanding that it would be a temporary relationship at another person’s apartment. No work productivity was harmed in the making of this hookup. After a pleasant night, I walked out of a room to discover that, not only did the man I spent the night with have a roommate, that roommate had a pleasant night of their own WITH MY NEW BOSS. I’m in my mid-20s and my boss is in his mid-30s.

what to say to an intern who’s chronically late

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A reader writes: I am currently managing an intern on my team. Interns at my organization are unpaid, which I do not agree with, but this does not seem to be changing any time soon. She has very poor timekeeping and is constantly late, often by a significant amount of time. The fact that the position is unpaid is influencing the way I am dealing with this, as I feel uncomfortable about being too stern as she is not being paid. How can I broach the subject?

what to do if you were just laid off (or are about to be)

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If you’ve been laid off from your job, of if you’re worried you’re going to be laid off, you might be feeling pretty helpless. It’s scary to be told your job is being eliminated and you’ll be out of work and have to scramble to find a new job.

ATS 85

telling applicants that their parents are hurting their chances, parking space war, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. How do I explain to applicants that their parents are hurting their chances? I work on the recruitment team for a large company that staffs festivals, conventions, and sporting events.

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.

my boss and mentor runs hot and cold with me

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A reader writes: The person who brought me to my current company is both my mentor and my supervisor. I met him in a networking capacity and developed a mentoring relationship with him long before the company was able to hire me, so we were somewhat close before we even started working together.

weekend free-for-all – July 13-14, 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.). Lucy 2006-2019.


how do I get out of a mandatory lip sync battle, employee can’t touch-type, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. How do I get out of a mandatory lip sync battle? My employer is having a mandatory spirit week with a summer camp theme next week. Each day we are to participate in “voluntary” camp activities with our assigned “cabin mates” for the week. The week culminates in a lip sync battle with our cabin mates in front of 100 other employees here at our headquarters and will be recorded for our international staff.

my office wants us to celebrate by wearing pink and blue by gender

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A reader writes: I am a nurse and I enjoy the festivities of Nurses Week, celebrated the second week in May. Until I received this official workplace email, suggesting that “ladies” should wear pink and “men” should wear blue to kick off the week. See attached graphic.).

Dice 2018 Recruitment Automation Report

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies are rapidly changing the way many recruit and hire talent. Read Dice's first-ever Recruitment Automation Report to discover how you can employ new, cutting-edge technologies to source and hire tech talent faster.

can I ask my boss to stop bringing in alcohol, coworker aggressively greets everyone who walks by, and more

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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. Can I ask my boss to stop bringing in alcohol? I work in a very small (under 10 people total, with myself and three to four others in the office on a day-to-day basis) tech start-up, and I’ve been here about a month. The manager has, on multiple occasions, brought beer and wine into the office during working hours and invited everyone to partake.

how far back should your resume go?

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A reader writes: I’ve been going through the resume topic on your site recently, and while you’ve discussed resume length , I didn’t see anything on how much time a resume should encompass. Generally, how far back should a resume go? As far back as will fit, or is there an amount of time hiring managers prefer to see? For me, I’m looking to change careers. Some of my older jobs were at organizations dedicated to issues that tend to inspire strong feelings one way or another.

update: tubs of butter are taking up all the room in our tiny fridge

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I am on day 3 of illness and do not have the ability to write a short-answer post for today, so instead please enjoy this update from the letter writer earlier this year whose tiny office fridge was crammed full of tubs of butter. Thank you for answering my question. Unfortunately getting a larger fridge was not going to happen. The building manager laughed when I asked. Really laughed. Like head back full mirth.

my employee is overly budget-conscious and freaks out when we spend money

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A reader writes: I have a low-level employee who has always volunteered in nonprofits and worked in academia, and I’d love some tips on helping him change his budget awareness. He is very used to saving every penny of the organization’s money, at the expense of significant amounts of time, which makes sense if the money is scarce and the time is volunteered, but makes absolutely no sense if the money is adequate and the time is paid for.

How Recruiters Can Create a Predictable Candidate Pipeline

Even the most experienced recruiting professionals face challenges filling critical roles in their organizations from an inability to establish, nurture and grow a sustainable talent pipeline. Download this eBook to get a jump on sourcing and learn how to build a high performance recruiting pipeline.