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Sunday, August 30th, 2015 09:00 pm
  • Wash the dishes in your sink
  • Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories
  • Set up coffee/tea/breakfast
  • Make your lunch
  • Put your keys somewhere obvious
  • Wash your face and brush your teeth
  • Take your medication/set out your meds for the morning
  • Charge your electronics
  • Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)
  • Set your alarm
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour
Monday, August 31st, 2015 12:57 am

Posted by Tab

Shades After 113

Well, that’s it! I’ve had this exact 2 pages in my head since I started part 2, including a poof shuffling to the door on his old cat legs.

Tomorrow I’ll be launching the book kickstarter for a super sexy omnibus, look out for that!

Sunday, August 30th, 2015 08:18 pm


It always amazes me to watch the progression as I clean a room. I only tackled dishes - but with the dishwasher running, I’ll be able to put everything away tomorrow morning. 

Bad thing is, I’m probably going to lose all of tomorrow going over to my sig other’s. But that’s okay. This is a process. 

Saturday, August 29th, 2015 06:07 pm
New technique could enable design of hybrid glasses and revolutionize gas storage

Bizarre Mars photos: Signs of life, or signs the Internet has lost its mind?

Nasa starts year-long isolation to simulate life on Mars

How The Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive

Marvel villains are now quoting David Cameron

Why these colored water droplets seem to be alive

A women’s theatre in rural Turkey.

Fetal Cells Can Be Found In A New Mother's Body And Will Effect Her Health Even After Pregnancy

18 Times Breastfeeding Was Portrayed Onscreen, For Better Or Worse

The Terrible Teens

Scientists Work on New 'Liquid Biopsy' for Breast Cancer

121-year-old time capsule found at bridge near Kingussie

Earth's mineralogy unique in the cosmos

A US dilemma: Kurds or Turks?

Young Hands in Mexico Feed Growing U.S. Demand for Heroin

West Point professor calls on US military to target legal critics of war on terror

The Village That Will Be Swept Away

‘You’re one of us now’

Troubled Water: What I Learned Teaching Hurricane Katrina in the Classroom

Hoarding Is Making Firefighting Harder

The ‘saddest bride I have ever seen': Child marriage is as popular as ever in Bangladesh

Anguish of 'disappearance' continues across the world, say campaigners

Death of a young black man in a Virginia prison sparks outrage

Middle East faces water shortages for the next 25 years, study says

Citizens Taking Video of Police See Themselves Facing Arrest

Prison Vendors See Continued Signs of a Captive Market

American Teen Gets 11 Year Sentence For Pro-ISIS Tweets That Taught People How To Use Bitcoin

Read more... )
Sunday, August 30th, 2015 04:11 pm
I should take off the compression thingy they put on me after surgery this afternoon, and I'm afraid to. I want to desperately because it itches like crazy, but I'm afraid of what I'll find. I'm afraid it will hurt more or that I'll bleed all over or something. I also want to wash a little, but I'm afraid I'll do it wrong. I'm also worried that none of the bras Mom bought will fit and that I'll have to put this thing I've been wearing for 48 hours on again without having a chance to wash it. They want me to wear it or a sports bra (which I don't have) for two weeks, but they weren't very clear about the purpose of doing so.

Lovely, lovely anxiety.
Sunday, August 30th, 2015 01:23 pm
We found the booklet with the post-operative exercises I'm supposed to do. I've done the mobility set now, but I'm holding off on the strengthening ones because the flexibility ones made things hurt that hadn't hurt before. I think I'll work my way up to that.

We watched a bunch of episodes of Arrow last night. I'm still eh on the show, but it's the right sort of mindless for me for right now.

I slept for about ten hours last night. I ended up taking my painkiller at the same time as my thyroid medication again. That's likely to happen often, I suspect, because I don't realize how much I hurt until I move.

I'm trying to figure out what to put on this week's grocery list. I want things that are easy to open and that don't need much preparation. I'm kind of tired of granola bars, but I can't think of much else.

I still haven't talked to my father. I left a message for him, so he should know that I'm capable of talking.

Some time this afternoon, I'll take off this compression thingy and see what's underneath. I think we need to change the bandages, but I need to check with Scott. I was very foggy when they went over the post-op instructions. I don't even know what Scott did with them which seems like something I ought to change.
Friday, August 28th, 2015 01:55 am
Should Governments Nudge Us to Make Good Choices?

This Is “Flo” – A Simple Device Making Menstruation Safer for Girls Living in Poverty

Drinking water doesn't prevent a hangover, study says

Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

From 'fuzzy' nautilus to red colobus monkey: 'living fossils' recovered

This Gorgeous Map of 1950s NYC is Full of Detail, Whimsy

Froggy Went A-Courtin', But Lady Frogs Chose Second-Best Guy Instead (Well, the heart has its reasons)

6 Iconic Pieces of Military Tech (That Secretly Sucked)

How Americans actually feel about stronger gun laws

Men vs. Women: Who Are Safer Drivers?

London Underground Vs New York City Subway

Inmate Gets Arrested Again After Refusing To Leave Jail

Guards Gun Down Four Angels Escaping From Heaven

10 Brilliant Inventions That Can Change Poor People’s Lives

10 things we didn't know last week

This material could be used to instantly heal punctures in a spacecraft

Appeals court to grills contact lens makers over minimum prices for contact lenses

Albino and proud: DR Congo festival promotes persecuted minority

Tribe in Idaho to draft recovery plan for wild reindeer

Escaping from Children’s Abuse of Social Robots.

Illinois Says It Can’t Pay Big Lottery Winners

How Reliable Are Psychology Studies?

Abortion foes find new ways to get details about patients, doctors

Climate change happening 'right now,' Obama says ahead of Alaska trip

Inmate left to inhale own feces can sue NY prison officials


Read more... )
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 08:03 pm
By the time y'all read this I should be snoring away in an airplane headed West. 

After I regain consciousness, I will get busy answering your emails and writing profound Sjogren's related posts. 

But for now? The best I can manage is to share a photo of this awesome pool in our hotel that was blissfully under used by the hotel patrons; which meant that I was able to paddle and float to my hearts content -- and all by myself. 


Saturday, August 29th, 2015 10:00 pm
We're updating the site momentarily! Once the dust settles, please let us know if anything isn't working as expected. I'll edit the entry here if we confirm any issues.

Update, 22:30: We've been done for about 30 minutes and haven't seen any issues, so please go ahead and let us know if you notice any problems!
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 10:09 pm


My bedroom.

1. Clean off my dresser.

2. Clean off nightstand.

3. Clean off hubbys dresser.

4. Clean off hubbys nightstand.

5. Clean off bed.

6. Put clothes away.

7. Pick up floor.

8. Make bed.

9. Sweep and mop.

50 Minutes

Saturday, August 29th, 2015 06:25 pm
It was always questionable - the boys and I had our eye exams this morning, and if they dilated us, maybe not. Then we saw the forecast with a 70% chance of rain...maybe not. It stormed this morning (YAY) and then was supposed to (and did) again in the afternoon (oops) and they also dilated our eyes (all three of us), so no state fair today. Tomorrow, Drew has a swim lesson in the late afternoon so that's not a really good time.

But next weekend - Saturday or Monday would work. So we deferred. (We pre-bought the tickets and wristbands to get a better price, so we ARE going, barring disaster.)
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 09:00 pm
  • Wash the dishes in your sink
  • Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories
  • Set up coffee/tea/breakfast
  • Make your lunch
  • Put your keys somewhere obvious
  • Wash your face and brush your teeth
  • Take your medication/set out your meds for the morning
  • Charge your electronics
  • Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)
  • Set your alarm
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 05:14 pm
My mother has gone back to Lawton. She has deliveries coming in that she has to be there to receive (and there are apparently packages stacked on the porch already). Her going isn't a really big deal because I can do a lot of things for myself. Scott's home through tomorrow, and I think Cordelia can help after that. I actually brushed my own hair this morning, and Mom bought me some dry shampoo to try. I'm not sure how well it will work with one hand, but who knows? She also bought me a bunch of bras, but we have no idea if any of them will fit. They're all front closure, but none of them are sports bras. She figures that's okay because I'm not going to be moving around much.

The wrap around compression thingy they put on me yesterday before I woke up from surgery itches like crazy. I'm very careful not to scratch anywhere I shouldn't, but it's fairly awful that way. I'm stuck with it for at least another twenty four hours and possibly longer if none of the bras fit.

I'm not needing pain killers as much as I did when I had my gall bladder out. The prescription is for 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours. I'm taking one every four hours, for the most part, and I went longer last night because getting out of bed for medication sounded more painful than just lying there.

Scott and I watched a movie last night. I'll have to watch it again later because I only registered bits and pieces of it. The whole process was very frustrating because we couldn't find the DVD remote. The DVD auto-played, but its default was to Japanese dialogue, no subtitles, with the English commentary. Scott finally gave up and played it in the blu-ray player instead.

I think the remote ended up somewhere weird because of the toddler who visited last Sunday. She kept picking things up and dropping them or having her father take them away and put them out of her reach. I seem to remember remotes among those objects. I just don't remember where that particular one ended up (or for sure if it was one of those she moved). Mom bought us a universal remote that she managed (after considerable struggle) to get synched to the DVD player. It's not able to deal with the fact that the DVD player has multiple slots, but it can navigate menus (something the player isn't set up to allow one to do manually). Turning the dratted thing on and off was the hardest part to set up. The instructions actually say that, sometimes, one has to hold down the button for fifteen minutes in order to get it synched. This only took about three minutes, but that's still a lot longer than it really ought to take.

Scott paid the bills today and applied for a loan for a new car. He also cleared the tub drain. Tomorrow, his goal is to finally locate the title for the old car so that he can complete the donation process.

Cordelia texted Scott this morning to ask how things were going. She doesn't want details, but she is concerned. I talked to her for about a minute yesterday. I'd have been happy to talk longer, but she didn't want to.

I can brush my own teeth, but I can't floss. I made my own coffee this morning. I'm pretty sure, though, that I can't put on my own shoes and socks or put my hair back without help.

I have some bruises on my left arm (the surgery was on my left) that I'm not completely sure where they came from. My suspicion is the blood pressure cuff that they seem to have kept on me all through surgery. After I woke up, it would periodically start itself up and get so tight I was practically crying and stay that way for a long time. It was a great relief when we could get a nurse's attention and get help with that-- She put a cuff on my forearm instead, and that didn't get nearly as tight.

For the actual surgery, they put pressurized things on my legs that kept inflating and deflating. They said those would help prevent blood clots in my legs. I don't remember anything of the sort from the gall bladder surgery five years ago. That surgery took two or three times as long, so I'd have expected the risk to be greater. That leads me to think that either this is something new since then or that, when I had my gall bladder out, they put those on me after I was unconscious. I suppose I could as my SIL, the vascular surgeon. I expect she'd know.

I got a CD that I ordered used on Amazon today, and my CD player doesn't recognize it as playable. The player will still play other things, so it's pretty definitely the CD that's the problem. I had a copy of this CD from the library several months ago, and that played just fine, so I have no idea what the problem is. I've sent a message to the seller. I expect I'll end up sending it back. Such a disappointment.

I'm a lot less anxious than I was pre-surgery. There's a lot still up in the air, waiting for the pathology reports, but at least the surgery part of things is out of the way.
Thursday, August 27th, 2015 02:21 pm
Quantum "Spookiness" Passes Toughest Test Yet

A Wonderfully Clear Explanation of How Road Diets Work

The Egg Map

Why It’s Hard to Sue the NSA: You Have to Prove It Spied on You

Nitrogen triiodide: "So volatile that a mosquito landing on it will make it explode"

Marijuana Use May Lower Sperm Counts 'Quite a Lot'

Wittgenstein, Schoolteacher

A Man Known As The “Portland Pooper” Has Been Relieving Himself On People’s Lawns

What Do Conspiracy Theories Do to Us?

The Red-Baiting of Lena Horne

Study: 15% of West Bank Settlers Are American

Pew Study Finds Orthodox Similar to Evangelical Christians — Not Other Jews

Kids toss out fruits and veggies from school lunches, researchers find

Everything you always wanted to know about panda sex (but were afraid to ask)

Japan's Cultural Fascination With Scissors

Reasons You Were Not Promoted That are Totally Unrelated to Gender.

Poignant vs. Pungent: A Tale of Swapped Histories and Mirror Definitions

The Last Secrets of Skull and Bones

Man with almost-perfect poop donates it to help patients with C-diff infection

Lego a 'better investment than shares and gold'

Making Ocean Water Drinkable Is Much Harder Than You Think

Why Phone Fraud Starts With A Silent Call

Why the Rich Love Burning Man

Gay Teen Worried He Might Be Christian

Japanese police bracing for gang war as Yamaguchi-gumi mafia group splits

America’s Great Infrastructure Stagnation

When Prisons Need to Be More Like Nursing Homes

Amid Backlash Against Isolating Inmates, New Mexico Moves Toward Change

Man found to have been shedding virulent strain of polio for 30 years

An Important But Rarely Discussed Lesson of the Stanford Prison Experiment

Libyan drownings, truck of corpses drive up migrant toll

Expert: We’re ‘locked-in’ to 3 feet of sea level rise
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 01:12 pm
[staff profile] mark and I are planning to do a code push tonight! We will start working around 7pm Pacific time but since it's my first time, the actual push to the site probably won't happen until closer to 8pm Pacific time.

Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push:

  • Rename swaps will accept rename tokens purchased on either account.

  • OpenID community maintainers will be able to edit tags on community entries.

  • Adorable new mood theme called "angelikitten's Big Eyes".

  • Username tag support for

  • Embedded content support for and

  • Additional space on the user profile page to list your Github username.

And as usual, many tweaks, small bugfixes, and the occasional page source rewrite.

We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!
Saturday, August 29th, 2015 05:15 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

Olive and EveThis 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. If you have a work question, you can email it to me or post it in the work-related open thread on Fridays.)

Book Recommendation of the Week:  Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons. A German immigrant tries to become a proper English gentleman after World War II (including writing his own list of manners and customs to follow), which eventually turns into a quest to build a golf course (since English gentlemen must play golf). This book will make you feel cozy and in need of tea.

weekend free-for-all – August 29-30, 2015 was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Saturday, August 29th, 2015 04:03 am

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go…

1. Should job candidates be more flexible with interview requests?

I have been scheduling phone screenings and in-person interviews with job candidates. For calls, I offer two days, allowing them to tell me a time that works best for a brief chat. For interviews, I provide a few options for days and time. I’ve had a few candidates respond saying they can’t take personal calls at work (no breaks?) or suggesting an entirely different day and time for a call or interview. While I understand a current job takes priority, I am surprised to see that these candidates aren’t more flexible, considering they are the ones seeking a new career. What are your thoughts on accommodating such requests and could they be an insight into work behaviors?

You should absolutely attempt to accommodate those requests. People have lives outside of interviewing — they have work meetings, deadlines, and other obligations that they need to schedule interviews around. As for breaks, many people don’t get breaks at all, or their breaks are too short to interview during, or they need to, you know, eat during that break. Also, remember that they are the ones who probably need to be discreet and hide from their employer that they’re talking with you at all; your schedule requires no such contortions in the name of discretion.

Offering two possible days isn’t going cover all the different scheduling conflicts people will have, and it’s reasonable for them to write back and explain those times won’t work for them and request a different one.

Keep in mind that you’re proposing a business conversation that will benefit both of you. Be flexible with people and don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re doing them a favor and they should drop everything to make it work.

2. Company says I need to move before they’ll promote me

I’m getting promoted, and I live with one of my potential staff members. The company says I need to move because I will be her direct supervisor. I’ve been her boss before in the past and never had any conflict. Can they fire me or demote me if we continued to live together?

Yes, and they’re smart to refuse to allow you to manage someone you live with. There’s too much potential for conflict of interest or favoritism, or perceived conflict or interest or favoritism. For example: Will you truly be objective about giving her tough feedback or a critical performance review or firing her if you need to, knowing that you’ll be returning to a shared home with her that evening? Will other people believe you’ll be able to?

It’s totally reasonable for a company to say you need to preserve professional boundaries with people you manage. And if they didn’t, the rest of your staff would rightly have a beef with it.

3. Employers finding online dating profiles

Would it be unprofessional or inappropriate if a potential employer (I’m a college senior) saw me or a dating website or app? There are no racy pictures, rough language, etc, but it is part of my personal online presence that is less controlled than my Facebook or Instagram.

No. You’re allowed to online date; there’s nothing inherently unprofessional about it, assuming your profile isn’t explicit or otherwise … alarming. (And really, assuming your profile isn’t linked to an identifiable name that an employer might be googling, someone who stumbled across your dating profile is presumably on the dating website themselves, so it would be a bit hypocritical to hold it against you.)

4. Employer limits time off, even when it’s unpaid

I work for a small company (fewer than five employees). I am part-time and work around four hours a day. My boss, the owner, has decided that we are only allowed to have two weeks off per year. However, we do not get paid for time off, vacations, sick time, holidays, etc. Is she allowed to limit the number of days we can take off if we give her proper notice of the absence? Again, we are all part time, non-exempt employees.

Yes. In fact, it’s pretty normal for employers to only allow a certain number of days off per year, even if the time is unpaid. After all, they hired you expecting a certain degree of availability and reliable presence; it’s reasonable to say “I need to be able to rely on you to be here most days, except for X days off per year.”

But I agree that this tends to go down more easily if an employer offers paid time off, especially for sick time. And if she’s placing unusually heavy limits on the amount of time you can take off, that would be irritating as well.

how flexible should job candidates be about interview times, employers finding online dating profiles, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Friday, August 28th, 2015 09:00 pm
  • Wash the dishes in your sink
  • Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories
  • Set up coffee/tea/breakfast
  • Make your lunch
  • Put your keys somewhere obvious
  • Wash your face and brush your teeth
  • Take your medication/set out your meds for the morning
  • Charge your electronics
  • Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)
  • Set your alarm
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour
Friday, August 28th, 2015 08:25 pm
I'm a lot more awake and coherent than I expected to be at this point. We got home a bit after 4:00. The compression top they gave me itches like hell, but I'm stuck with it until Sunday evening (which is also when I'm allowed to wash).

A lot of the surgery preparation hurt more than I expected it would, unfortunately. I think I actually yelled when the anesthetic came through IV right before surgery. I don't remember that from gall bladder surgery.

They took three lymph nodes. We'll hear about the pathology report on those some time next week. I have my fingers crossed that they'll come back clean. I'd really rather not have to do chemo.

We haven't managed to reach my father or my aunt and uncle. We left messages, but who knows?

I can currently mostly use both hands. My right hand hurts a lot because that's where they put the IV, so my left hand is more useful at present even though I'm supposed to be exceedingly careful what I do with it.

I'm hungry now, but I waited longer than I should have. It's late to eat much of anything, and I'm having trouble swallowing anything that's even sort of dry, so I don't think bread is a good option just now. I'm not really sure what would be a good idea. Of course, I could stay up later than normal and eat something now. Except that I'm pretty darned tired.
Friday, August 28th, 2015 04:00 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

I read all the letters here, and it feels like everybody loves their job and are passionate about it. need to be honest: I don’t love mine. I fell into it and just kept going with it because it paid decently and allowed me to not to have to worry about what I was going to do after college. Now, 15 years later… I feel almost stuck, like it might be too late to change what I am doing with my life (and to be honest, I have no idea what I want to do with my life; I work to live, and that’s fine by me).

However, I am okay with that. I am not particularly ambitious with my work. Middle management is fine with me, and I dream of the day I can retire. I like my coworkers, my job is fine. However, I feel guilty that I am ok with “fine,” like I should I be ambitious, and wanting more, more, more.

Nobody ever admits to this and it even seems bad to admit out loud, but am the only one out there who doesn’t really love their work and their job? Who just… does it because they have to? I even googled books but it’s all about being career-oriented and professional goal seeking. Is there anything out there to validate my feelings of being “meh” about work?

I guess I just want validations that there are others like me out there, and since I read your blog every day, I thought I would turn to you.

You’re so very, very normal! In fact, as far as I know, you’re actually in the majority.

Most people work to live, aren’t especially passionate about their jobs, and aren’t super ambitious.

Most people work to get food and housing, not for emotional or spiritual fulfillment.

There are people who are passionate about their work, but they’re the lucky exceptions, not the norm.

Keep in mind, too, that that the people who read and comment on a work-related advice site are more likely to be particularly interested in work and career issues than the general population. So you’re not necessarily seeing a representative sampling here.

If you are reasonably content and able to earn a living that allows you to support your life outside of work (and it sounds like you are), go on doing what you’re doing.

“do what you love” is not great advice

I feel “meh” about working — am I supposed to be more passionate? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Friday, August 28th, 2015 02:59 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s the Friday open thread! The comment section on this post is open for discussion with other readers on anything work-related that you want to talk about. If you want an answer from me, emailing me is still your best bet*, but this is a chance to talk to other readers.

* If you submitted a question to me recently, please don’t repost it here, as it may be in the to-be-answered queue :)

open thread – August 28, 2015 was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Friday, August 28th, 2015 04:03 am

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Should managers always know the salaries of the people they’re managing?

Is there ever a situation in which a manager should NOT know how much his or her direct report is making? Should every manager, even a first time manager, be entitled to know the salary of the person he/she is managing?

Yes. If you’re truly managing people (and not, say, a team lead with only limited supervisory authority), part of your job is to ensure that your people are being appropriately compensated. Another part is to to work to retain high performers, and salary is a big part of that. If you’re being asked to manage people but told you can’t know a fundamental part about their employment relationship with your organization, that’s a problem and indicative of a pretty weird philosophy somewhere above you.

2. Should I be insulted by this job offer?

I was flown into town for an in-person interview following a successful phone interview. During both interviews, we went through a round of hypotheticals in addition to detailing the specifics of my past experience on my resume. I flew home feeling really good about my chances (I also have never interviewed for a position I didn’t get, so I had that bit of confidence going for me, though I know that’s no indicator of future success.)

However, a week later (today), they called me (the executive director along with the rest of the team on the call) to say that they absolutely loved me, they thought I would bring great value to the organization but that they had concerns about my experience and that I didn’t have the same familiarity with the organization as their current team (?). Now, keep in mind, my experience hadn’t changed from the moment I applied to this phone call (in fact, it had recently been enhanced because one of my top accomplishments was signed into law this past week). She said instead of hiring me for the position they’d been interviewing me for for weeks, they’d like to offer me an entry-level position in the same department. The pay would be significantly lower than the original position (which was both already lower than my last position and would result in me making less than I have since I was 19) and would essentially knock me down about three rungs from where I am already professionally. They also said they wouldn’t hire anyone for the original position if I took the entry level one, but maybe in a few years, I could work my way up.

I have seven years of work experience and have operated at a director-level position the last year at a similarly sized organization, and haven’t interviewed or been offered less than that same level in a couple years by anyone until now. I have a ton of questions and I feel absolutely terrible about myself at this point, but I guess the one I’d like you to answer is: should I be insulted?

I don’t know about insulted; it’s such a ridiculous-sounding offer (take an entry-level position when you’re well above entry-level and maybe in a few years, you might be able to work your way up?) that it’s hard to take them seriously enough to be insulted. Also, calling to have this conversation with the entire team on the phone is weird, which is another point on the side of “there’s no point in feeling insulted by people who operate strangely.”

But it certainly doesn’t sound like a job you should take.

3. I’m nervous about carpooling with a coworker who I’ve heard is an unsafe driver

I work in a state government agency, and my coworkers and I occasionally carpool to out-of-town meetings in state-owned vehicles. After traveling to a meeting, one of my coworkers told me privately that another coworker, “Joe,” was a dangerous driver and kept picking at his nails instead of keeping his eyes on the road while he was driving a state-owned vehicle on the interstate.

Now I am nervous to carpool with Joe to meetings. We often have to drive six hours in one day for these meetings (three hours each way), and I know he always volunteers to do some of the driving, so it would be hard to justify why I or someone else in the car needed to drive the entire six hours. Should I say something to him or his supervisor about his driving, even though I haven’t ridden with him to witness it myself? I suppose I could drive my own car to these meetings, but he would still be putting himself and my other coworkers at risk.

Well, first, have you ridden with Joe yourself? And if so, have you observed this same issue? If you’ve ridden with him and didn’t see problems with his driving, I’d trust your own first-hand impressions over someone else’s.

If you haven’t driven with him yourself but you trust the judgment of the coworker who shared it with you, go back to that person and say that you’re troubled by what he shared, but that since you haven’t witnessed it first-hand, you feel a little stuck. Ask if it’s okay for you to discreetly mention your coworker’s observations to Joe’s manager, who can then figure out how to navigate it from there. (And really, this is not likely to result in Joe getting in big trouble or being yanked off the road; it’s more likely to result in his manager getting more information or observing it himself.)

Also, if you ever are driving with Joe or someone else who’s making you feel unsafe, you can say something in the moment! It’s perfectly reasonable to say, “Hey, pay attention to the road and stop doing other things,” followed by “I’m really uncomfortable with your level of attention to the road and would like to take over as driver” if they don’t stop.

4. Applicant tracking systems that don’t allow for context

I will be completing my BA this December. I have already started applying for jobs. Many employers specifically ask if you have a bachelor’s degree. I’m worried that by answering no, my application is being rejected as soon as I complete it. How can I avoid this? Is it too early to apply for positions? There is a position that I really want but at the end of the application, the very last question was “do you have a bachelor’s degree?” I feel like the tracking system will kick out my application and resume. What should I do?

Yeah, one of the problems with automated application systems is that they often don’t allow for the judgment that a good hiring manager would bring to screening. If you’re going to have your degree by the time you’d start — or very close to it — it would be silly to screen you over not having it this very instant.

When you’re using an electronic application system, it’s reasonable to answer questions in the spirit in which they’re intended so they don’t screen you out over something that you’re pretty sure wouldn’t be an obstacle for a human screener. In this case, it’s reasonable to just answer “yes,” as long as your resume makes it clear that the degree is expected in December, but not yet completed. It’s unlikely anyone will think you misrepresented anything, but if you’re asked about it, you can explain your thinking. More on this here.

5. I share a last name with someone I don’t want to be associated with

I’m in my 20s, and currently undergoing a job search after being laid off a few weeks ago from my job of over five years. So far, no one has contacted me as yet, which I can understand. But a couple of days ago, I happened to google {my last name} {my city} in that exact format…and to my shock and horror, the top search results were several news articles about an impaired driver with the same last name and from same city as me, who caused the death of a pedestrian (about 15 years ago; I was under age 10 at the time)…and yet due to shoddy police work and legal loopholes, never faced criminal charges nor jail time, and instead got slapped with only a temporary license suspension, which caused an outrage in the community.

My last name is uncommon enough that I’m sure many in my city would automatically assume I’m related to the impaired driver. For the last 15 years, no one ever brought the incident to my attention (I only learned about it by googling). But I now have fear that maybe this may hamper my job search. Should I be worried? How should I handle something like this?

I wouldn’t worry about this at all. First of all, an employer who googles you is generally going to google your full name, not just your last name. Plus, we’re aware that there lots of people share the same last name and aren’t all related … and even if this was your relative, few employers would hold you responsible for a crime you obviously had nothing to do with.

I’d assume this is a non-issue and not worry about it.

should managers always know their employees’ salaries, an insulting job offer, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 10:53 pm
I dealt with the radioactive injections today. They hurt quite a lot. Rather than having me come back three hours later, they asked me to wait an hour for them to check that everything had gone to where it was supposed to. Cordelia had gone with me and Mom to the appointment, and she didn't want to stay, but we had no phone service since we were deep in the hospital and in the basement. We had wireless, so I sent Scott an email that he never saw, asking him to come pick Cordelia up. I even sent emails to my sisters, asking them to call Scott and tell him to read his email. None of that was effective, so Cordelia was stuck in the waiting room with us until we got out of there about 5:20.

Each of the two procedures took about ten minutes, so I don't know what the scheduler was talking about to tell me that the shorter one would be forty five minutes to an hour.

We did a lot of walking because we had to drop Scott's FMLA paperwork off at the Cancer Center before my appointment. That was quite a hike. Then we walked back. Then we discovered that Radiology Reception C is almost the furthest thing in that direction from the elevators. Thank goodness the hospital has adequate signage. Getting lost would have been very, very easy.

The two sports bras Scott ordered for me arrived. Unfortunately, I'm too big for the larger of the two, and that's as large as that brand goes. It took me about five minutes to get the zipper to catch and start zipping. Then, as soon as I got to the top, the zipper peeled apart from the bottom up. I had to get Scott to come to extract me from the dratted thing. I have no idea how I'm going to get a zipper front sports bra that actually fits by Monday when all I can do is to send my mother looking at local stores.

Scott bought food from the Syrian place for dinner. That was tasty. Even Cordelia enjoyed it. After dinner, Mom went off to her friend's house. Scott and I sat around for a while. Then he and I and Cordelia went to Orange Leaf for fro-yo. I've been wanting to do that for a couple of weeks, but the timing never worked out before.

[personal profile] kyrielle sent me a fun card and an Amazon gift card. I spent a good bit of time this evening deciding what to order. I ended up with some DVDs of stuff that I've seen before and liked a lot, enough that I think watching those shows will be comforting when I'm kind of spacy.

I talked to my sister for an hour this evening. She was feeling a little tipsy because she had a beer with dinner (it's her birthday today). She told me that some of the women she knows online who had lumpectomies think the procedure I had today hurt more than anything else in the whole process. I kind of suspect I won't agree. The three shots hurt like hell, but the pain only lasted a minute or so.

We're getting up around 6 a.m. tomorrow. Scott and I both need to shower. I won't be washing my hair, but I need to be thorough otherwise (and I washed my hair tonight). We'll get Cordelia up around 7 a.m. That's plenty of time for her to eat and get dressed.

Scott's going to drop me off at East Ann Arbor at 8 a.m. then take Cordelia to her friend's apartment. After that, he'll come back. I'm not sure when Mom and Scott's sister will arrive or how everyone will find each other. I'm a little concerned-- They said they'd want a urine specimen, and I'm going to be pretty darned dehydrated. I'm not sure I'll be able to oblige. Of course, if what they want it for is a pregnancy test, I will point out that my period started Monday and has only just ended. I'm pretty thoroughly convinced that I'm not pregnant.
Thursday, August 27th, 2015 09:00 pm
  • Wash the dishes in your sink
  • Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories
  • Set up coffee/tea/breakfast
  • Make your lunch
  • Put your keys somewhere obvious
  • Wash your face and brush your teeth
  • Take your medication/set out your meds for the morning
  • Charge your electronics
  • Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)
  • Set your alarm
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour
Thursday, August 27th, 2015 04:50 pm
Hi everyone! I'm still in taking-care-of-the-folks land. But wanted to thank everyone for their good thoughts and encouraging emails. 

As every adult of a certain age knows, reaching that pivotal point at which the carer-caregiver roles reverse is a difficult thing indeed; but we are fortunate to have a large family all of whom are willing to help and support each other. 

So we are making good progress in assessment and planning. 

Thanks also for the prayers and know that each of you is included in my prayers  every night as well. 

What? We have to take time to play, too...

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 05:59 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

I’m in a weird situation. I work for a small company. Although I get along well with my coworkers, a few have a tendency to get on my Facebook and write a new status, like “hacked by Jane Doe.”

For example, I was at my desk, browsing Facebook during lunch. I went quickly to the bathroom. Upon my return, I saw I had five Facebook notifications. When I clicked on it, I saw that people were responding to a recent post on my wall, “hacked by Jane Doe” or “hacked by Joe Doe.” Some of the posts are things like “I love Jane Doe.” The first time this happened, I laughed, but then it proceeded to happen three times a week. Sometimes these guys do it to other coworkers. It’s becoming a nuisance.

I’ve talked to HR about this, but she told me that as long as they weren’t responding to my Facebook messages, they aren’t doing anything wrong.

Another note: One of the people who does this, Jane, is problematic and competitive. I was once working on a project and she asked if she could make one change. I said that was fine. Next thing I know, she took it to my boss and my boss gave her total credit for the project. I was angry. The last straw was when I caught Jane completing a project in which I was assigned to…ON MY COMPUTER. She responded that she did it because she saw I had a lot on my plate. Everything I did, she wanted to do and my boss would give her credit. My boss never gave me or my other coworkers credit when due.

I can’t talk to my boss about the problems because Jane and my boss are BFFs; they even share everything on Facebook and attend each other’s parties.

Just as of yesterday, Jane got onto my Facebook and wrote, “hacked by Jane Doe! Suckers!” I’m at loss about what to do. I met this week with the CEO and discussed of transferring to a new division in another city. And although I never mentioned the stuff I experienced, I am wondering if I should have.

I wrote back to this letter-writer and asked if she couldn’t just solve the problem by not signing into Facebook at work, or signing out before leaving her desk. She said:

I do. Sometimes it’s auto saved. So if someone uses my computer and put in Facebook, they’re automatically into my account. Regardless whether I sign in at work, I feel like they should stay away from my desk. Am I making a big deal out of this?

Well, kind of.

I mean, it’s not okay that they’re doing this, and it’s ridiculous that HR told you they weren’t doing anything wrong. They’re in the wrong, it’s juvenile, and it sounds like the joke (such as it was) has gotten old. Someone with authority should tell them to cut it out.

But apparently that’s not going to happen. I can’t tell you why your company doesn’t care that your coworkers are doing this, but they apparently don’t.

However, there are a few ways you could make this stop. You can stop using Facebook at work altogether (which presumably shouldn’t be a terrible hardship), and/or you could change your computer settings so that it’s not holding on to your account info when you sign out. (It sounds like it’s auto-saving it, but you can turn that off.)

So, as obnoxious as your coworkers’ behavior is, there’s a pretty easy way to stop it. I’m a fan of taking the easy, straightforward solution when one exists, even though it’s true that you shouldn’t have to.

The issue of your coworker doing your work and taking credit that belongs to you is a separate thing. There’s a third and fourth issue here too — that your boss doesn’t give credit appropriately, and that she’s crossing professional boundaries with a subordinate (which, no surprise, is causing problems in the office, like that you don’t feel she’d handle it fairly if you brought your concerns to her).

You can’t really do anything about the inappropriate friendship, but you can deal pretty directly with the rest of it: Tell Jane clearly that you want to do your own work and don’t want her help, tell her to cut it out if she tries to take over your projects again, and operate on an “if I give an inch, she’ll take a mile” basis with her — meaning that if she asks to make changes to your work in the future, say no even if you might ordinarily have said yes. And proactively keep your boss in the loop about your work, so that it’s harder for her to wrongly credit Jane for your stuff. (For example, send her a weekly update on your progress toward your biggest priorities or make a point of mentioning to her that the client praised your work on X.)

As for whether to raise any of this with the CEO, I wouldn’t. I don’t think there’s a way to raise this stuff without sounding a little bit petty; you’re right to be irritated by all of it, but it doesn’t really rise to CEO level.

my coworkers keeps hacking into my Facebook and posting as me was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 04:29 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

When the demands on the team you lead are higher than your group realistically can get done, how can you tackle the situation without just throwing up your hands and saying “no, we can’t do all that” or expecting everyone to work 80-hour weeks?

At Intuit QuickBase’s Fast Track blog today, I talk about the formula that I’ve used successfully with many managers to help them tackle this question. (Seriously, I have used this formula with soooo many people.) You can read it here.


my team’s workload is too high — what should I do? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 11:35 am
Shaved, really.

She went to stay with her grandmother and came back with some snazzy sneakers. When I asked her, she said she had to really fight with Grandma to get them, because her grandmother didn't want her buying from the boy's side of the aisle and told her she's "too young to make the decision" to have her hair styled the way she does.

I do not pretend to understand this mindset. It's hair, which is what I told Ana.


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Thursday, August 27th, 2015 02:59 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

Earlier this week, the subject of coworkers who routinely and regularly mispronounce a word came up in the comments, with several people mentioning that they have coworkers who keep mispronouncing the same word over and over.

So when that happens, is there a way for you to speak up and let them know? I say yes! Or at least, I say yes if you think the person would want to know. (I’d certainly want to know, and I’d bet you’d want to know.) The trick is figuring out how to do it in a way that isn’t humiliating for the person, especially if it’s a word they use all the time.

Here’s how I think you can do it fairly non-awkwardly:

1. Then next time it happens, pretend it’s the first time you’re noticing it, even if you’ve noticed it daily for the last year. This gives them some room to save face and makes it easier for you to speak up without having to explain why you’re only mentioning it now.

2. Let’s say the person keeps saying “mute” when they mean “moot.” Say something like this: “Are you saying ‘mute’ or ‘moot’? … Oh, yeah, it’s actually ‘moot’ — I used to get that wrong too!”  (You don’t have to add that last part if will feel condescending or not genuine, but it’s often an easy way to signal “I don’t think you’re an idiot.”) Also, your tone matters here; it needs to be non-mocking, slightly curious and slightly matter-of-fact. Here’s an example of what your tone might sound like:

3. If the person insists that you’re wrong and they’re right, say, “No, it’s really ‘moot.’ I think it’s a really common one for people to be mistaken about though. You can look it up if you want to be sure!” Again, tone matters here. Your tone has to convey “we’re just two imperfect people sharing information here; I’m not better than you.”

(Also, now your job is done. If they keep arguing or just ignore you, you’ve tried and now you may move on without guilt.)

4. If the person seems embarrassed, help them save face by reinforcing that we all do this with certain words. For example: “It’s so weird when a word gets lodged in your brain the wrong way, isn’t it? For years, I pronounced ‘foliage’ as ‘foilage.’” (Insert whatever is true for you. The “foliage” example is from my dad, a brilliant man who worked with words for a living but apparently had some confusion around plants.)

5. Note that this only works if you have some degree of trust with the other person. They need to think you’re someone who’s on their side. If you hate each other, this won’t work and you instead need to just let it go.

Relatedly, there’s an awesome This American Life episode about stuff we become sure we know, when in fact we’re wrong … including a woman who thought the “X-ing” on deer crossing signs was pronounced “zing” and went around referring to “deer zings,” “school zings,” and “railroad zings,” until someone finally corrected her as an adult. (You can listen here or read the transcript here.)

how to correct someone’s repeated mispronunciation of the same word was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 11:04 am


Pretty nice to wake up to this dresser. I still need to find homes for a bunch of stuff, but I woke up and looked over there and felt good.