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Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 03:20 am
 So, a short list of why Facebook is no longer a place I want to spend much time:
  1. People share memes without doing any critical thought or fact-checking, and think my good opinion of their reasoning faculties should be unaffected. (No, just no: while anybody can get taken in now and again, if I'm telling you "that meme is demonstrably, provably false" more than once or twice a year, my respect for your acumen is plummeting, and that's on you.)
  2. People share clickbait. Oh God the clickbait. "I bet I won't get a single share." "Who thinks this young disabled woman is beautiful?" "Like if you X, share if you Y." No. No. Just please *no*. Stop that already.
  3. Curiously attractive women who have no friends, no posts, no history, yet have added me to their friends list. Sigh. No, please, no bait.
  4. Echo-chambering. People overwhelmingly talk to people who already agree with them. I despise echo-chambering.
  5. Trolling.
  6. Virtue-signaling.
  7. Facebook's bizarre criteria for what posts are against community standards. I've literally submitted complaints about photos of a decapitated woman lying in a pool of her own blood with her detached head lying face-up near her and had FB say "nah, not a violation", but God help you if you post a picture of a naked woman. Newsflash, FB: I, like most people, consider one of these far more inappropriate than another.
  8. FB's continued lack of support for high-quality private messaging.

... Of my big-eight gripes with Facebook, six of them are actually gripes about us. About humanity. About people. I don't expect FB to fix us, I don't think FB can fix us, I don't want FB to try to fix us.

And that's why I think FB will never get better.
Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 05:03 am

Posted by Ask a Manager

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

1. Hiring someone when I know the job might change significantly soon

I work for a slightly dysfunctional company (around 150 employees) in a place where it can be hard to find work for highly skilled people with a certain speciality.

We’re looking to add a new person to my team, and found a person who would fit the job really well. Now, normally I would just hire him as fast as possible. But I am likely changing jobs soon. My department is really taking off, but that is largely because I have a certain skill set — a mix of a lot of experience in the company, being highly skilled in our speciality, and being an entrepreneur. If I go, this department and the job will very likely go in another direction, because short-term demands for our specialty will overtake long-term planning.

This person has another offer from another company. It’s not quite as exciting, with a longer commute. We’re within biking-distance and the other job would require him to buy a car, but it’s certainly a good job. I would rate our offer as a 9/10 and the other job as a 7/10 career-wise. Once I am gone, working in the department is likely going to change quite a lot, and move this job to a 6/10 or even lower.

Should I offer a person a job, knowing I am a large part of what makes this job work and that I might very likely (>80%) be gone in a matter of months?

Ethically, I don’t think you can offer him the job without disclosing what you’ve said here. Ideally, you’d explain all this to the candidate and then let him make his own decision. Otherwise it’s too much like offering someone a job without mentioning that there’s an 80% chance the job will be moving to another state in a few months, or that the role will change from X to Y.

I realize this might not be a simple thing to do since you probably don’t want others in your company to know this is a likelihood yet, and I’m sure you don’t want to freak out your current staff by having them hear that their jobs are likely to change dramatically. But I’d have real qualms about offering the job to someone who’d be turning down a decent offer to take it if you don’t disclose the likelihood of significant, near-term changes.

2. Recommending a former coworker who left on bad terms

I have a question about recommending friends/former colleagues to my current company. Dory and I used to work together in a government job and became pretty close friends. Although we were peers, I looked up to her in many ways because she was a little bit older and, frankly, better at that job than me (this isn’t to say I was bad at it, but Dory was fantastic, at least in my opinion.) Her only major shortcoming was that she always sounded a bit angry and had a major case of RBF (for lack of a better term.) She was also extremely direct, something that I appreciated. Some people didn’t like her for it, but almost everyone who go to know her realized that she was actually a really easy person to work with. I do think her gender had something to do with why she rubbed some people the wrong way.

I made a career change and went into the private sector several years ago, which has worked out well for me. I love my job and the company I work for. Dory stayed, but she recently left our old job on pretty bad terms. She was accused of being a toxic leader and disrespectful towards her superiors. My opinion of the situation is pretty one-sided (being that I’m Dory’s friend and no longer work there) but I do know some of the people who were involved, and from my perspective it’s a case of several coworkers ganging up to get rid of a person they didn’t like.

My company is hiring and I think Dory would be a great fit for a particular role. I really want to recommend her, but I’m not sure what to do about the situation with our previous employer. My gut feeling is to recommend her based entirely on the work we did together: I only know about what happened afterward because we’re still good friends. However, I’m also worried about backlash if I recommend her and then they hear all of these awful things from our previous employer. The head of the program that’s hiring has specifically mentioned that some of the recommendations he’s received have been less-than-stellar and he wants employees to really think about who would be a good fit, not just who their friends are. Yes, I do want to help my friend, but I really do think she would do great here.

To clarify, Dory briefly asked me about my company a while back before the situation blew up at her work, but she has not yet asked me to recommend her. Am I right to be concerned?

I think you have to disclose a bit more of the context if you recommend her because you don’t really know enough about the issues to be sure that your interpretation is the correct one. Also, if Dory rubs this many people the wrong way, it’s better for her to end up in a place that’s okay with her directness and demeanor, and being up-front about this stuff will increase the chances of that stuff. So I’d give your recommendation and add something like, “I do want to note that she’s very direct, which not everyone loves. I thought she was really easy to work with and I appreciated her directness and thought it got us better outcomes, but I want to be transparent with you that she rubbed some people the wrong way and that’s part of the reason she left Teapots Inc.”

That’ll increase your credibility (because you’re acknowledging the issue), give you some cover if things end up not going well, and give some context for things that might come up in reference checks. Ideally, it will also help your employer screen Dory out if she’s mismatched with what they need, which is a better outcome for everyone than hiring her into a job where she won’t thrive.

3. My coworkers are always late and it’s impacting me

I work in an office with six other full-time employees. One other person and I have worked in the office for several years, and the others all started a little over a year ago.

For security reasons, two people must be present to unlock and enter the building. We use the phone system to punch in and out. Time is rounded up or down. Example: 9:07 a.m. to 1:23 p.m. would count as 4.5 hours, where as 9:08 a.m. to 1:22 p.m. would count as 4 hours.

I have always been on time. And the last manager would put people on PIPs for too many late occasions (four times in a rolling six-month period, according to company guidelines). But with this new manager, it seems scheduled times are suggestions. Everyone seems to aim for the seven-minute leeway (and many times miss it), leaving me sitting out in the parking lot. Now, if I will truly lose time (like having to punch in at 9:08 a.m. or later when I was there before my scheduled 9 a.m.,) I can override the system. But it annoys me to punch in “late” when I wasn’t and sets the rest of the day to be more stressed as not everything gets done before we open. I have sat in the parking lot for 15 minutes or more past my scheduled start time on many occasions due to people “running late.”

Am I wrong to feel annoyed? Should I just aim for being late too? I really feel like the odd man out. One young employee (first real job out of college) actually said she would quit if they enforced actually expecting people to be there by the time they are scheduled.

No, you’re not wrong to feel annoyed. It’s annoying.

Talk to your manager and say this: “Over the past few months, I’ve found myself stuck in the parking lot waiting for a second person to arrive, because I’m on time and they’re late. This leaves me standing around waiting, it means that I look like I’m punching in late even though I was on time, and it means that we don’t have everything done before we open. Traditionally people have been expected to be on time in order to avoid these issues. Is it possible to go back to requiring that?”

4. Turning down an internal job offer

I have an interview scheduled as an internal candidate for a position in my organization’s satellite location. (I’m not actively job-seeking, but this position seemed like a good lateral move to build experience.) However, over the years in my current position I’ve heard lots of negative talk about the erratic management style and difficult workplace culture in this very small office, which has since been re-confirmed since I accepted the interview. My plan is to take the interview and ask a lot of questions about the position, and not accept if it doesn’t feel right. What I’m not sure about is whether it looks better to the hiring committee (which includes other senior managers I report to) to withdraw my name from consideration shortly after the interview, if I decide to do so, or to wait for an offer. I think I am a strong candidate, and don’t want to waste anyone’s time if I don’t want the position. I somehow feel it would raise more questions, though, if I were to withdraw right after the interview.

We’re not a large organization, so I want to make sure I don’t do anything to harm my reputation internally and keep a good rapport with this other manager and the hiring committee. Any advice?

If you decide you definitely don’t want the position, withdraw at that point rather than waiting for an offer, so that they’re not moving forward with wrong assumptions (cutting other candidates loose, etc.). That’s always the case but especially so with internal positions, where the relationships matter even more.

Also, there are some offices where turning down an internal offer once things get past to interview stage is a big deal — where it’s assumed that if you’re interviewing, you know enough about the company and the role that you’ll take it if you can come to terms on salary, etc. In those offices, turning down an offer can make it harder to get considered for promotions in the future because there’s a sense of “well, she turned us down last time so let’s not invest a bunch of time in this conversation again.” That’s not fair or reasonable, but it’s the way some offices work, so make sure you have a sense of that too before you let things go any farther. (If you trust your boss’s judgment or have an internal mentor, those are good people to talk to about that.)

5. What’s going on with my promised new office?

I work in an office job at a medium-sized company. When I first started in this position, there wasn’t much office space available so I was forced to work in a small corner of someone else’s desk for about eight months. As I moved up in my position, I got my own desk but it’s still very small and uncomfortable and in the corner of someone else’s office.

The president of my company said they would be building new office space for me by Christmas, but this was about four months ago and they still have not started construction. When new desk space opened up, a newer hire got it over me as the president said I would be getting my own office soon. My question is, is there any way for me to politely push for progress on the office situation? I am not comfortable in my current situation and I feel as though it’s a bit humiliating for a grown woman to be working in this tiny chair and desk. I think a comfortable working environment is necessary for me to maximize my productivity.

Yes, ask! First say this: “I know the plan was to build new office space for me by Christmas. Is there an updated timeline?” Depending on the answer, you could then say, “I know there are limited options, but given that I’m in such a tiny space with no room to spread out and that it’s been X months now and sounds like it’ll be at least a few more, could we explore alternatives for the interim?”

hiring someone for a job that might change soon, recommending a former coworker who left on bad terms, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Monday, January 16th, 2017 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, January 16th, 2017 08:28 pm
I’ve posted four stories today, three from Fandom Stocking and one in the House of Sulfur and Mercury series.

Title: With Bitter Herbs and Rue
Fandom: Sky High (2005)
Rating: T
Characters/Pairings: Layla Williams
Tags: Introspection, Post-Canon
Length: 449 words
Summary: When Layla knows she right, she doesn’t let anything stop her.
The fic at AO3.

Title: Too Tender to Know Change
Fandom: The Pretender (TV)
Rating: T
Characters/Pairings: Miss Parker, Jarod
Tags: Post "Island of the Haunted", Amnesia, Ruthlessness
Length: 405
Summary: There are things Jarod could do and won’t. There are things Miss Parker can do and will.
The fic at AO3.

Title: Yesterday’s Fabric
Fandom: Labyrinth (1986)
Rating: G
Characters/Pairings: Junk Lady (Labyrinth)
Tags: Worldbuilding
Length: 287 words
Summary: Most girls stay, but some don’t. Agnes deals with them all.
The fic at AO3.

Title: Your Future Has a History
Fandom: Chronicles of Amber - Roger Zelazny
Rating: M
Characters/Pairings: Luke | Rinaldo, The Ty’iga, Merlin, Ghostwheel, Luke | Rinaldo/Merlin, Luke | Rinaldo/The Ty’iga
Tags: Rape/non-con, Captivity, Stockholm Syndrom, Suicidal Thoughts, Ambiguous/Open Ending, Demonic Possession, Alternate Universe - Dark
Length: 5227
Summary: Luke meets someone from his past and faces a real choice. Part of House of Sulfur and Mercury.
The fic at AO3.
Monday, January 16th, 2017 04:37 pm


I think this would have only taken about 20 minutes, had I not decided that the fan FINALLY needed to be cleaned after owning it for almost 4 years with hardly even a wipe down (gross). Took a little over an hour, with a short cat-cuddle break somewhere in there. With the fan clean and the floors swept, it feels like I can breathe again in there. Now onto the rest of the apartment, where I’m gonna keep trying to document because it’s that kind of day.

Monday, January 16th, 2017 02:46 pm


The end of last semester hit me like a hurricane. Depression, anxiety, PhD applications, revision of a book in preparation for peer review, and coursework took their toll. And then I failed to schedule time before I traveled to clean.

But this semester my roommate is adopting another cat and we have a home visit coming up and I am planning to host a party, which the boy I like is coming to and he seems open to staying over. So I want my space extra, extra clean.

So I decided to start by tackling the absolute worst corner of my room. I still had my guest bed set up, covered in an ungodly amount of (clean) clothes. It wasn’t a small task, but I donated 3 garbage bags of clothes, put away the guest bed, and set up my desk.

More work to be done, but I feel super accomplished. 🙌🙌

Sunday, January 15th, 2017 04:42 pm
There are several books by Noel Streatfeild (note spelling) which are available as kindle audiobooks... but not regular books that I can read for myself via the kindle. Argh.
Monday, January 16th, 2017 12:55 pm


The shame corner has made progress! I’ve only hit the half way mark but essentially I was able to push through most of it in a couple days. We had a huge pile of 6+ pillows so we sorted them down to enough for the guest bed and gave the rest to our friends. I partially rearranged the closet and made room for the guest linens and got rid of that big bag of clothes that I purged a week or two ago. Eventually we’re gonna put a desk here so I’m gonna keep on the grind to find homes for the rest of this stuff. I read a lot from the blog @unfuckyourhabitat and was able to work with my mental illnesses to make this happen.

Monday, January 16th, 2017 03:59 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

My coworker, “Casey,” has worked at the same company as me for just over two years. Casey has mental health issues with obsessive-compulsive disorder (self-acknowledged and openly talked about) that have gotten progressively worse as time goes on. Casey is on medication and currently in therapy, but it isn’t enough any more. It has gotten to the point where it’s out of control and affecting the lives of others.

Some examples: Casey likes everything to be the same, and so to accommodate this management has amended the dress code to say that if clothes have patterns they must be uniform and even that if anyone wears a ring, watch, or bracelet on one hand they must wear one on the other so it’s the same. Another example is that some people who work here take public transit and there is a bus stop outside of our office. To accommodate Casey we were directed by management to line up for the bus as male/female/male/female, etc.. so the line is orderly.

These are just a couple of examples, but I could go on all day. I don’t want to come across as a horrible person but I am getting fed up with having to change every little thing because of Casey’s accommodations. Casey is a nice enough person and I know it’s a mental illness, but at the same time I don’t see why everyone else has to suffer all the time. I would never purposely do anything to make Casey uncomfortable and neither would my coworkers, but we feel like this has gone too far. People have quit or transferred to other locations to get away from this. Someone was given a written warning for only wearing a ring on one hand and was asked to remove their wedding ring because they didn’t have a second ring, and we were told we will be written up if we don’t comply.

When we bring our concerns to management or HR they just tell us about the ADA and being tolerant. Short of finding a new job, can you recommend any other ways to get management to see why this is a problem?

Whoa. This is not the way to accommodate someone with a mental health issue; you don’t shift the entire burden to other people to manage.

Your company has handled this so badly (lining people up by gender?! telling someone to remove their wedding ring?!) that I don’t have a lot of hope that you’ll be able to get them to see reason. Acting reasonably doesn’t seem to be their strong suit.

But whenever anything ridiculous is happening that you want to push back against, harnessing the power of a group is often a lot more effective than just one person speaking up. So you could give that a shot: have a group of people talk to someone with authority and say that you’re sympathetic to Casey’s illness but are being asked to shoulder an unreasonable burden to accommodate it, and ask that the company consult with a lawyer and/or disability expert on ways to meet their obligations to Casey without making unreasonable demands of other employees.

You could also show them resources like this, which explains that typical accommodations for obsessive-compulsive disorder are things like giving the person control over her own workspace (not other people’s) or allowing the person to use noise-canceling headphones. It’s not typical to give the person control over what other people wear or who they stand next to at a bus stop (which shouldn’t be under an employer’s control at all).

Will it work? Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes companies do unreasonable things because no one has bothered to push back against it in an organized way, and sometimes just a little bit of group pressure can jog them into realizing, “Oh, people have a problem with this and we need to find another solution.” Other times they don’t budge, no matter how compelling the argument you lay out. I can’t predict what will happen here, but it’s absolutely reasonable to make the attempt.

our company is making us do unreasonable things to accommodate a coworker’s mental health was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Monday, January 16th, 2017 07:12 am
So, we were under a wind advisory as of last night. (Which I largely ignored, but with everything frozen it may not be good for trees/power lines; at the same time, most wind issues here are not a big deal for us personally.)

And starting Tuesday evening through Thursday, we're under a flood watch. (Because after dumping 8+ inches of snow on us, the temp is going to go rapidly up, the snow level rise to 7000 feet or more, and it's going to pour rain down, thus melting most or all of what we got.)

And then, some time last night or early this morning, they posted a winter storm watch for tomorrow, 4 am to 6 pm, because the rain is going to arrive before the freezing leaves.

Yes, we get one last bout of freezing freaking rain. If it materializes. Now, the warning time is for the whole region - where I am, it should rise above freezing at 6 am.

So we'll have water over ice if all this happens. GOODY.

Bets on school starting on time Tuesday? Because I'm thinking we'll be lucky if it's a two hour delay.
Monday, January 16th, 2017 05:03 am

Posted by Ask a Manager

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

1. My coworkers lean on me for too much help with their own work

I’ve been reading your blog for a few months and one of the main themes I’ve picked up on is being direct with people, which I’ve been working on. One thing I still struggle with is answering questions repeatedly from coworkers in situations where they aren’t willing (or able?) to try to find the answer on their own. For instance, we have a report that we’re sharing with customers. I’ve gone out of my way to learn the ins and outs of this report and meet with the subject matter expert to ensure I understand everything correctly. I have two colleagues at the same level as me who repeatedly ask me questions about either this report or other (really basic) things they should know. They also complain they haven’t had training on these things, so I’ve asked them to tell our boss directly that they want more training or say something like “Oh, the answer is in X document” or “Rusty is the best resource.” I’ve sat down with them both and given them the answers. In meetings, my boss will ask us what they need, and they say they’re fine.

Is there a point where I could tell my boss that they don’t know these things, and I’m constantly being asked for the answer? I don’t want to seem too harsh or betray their trust, but sometimes I’m seriously shocked or annoyed that they still don’t seem to know what’s going on. (I’m not sure if it makes a difference, but I also feel weird that they could both be my mom…and I’m 31.)

Yes, you can definitely say something to your boss. But before you do, I’d be more direct with your coworkers. The next few times you get these requests, say something like:
* “You’ve asked me a bunch of times about this report, so let me tell you what I did to build up my knowledge about it so that you can do the same thing. I read it cover to cover and took notes on things I was unsure about, and then I met with Jane to ask for more information about those things. I think it would make sense for you to do that too, so that you’re not leaning on me to answer so many questions.”
* “I can answer the occasional question when it’s urgent, but doing it as a regular thing really breaks my focus. It sounds like you need to ask Jane for more training on this.”
* And then if it still happens”: “Have you talked to Jane about getting more training on this?” … “I’d appreciate it if you would, because otherwise I’m ending up as the de facto trainer, which I don’t really have time to be.”

If that doesn’t take care of it, then yes, talk to your boss. You can frame it this way: “I wanted to mention to you that I think Fergus and Imogen need more training on X and Y. I’ve been spending a lot of time answering their questions, and I’ve asked them to talk to you about additional training since it’s taking up so much of my time, but I get the sense that they haven’t done that yet.”

2. When do you tell your coworkers that you’re quitting?

I just gave my two weeks notice to my boss this past Thursday from my first job after college. It went very well and he was very nice about it. He asked if I could send a formal email he could send to the other managers and the head of our department, so I sent him my resignation letter. He told me he would send them this letter sometime that day to let them know I’m leaving.

I planned to tell all my other coworkers the next day since the head of our department was working from home and I wasn’t sure if my boss had already notified him. About an hour after giving notice, two of my coworkers came by my desk and said they had already heard I was leaving. They told me my boss had told all the other managers, one manager told an employee who works remotely, and this employee told someone else in my department (I’ll call her Lucy), who then informed these two coworkers.

I was planning to talk to Lucy in person Friday since she is the person who will take on my job duties until they hire a replacement, and therefore will be the most impacted. The other two coworkers have been good friends at work. I feel bad that all of them found out this way instead of from me directly. Was I wrong to wait until I was sure all the bosses knew I’m leaving? Should I have told my coworkers right away?

The only real etiquette here is to tell your boss first, which you did. From there, because you didn’t arrange for any particular roll-out of the news, he didn’t do anything wrong by telling others (and often a manager will need to tell others fairly quickly because it may impact people’s work in ways they need to know about sooner rather than later). And you didn’t do anything particularly wrong by not telling your coworkers right away. No one here really did anything wrong, since no one explicitly told anyone not to share the news.

In the future, though, you can certainly say, “I’d like to tell Lucy myself before we share the news more broadly” (but then you should do that right away, not wait … since waiting can limit your manager on things she needs to do to start working on the transition).

3. Loud groups at company retreats

My husband and I are currently on vacation in Mexico (a hardship, I know) and yesterday a very large, loud group checked into our resort. The majority seem to be in their mid-late 20s and 30s, with a handful that may be with them who are older.

In general we’ve been able to steer clear, but they’re all over so I’ve been able to suss out that they’re all employees on a company-sponsored trip (whereas I thought it may be a fraternity reunion). My question is really just what is your opinion of trips like this and how people should behave on them? This particular group has been drinking heavily, yelling a lot, and some of them have been pretty obnoxiously hitting on women. All behaviors that I can’t imagine reasonable people doing around coworkers or managers! I work in nonprofits, so these kinds of company trips will never be in my future, but is this common/acceptable in the corporate world? Or are they just given a “pass” while they’re on the trip?

I think there’s a really wide range of what’s considered acceptable on company-sponsored trips like these, depending on company culture, but in general, it’s — well, I don’t want to say common, but it’s not uncommon for people to bring a “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” mentality to work trips. That’s especially true with groups that are largely in their 20s and, to a lesser extent, 30s. I suspect it’s also more likely to happen with groups that don’t normally travel a ton (so the novelty hasn’t worn off), although I have zero evidence to base that theory on.

But yes, it’s obnoxious, and they risk losing serious respect from any coworkers there who aren’t amused by the behavior (as well as, clearly, being rude to innocent bystanders staying in the same place). And the heavy drinking and the hitting on people are both playing with fire because harassment laws don’t get suspended when you’re traveling; if they make unwelcome advances on a coworker, it’s as much of a problem at a resort as it is at the office.

Cedar Rapids is an excellent movie on this topic.

4. My pregnant coworker is throwing up at her desk every day

I have severe emetophobia. That means I am terrified of vomiting, being around other people who are vomiting, and even being around people who say they are feeling sick.

I work in a large, open plan office. A woman on the team next to mine is pregnant. I’m sure you can see where this is going. She vomits, loudly, several times a day, either in the restroom or into a garbage can at her desk. On the one hand, I feel horrible for her. I know she can’t help it, and must be miserable. On the other hand, my anxiety levels are through the roof. It’s really affecting my ability to work.

We are both able to work from home, but our company culture frowns on that. Is there anything I can do? Is it ok for someone who is vomiting that much to be at work, even if they aren’t “sick”? I’m sure that even people who don’t have my particular problem are finding it unpleasant as well.

Well, it wouldn’t be good to tell women in the early months of pregnancy that they shouldn’t come to work, so yeah, in this kind of context, it’s not unreasonable for her to be at work. But it’s also not unreasonable to expect her to at least attempt to use the bathroom when she needs to throw up rather than the trash can at her desk.

As for what you can do, assuming that headphones don’t solve the issue, I’d tell your manager that you have a strong reaction to other people vomiting and that hearing it so regularly is keeping you in a constant state of queasiness, and ask if for the next month or two you can either work from an office out of hearing distance of your coworker or from home (or a combination of the two).

5. Does my job not plan to keep me past probation?

I recently got hired at a private scientific research company, and this is my first “in my field” job out of university. Although the job seems to be going generally well, I’m afraid that they won’t keep me past the probationary period for the following reason: they haven’t bothered training me in the position they hired me for.

I got hired three months ago (probation is six months), and instead of training me for the job I was hired for, they’ve been using me as a pair of extra hands to throw into random tasks where I’m needed. I should mention that I was hired at the peak of the busy season, and I was the last of four technical employees who got hired in two months (one started the week before me).

I realize part of the lack of training is a lack of time, but all the new employees have received at least some degree of training in their positions, except me. Am I overreacting or do I have a reason to worry? Also would talking about it to my direct supervisor make it worse?

It’s possible that you have reason to worry, but it’s not at all unlikely that this is just about the fact that it’s their busy season and that you’ll be trained once things calm down. But you should absolutely talk to your manager about it, because she may not realize that you’re concerned by it (and may not even have fully processed that you really haven’t gotten any training at all, especially with three other new employees to juggle).

Say this: “I know that it’s a busy time right now, and I’m happy to help out where I’m needed, but I’m also eager to start getting trained in my regular responsibilities. Do you have a sense of when I can expect to shift more in that direction?”

coworkers ask me too many questions, loud groups at company retreats, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Sunday, January 15th, 2017 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
Sunday, January 15th, 2017 08:18 pm


finally got the energy to clean my apartment. So I thought I should share with @unfuckyourhabitat

I feel so much better now! ^^
I’m still not done but at least there is not much left to do.

Sunday, January 15th, 2017 06:28 pm


@unfuckyourhabitat an hour worth of cleaning and organising, and I can finally see my table again!

2017 is going to see a more organised me, and small projects are the way to start.

Sunday, January 15th, 2017 12:55 pm


This was yesterday’s unfucking. Lots more to get done today! What you can’t see is that I did a major cleaning out of the big pharma cabinet above my kitchen sink, prior to taking the “before” picture. I got rid of probably 50+ bottles of old medications. I feel good about it, as it still looks the same this morning, despite my son and my ex’s son (both teenagers) being up and active, long after the kids and I went to bed. My goal today is to get the remainder of my main floor unfucked. This leaves a lot on my plate for the day…one 45/15 at a time.

Sunday, January 15th, 2017 12:26 pm
I wrote one more ficlet for [community profile] fandom_stocking. I have tabs open for three more stockings, but I’m pretty sure I won’t manage to write anything for them because my mind is completely blank. Given a prompt, I might manage something, but just fandom and characters and likes and dislikes aren’t getting me anywhere. I think I have finished a draft of chapter 3 of We Are Where We Began. That’s not the end of the story, not yet. I think there will need to be another chapter. Hopefully not more than that.

Scott’s parents stopped by in mid-afternoon in order to bring us a single bottle of the brand of B vitamins they favor. They told us that this brand 'doesn’t contain chemicals.' Scott and I were on the phone with them when they said that, and we made faces and waved our hands at each other because, while we know what they meant, we heard what they actually said. At any rate, Scott’s parents are certain that B supplements will solve all of Cordelia’s current problems. I don’t see harm in Cordelia taking supplements, but they’re going to be a PITA because we will have to crush each dose and mix it with something else.

We went out yesterday evening because Cordelia really, really wanted to go somewhere she’d never been before. Scott suggested a clothing store downtown that he had noticed as looking interesting. (I’m a little surprised that he did because it’s not the sort of thing he would normally notice.) It’s a place called Orchid Lane that sells a lot of brightly colored women’s clothing, all imports and (I think) all fair trade. Cordelia ended up with a very pretty dress and a black cardigan-ish thing to wear over it. She chose them to go together rather than the store suggesting it.

I had trouble with the trip because the entire store reeks of sandalwood. I’m not quite allergic to it, but my sinuses and lungs tend to do a big WTF? when I breathe air that’s heavy in that sort of scent. I don’t sneeze or wheeze or anything. I just don’t feel quite right. The tendinitis in my left heel also gave me trouble after I’d been up and about for five minutes. There wasn’t anywhere that I could sit down, and Cordelia wanted me to look at everything she was considering, so she wanted me following her.

We watched the first half of Big Hero 6 last night. It was, of course, a rewatch, but it’s kind of rare to find something that Cordelia’s willing to watch with us.
Sunday, January 15th, 2017 08:16 am

(Just as an aside, I note the fact that I think it necessary to put a question mark after my mood whenever it's "ok" or better. This says something about me, but I have no idea what.)

The week was bracketed by two excellent celebration meals -- brunch at Salty's last Sunday to celebrate Colleen and my anniversary, and dinner at 13 Coins to celebrate N's birthday.

Within those brackets were car problems. Our new van ran out of gas while parked on a hill; we have not been successful in restarting it, so it's going to require towing. That's complicated by the fact that there's a car parked in front of it that hasn't moved in weeks, so that will require knocking on the owners' door and talking to them. Our old van needs to have its right rear tire replaced -- that's scheduled for Monday. I do have to give myself credit for making the call, but mostly I just want to crawl into a hole and hide.

One of the guinea pigs died. We've had them for almost five years; she apparently passed quietly in her sleep after a day or two of lethargy. Poor little critter.

Moderately productive at work. Less so at home.

Notes & links, as usual )

Saturday, January 14th, 2017 01:20 am
of nuns sledding in Central Park.

"We should get a real sled for next year, so we don't have to make another one out of cardboard and garbage bags. Now, admittedly, it was a lot of fun, and admittedly, it was faster than a real sleigh, and admittedly, I'll do it again... but with real duct tape. But admittedly? I want a real sled."
Saturday, January 14th, 2017 10:51 pm
President-Elect Trump's inauguration is coming up, and boy howdy do I have mixed feelings.  The news media is treating this as if it's the Imminent Apocalypse, which it is not, and the Trump-aligned outlets like Breitbart are being cheerfully over-the-top, which is just as bad.

Look, Trump is terrible.  But the unified voice of mass media having the high vapors over him, and millions of Americans screaming "not my President!", aren't doing anyone any favors.  As unbelievable as it is to say, Trump won a fair (enough) election.  When millions of Americans scream the 60-odd million people who voted for Trump and won should have their choice ignored, discarded, delegitimized, it just feeds into the opinion those 60-odd million Trump voters have of "those coastal liberals hate us and think we shouldn't be allowed to win elections, even when we play by the rules".

And that's profoundly anti-democratic, and deeply to the detriment of the country.

I plan on opposing Trump in just about any way I can.  But to the Trump voters?  Y'all won.  I get that.  I don't like the outcome, not even a little bit, but ... I get it.
Saturday, January 14th, 2017 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, January 13th, 2017 03:24 pm
Scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved

Honest Trailers - The Princess Bride

Arizona city sees success keeping its night sky dark

RBG Writes Personal Note To Girl Who Dressed Up As Her For Superhero Day

Why do killer whales go through menopause? Mother-daughter conflict is key

Massachusetts weighs doing away with winter time shift

Dung heaps are rhinos' Facebook: study

'I have to do this': Why some Catholic women are defying Church doctrine and becoming priests

Bucking a Trend, Some Millennials Are Seeking a Nun’s Life

Each year, half a million horseshoe crabs are captured and bled alive to create an unparalleled biomedical technology.

Superhero culture magnifies aggressive, not defending behaviors

Strep spreads by harnessing immune defenses of those infected

After Teenage Mistakes, Pardons Give Second Chances To Ex-Offenders

With water short, Zimbabwe's farmers turn to capturing rain

Difficulty in noticing that white people are white, new study finds

The so-called "Ferguson effect" - officers backing off of policing out of fear that their actions will be questioned after the fact - has been talked about but never really quantified. A new study suggests the effect is a reality, with three-quarters of officers surveyed saying they are hesitant to use force, even when appropriate, and are less willing to stop and question suspicious people.

The High-Cost, High-Risk World of Modern Pet Care

Want to fix gun violence in America? Go local.

Behind New Zealand’s wild plan to purge all pests

Scientists switch on predatory kill instinct in mice

The Hermit Who Inadvertently Shaped Climate-Change Science

Inside the Lives of White Supremacist Women

The Concussion Diaries: One High School Football Player’s Secret Struggle with CTE

The Crimes of SEAL Team 6

The Mysterious Death of a Muslim Marine Recruit

Abortion’s Deadly DIY Past Could Soon Become Its Future

Inmates' uncertainty on Guantanamo prison's 15th anniversary

Turkey bogged down in Syria as it realigns with Russia
Thursday, January 12th, 2017 03:23 pm
at a NYPL library branch.

Apparently, the line is around the block.