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Lindsey Novak


Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last? Q: I don't like competing with others; I like doing my best, taking credit for my single-handed accomplishments and giving credit to others when they do better than I do. But living this way has now left me behind. Two co-workers and I previously …Read more. Insecurity Causes Personality Clash With Boss Q: I took a new job in my area, but with an unacceptably low salary. I saw it as an opportunity to learn a little more in my field, even though I thought the company didn't pay people what they were worth. I justified it, thinking I would quickly …Read more. Accepting One's Mistakes is Essential to Learning Q: I write press releases at a publishing company, and I thought I was good at it. They are sent as part of a mass mailing system to promote each book. I received a reply from one of the people who received it criticizing me for what she thought was …Read more. 24-Hour Shift Creates Dangerous Standard Q: I'm a paramedic employed by the city, and we ride in pairs in our ambulances. Not only are we on call for 24-hour shifts, but also have to make at least 20 calls per shift. Many people really don't understand how stressful and tiring the job is, …Read more.
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Job Elimination Allows Worker To Receive Unemployment


Q: I was let go because, according to my termination letter, my job was being eliminated. I discovered later that my job was not eliminated. The company simply trained an employee in another department in the company to do the work. I had been in the job for two years and had a very good production rate. The person who took on the work had to learn how to do it. I heard that her department had lost a big contract, which left her with no work to do. What can I do?

A: You can apply for unemployment and start a serious job search. It sounds as if the company wanted to keep this other employee over you despite your doing the job successfully for two years. It may boil down to the other employee being better connected to upper management or more senior than you. Turning the work over to another department may just be a way to balance the loss on the company's financial records. The company did you a favor by stating that your job was eliminated, because that reason is what allows you to be able to apply for and receive unemployment benefits. If you had lost your job for cause, you would have had to represent yourself and argue with the unemployment office on why you should receive unemployment — not a pleasant situation to experience.


Gain Skills Quickly To Increase Job Opportunities

Q: My husband has been in information technology for nearly 20 years and is looking for a job. His experience and skills are in one language, but he lacks many of the supplemental skills also listed in the job ads. In his spare time, he is trying to develop those skills. He has been freelancing, but the company at which he often has had jobs has less work now.

My part-time job pays for much of our expenses, but it doesn't pay for health insurance, and I am due to have a baby in six months. We both have been applying for jobs, but how do we answer questions about required salary? We know jobs are scarce, so we have been looking up the salaries on various Web sites and then splitting them in half.

A: Ask for a "salary that is commensurate to the job." Halving salary requirements on your applications won't make you or your husband more appealing job candidates if you lack any of the skills required. Though money is tight, your husband should take a formal class to quickly learn the skills he is missing. He then would have proof as to those skills and could add them to his résumé. Employers can be as demanding as they want now; they will find good applicants regardless of how demanding they are. One company received 700 résumés 10 minutes after it posted a job opening.

To compound matters, you have chosen a difficult economic time to have a baby. No employer will admit to it, but it's unlikely you will be hired for a full-time job. If you are, your delivery probably will not be covered by the employer's health insurance. Ask your part-time employer for any extra hours available. I hope you and your husband have family you can rely on for help, as well. You can cut back on household and personal items, but you won't be able to cut back on things for your baby.

Please send your questions to: Lindsey Novak, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. E-mail her at, or visit her Web site at She answers all e-mails. To find out more about Lindsey Novak and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



3 Comments | Post Comment
My place of employment verbally told us our jobs will no longer be there...they want us to sign for jobs that i either physical can't do or will cause underemployment..they will not call it job elimination or reduction in force...they do not want media to know this...this is not the first time they have done this and have been successful in causeing people to quit...I want my unemployment...what can i do...they will not put it in writing,,,
Comment: #1
Posted by: evealyn sterling
Sun May 6, 2012 8:45 AM
I was working for a dairy farmer (who paid in unemployment) in Wisconsin for the last 6 years. The owner sold the dairy cows and now my job has been elimanated. I am going to be opening my own business and be self-employed. Can I collect unemployment?
Comment: #2
Posted by: Charlie Wagner
Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:44 AM
I have worked in this organization for five years. It is restructuring. Today, I was told my job is being to a new dept but the boss is a new hire and will be present for three months. I was told I would have to wait and see if this fellow 'wants' me on the team. If not I most likely will not have a job. So, they really didn't say anything definite. Other members of my dept have already gone being told their jobs were eliminated. Not sure if this means ...... what do you think and yes I will start looking.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Ej Denkle
Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:12 AM
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