At Work from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 19 Nov 2019 23:49:31 -0800 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss At Work from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/at-work-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak 8fd8ecc8e61dcae5efda5fda5638f099 Mirror, Mirror -- Will the Fairest Beauty Get the Job? for 11/14/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/11/19/mirror-mirror-will-the-fairest-beauty-get-the-job Thu, 14 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Have you ever combed your hair and checked your makeup before going into a job interview? Look closely, because you are not the only one concerned with your appearance. Attractiveness has been shown to make a difference in whether you're hired and promoted, according to various studies throughout the years. Women are the greatest recipients of this longtime trend; while attractive men are also favored more than unattractive, the difference is smaller and less frequent.</p> <p>A 2014 study by Shiftgig, featured in Christian Rudder's book "Dataclysm: Who Are We (When We Think No One's Looking)," concluded after a sample of 5,000 profiles that attractive women received the greatest number of job interviews. Women were placed in percentiles of attractiveness: Those in the 90th percentile received five interviews to every one interview for women in the bottom &#8212; the 10th percentile. Rudder found these hiring and promoting decisions were made by both male and female interviewers, but the men rated women as they would in a dating environment. <p>Updated: Thu Nov 14, 2019</p> 1f365e44fafb6165ecb74c4191ef12f7 Faulty Logic Is No Way To Win an Argument for 11/07/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/11/19/faulty-logic-is-no-way-to-win-an-argument Thu, 07 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Q: I requested vacation time, which was approved, so I purchased nonrefundable airline tickets and made hotel reservations. A month before the vacation, the company was cutting back and I was let go. It seems to me that either my boss or his boss would have known of the workforce reduction when I made my request and should have denied my vacation. I can't take a European vacation knowing I do not have a job. I live paycheck to paycheck and will have to find another quickly. I think the company should pay me for the money I lost on the tickets, but they are refusing to. How can I explain that it's the least they can do since they approved the vacation in the first place? </p> <p>A: You're making some incorrect assumptions. First, you're assuming your boss and his boss knew your layoff was planned. Second, if they did know, management is not allowed to release the news of a workforce reduction ahead of schedule. Companies are held to legal requirements and operating procedures regarding layoffs, so expecting your boss to risk his job by telling you ahead of schedule is unrealistic. <span class="column--highlighted-text">You may have had a good working relationship with him, but he is your boss, not a personal friend, and it is wrong for you to expect special treatment.</span> <p>Updated: Thu Nov 07, 2019</p> 24e1e84b067079f111fc2bd0229516e2 What Makes a Complaint Vindictive? for 10/31/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/10/19/what-makes-a-complaint-vindictive Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I work in a small laboratory on a team with several others, who have all been here for years. Our supervisor retires in six months. His strengths are his ability to repair our equipment, management of his own paperwork and purchasing his supplies.</p> <p>His weaknesses are that he micromanages the staff. When he is on vacation, the acting supervisor allows us to manage our workload as we see fit. When we receive samples, we are required to record the date of receipt on the sheet accompanying the samples. Our supervisor will not do it. <p>Updated: Thu Oct 31, 2019</p> 0fca8c06d81f14a66b4e839b1a25cbf0 When an Interviewer Is Unprofessional for 10/24/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/10/19/when-an-interviewer-is-unprofessional Thu, 24 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I was excited for an upcoming interview; it was the perfect job, and I had many years of experience in the field. But the minute the interviewer entered the room, I knew it would be a no-go. She behaved like an unprepared child, though she introduced herself as having 10 years of experience in the workplace. Yeah, but as what? She had recently been promoted to manager over employees in a profession in which she had never practiced. That was shock number one.</p> <p>Shock number two: She had no notes with questions to ask me. I could see the questions forming in her head as she suddenly spurted them out. Shock number three was that she took no notes on any of my answers. Of course she didn't; she had no paper or notebook with her to keep a record. I also saw the surprise on her face as she listened to my answers, which were filled with information she had never heard before. I felt like an experienced medical doctor being interviewed by an undergraduate student who was thinking about political science. I'm a visual thinker, so I saw the image of a 5-year old girl curling the edge of her dress around her hand as she meekly asked for a piece of candy. <p>Updated: Thu Oct 24, 2019</p> d064c2b37dbaaa02bcbe5531ef4a5216 Falling in Love at Work Offers Its Own Lesson for 10/17/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/10/19/falling-in-love-at-work-offers-its-own-lesson-fd22c Thu, 17 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: <span class="column--highlighted-text">I have fallen in love with one of my co-workers. </span>When I started working at the company, Tom (not his real name) and I got along well. We took breaks together and texted each other periodically throughout the day. He made me laugh, and we related to each other. The day I realized I was in love with him was when his girlfriend came to the office to pick him up for lunch. I knew he had a girlfriend, but once I saw her with him, I felt nervous and couldn't look at him without feeling hurt. He started avoiding me, too, and our work friendship stopped.</p> <p>I started messing up at work &#8212; making mistakes because I couldn't focus. I just couldn't stop thinking about him. He was the one who started flirting with me, so I didn't care that he had a girlfriend. He wasn't married or engaged, and he didn't even talk about her as if she was really part of his life. I wanted to rise above it, so I did not confront him about any of it, but working became difficult for me.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 17, 2019</p> 3ca5afdf1b07d3d4e171ec78666c22b4 Who's To Blame For Ill-Advised Career Choices? for 10/10/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/10/19/whos-to-blame-for-ill-advised-career-choices Thu, 10 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I feel sad for the recent college graduate who is now realizing her bachelor's degree in psychology isn't enough to gain substantial employment in the field.</p> <p>Where were her high school's college counselors when she was choosing her major? Why didn't they tell her she would need a graduate degree to work as a counselor in the field? Why weren't her parents involved in guiding her on the value of a bachelor's degree in psychology? Why didn't she ask the college admissions counselors before she decided to major in psychology? There are too many unanswered questions for all involved to not take responsibility for the student's attending college all the way through a bachelor's degree in science and not knowing that degree is only the beginning.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 10, 2019</p> a714639b0697170dbe1e4b4d5ecfb4cb Is Co-Worker's Warning Helpful or Harmful? for 10/03/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/10/19/is-co-workers-warning-helpful-or-harmful Thu, 03 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I work in the very competitive entertainment industry. Competition is expected, but dishonesty also prevails. I am aware of that, but a co-worker keeps warning me to protect everything I do to the point of hiding and locking up everything on my desk. One of his co-workers stole ideas from him &#8212; actually sifted through his papers when he was away from his desk. His ideas ended up being taken and attributed to the co-worker who stole them. He had nothing documenting they were his. I understand how upsetting it must have been. It's a hard way to learn that the people you think are your friends are willing to betray you the first chance they get.</p> <p>The trouble is that once I hear about it, that's enough for me. I appreciate the warning, and I get it. I understand being cautious, but I don't function well in an atmosphere of distrust. I like being able to relax and not feel like I am surrounded by hungry coyotes. <span class="column--highlighted-text">How do I tell him I appreciate his warning and take him seriously, but I can't keep hearing about it? It upsets me and deters my drive and motivation to be positive.</span><p>Updated: Thu Oct 03, 2019</p> 8650d3be0c41029ef9de5cdce0c42aa0 Use Your Skills to Be Your Own Boss for 09/26/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/09/19/use-your-skills-to-be-your-own-boss Thu, 26 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I signed on with a tutoring agency that sends tutors to children's schools or homes, often with the government picking up the tab. I'm happy with the tutoring fee amount, but the owner/manager is the most unprofessional business owner ever.</p> <p>I was told to come in for a one-hour training session (I am already a teacher and need no training), which took two hours of my time because the owner's assistant repeatedly interrupted her. Afterwards, I was told training hours are unpaid. Then she explained the tutoring procedure: She would email me information on a child to tutor, and I had to clear my schedule and accept it. Having no choice was ridiculous, but I went along with it. Then, without explanation, she would cancel the assignment on me and send another tutor. Next, she assigned me to a child at home for three one-hour math sessions. I went, only to discover the kid only needed one session because he had no problem at all. She had apparently told his wealthy mother her son needed extended help in math. After that session, his mother asked me if I could coach her son on a school project. We agreed on a fee, and all I was asked to do was edit his projects and take him to museums.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 26, 2019</p> a7457b88335c19166df06083f6d6db5e Prepare Yourself for Illegal Tactics for 09/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/09/19/lindsey-novak Thu, 19 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I question our new manager's ethics. She has been on the job at our senior complex for only several months now. My lease expires Sept. 30, and I received a letter two months ago alerting me to make an appointment to renew my lease for the coming year. My rent has gone up every year, and this increase is the highest ever. But what worries me most is that she has been a no-show for every appointment she makes to see me.</p> <p>It's hard for me to get to the management office because I have diabetes and rely on a mechanical wheelchair for mobility. She was kind enough to say she would come to me to have the papers signed, but she never shows and doesn't call to cancel. Every time I've called her, I get her voicemail, but I can't hear the message and the beep well enough to leave a message. When I have emailed her and eventually get to talk to her, she tells me she has never received it, but I have never gotten an error showing it hasn't gone through. This has gone on since I received the letter asking whether I would like to renew the lease.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 19, 2019</p> 694c29a57326e9713d1ccac0c6050ec6 Critical Tips for Phone Interviews for 09/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/09/19/critical-tips-for-phone-interviews Thu, 12 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>You may not like phone interviews, but the human resources department loves them. One job posting may receive more than 100 resumes of qualified candidates, and no HR department has the time to bring in that many people. The task of narrowing the number may be handled by a software program, but once ill-suited candidates are eliminated, the HR staff steps in to complete the process. Hence the phone interview. </p> <p>Jean Juchnowicz, owner, CEO and interim HR manager of Human Resources Simplified in Sarasota, Florida, uses the phone interview to screen candidates as a way to save everyone time. "If a person doesn't come across well on the phone, whether it's due to poorly answered questions, odd verbal behavior, or inappropriate questions asked, the phone interview allows me to rule out people who are not a good fit for the job and the company," she says. </p> <p>She also appreciates the convenience phone interviews allow, as she can conduct them while traveling, between meetings, clustered together or spread throughout the week. Interviews can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the level of questioning needed to select the best candidates for in-person interviews. In her role as an interim HR manager, Juchnowicz has asked up to 15 questions per interview to develop a feel for each candidate's personality. She listens closely to grammar, tone, verbal clarity and overall communication skills, also noting if a person spends most of the time selling himself or herself, asks petty and superfluous questions or seems bossy and pushy.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 12, 2019</p> de0646ceb42e52eb5328fd2117dfe459 Networking: Staying Safe When Meeting Strangers for 09/05/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/09/19/networking-staying-safe-when-meeting-strangers Thu, 05 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: A friend talked me into accompanying her to an open networking event for people in all fields. I feel weird initiating conversations with strangers, so I like to observe people until I feel comfortable. My friend introduced me to several of her friends there, and one of them started talking to me. </p> <p>She was friendly and mentioned needing to update her design portfolio, so I became more interested in the conversation. Soon after, she changed the topic and I sensed something "off" about her. As I asked more questions, her information didn't add up; she was not someone I wanted to get to know or help. <span class="column--highlighted-text">I had already given her my card, so I couldn't ask her to return it. She texted me twice. The second one I ignored. I now feel my dislike of networking events is justified.</span><p>Updated: Thu Sep 05, 2019</p> 8184cb641566cca42194a5f43efd0bd0 From Kind to Insulting to Kind Again for 08/29/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/08/19/from-kind-to-insulting-to-kind-again Thu, 29 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I have worked closely with a colleague for more than six years. Each time I thought I knew her, she changed personalities. She started out as kind and helpful, always willing to recommend me to the boss and bring me in on her projects. She was working at a higher level than I was, so I greatly appreciated the recommendations because I was always learning new things. I pushed myself to perform at a higher level than many of my co-workers. I worked hard and long hours because I never wanted to disappoint anyone on the team. Word spread, and more of her colleagues asked for me to be on their projects. I continued to advance in my level of work, and I became known as someone who could learn anything &#8212; someone to be counted on no matter what the work involved. I put work first and let nothing interfere.</p> <p>The woman who championed me turned from nice to controlling and authoritative. Her advice turned from helpful insider hints to arrogant put-downs, as if she had to assert herself so I would know she was higher up in the hierarchy than I was. I ignored her attitude change; I was still appreciative for having always been recommended. I'm the kind of person who never forgets anyone who helps me along the way. But after a few more years, she changed again, only this time she turned into a negative, arrogant control freak &#8212; one I could not tolerate. <p>Updated: Thu Aug 29, 2019</p> 72cd0c7c0e86846b5ffad40f6b272094 What to Do When a Boss Doesn't Act Like One for 08/22/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/08/19/what-to-do-when-a-boss-doesnt-act-like-one Thu, 22 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>Q: I worked at a charity-run store for one year. Our manager was an alcoholic, but we didn't know it until he fell off the wagon. <p>Updated: Thu Aug 22, 2019</p> 0dec977c7cad7af2344115513fe05cf0 Boss Gives Top Sales Leads to Men Over Women for 08/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/08/19/boss-gives-top-sales-leads-to-men-over-women Thu, 15 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I worked as a sales representative for a nationwide company for five years. About 40% of the sales force consisted of female sales reps, yet the men were the only ones to make it into the "Achievers Club," where they made up to $300,000 compared to the females making just over $100,000. As top achievers, the men also received gifts such as extravagant vacations, Rolex watches, stock options and more.</p> <p>The reason the men made three times more than the women was because our female boss favored men by giving them top-quality leads that offered the greatest potential. The women received leads offering the lowest potential. Our boss knew which leads were the best, and she alone controlled the distribution. I brought up the topic to her several times, but nothing changed.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 15, 2019</p> c2132462e00262254df492f06fc6da8c Courage Required: Reporting an Addicted Colleague for 08/08/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/08/19/courage-required-reporting-an-addicted-colleague Thu, 08 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: When we receive assignments, we are sent in pairs to work at the client's office, sometimes for months until the job is finished. My work partner was exceptionally nice, so all was cool. I drove us to the client because I find driving calming. </p> <p>She was great at first, but I saw behavior changes as the day progressed. She was wiped out toward the end of the day, and it continued into the next morning. Sometimes she was too tired to talk on the ride there. One day I walked in on her taking pills. She said she wasn't feeling well and seemed shaky, but I didn't want to pry in case she had a medical condition. I told her I would do her work until she was better. But it continued for the duration of the assignment. In the last week, she collapsed after taking a pill. The client saw her fall and called for help. It turned out she was on a mix of drugs and alcohol. I didn't recognize this, and I never felt I had the right to ask. Now I feel naive and stupid.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 08, 2019</p> c587976ee9101ce0c3b95f1c98269fb8 Nanny Cares More Than the Mom for 08/01/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/07/19/nanny-cares-more-than-the-mom Thu, 01 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I work as a nanny for an agency that finds part-time to full-time jobs for us. I'm in my 20s and have had three part-time jobs so far: one at a school where I taught dance and light martial arts for young children, and two others where I took care of a couple children in each family. They were all fun jobs with great parents. </p> <p>The family I work for now recently had a baby. Both parents work at home and can't take care of the baby, so they hired me to work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. The father is not involved with the baby at all, and the mom handles everything when I'm not there. She told me she doesn't like changing the baby's diapers, so when I arrive in the morning, the baby is sitting in soaked diapers and needs a bath to clean her up before I can put a clean diaper on her. The baby fusses a lot when her diaper is changed, so the mom told me she doesn't like to change it. That means the baby lies in a soaked diaper all night until I arrive. <p>Updated: Thu Aug 01, 2019</p> 233ab70cad0afde8b5978eaf3c5b353c All Ranks Too Scared to Communicate for 07/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/07/19/all-ranks-too-scared-to-communicate Thu, 25 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I've worked for a county department for nearly 20 years. When I interviewed, the woman who was a supervisor at the front desk told me I smelled. I was hired despite that. In my 15th year at work, I was transferred to the front desk, and that supervisor became my supervisor. We've had two skirmishes so far about that same issue. She and others also said they were upset I hadn't taken the test to become a clerical supervisor.</p> <p>The first skirmish was when I stopped speaking to my co-workers. I did so because they were on her side. I was written up, so I spoke to the supervisor's boss, who laughed at me. A week later, she asked us to see a therapist, which neither of us did.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 25, 2019</p> 4ecee61edff02b25437a132b45775821 Love Triangle at Work Clouds Rational Thoughts for 07/18/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/07/19/love-triangle-at-work-clouds-rational-thoughts Thu, 18 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I work at a school in Los Angeles. I have been friends with a coworker there for seven years, but we started dating 1 1/2 years ago. We met while working at another school but never worked in the same department until this school. Our offices are across the hall from each other, but I'm in the office for only half the day. No one at work knows we are a couple, but I have recently become pregnant.</p> <p>A few months ago, the human resources person began spending a lot of time at his office door and in other open areas, giggling and talking to him about non-work topics. I can hear them; their laughing and personal conversations stood out since he would privately complain to me about her trying to micromanage him, which is a problem since his only bosses are the CEO and COO. She also began standing in my office doorway to chit-chat and then moves over to his office.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 18, 2019</p> f2019bee03b724639f09dc1449f7f602 Research Aids in Negotiating Skills for 07/11/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/07/19/research-aids-in-negotiating-skills Thu, 11 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>Q: I'm uncomfortable negotiating when offered a salary; I've always just accepted it. I have good work experience, and I graduated from a good university, but through casual conversations, I know men with lesser backgrounds and fewer abilities who are making more than I am. Most guys don't seem to have the apprehension women have in negotiating. What does it take to get ahead?<p>Updated: Thu Jul 11, 2019</p> 0b7d93ff79382cce4a38e484b6ede9c7 The 'Be Nice' Corporate Culture Failure for 06/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/at-work-lindsey-novak/06/19/the-be-nice-corporate-culture-failure Thu, 27 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Q: I worked in field sales for a large company and worked on my MBA simultaneously. My life was exciting in New York City, but when I finished my degree, I was offered an unbeatable job in California. It's quite a feat to uproot your life to move across country, but the money and opportunity was too great to refuse. My friends told me not to go, but I wouldn't listen. </p> <p>When I started, I was told that the most important thing to do was to be nice to everyone, to always make sure that people are happy and to never say no to anyone's request. Nothing was said about performance &#8212; ever. I noticed no one was given guidance, instructions, support or even information on a project. The unspoken message was "Everyone's smart, so figure it out without asking how." It was insane. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 27, 2019</p>