5 more reader updates

Here are five more reader updates.

1. The corporate chaplain who was roaming the office praying

I am not sure if something was said to him or not but he hasn’t been really initiating conversation lately. He still comes around about once a week and passes out scripture cards (which is awkward in itself) but I don’t feel as though he is going to back me into a corner, anymore.

I liked your advice that perhaps this company’s culture isn’t a fit for me and I agree it isn’t. Unfortunately, I live in a very small town and my career options are limited to say the least.

2. The reader whose male coworkers expected her to answer the phone, order supplies, order lunch, etc.

As for an update on this issue, well, it’s an interesting one. I’ve taken the issue straight to the lunchroom, and chose to bring awareness about it using humor. It seems to have worked. And now I field any inquiries of this kind with, “I have no clue, but when you find out I’d like to know too!”

I actually had an opportunity to tell a workmate’s wife about it, and I joked about how her husband had asked me where the cleaning supplies are kept. We began laughing and joking about it, and she took the opportunity to rib him about where they keep the supplies at home. Everyone seemed to have a similar funny story to share about their domestic responsibilities and the different roles we all play and who is accountable for what…and as a result we all know that our supplies are kept under the sink in the kitchen. It was easy to joke about so it really broke the ice.

There is still one woman here who really plays into her role as everyone’s mother and office frau. She would do the dishes and clean up after all of us full-time if we let her. But what can ya do! Not everyone subscribes to the plight of the female in a male-dominated environment.

More interestingly, is that morale is so low at the office right now and the manager’s have all but checked out from the human side of management. In fact, our Cultural Leader (read: head honcho) actually told us all that karma is the new manager. More on this as it unfolds…

3. The reader who hadn’t heard back from her internship about a start date (#3 at the link)

As it turned out, they didn’t expect that the fall semester is starting so early (most elementary/high schools started the week after my college, and the state university in town didn’t kick off for another two and a half weeks). They were kind enough to rush the background check for me, so I could start on the first day of the semester.

After some background check and training adventures, an office move (thankfully only across the hall), and lots of interesting projects, my chief attorney mentioned that I should apply for the first permanent position that comes open, so that they can keep me on board! I’m really excited about the opportunity, and I hope that an opening will come up soon. Oh, and to those who dissed my notion of “dream job” — this position ended up being even better than I imagined. Sometimes dreams may just come true, I guess — I hope it happens for y’all, too!

4. The boss who kept making out with his girlfriend at work

Well as it stands, nothing has changed. I had a second conversation with the GM, he acknowledged that it should have been addressed but did nothing about it again. Then I decided to just go to the source and have a one on one conversation with him. It actually started out as a more casual conversation, then I mentioned how we are uncomfortable going into his office when she is always there and he stated he did not want to make us uncomfortable and acknowledged that she often overstays her welcome. However, since then she has been in there just as much as ever. When I walk past the office and she’s there (which is almost always), I just keep walking. Ignoring it seems to be the only way to make it go away. There has been talk around the office about bringing this up to someone higher on the food chain, but I think the general feeling is it just doesn’t seem worth it.

5. The reader who had a bad gut feeling about a job

As I think I mentioned in the comments on my original question, they made me an offer within hours of the interview, which in this context was another red flag rather than a good thing. I decided not to take the position; I think they were somewhat taken aback but no one interrogated me or made things awkward. I was able to frame it, both to them and to the person who’d recommended me, as an issue with skill fit.

Sadly, as is so often the way, as I had no further contact with them, I can’t say for sure if I was right about the red flags. I can say that I didn’t regret that choice at any point after making it, even though, as it turned out, I was then out of work for six months. I was lucky enough to be financialy secure for that time – in fact, I was able to be a bit more picky about applying, which probably lengthened the time span – and I took on some volunteering projects and freelance work that I geniunely enjoyed. The time off was really good for my mental health, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m happy to report that I have now just started at a new job on a year’s contract.

As an aside, having been at the new job for two weeks, I am currently kind of terrified out of my mind because there are so many things to do and remember and be responsible for, and I have crippling imposter syndrome, and a part of me wants to run for the hills – but it’s a totally different feeling from the “no, no, this is a terrible idea” reaction I had on that other occasion. It makes me want to square up and beat the terror into submission rather than give in to it. :)

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