my mom called my employer for my schedule, making people answer calls on their days off, and more

It’s seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…

1. My mom called my employer to get my schedule

My mom decided to take it into her own hands to find out my schedule for the week, so she called the store I work at. I am a minor and have only been working there for about a month. What should I do? I don’t want to seem like a little kid to my manager and my peers. I am mortified that my mom did this!

First, talk to your mom and explain that she is undermining you at work by making calls on your behalf. Ask her to leave your dealings with your employer to you, and to talk with you if she has questions or concerns about your schedule or anything else. Then, say to your boss, “I’m sorry my mother called about my schedule the other day. You shouldn’t need to deal with anyone but me, and I’ve talked with her to make sure it won’t happen again.” And that’s it — no more than that is necessary.

The good news here is that if you behave maturely yourself and make it clear that you’re not sanctioning your mom’s actions, what she does won’t reflect on you — even if she does it again. (But at the same time, don’t make a huge deal of your opposition to it, because that looks like overreaction, which then looks less mature.)

2. My manager knows I connected with a recruiter on LinkedIn

Today, I had a call from a recruiter, asking me how my 4-month old new job was going. (New job that I did not get from them.) I called her back to say thank you, and told her I love my new job. The whole experience just reminded me how nice and professional she was and so I, very stupidly, linked up with her on LinkedIn.

My manager is very active on LinkedIn, so I panicked right after sending the invite. It popped up on his screen right away. He actually went and (nicely) questioned the other new addition about it. So I confessed, very rapid-fire and red-faced, that I had gone on an interview for her about six months prior and had turned down the offer. I then told him that she was very nice in the process so I had linked up with her.

Is there anything I can do to convince them that I’m not planning to leave? I’m really not. This is making me so nervous right now.

There’s nothing to confess here! This interview was before you had your current job. You didn’t do anything wrong at all.

If you’re worried, though, you can certainly go back to your manager and say, “Hey, this is probably silly, but I’m worried that you might think that my connecting to Jane Smith indicates I’m unhappy here or thinking of leaving. I want you to know that I’m quite happy here, thrilled to be doing this work, and hoping to stay for a long time.”

3. Can I make managers respond to my calls and texts on their days off?

I am the vice president of operations of a restaurant company in California. Can I insist that my managers that are on salary respond to my calls or texts on their days off?

Legally? Yes. But unless (a) these are real emergencies or (b) you are warning them before they take the job and compensating them accordingly, this will make you a jerk. You should respect people’s days off if you want to attract and retain good people.

Also, if they’re non-exempt (since someone could be salaried non-exempt), you need to pay them for any time they spend answering these calls or texts.

4. How to respond to ads that say “”women and minorities are encouraged to apply”

I have a question about identifying as woman or a minority when applying for jobs. At the end of job postings, I often see statements like “women and minorities are encouraged to apply.” So I’m wondering how and when should I mention that I am both a woman and a minority? Should I mention it in my cover letter, and if so what part? Also, if I’m applying through an online system that asks me to identify my gender and/or ethnic background, should I still mention it in my cover letter or is it safe to assume that info will be passed on to the people reviewing applications?

I work in a field that is predominantly white and conference discussions and articles abound about the importance of recruiting qualified minority candidates. However, I don’t want to seem pushy or present myself in a way that suggests I’m looking for a handout. I’m just trying to figure out how to strike the right balance.

Don’t mention it in your cover letter unless it’s somehow directly relevant (which would be rare). Statements like “women and minorities are encouraged to apply” are there because either (a) it’s true — they want you to know that women and minorities are welcomed there, or (b) they want to look like it’s true. Either way, they can’t legally consider race in hiring (as opposed to making an effort to recruit a diverse pool, a la the statement you saw). And so it’s not something for your cover letter, which should be focused on why you’d excel at the job.

5. My managers won’t promote me until I’m 18

I’m a minor (17) and I’ve worked for a year now. My bosses are extremely pleased with me and I’ve made good connections with the owner and corporate people. They really want me to be a manager, but they have to wait until I am an adult because of the liability issues involved with running shifts, being responsible for the safe, driving to pick up products and such.

I was looking up some info on emancipation, and it seems like emancipation would remove the liability issue because I would then assume the responsibilities of an adult.

Some other background on me: I attend college and transport myself, and I already have a partial waiver from child labor law. So the only thing holding me back is my birth date. Would emancipation actually be a feasible way to move me into management? This is a very unusual situation, but what do you think of an under-18 manager in general?

My guess is probably not, because emancipation is about allowing you to conduct business on your own behalf outside the influence of your parents — but liability issues are separate from that. (Just like how even if you were emancipated, you still probably couldn’t rent a car from a company that requires you to be 25 or older to rent one — it’s about age-related liability, not about your parents’ legal authority over you.)

But the age issue is going to go away in less than a year. I’d just keep on performing well at work, and revisit this when 18 rolls around — which is very soon. Good luck!

6. My job isn’t included on my company’s new business model chart

My company’s new business model does not have my job position on the chart. How do I word an email to say that I need to know what the plan is for me; so that I can start looking for a new job, if needed?

This is important, so it isn’t an email conversation; this is a face-to-face conversation with your manager. Go talk to her and say, “My job isn’t included on the new organizational chart I saw. Can we talk about what’s likely for my position under this new model?”

7. After nine interviews, can I ask what the hell is going on?

I was recently “cold call” recruited from a company about an open position, which piqued my interest. While I appreciate the necessity of a company to vet a potential new hire, I’ve already completed interviews with six different individuals, and I am scheduled to speak with at least three more people. In fact, the list of people they are asking me to meet with grows the further along the interview process moves. Furthermore, it’s becoming more and more difficult to carve out private time from my current employer to accommodate the growing list of interview requests. I am certainly interested in the position and the potential for career advancement that it offers, but the rather extensive and ever expanding interview process is starting to create a concern.

Since they cold-call recruited me, and continue to expand the number of interviewers, is it either appropriate or necessary for me to request they rein in the process and/or give me a crystal clear indication of their thinking (i.e. they love me and therefore need to have me meet with several people to finalize an offer, or not)?

You can’t really ask them to make their process shorter, but you can certainly ask them to give you a sense of where things stand and the remaining steps before you invest further time. I’d say something like, “Can you give me a sense of the rest of your process, as far as the likely number of remaining interviews and your timeline for making a decision?” And depending on their answer, you might also decide to say, “Since I’ve interviewed with nine people now, I wonder if we can talk about what questions you still have about my candidacy that will help you make a decision” or “Having interviewed with nine people now, it’s becoming more difficult for me to carve out time from my current position, and I’d like to get a better understanding of what we need to do between here and when you expect to make a hiring decision.”

This entry was posted in HR, Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.