terse answer Thursday: 6 short answers to 6 short questions

It’s terse answer Thursday — six short answers to six short questions. Here we go…

1. Resigning when I’m on company travel

I currently work as a project manager for a construction company that does business around the southeastern U.S. Currently I’m working about 2.5 hours away from home and our home office and the company provides me with vehicle.

I plan on resigning at the end of the year which will allow me to close out a project that I’m currently working on and will give my employer up to 4 months notice. I believe that this will be the most professional and gracious way to resign. I have a good relationship with my employers but I’m just playing devil’s advocate in asking this question. If I resign and state that I would like to stay and complete this project but my employers feel that it’s best if I leave immediately effectively firing me, can they leave me stranded 2.5 hours away from home or are they obligated to allow me to take the company vehicle back to our home office and my home?

Interesting. Legally, I can’t think of any laws that would cover this … but practically speaking, this is very unlikely to happen — both because it would an incredibly nasty thing to do to you and because it would look absolutely terrible to other employees who learned about it.

2. What does this email mean?

I recently emailed a company to inquire about a job opportunity. They emailed me back and said, “We may or may not have an opportunity that meets your skill sets and background. But if you want an interview, give us a call.” What does that mean? I feel like they are being passive aggressive and not sure if they are just pulling my leg.

It’s not passive aggressive; it’s just bizarrely lazy. Give them a call, and be alert for further signs of lameness.

3. Reapplying at a job I worked for briefly, then quit

A few months back, I got a contract job with a large software company. However, I left the job in a week as I did not get along with my manager. I found him to be extremely rude towards me and received no guidance from him, which led me to believe that he was more interested in my failing at the job than in my success at it. After I gave two weeks notice, my manager called me at home and I was very forthright with him. Strangely, he apologized and gave some excuses (stress at home, etc.). However, I did not have a good feeling around it and did not go back (we agreed that I didn’t have to work for the entire 2 weeks if I didn’t want to). I did write to his director explaining the situation and that was it.

I am now interested in new positions within this company that would be in a different department but am wondering whether this past experience would color their opinion about me. Should I apply to this company again? What do you think?

It might color their opinion, or it might not. Really depends on the circumstances and the personalities. But you have nothing to lose, so you might as well try and see what happens.

4. How do I assert my scheduling needs in an interview?

I recently quit my coffeehouse job for another coffeehouse job that was (supposed to be) better. My old job was too far away from my house, and I found a new job that was right around the corner. Well, it turned out to be dreadful. Even though I told them that I was quitting because my old job was too far away, they made me work at another location that was -farther- from my house than the old job. They scheduled me for shifts that are illegal in my area (having two shifts in one day, and scheduling me with -no- days off. Ever. Or at least not for a few weeks). We had also briefly discussed during hiring that I’d not be able to work weekends or nights because I volunteer, but that went out the window with them after I was hired, and I was told I would have to work during those times.

I managed to get my old job back and plan on staying there for probably six months or so (out of respect for the fact that they hired me back). But after that, I’m not really sure how to proceed with finding a new job. I feel like the catastrophe that was this last job was definitely due to them being terrible owners, but also partly due to my not asserting my needs upfront. These issues were somewhat glazed over during my interview, and I don’t know how to bring them up better in the future without being seen as spoiled or entitled. How do I confirm what plans they have for me as far as scheduling goes, without coming off bad in an interview?

Wait to really drill into this once they make you an offer, and before you’ve accepted it. That’s the time to spell out details like location, hours, and shifts you definitely can’t work, and confirm that they agree. I’d then put all that in an email and send it them with a note like, “Just to summarize what we talked about today…” It won’t guarantee they won’t change things on you, but it makes it significantly less likely that there will be confusion over what’s been agreed to.

5. Can my company disclose my pay?

I am a pediatric home health nurse, and my employer disclosed how much I make to my patient’s mother. Since then, she has made comments about how much I make and made it a very uncomfortable work environment. Can my company do this legally? Keep in mind that I’m paid through Medicaid/insurance.

Yes. No law prohibits disclosing employees’ pay. However, you can certainly tell your patient’s mother than you prefer not to discuss your pay.

6. Does this mean I didn’t get the job?

I asked the HR person at a job that I was told I was in the top 3 out of 97 applications for if she could tell me her timeline, like you always say to do. She said: “We have actually finished the interview process, and selected a potential candidate. The forms are in the SOM HR office pending review. You’re correct – it is a long process unfortunately.”

I said: “In that case, should I consider myself still in the running for the position? When do you think candidates might be notified?”

Then she said: “Until everything is finalized and the position offered, everyone is still in the running. I’m hoping the candidate will be notified this week – first of next. But I don’t know what the SOM HR’s workload is like.”

I’m frustrated by this. The candidate is not me, right? I wish she’d just said that.

She’s actually being very straightforward with you. They’ve picked a candidate to make an offer to (probably not you, based on her wording, although I suppose it’s not impossible), but until that offer has been made and accepted, the position is open. If that candidate turns down the job or they can’t come to terms on salary, then they’ll presumably move to their second-choice candidate. They’re not going to reject people until they’ve got an accepted offer for that reason. But mentally I’d move on regardless — there’s no point in agonizing; let it be a pleasant surprise if they do contact you.

This entry was posted in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.