Update 2

by Evil HR Lady on February 10, 2010

This guy didn’t know how to dress for an interview. We all jumped in and gave our opinion. Here’s what happened:

I went with your advice and wore dress slacks, a tie and sport coat. It seemed to be fine. All of the interviews (which were panel type, me and 3-4 people at a time) were at the actual biomedical device production facility. Most people I interviewed with were wearing their normal job wear, khakis (or even jeans) and polo type short sleeve shirts. I was somewhat more formally dressed than those I spoke with but it wasn’t so much that I felt out of place. I felt comfortable and the interviews went very well. Ultimately, I wasn’t offered the job, one of the other candidates had significantly more industry experience and they went with them. Thanks for the advice all the same!

This person wasn’t sure if he had technically quit or was fired. Was unemployment a possibility? Here’s what happened:

Okay, my update, I did not apply for UE. Sure the extra money would be nice but there was a lot I did not tell you, that really had nothing to do with the specific question. I’m north of fifty and have worked since about eighteen and saved the entire time. When I took on my job before this last one I was asking about, I was at the previous position a quarter of a century. I say it in those terms because as a major US corporation I took advantage of the savings and investment plan, they offered and at the time they actually had a pension plan. My wife too was doing the same thing.

Imagine that!

We do not live outside our means and feel that we are very lucky to be where we are. Many may say that luck had nothing to do with it and okay, that may be true. I decided that since we are where we are in life and did not have to do any “reprogramming of my brain, so to speak, we can sleep in, work on the side, stick my hands in the dirt, yell at the cats, make a big lunch (diet), take a walk, use my camera, call friends, visit friends, volunteer doing something, write nice HR Ladies, take pictures, do more wine tasting, just about anything.

I did not want to deal with bosses, lunch breaks, time off, vacations, schedule changes, break rooms, fighting for the computer, fighting for the bathroom, status reports, meetings, clean out the back room, take out the trash, just stuff, you know?

This person received an unfair performance review.

At this time, I am still at the company but I am on maternity leave and I am interviewing. I do not want to go back. They did not change my ratings and HR backed my boss and told me its his boss’s problem that he is not qualified, not mine.

They are/were afraid that I was going to sue because I was pregnant when all of this went down and it was a 180 on the part of my boss from my last review (or since I had kids). Our relationship has only gotten worse. In my last few weeks there before my leave I had to tell my CEO to tell him to leave me alone as he was stressing me and my baby! They told him to leave me alone.

In sum, going to HR was a waste of time except that it put me on their radar as a potential lawsuit. Would not advise. The only solution I see is to move on if your job sucks and that is what I hope to do.

This person had an out of town boss and the need to resign.

Last year I had to resign my position while my boss was out of town. I followed your advice and resigned by phone, apologizing profusely that I could not do it in person. He was surprised, maybe perturbed, but by the next time I saw him he was over it. We remain on good terms and he’s been an excellent reference for me.

Later that week there was a big layoff at the company. I’m glad I was able to give the management warning and I hope I saved someone’s job by leaving.

This person had a fabulous admin and didn’t know what developmental goals to give:

I needed to find two “development goals” for my receptionist. You suggested that I ask her, and suggested that she might like to take some courses. Bingo! I explained what was going on, and asked her what she thought she would like to work on. She wants to take courses, and she wants to go through old files in her desk area in order to discard or transport to offsite storage. She’s been wanting to do that for a while and just needed to know that it was okay to spend time on it. I said, of course, by all means. So crisis averted, we have goals to work on this year and a strategy to find goals going forward. As a PS, one of the commenters chastised me for “ageism” for focusing on her age, and I, duly spanked, took that to heart. Thanks to all

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous February 11, 2010 at 7:42 am

I can identify with the woman on maternity leave. I had a baby in January 09. It was a tough pregnancy and I got put on work at home full time and then eventually went out on leave because my new boss was stressing me out. Being with the government for over 10 years, I have always excelled at my work. My agency wanted a yes person. Something you can not do in my job in contracting.

They got exactly what they asked for when my old boss retired at the beginning of my pregnancy. They got a yes person who had NO idea what he was doing. I applied for a promotion in my office. I also applied for a promotion with a different agency that I knew was a sure bet (they had wanted to hire me when I was pregnant before (lost that baby in the 2nd trimester) but I had turned them down because of me being high risk. I didn't feel I could give it my all at that point and didn't need new stress). Anyway, he brought in two people for the interview that had absolutely NO knowlege of contracting. I was actually insulted and felt the interview was a waste of my time. The other agency interviewed me and it was a tough interview but it was conducted by 3 very experienced managers in contracting.

The manager of the agency I was with contacted me and told me I didn't get the job. I didn't bother asking why. I am not a yes person. I am a person that does the project right and legally. That is EXACTLY what the other agency was looking for. While I was pregnant and on maternity leave, I just KNEW it was not going to work out at my current agency with my new boss. I knew no matter how hard I tried, I would never get a good rating from him. He had some kind of complex because I knew WAY more than him.

Anyway, when I came back from maternity leave, three days later I was offered the promotion with the other agency. I am estatic I left. They have been awesome. They gave me a 10k promotion, flex scheduling, work at home, and they changed me to a different location changing my 95 mile RT commute to 1mile. Their contract writing software is MUCH easier to use than my other agency's.

My advice – RUN. Run as fast as you can when you see yourself in that situation. You won't win. You will be miserable. The grass is greener on the other side. If you have the credentials and know your industry and know you can easily get another job go for it. I was worried about leaving my comfort zone as I had been there for 10 years. I am absolutely thrilled with my decision. My new agency is THRILLED to have an experienced contracting officer working for them (it's very difficult to recruit for my job series due to education, experience, and certification requirements). My old agency's office changed over its entire staff that had over 150 years of contracting experience to one that was filled with inexperienced people and interns that equaled to less than 15 years of contracting experience TOTAL. To tell you the truth, I kind of am getting some satisfaction that they can't get contracts out due to inexperience and mismanagement. Honestly, it's not a situation you can win. Even though the manager's situation is HIS problem. It's also YOUR problem to because everything you do you will spend extra time explaining and teaching him the job. It's your problem because he won't be able to assess your performance if he can't even understand what you are doing and why. So run run run. You'll be happier when you do.

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Marsha Keeffer February 11, 2010 at 8:04 am

Sometimes it's all about taking the leap. This isn't an easy environment, but everyone can do something to help themselves. I read these stories and often find a lot of courage in them!

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Amanda February 15, 2010 at 9:10 pm

To the chick who thinks she can't get pregnant; Try accupunture.

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