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Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Should I accept a huge favor from my new staff members?

I’m a mid-level manager with a large, field-based team. I think I have a real camaraderie with the team, and upward feedback surveys show that as well. At most, I see each team member a few times a month, but we talk often.

My team knows that I am single, new to the area, and recently bought a home. Some of them offered to help me move, which of course I declined. I even got texts the day of the move, asking if there was anything they could help with, or offering to move anything I didn’t trust the movers to do!

Today I was talking to “Bob” and “Todd” on the phone and they asked how I was settling in. I said “great” and made a comment about how many odds and ends there are to buy, and that I should rent a van or something. They asked why I needed a that and I replied that I wanted to buy a rug, but can’t fit in in my car. Bob and Todd then offered to help — Bob has a large truck, and Todd offered to help carry. They even proposed a day after work to go. Am I crazy for considering it? Is this out of bounds? I wouldn’t ever want them to feel like I’m taking advantage of their kindness, so I would give them money or a gift card to a restaurant I know they like. What do you think?

If you were peers, I’d tell you to accept their offer at face value (but not to pay them, because it can seem insulting to hand cash to someone who wanted to do you a favor, although buying them a meal or another gift is fine). But as their boss, the power dynamics make it trickier. Their offer might be entirely genuine and they might make the same offer to any colleague, but it’s a muddier area because you have power over them. (And imagine if you needed to give one of them very negative feedback a few days after they do you this favor — it’s messy.)

The reality is that a lot of managers would take them up on this offer anyway, and honestly, if you do, it will probably end up being just fine. But there’s definitely risk to it. If you want the safest course of action, it would be to decline the help, but tell them how much you appreciate the thought and that the offer was really kind of them to make. (Be sure that you leave them feeling warm and fuzzy about the whole interaction, not like you snubbed their genuine offer of help.)

2. Taking time off when I’m a one-person department

I’m the only person in the IT department serving support for 600+ employees at a company, which is crazy alone. I requested time off over a month in advance and sent a message to all department heads to ensure anything I needed to complete would be done a week prior to my absence. Now, one of the owners of the company is requesting me to send them a back-up plan.

No one can take over my position and they cannot afford to hire someone new. I work salaried so my hours are insane and I’m constantly exhausted. I need this vacation or I’m sure to quit. Do you have any advice on what I can send them as a “back-up” plan? I do not want to have to answer my phone or emails.

Given the constraints of the current situation (including that they wouldn’t be able hire someone new that fast anyway), it sounds like they need an IT firm that can provide backup support when you’re not available. It’s not just for this vacation; what would they do if you were out sick or hit by a bus or quit and left the position vacant? There are loads of reasons why there needs to be a back-up plan in place beyond just this vacation.

Ideally, you would have pitched this long before your vacation was looming, but you can do it now and point out that it will be necessary plenty of other times in the future as well. If they balk at the price or the logistics and pressure you to be available on your vacation instead, say this: “That really won’t be possible. I’m exhausted and in need of a real vacation where I can disconnect from work.” If needed, you can change that last sentence to “the place I’m going doesn’t have reliable phone or internet.”

Also, one IT person for 600 people is insane. It might be worth you considering switching jobs (unless you love it there, but it doesn’t sound like that’s the case) because this sounds pretty bad.

3. How can I push back on being forced to ask for donations?

My office is doing a fundraising challenge. Previously the fundraising team has sent out general emails about incentives for staff members who get people we know to donate, which I have ignored. I just learned that during tomorrow’s all-staff meeting, we are going to have to populate a list of names of people we know, tweet/Facebook/email them right there (to ensure we do it?), and continue to follow up for the next few weeks until they give.

I don’t want to do this. Besides my personal distaste for asking people for money, this request is particularly tone-deaf given our nonprofit is trying to fight a growing perception of being transactional (rather than community-centered), and several of the people expected to fundraise are losing their jobs (to budget cuts) next month.

I’ve read the posts about employers expecting employees to donate, but I’m not sure what to do when they’re expecting me to be the solicitor. (Note: I’m currently in my notice period, so I’m not worried about job security if I politely refuse, but I don’t know what to say.) What would you do?

Gross. Try saying, “My friends and family have made it clear they’ll unfriend people who solicit them for donations, so this isn’t possible for me.”

If you’re asked if that’s really true of all of them, say, “Yes, all of them. They really hate this stuff.”

The fact that you’re in your notice period will make holding firm on this especially easy, but hopefully you’ll inspire some of your colleagues to do the same.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with involving staff members in fundraising work. It’s the insistence that people mine their personal contacts without giving them a choice that’s tacky and inappropriate. It’s fine to say “hey, we’d love it if you’d think about people in your network who might be interested in this.” It’s not okay to say “you must harass your personal contacts whether you want to or not.”

4. My boss sends non-stop thank-you emails

My new boss sends me emails that just say “thank you!” Or “thank you so much!” as replies to almost every email I send to her or that she is copied on from me. I try to appreciate the gratitude, but we are crazy busy and they just feel like a waste of time for her and for me. I often receive them late at night, and while I myself often work at night or on weekends and don’t mind receiving requests in off hours, it feels like an unnecessary interruption to my downtime to send an email with essentially no content. My uncharitable instincts tell me an email that just says “thank you!” sent at 10 p.m. is just to let me know she’s working so late, but I don’t actually think that’s the case.

My passive aggressive instinct is to send her a reply that just says “You’re so welcome!” every time but that doesn’t solve anything. I’m usually all in favor of direct communication but I’m really afraid of coming across as super whiny for complaining about something so small. We are new to working together, and I would like to put my best foot forward. Also, does she think I’m ungrateful for all of her work because I don’t acknowledge every communication with a two word email?

Let it go.

It takes her two seconds to send, and it takes you two seconds to read and delete. And it shouldn’t be interrupting your downtime unless you’re checking your work email already, in which case that’s not really downtime.

She’s a big thanker. There are worse offenses. Your best bet is to shrug it off.

5. Interviewing when you’re not sure you want to leave your current job

I currently work at a startup and I really love it there! However, I have some worries about our future sustainability for various reasons. I don’t think we’re going to go under immediately or anything, but I know that when you work for early stage startups, there’s always that risk!

I’m not actively job hunting but I have been keeping my eyes open a little wider lately for these reasons. A job at a larger company where I have friends recently opened up. They encouraged me to apply and I decided to give it a shot.

I’m genuinely not sure if I want to take another job or not. Like I said, I love my current job. But it seems foolish not to look into other opportunities if they come along. If we go under in a few months, I’d definitely be bummed out for passing up this chance to interview. But is it unethical to interview for a new job if I’m not sure I’m ready to leave my old one? If I were to hypothetically get an offer and then decide I didn’t want to leave my current job, how should I handle that?

So not unethical! Just like it’s not unethical for them to interview you without being sure they’d hire you.

If you were sure you wouldn’t take the job if offered and were just using them for interview practice or really weird entertainment, then yeah, that would be shady. But it’s totally normal to interview even if you’re not absolutely sure you’re ready to leave your current job. In fact, interviewing can be part of how you figure that out — sometimes you might find that you prefer your current job to any of your other options, and other times you might realize that you can do much better.

If you end up getting an offer and decide you don’t want to accept it, you’d just say, “Thank you so much. I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’ve decided not to move on right now, but I really appreciate the time you spent talking with me.” (However, if you realize after you interview — but before you get an offer — that it’s a definite no for you, it’s courteous to let them know at whatever point you’re sure you want to withdraw, rather than waiting for them to put together an offer.)

accepting a big favor from employees, taking time off when you’re a one-person department, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

(no subject)

May. 24th, 2017 09:34 pm
bridgetmkennitt: (Default)
[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt
Today was triple digits and I had to drive around in my car for hours. D: Yay for AC, but even that was barely enough. When I returned home, I didn't want to do anything because too hot. The joys of living in a desert. :/

I have June 2nd off, so I am going to actually watch Wonder Woman in a movie theater. Usually I'd just wait until it's on Hulu or Netflix or ahem, but I want to support Wonder Woman. I'm really, super hopeful that it's as great as the trailers are making it out to be and I really hope it doesn't bomb because Hollywood would very much use that as an excuse to not have anymore woman-led superhero movies or similar, so I'm going to make it a point to go to the theaters. I love Gal Gadot and I love her Wonder Woman from Batman v Superman, so I'm hopeful.

Property Brothers is currently showing its previous seasons on Hulu. I love love love listening to/watching/reading about housing and decoration, and Property Brothers is great for all of that. I am nowhere near owning my own anything, so I have to live vicariously through everything else. Like Pinterest ;)

Currently on 7 of 25 hats. \o/

Free Book – OpenCV By Example

May. 25th, 2017 03:36 am
[syndicated profile] booksontheknob_feed

Posted by Books

OpenCV By Example ($31.19 Kindle), by Prateek Joshi and David Millan Escriva, is free this evening, direct from Packt Publishing.

Book Description
Open CV is a cross-platform, free-for-use library that is primarily used for real-time Computer Vision and image processing. It is considered to be one of the best open source libraries that helps developers focus on constructing complete projects on image processing, motion detection, and image segmentation.

Whether you are completely new to the concept of Computer Vision or have a basic understanding of it, this book will be your guide to understanding the basic OpenCV concepts and algorithms through amazing real-world examples and projects.

Starting from the installation of OpenCV on your system and understanding the basics of image processing, we swiftly move on to creating optical flow video analysis or text recognition in complex scenes, and will take you through the commonly used Computer Vision techniques to build your own Open CV projects from scratch.

By the end of this book, you will be familiar with the basics of Open CV such as matrix operations, filters, and histograms, as well as more advanced concepts such as segmentation, machine learning, complex video analysis, and text recognition.

Get the free book from Packt Publishing. Click on Claim, log in and the book gets added to your bookshelf; you can download a DRM-Free EPUB, Mobi (Kindle) or PDF. You can also access any code files and send the the book to your Kindle Library from the My Ebooks page.

Note: Any Amazon links go to the post on the blog, rather than directly to Amazon. Just click the link from the blog post itself to go to Amazon from there.


The Breast Milk Of Human Kindness

May. 25th, 2017 04:00 am
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed

Posted by TheJourney74656

I live in a very small town. As a new mother, I had a freezer full of breast-milk I pumped at work. One day, I notice that my freezer doesn’t seem to be keeping food frozen. Unwilling to risk losing all of that precious breast-milk, I load my child into the car and drive to the next town over to a big box store which has in stock the chest (pun not intended) freezer I can afford.

When I get there, and explain what I need, the associate tells me that they have just sold the last one. When I explain why I need it immediately, he calls the store in the next town over. They do have the freezer in stock but can’t deliver it for a week. I do not have the vehicle or strength to pick it up myself. This associate explains to the associate in the other store why I need it quickly. I am hoping he can arrange to get his regular delivery service to make an extra stop the next day.

However, he goes so far above and beyond that I still am having a hard time comprehending it. He says that he lives not too far from my town and that he, himself, will bring my chest freezer to me after he gets off of work. So this complete stranger, whom I have never met, shows up at my door at 9:30 pm with the chest freezer in his truck. He unpacks it and carries it into my home and puts it where I need it! Merely out of the goodness of his heart. How fantastic is this guy?!

I really wanted to sing his praises to his bosses but realized that management might not appreciate being done out of the delivery fee and he might have gotten into trouble. If you are out there, I cannot tell you how very much I appreciate you saving my breast-milk for my child and relieving the anxiety of a new mother. YOU are awesome! Thank you so very much.

The post The Breast Milk Of Human Kindness appeared first on Funny & True Stories - Not Always Right.

Scanlations: Love Buzz ch. 12

May. 24th, 2017 09:17 pm
torachan: (love buzz)
[personal profile] torachan

Title: Love Buzz
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Young King
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 3 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + Heterophobia Fansubs
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Five years ago, pro wrestler Fuji Kaoru disappeared one day before a match. Now she shows up at her old gym out of the blue, with a five-year-old daughter in tow. But not everyone is willing to welcome her back with open arms.

Chapter Summary: Fuji's family really wants to meet her ex.

Chapter 12: Do You Want to See Your Daddy?

New pinch hit and reminders

May. 25th, 2017 04:00 pm
morbane: woman sprawled on bed next to vinyl record, text "jukebox" (Jukebox)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] jukebox_fest
I have two pinch hits one pinch hit outstanding, for fic. See previous entry for pinch hit #5.

Pinch hit #6 - fic - CLAIMED )
Please either email jukebox.mod@gmail.com or comment on the relevant post to claim one of these pinch hits.

Original assignments and pinch hits #1-4 are due at 11:59pm EDT Saturday 27th May. (3 days from now).

Pinch hits #5 and up are due at 11:59pm EDT Thursday 1 June (8 days from now).

Tagging your canon
For most canons it is appropriate to enter the fandom as it appeared on your assignment. If you're not sure how to tag your work, please contact me. Consistent tagging will speed things up for wranglers processing the tag.

Most works should appear as Song Name - Artist (Media).

The 100 season 4

May. 24th, 2017 11:58 pm
tassosss: (Abby)
[personal profile] tassosss
The 100 season finale aired tonight, so now I can binge watch the whole season! I'm nervous. Is the season good?

Season 3 was disappointing and tainted so I was really worried about watching this season, and with my stress levels before my wedding I just stopped when I got behind due to traveling.
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed

Posted by Not Always Right

Convenience Store | Bath, England, UK

(It is the weekend before Christmas. Customer #1 storms into the shop, red faced, and right up to my till. Weekend newspapers have magazines in them.)

Me: “Hello, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I bought this [National Newspaper] in [Branch of our store that doesn’t exist] and it doesn’t have a magazine in it.”

Me: “Sir, we don’t have a branch there.”

Customer: “Yes, you do.”

Me: “No, we don’t. We do have a branch in [Area across town].”

Customer: “Yes, that one. I bought my paper there and there’s no magazine in it. I asked the bloke there and they said they never come in with magazines. I went to [Rival Store #1] and [Rival Store #2] and they won’t give me a magazine.”

Me: “Um, sorry, but what do you want me to do about that?”

Customer: “I want to take one of the magazines from inside one of your [National Newspaper]s.”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t allow that, sir. We have our numbers to keep up. If you had bought it from here I would happily allow you to swap one out, but you bought it from a different shop. From what you’ve told me, you also knew that it didn’t have a magazine.”

Customer: “That’s not what I said.”

Me: “You said that the shop worker said the magazines never come in, so either you bought it knowingly, or you found out afterwards and didn’t return it there. I can’t give you one here, because it will affect our store’s numbers.”

Customer: “Then I want to talk to headquarters.”

Me: “Sir, this is a convenience store. They will tell you the exact same thing I did. You’re welcome to. I’m sure the number is online somewhere.”

Customer: “I don’t use the Internet. Get me the number now.”

Me: “I don’t have the number, sir. I’m a sales assistant. I have no need to call headquarters.”

Customer: “Then use your God-d*** phone.”

Me: “Use of phones is prohibited during work hours.”

Customer: *speechless*

Me: “Anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “I will have you fired.”

Me: “Good luck! It’s my last day.”

Customer: *leaves fuming still*

Me: “Merry Christmas!”

The post Stop The Presses Because Someone Is Upset! appeared first on Funny & True Stories - Not Always Right.

Back to reality

May. 24th, 2017 10:19 pm
goss: (\o/)
[personal profile] goss
Back home from Tobago, and back out to work too. :b

I had a wonderful time, and thank you guys for all the good wishes. Here are two more photos from the trip. The first pic was taken on Monday evening as the sun was setting, showing off my hard work decorating around the house/pool, making it all festive for my cousin's birthday celebration.

And the second pic was taken the next morning, as we were packing up to leave. I sat by the pool and did a little sketch in the house guest book, which we all signed. :)

I am quite looking forward to going back to this place when next I visit Tobago. :)


Oh! One last random thing - This week I took a photo of a flowering plant that we have at home. It's a single stem with no leaves, and it only blossoms once a year, for a very short time. We have had this plant for years, but I have no idea what its name is. So I'm posting it up here in the hope that someone knows what it's called. Can you identify this flower? )

huh, imzy is closing down

May. 25th, 2017 12:06 pm
tielan: (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
Apparently they couldn't find their niche.

imzy and me )

I'm sorry for the people whose style of social interaction/internet presentation Imzy suited, but it wasn't for me.

Reading meme

May. 24th, 2017 09:56 pm
tassosss: (Merlin)
[personal profile] tassosss
Trying to keep up with this since I am in fact reading a book.

The Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliot which is the second book after Court of Fives. I like it so far, and I'm glad to know that other authors are just as awkward when writing the reactions of a listener observing two other characters interacting.

Graduation is DONE

May. 24th, 2017 09:26 pm
everchangingmuse: aoki izumi portrait (morie)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
And I am cold and exhausted. It was misting when we started the processional, and the weather here is colder than normal for this time of May. The ceremony was good, and I was happy to see all the students happy - and to run into a few former students.

One less thing to worry about.
[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by Rob Beschizza


Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in Montana's congressional election, attacked a reporter from UK newspaper The Guardian, body-slamming him and breaking his glasses.

In audio recorded by Ben Jacobs, who covers the U.S. political beat, you can hear Gianforte getting shirty, then, when pressed, the muffled sounds of what Jacobs said was "the strangest thing that has ever happened to him in politics."

“I’m sick and tired of you guys,” Gianforte said. “The last guy who came here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here. Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. Are you with the Guardian?”

“Yes! You just broke my glasses,” Jacobs replied.

“The last guy did the same damn thing,” Gianforte said.

“You just body slammed me and broke my glasses,” Jacob said.

“Get the hell out of here,” Gianforte yelled.

Jacobs was taken to hospital but is fine—except for his specs. A TV crew and a Buzzfeed reporter were nearby at the time, each apparently getting a partial look at the altercation. The Gallatin County sheriff, Brian Gootkin, says he's investigating.

One interesting aspect to Gianforte: he's a tech entrepreneur, which would account both for his emotional inability to cope with conflict and his evidently slobbish and untutored combat technique.

UPDATE: Gianforte's campaign released a statement suggesting that Jacobs got physical, not Gianforte. I'm not sure if it was released before or after The Guardian published its audio of the incident, but one doubts they were aware of it.

UPDATE II: The Fox affiliate news crew in the room with them released a statement, and it's completely damning for Gianforte.

Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of "I'm sick and tired of this!"

Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. He then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.

To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.

You Crocodile Dundee’d Them

May. 25th, 2017 01:00 am
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed

Posted by Not Always Right

Butcher | Fryslân, The Netherlands

(It’s the day before Christmas and we’re packed with people picking up their orders. I’m helping a customer when my coworker helps the next person in line.)

Customer: *while pulling out a knife* “Give me all your money! NOW!”

Coworker: *panics*

Me: *grabbing the biggest knife on the counter* “I’m sorry, what did you say, [Customer]?

(The customer, a former classmate of mine who was on drugs, ran out of the door after seeing me with that knife. The customers didn’t have a clue what was happening.)

The post You Crocodile Dundee’d Them appeared first on Funny & True Stories - Not Always Right.

more promotions

May. 25th, 2017 09:27 am
tielan: (MCU - Maria/Steve)
[personal profile] tielan
The [community profile] wipbigbang is still looking for artists. There's a whole range of stories that are looking for artists, whether graphics designers or fanmixers or illustrators.

(Yes, I'm in there; I don't know if I'm still waiting for an artist, I haven't checked. I'm a little iffy about whether or not I'll be finished in time, but I'm damn well going to try.)


And then [community profile] seasonofkink is starting up again from 1st June.

Rules | FAQ | Kink Prompts
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed

Posted by Not Always Right

Home | England, UK

I have been baking for a while, and I know my family’s taste and any allergies they have. I moved out eight months earlier and for about five months some of the treats have been going missing. Nothing major, just a few cakes here and some biscuits there, but I have now lost my patience as the cookies I baked for my friend’s birthday have all been eaten. I decide to have a barbeque to find out who is doing it.

I invite several people to the barbeque including my aunt. The day before, I bake some Nutella shortbread, put them in a box, and leave them in the kitchen by the biscuit tin. My idea is that whoever is eating the treats will go to the biscuit tin, find it empty apart from a few rich tea biscuits, and then eat some of the treat.

I know that if my aunt eats anything with nuts in it, it will give her a bad migraine.

Fast forward to the next day and the barbeque. I leave the kitchen door open and the patio door leading to the front room in case anyone needs the toilet. Around 10 people show up and whenever one of them leaves I go and check the shortbread but bring something out with me. Sure enough the box is opened and some shortbread has been eaten and then moved about so you can’t tell.

An hour later the barbeque ends when it starts raining and everyone goes home except my mum. I count the cakes to find out that three have been eaten and now there are seven left.

I give them to my mum who offers them to my aunt when she visits her. Apparently she refused saying last time she ate them she got a migraine. I have never made Nutella shortbread for anyone. The treats have now stopped disappearing.

The post Getting The Short(bread) End Of The Stick appeared first on Funny & True Stories - Not Always Right.


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