The next thing is Not The Leaders' Speech. Which, the way things are going, will be in the sodding directory by Spring.
realsocialskills: Urgent: The GOP is close to destroying the ACA and Medicaid
The GOP is trying to repeal the ACA and cut Medicaid again. They almost have the votes to do it. We have the chance to stop them from getting the votes, if we act *right now*. We need to put overwhelming pressure on every senator to vote no.
Summary of the current situation, who to contact, and an excellent script for phone calls/e-mails from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
Dear Hannah! I daresay you would know best, but you do not show at all, are you entire sure you are with child?
La, Maurice, I can assure you that women – most of 'em - know the matter’s afoot. At least once they have already been about the business a time or two. One does hear tales of young girls that did not realize their state, and women at a certain time of life that supposed ‘twas the climacteric come to ‘em.
He began to drape stuff around her and take measurements. If we gather it thus - you see? – makes a pleasing effect and none would suspect what lies beneath.
Mind you do not make it too fine – I shall not be about giving speeches the while, and going to as few meetings as I may. But one may not eschew all company, and there is the matter of village gossip.
He looked at her. It was entire pleasing to see such a happy young woman in his fitting-room. So many of the ladies who came to him had some matter that troubled them, or were discontent by nature, and even a little flattery, and dressing them very well, did not entirely soothe their spirits.
You manage matters 'twixt the pair of you very well: how is Miss Ferraby?
Entire well. We are indeed fortunate. But 'tis agreeable to come to Town and see family and friends. But indeed, I should ask is all well with you – Lady Bexbury said you had been having some little trouble?
Quite resolved, he said, greatly hoping that he was not the subject of conversation over that lady’s supper-table.
She said somewhat to the effect that 'twas indeed good of you to see me now you have so much business come upon hand now 'tis all remedied.
Sure, you are family.
Why, I am daresay there are those among our connexion would not wish make that acknowledgement, was all known.
Maurice looked at their reflections in the pier-glass. Provided, he says, one does not flaunt, maintains a due discretion, so that it does not have to be openly spoke and known about –
Hannah’s eyes met his in the glass. She did not need to voice her understanding.
Some moments later, while she was putting on her accustomed garments, she said, but really I do not understand why people make such a bother about it. So unnecessary. Sure society is very cruel to unwed mothers and their offspring, but one may see that there is some reason – may not be a good or charitable reason, but if 'tis not the fear of the fathers about bringing scandal upon them, ‘tis the more general worry that they may come upon the parish and cause expense and raising of the rates. She sighed. And at least one may talk of that, and say that that harshness causes unhappy women to destroy their infants, and make arguments for more humane treatment. But when something may not even be talked of –
He patted her shoulder.
After she had left, he scribbled down a few notes and sketches for the gowns he would have made for her, and then told Miss Coggin, the head of the sewing-room, that he would be going out. Did not have any ladies coming for fittings the afternoon; did any come in hopes – vulgar creatures, murmured Miss Coggin – she might go take their measurements and requirements and ask 'em to return once they had been given appointments.
She pursed her lips in the way he knew meant that she would bring any ladies that did so to a fine appreciation of the consequence of the establishment.
He set off on a journey he did not particularly want to take, but was to undertake a prudent matter to dispatch. He took a hansom cab to some distance from his final destination: for although the tavern he sought was not precisely within the notorious rookery of Seven Dials, it was on its border. He picked his way fastidiously along the streets, keeping his walking stick in his hand in a manner that suggested it might serve as a weapon as well as a fashionable accoutrement.
From long habit he looked about before entering the place. But it was very unlikely anyone who might recognize him would see him here.
Enquiring as to whether Nat Barron was on the premises, he was directed by a jerk of the thumb into a back room.
Nat was there among various members of his gang. One of whom – presumably a new recruit – said, 'ere, oo’s the pooff: earning himself a smack or two about the head from Nat. Show some respect, Maurie may look the gent but he’s an old friend.
Nat Bannon and Maurice clasped one another’s shoulder, looked into one another’s faces, and then Nat motioned him to sit down, pouring him a glass of the gin he kept for himself.
Got somebody that needs warning off? he asked.
Maurice shook his head. I think word has got about after making a few examples.
For what had gained him the position he now enjoyed at the club was this connexion that enabled severe warning to be given to any that used knowledge gained there for the purposes of extortion. In return, Nat acquired the good feeling of fellows in high places that might well be useful to him did necessity arise. 'Twas entirely mutually beneficial.
Pity, said Nat, as you see there are one or two fellows here would be the better of some occupation to work off their feelings.
Maurice took a sip of gin, and disclosed to Nat the recent trouble he had had.
Oh, and you want us to show this spying fellow the error of his ways?
Why, it might gratify my feelings did you so – Nat smiled and shook his head and says, talks as good as a play – but I thought, a fellow that has a memory like that, might be of use to you.
Nat nodded slowly. A good thought. You always did have that long view.
Maurice shrugged. If a long view was considering that luring fellows into alleys so that Nat and his boys could rob them was an occupation with a rather short future and like to end badly for him, whereas obliging gentlemen in comfortable indoor surroundings was not only remunerative but provided him with considerable insight into gentlemanly habits and behaviour, yes, he took the long view: and the even longer view had been completing his articles of apprenticeship. But he also made sure to stay on Nat’s good side. Passed on any useful gossip he learned from ladies in the course of his day, and had constructed this very beneficial alliance 'twixt Nat and the club.
Sure he owed Nat a considerable debt for the protection that in younger days his friendship had afforded an undersized pretty boy disinclined to the usual boyish pursuits and happier to play with girls.
May not linger, he said, but thought you should know of the fellow as soon as might be, before goes completely to ground.
Maurice walked to where he might find a hansom cab and directed it to take him to his lodging. Once there, he washed himself very thoroughly with the very expensive soap, to get rid of any lingering stink of Seven Dials before he went to the club, where he was bidden to a committee meeting to consider upon new members.
Smoothing pomade into his hair, he had the unwanted memory of a larger hand stroking it in a fashion it was entirely foolish to suppose affectionate, rather than the pleasure one might take in stroking a fine purring cat.
But that was past and done.
At the club he was ushered into the committee room. It was ever gratifying to him, even if these marks of respect were founded upon those early connexions.
Sir Stockwell sat at the head of the table; Chumbell at the foot; Colonel Adams, late of Bengal and with the most fascinating stories of dancing boys; Sir Hartley Zellen, whose fine looks were becoming a little florid, and his hair thinning; Terence Offerton; Lord Saythingport, that had a wife, an established mistress, and had at one time offered Maurice an establishment.
Ah, good, Allard, said Sir Stockwell. Mysell-Monting cannot come, but we have a quorum, nonetheless. Now, the matter of fellows we may solicit to join our number –
Various names were put forward, of whom Maurice knew little but any public reputation they had. Some former comrade of Adams in the East; a scholar known to Chumbell – a Cambridge man, but nevertheless a sound fellow, very sound; a naval officer acquainted with Sir Stockwell; a couple of young fellows in Saythingport’s set –
Sir Hartley cleared his throat. Has not the time come to consider MacDonald? he said. Sure it would have been somewhat vulgar to approach him very shortly after Lord Raxdell’s dreadful demise, but ‘tis nigh two years ago that the accident happened. An excellent fellow.
Is he not, replied Saythingport, given out most exceeding radical in his views?
Why, said Sir Hartley, he is a philosopher and will throw out a deal of hypotheses, but our set have always found him sensible and practical.
Is he not, squeaked Chumbell in great excitement, considered something of a classical scholar?
I would know nothing of that, said Offerton, but has quite the cunningest hand at billiards, next after Jacob Samuels.
Why, said Sir Stockwell, as to his abilities in classical learning, I was late conversing with Admiral Knighton, that says that his lady wife, that is known for her most remarkable unwomanly capacities in that sphere, holds him in quite the highest esteem. Also considers him a very clever fellow himself, that has a particular knack for sounding out mysteries.
Maurice felt his face settle into a mask as of one considering these arguments. 'Twould be entire vulgar to blackball MacDonald, that had done him such great service in his own difficulty. But one might confide that Saythingport, and possibly Adams, would do so.
But, when the balls for each candidate were tallied, there were no black balls for MacDonald.
Maurice’s heart sank.
1. Amanda (Highlander)
2. Boromir (The Lord of the Rings)
3. Colleen Wing (Daughters of the Dragon)
4. Doc Holliday (Wynonna Earp)
5. Éowyn (The Lord of the Rings)
6. Jefferson Jackson (Legends of Tomorrow)
7. Joe Dawson (Highlander)
8. Kaulder (The Last Witch Hunter)
9. Misty Knight (Daughters of the Dragon)
10. Murderbot (All Systems Red)
11. Nala (Sinbad 2012)
12. Sara Lance (Legends of Tomorrow)
13. Sinbad (Sinbad 2012)
14. Wynonna Earp (Wynonna Earp)
15. Xavier Dolls (Wynonna Earp)
( The questions: )
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It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. Can I talk to my boss about how she’s treating my coworker?
A colleague of mine — let’s call her Sarah — just got promoted to the level of supervisor, moving above myself and two other colleagues. This was a bit of a surprise to us all. Sarah hasn’t had any management experience, and she’s clearly trying to feel out her role. We all used to be very good friends when we were at the same level, but now that she’s a supervisor, she’s doing her best to be an appropriate and respectable authority. I’m not new to a change like this, so I’m trying to give her the gravitas she seems to crave at the moment.
However, one of the people still at my level — let’s call her Heather — is really struggling. She is relatively new to our office and for most of her time here, she and Sarah have been good friends, and now the power dynamic has changed. Additionally, Sarah is coming down hard on Heather. I’m not privy to their conversations, but it’s very clear that Heather is just not doing anything right by Sarah, and Sarah is hounding Heather about every finite detail of her work. It’s really creating animosity in the office.
Is there any way to speak to Sarah about this? I value Sarah’s work and her effort — she does a good job, and she deserved to get this position. But by puffing her chest and trying to establish herself as an authority, her subordinates (me included) are losing faith in her actions. Is there a way to speak with Sarah, on the level, and let her know that she needs to find a new approach?
Well … it’s actually possible that there are real problems with Heather’s work, and that Sarah’s oversight and feedback to her is appropriate. That’s something you wouldn’t necessarily know.
But it’s also true that it’s common for new managers to struggle with authority and be either too lenient or too hard on people. Of course, talking about that might not go well with someone who’s already getting hung up on “I’m now the boss and demand respect.”
But if you have pretty good rapport with Sarah, you might be able to frame it not as “hey, you’re being too hard on Heather” (because you don’t actually know that) but as “this is being perceived in a way that’s freaking people out.” For instance: “I’m glad you got this promotion; you deserved it. I want to let you know that I’m getting the sense the team is starting to worry about what’s going on with you and Heather because it seems like you’re coming down really hard on her. I know we don’t know everything that’s going on, but the pieces that we can see are making people worry that you’re being too harsh. I’m not suggesting that you need to change that; for all I know, it could be perfectly warranted and that’s not information I would be privy to. But I wanted you to know how it’s being perceived, in case you didn’t intend that or don’t want that.”
When you say this, your tone shouldn’t be “you need to change this.” You want it to convey “I respect you and this is your call; I’m just giving you information that might be helpful to you.”
2. Were these interview exercises unreasonable?
At what point do exercises or activities given during an interview process become training? During an interview process, I was given three exercises total (in addition to three phone interviews and one in-person interview).
The first two exercises were given with the explanation that this would help me determine my ability to complete the job. So far, all good. During the in-person interview, we reviewed my answers to the exercises and I was given input on how I could have completed them better. This would have been fine, except I then had to incorporate that feedback right then and there so they could review and provide additional feedback. To me, that’s training.
A few days after the in-person interview, they emailed saying there was another exercise they’d want me to complete. This exercise seemed like actual work that needed to be done. I felt like I was being used as free labor. Total, I’d say the three exercises took around three hours to complete — I think I work at a normal pace. (Not to mention that the first two exercises were sent with a timeline that would require me to complete over a long weekend.)
So I ask – at what point are interview exercises really just unpaid work/training in disguise? Would you say the amount of exercises were acceptable? Is this normal hiring practice (for NGO’s or in general)? For the record, I have a similar title to the one I was applying for although in a different department, and have two years of full-time work experience.
Employers are increasingly using exercises to evaluate candidates, and — assuming the exercises are well-thought out and considerate of candidates’ time — that’s a good thing. It’s much easier to hire the right person when you actually see candidates in action (as opposed to just asking them about their work). It’s good for candidates too; it means you’re more likely to stand out for the jobs you’re well-matched with and less likely to end up in one where you struggle.
But there are definitely employers who do it badly. It’s hard to say if yours were reasonable without knowing what the job was, exactly what the exercises were, and if they’re being used solely to evaluate you or for something more than that. In general, if they’re just using the exercises to evaluate your candidacy (as opposed to actually using what you produce), that’s not free work. It could still be an unreasonable request, though, depending on how much time they want you to invest. Three one-hour exercises spread out over four conversations is borderline; it’s approaching too much, but it’s not solidly in “this is an outrage” category. Asking you for another one at this point, though, would be pushing it.
The part about asking you to incorporate their feedback doesn’t worry me. That can make a lot of sense to do because often a candidate will produce, say, a writing exercise that isn’t quite what the employer is looking for — but might be able to nail it with three minutes of feedback. There’s real value in seeing how/whether someone incorporates feedback into their work. That’s not training; that’s still part of assessing you. (I’d answer differently if they gave you two hours of coaching, but it doesn’t sound like that.)
3. Should I have to use vacation time for a religious holiday?
I’m Jewish, but no one else in the company I work for is. This Thursday is the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashana, and services are at 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., then traditional luncheon is always hosted by my parents at their home right after.
I approached HR this morning asking if I’m able to take off this Thursday in observance of my Jewish holiday and they said, “It’s not a holiday for the company as a whole, it’s only your holiday. So therefore, you can use a PTO day of yours to take it off.”
Umm… well Christmas is not my holiday but we’re automatically off without taking PTO for that day? So can she really say that to me? Also, is it right that I’m forced to use a PTO day for it?
It’s not a great practice — smart employers don’t make employees take PTO for major religious holidays — but it’s legal and pretty common. If she was saying you couldn’t take the day off at all, you’d be able to formally ask for religious accommodation (and would have the law backing you up unless your employer could show that giving you the day off would cause undue hardship). But they’re letting you take it, just saying you need to use PTO. It’s annoying and they’d do well to rethink the policy, but they can indeed say this.
That said, if that’s the actual wording that HR used, that sounds particularly rude. If this is something you feel strongly about, one option would be to push back on the policy for next year (or for Yom Kippur in a couple of weeks) and in that context mention that the particular response you got was worded in a bizarrely rude way for a company that presumably wants to encourage inclusivity and diversity on its staff.
4. What do I say to networking contacts who I don’t have much connection with?
I was fortunate enough to unintentionally do some informal networking on Twitter, and got referrals for a couple of people to reach out to on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m really qualified to work for/with either of them, based on my having some very non-specific experience that some people seem to assume is more relevant than it is (i.e., you were an English major years ago, you can do copywriting easily!) I hate to let potential connections go to waste, or disregard someone who has been generous enough to try to help me network despite having a very tenuous connection. But I also hate to show up on someone’s doorstep with no real qualifications like I expect a huge favor just because I was referred by someone they know.
The only thing I can think of to do is to InMail them on LinkedIn acknowledging that I don’t think I’m currently qualified to work with them and ask whether they had a minute to share what steps I might take in order to BE qualified. Would that be okay? Is there a better way to make use of the connections without sounding ridiculous or presumptuous?
Is that stuff you genuinely want to know and would be excited to connect about? And is there no other obvious way of getting that information? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then yeah, you can do that. But if the answer to either question is no and you’d just be asking those things because you feel like you should make use of the connection somehow, don’t do that — that will probably show and it will be annoying to the contacts. In that case, I’d spend more time thinking about what exactly you really want from these people (and can realistically expect). It’s okay if it’s just “Jane Warbleworth suggested I contact you because X. I realize that my background isn’t quite what you’re looking for for the roles you hire for, but I’d love to connect on LinkedIn since I’m hoping to do Y in the future.” (Note that’s not asking them for their time; don’t ask for that unless you can clearly explain why you want it.)
Also, sometimes contacts refer you to people who just aren’t going to make sense for you to network with. It’s okay to decide that happened here, if that’s actually the case. (If that’s true, and if the person who referred you is more than a casual Twitter acquaintance, go back and explain that so they’re not wondering why you never acted on their suggestion. That will also give them the opening to say, “No, actually, I was thinking she’d be a great person to do X for you,” and maybe X is something you hadn’t thought about.)
5. Employer wants list of questions answered in cover letter
When recently applying for a job, I came across something I don’t think I’ve encountered before: requirements for the cover letter. In this case, it was a list of seven questions they wanted answered. I’m sure this isn’t uncommon, but I was stumped about the way to go about answering the questions: do I fold each answer into the body of the letter, or do I answer each question point by point in list form? Which would you prefer to see? I ended up working them into the letter and trying to weave them into my spiel, but I’ve been doubting myself ever since. These questions were rather complex, and after answering them, it left little space on the page to write anything else about myself. What do you think?
I think either way is fine. There’s a slight argument for making them really clear numbered points (although still in the body of your letter) so that they can see clearly and immediately that you definitely answered everything, but really, either way should be fine.
can I talk to my boss about how she’s treating my coworker, interview exercises, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.
...HA HA BOOK TWO HERE I COME ♥