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Workplace Etiquette

What is the opinion of the hive mind: if one of my superiors receives a promotion, is it polite to congratulate them or is that the wrong tone? [more inside]
posted by jojobobo on Aug 25, 2014 - 9 answers

I'm a boring person and I want boring music to go with my life.

I want boring music to listen to. Not even elevator music: hallway music. Dull, faceless corridor music. Cheesy, soothing, soft. Commercial music, the kind of music that men in the 1970s thought would induce people to feel groovy and buy stuff. The music that plays in Animal Crossing while you get your haircut. Ceefax music. Music you'd hear in an old Mad Men episode. Music that just sits there and doopey-doops while I concentrate and get important stuff done.
posted by glhaynes on Aug 23, 2014 - 58 answers

How to build a career & income as a single parent of special needs kids?

I've driven my career into the ground as a parent of two special needs kids. Where do I go from here? [more inside]
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats on Aug 22, 2014 - 19 answers

Sit-Stand Desk

I'd like to get a sit-stand desk for my work and I need some advice and suggestions. [more inside]
posted by chirico on Aug 22, 2014 - 16 answers

Career Change to Engineering?

I have a bachelor's degree in a non engineering field but I want to get into engineering and have work experience in a engineering related field, any suggestions on how to best do this? Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by KernalM on Aug 22, 2014 - 5 answers

What's a good analogy for prioritizing work process tasks?

At my company customers place orders online. Orders get selected for fraud screening and need to be worked in the most efficient way possible. Some orders take priority (customer pays for rush shipping and order needs to be screened today, so the warehouse can get it out the door). Currently orders are split into separate reports based on priority and workers are assigned to one report at a time. I want to combine them all into one report and assign all workers to that report. [more inside]
posted by robadobdob on Aug 21, 2014 - 4 answers

Define "forceful".

Several different managers have told me that I need to develop a "more forceful" persona. I'm trying to work out exactly what this means. More details inside. [more inside]
posted by ontheradio on Aug 21, 2014 - 16 answers

As an agnostic, how can I successfully work with a religious client?

I'm the only copywriter at a mid-sized advertising agency. We just landed a huge job that's going to require a lot of work on my end. Here's the problem: I'm agnostic, and religion (namely Christianity) makes me really cranky and frothy. The client is a faith-based company that makes things (I don't want to say what) for churches. How can I make it through unscathed? [more inside]
posted by shiggins on Aug 20, 2014 - 47 answers

Help, I have a real job!

I'm due to start my first job post-PhD on Monday. It's a tech job outside of academia, vaguely related to my field of study (but not my research). I've never had a job in an office before. What should I expect the first day? What do I need to bring with me (besides documents for an I-9)? What am I supposed to wear? (I'm assuming err on the side of formal relative to what people were wearing when I interviewed, but not as formal as for the interview.)
posted by hoyland on Aug 20, 2014 - 20 answers

The bureaucracy of international remote coding work

From a description of a web company: "Everyone works from their own home or office, and we’re spread out all over the world — California, Texas, New York, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Iceland, Bulgaria, Australia, and more." I know lots of development companies operate like this, and I'm intrigued, but I don't know how it works, especially the aspect of taxation, citizenship, etc. [more inside]
posted by mbrock on Aug 20, 2014 - 3 answers

How to work under an insecure boss?

I'm struggling with a social / political issue at work. I have been in my current job for about a year. I am a little overqualified for the position, but I really like most aspects of it and it's a small enough field that other similar jobs are hard to come by, so I'd vastly prefer it if the solution doesn't involve quitting. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 19, 2014 - 10 answers

Apologetic about success?

What I do in terms of career/projects/desire are all one and the same. And I'm lucky enough to be paid to do what I love, and I continue to do it. It just so happens that lately, within the past year or so, I've been especially "successful". But much of my friends/acquaintances are not really in a similar position, which makes me feel guilty/weird about sharing what's going on in my life. I feel apologetic about my so-called "success", which leads me to under-share about myself. Help? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 18, 2014 - 8 answers

Examples of adults complaining about the younger generation?

I am trying to find examples (essays, articles, etc.) of previous generations complaining about the work ethic of the younger generation. It doesn't matter how far back it i
posted by cherrybounce on Aug 16, 2014 - 11 answers

Financial crisis when I have awful credit and am too sick to work

I posted here about my financial situation of being on disability for mental health reasons. Right now my PTSD symptoms are huge and all-consuming, so I am not able to accomplish much at all. However, I'm hitting a financial crisis point and need to find some remedy. My credit is too bad to get any kind of loan and I don't know who I could ask for one personally. Do you have any suggestions?
posted by mermaidcafe on Aug 15, 2014 - 9 answers

Help me get pumped up about my new work schedule!

I am disproportionally bummed out that I will no longer have a traditional 9-5 schedule at work. Hope me! [more inside]
posted by fox problems on Aug 14, 2014 - 13 answers

Give me your most jargon-filled work-related statements

I love jargon, especially among sub-genres of things. This week a web developer friend uttered a sentence about frameworks and databases that made sense but sounded so ridiculous I had to stop and ask him to repeat it. I'd like to hear more of these. Please give me the most jargon-filled sentence that you might have uttered at work in the past few weeks and made complete sense to coworkers, but sounds utterly ridiculous to outsiders, and state what your occupation/context was for it.
posted by mathowie on Aug 14, 2014 - 33 answers

What part time jobs should I check out?

Help me figure out what jobs I should be looking for. I have excellent office and computer skills, including the full Office suite and quickbooks. Additionally, I am currently a webmaster and have some coding, design, HTML and CSS skills. I need to make at least $15/hour and work 20 hours a week - this is non-negotiable. [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver on Aug 13, 2014 - 12 answers

Is it okay to accept a new job that I might leave in the near future?

I have been offered a new position at work that has the potential to be a good, but not great, opportunity, but there are multiple other positions that I would like to pursue with outside organizations. Is it acceptable to take the new position knowing that there is a small chance that I would leave shortly after it began if offered a different job? [more inside]
posted by kardia on Aug 13, 2014 - 21 answers

Petite tops/blouses so I don't freeze to death in the office.

What has your experience been with silk tops? Specifically in regards to Everlane and/or Equipment if you've purchased from there. What other tops/blouses can you recommend to keep warm and look presentable at work? [more inside]
posted by driedmango on Aug 12, 2014 - 22 answers

Got sent home from work for being 4 minutes late one too many times.

I work in a large, highly corporate sales company where they're hardcore on discipline, time management, organization. I work hard whilst at work and I am learning and growing, but I have such a hard time coming into work on time. We start 7:45 in the morning sharp--by this time we junior salespeople need to be at our account managers' desks, prepared for the day, read emails and self-organized. I. suck. at. this. [more inside]
posted by rhythm_queen on Aug 12, 2014 - 77 answers

make $ and retire early, or take federal job with more security?

Imagine you have the choice of taking (1) a very lucrative but highly demanding and stressful job in your current city, and (2) a federal job that requires a move and that pays only 25% of the lucrative job. Job 1 comes with an initial 2-year contract. While there's a possibility of getting sacked after two years, I imagine they'd renew the contract for at least two years, and if I'm performing well, I could keep going after that. If I got sacked, I could probably find another similar but probably less lucrative job, but it would take time and be quite stressful. Federal job is presumably more stable. Which would you take? Possibly relevant details: early 40's, married, no kids (and no plans of having any), very substantial savings to date, home-owner (with mortgage), currently living in big city. Interested in hearing your life experiences vis-a-vis working life and retirement. Are there benefits to trying to maximize income early and getting out of the game, vs a more slow and steady approach that provides more security? I'm clueless about retirement and recognize that a financial planner could help, but for now I'm more interested in hearing other's experiences.
posted by anonymous on Aug 11, 2014 - 19 answers

How do I even work?

When working for other people who are paying me, I am one hard working mothergoddess. When it comes to working for myself, though, I struggle mightily. Help me fix that? [more inside]
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess on Aug 10, 2014 - 8 answers

Was I rude on accident for not introducing my boyfriend to my boss?

I'm a teacher who didn't introduce my boyfriend to my supervisor at an informal gathering and I'm wondering if I should apologize to to him [the supervisor]? Was this rude or perhaps OK for the circumstance? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 8, 2014 - 14 answers

Help me be a supportive wife when I am a mess

My husband's parent is sick. I am a jerk. I don't want to be a jerk. Advice? [more inside]
posted by kat518 on Aug 8, 2014 - 27 answers

How do I choose which job?

I don't know if I'm committing career suicide. I'm at a crossroads in my career path. I don't know if I should leave my impressive "good-on-resume" job, which I hate, for something I would really enjoy, which is really, really small-time. [more inside]
posted by elif on Aug 6, 2014 - 15 answers

Recommend shoes for working in radioactive lab

I work in medical imaging research. We just got a new imaging system and I am about to start working with radioactive materials. I need help identifying a good pair of lab shoes. [more inside]
posted by telepanda on Aug 5, 2014 - 11 answers

Calling in...intermittently

I have been working for an agency for 8 years in an upper-management position. My new-ish supervisor hates me and is creating a negative/hostile work environment. My doctor thinks I qualify for intermittent FMLA due to workplace related stress. What are people's experiences with using intermittent FMLA? Is it only going to make things worse? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 5, 2014 - 7 answers

New boss wants to hire his unqualified friend. What to do?

The company I work for has a new owner. He wants to hire a friend to do part of my job, a part I don't want to give up. This friend is grossly unqualified and downright mean, but the owner is head over heels. Help me figure out what to do. (I don't want to do the job of two people. I'm already extremely overworked. I am aware that life is unfair.) Bunches of snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by hifidelity on Aug 4, 2014 - 25 answers

Stay for love or move for money?

I have a possible job opportunity (and similar ones in the future, if I don't take this one) at a prestigious institution in my field that would allow me to live a comfortable middle-class life, pay my debts, and raise a family or own a house someday. I love my current job, relationship, home, and community, but I'm stuck at a pay level that's barely adequate to cover my bills each month and that's unlikely to increase much over the course of my career. How do I proceed? [more inside]
posted by magdalemon on Aug 3, 2014 - 35 answers

How can I admit that I have a high income without sounding like an ass?

I am a professional poker player and I have averaged $670 per hour over the past 11 years of poker. When people ask me what I do for a living, and I tell them that I am a professional poker player, they often are incredulous and say "you make enough to live off that?" How can I openly and honestly convey the truth is I have made millions and I make over $600 an hour? snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 2, 2014 - 70 answers

how is babby supported

I want to have a child, but I don't think it would work with my schedule and financial situation. My inability to solve this problem is affecting my daily moods and creating a negative outlook on life. [more inside]
posted by WeekendJen on Aug 1, 2014 - 28 answers

24 and no idea what is best for my career... will I let my company down?

I'm a 24 year old female living in the UK. I graduated with a good Journalism & Advertising degree in 2011, and since then have had a handful of jobs. First I worked in retail, then managed to get a graduate internship for 3 months at a magazine. When that ended, I landed another temporary job with a communications company doing a (pretty mind numbing) job with their CMS systems/websites. So I moved from that job after a few months into the one I'm in now because it is permanent. [more inside]
posted by littlepeeo on Aug 1, 2014 - 12 answers

How can I become an effective Sales Director asap?

I just became the Marketing & Sales Director of a startup even though I've never done sales in my life. The company has exactly one salesperson on the other side of the country and he is trying to sell a pricy (4K) piece of B2B hardware. Before this he worked at a phone service company. The company only just starting producing enough units to sell. The entire staff is counting on the two of us to magically sell machines and I don't know what to do. We're being asked for sales projections, etc. and I have no idea where to even start. Snowflake details follow. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 31, 2014 - 3 answers

How can I get a job as a grant writer for a non-profit organization?

I quit law school (a very prestigious, top five school) four years ago and have been working in education ever since (first as an aide for Autistic children, then as a substitute teacher for two years). In this time, my student loans have been accruing interest and keeping me up at night. I can qualify for loan forgiveness programs as long as I work for a non-profit or a school. Unfortunately, the work I was doing for the past four years did not count because I worked for private companies that contracted out to schools. For many reasons,(see below) I would now like to break into grant writing. I have written three successful grant proposals in my career (one for an educational outreach program in college, one for a Fulbright Grant, and one for an international NGO). I am currently strengthening my grant writing skills by taking webinars and utilizing other free online resources. How can I present myself as a viable candidate for these grant writing jobs? And how do I explain the many changes of direction on my resume and the long winding road I took to get here? [more inside]
posted by rockpanda on Jul 31, 2014 - 4 answers

Change your mind on a job offer?

I was recently given a great job offer (about two months ago). I declined for a variety of reasons, but I am realizing that I may have made a mistake. [more inside]
posted by pando11 on Jul 31, 2014 - 8 answers

Technical skills for new position?

I have had experience with Salesforce and Microsoft CRM, I am now entering a position managing Oracle CRM what do I need to know? [more inside]
posted by heavyp08 on Jul 31, 2014 - 0 answers

Is this a confidentiality breach?

I work in corrections. On facebook, on my page, I posted something that might have been a breach of confidentiality. Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 30, 2014 - 18 answers

1-on-1 time with the president...

Posting for a relative... The President of my company has asked everyone in my department to meet with him in a 1 on 1 meeting in an effort to get to know us on a more personal level. I work for a Fortune 500 company in the travel industry. I studied Economics in college and deal with supply/demand pricing every day. From what I've heard, his meetings with non-management employees have been very relaxed. At the end of the meeting he asks what your salary is and if you are happy with it. He also asks if we have any questions for him. My question to you is what should my answer be to the salary question be? I am happy with what I'm getting paid but obviously want more. And what kind of questions should I ask him?
posted by likeapen on Jul 30, 2014 - 8 answers

I have only 80 hours left of work, but should I bail early?

I have severe social anxiety and depression, but I've been trying to work part-time with the support of my state's vocational rehab program. I have a natural exit point from this job coming up on August 27th, and I intend to take it. I don't know, though, if I can make it that long. [more inside]
posted by dee lee on Jul 29, 2014 - 25 answers

Crash course in nonprofit communications?

I am the de facto communications director for my nonprofit. I'd like to become actually good at it, but how? [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Jul 29, 2014 - 5 answers

Is it me??

I need your job advice [more inside]
posted by and hey Charlie on Jul 28, 2014 - 16 answers

I don't have friends.

I'm interested in improving my social or networking skills for a better perspective on life. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit on Jul 28, 2014 - 8 answers

There's no escape

Adrift, lonely and feeling hopeless. Advice would be appreciated. [more inside]
posted by morning_television on Jul 28, 2014 - 14 answers

What are inter-disciplinary and atypical uses for math MSc?

I have just completed my MSc in mathematics in Europe. I do enjoy math, but I spent my uni years feeling like a autodidact hippie marooned on an island full of Mr and Mrs I-Want-A-Good-Job. My main interests revolve around humanities (literature/history/anthropology) and economics (but not finance), and instead of starting a "stable" well-paying career I dream about something inter-disciplinary. I am very open to earning little money and relocating just to do kind of work that engages those skills. What are some random uses of my degree? [more inside]
posted by desultory_banyan on Jul 28, 2014 - 12 answers

Orient me to Montclair / Bloomfield, NJ

We are moving to New Jersey on the Bloomfield / Montclair border. I know nothing about the neighborhoods except their reputations. Help me hit the ground running with things I should know, especially best coffee, food, shopping, parks, health services, business services and other things that wikipedia has left out. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by safetyfork on Jul 27, 2014 - 8 answers

Quitting my job, should I tell my boss the real reason why?

Freelancer here. I've been doing design/tech/maintenance work for this one guy's website for a little under a year. It's part-time and pays well...when he pays. He has a habit of being late on payments and unreachable...I've resolved to quit. Should I tell him the real reason why? [more inside]
posted by bluelight on Jul 26, 2014 - 23 answers

Help me help them!

I'm an assistant manager now. I want to be a manager, and there will be job openings in a month or so. What can I do to increase my chances of getting promoted? [more inside]
posted by trogdole on Jul 26, 2014 - 10 answers

I was sick for a long time. I am well now. Help me find awesome work.

I am kind, youthful, energetic, bright, and capable and my resume is bare due to prolonged illness. I am working retail and I am bored, underpaid, and frustrated. Help me find my way. [more inside]
posted by Pablito on Jul 26, 2014 - 14 answers

How can I explain this to my boss?

In short, the better I am at my job, the less money I make. I need help explaining this to my boss, and advice on offering him a solution. [more inside]
posted by yesster on Jul 26, 2014 - 14 answers

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Mexico?

I want to move to make a permanent move to Mexico. How do I make this happen? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 25, 2014 - 18 answers

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