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my ex-boss pretends I nonetheless work there, HR mentioned my measurement is intimidating, and extra — Ask a Supervisor


It’s 5 solutions to 5 questions. Right here we go…

1. Can HR say your measurement is intimidating different staff?

My son, who’s mid-20s and 6’5″ and weighs about 250 kilos, not too long ago give up his job the place he was disciplined on a number of events, principally attributable to harassment. With out me understanding all of the particulars, HR and govt administration, in almost each interplay, indicated that his measurement was a explanation for intimidation for different staff, notably ladies. He was at all times instructed to learn and perceive the harassment coverage however was by no means particularly informed what half he violated. My son was one of many longest-term staff (at 5 years), so he was anticipated to coach new hires. He was by no means in a supervisory function however was requested to take part in peer-to-peer coaching, which included constructive criticisms concerning processes or procedures being adopted.

Whereas he’s transferring on with a job, I’m curious how “authorized” it’s to quote harassment due to one’s measurement. He’s not keen on pursuing something together with his former employer, even when their conduct was actionable. He’s a socially awkward younger man, and I’ve inspired him to, maybe, search some exterior steering with applicable work behaviors, whatever the validity of their complaints.

It’s arduous to touch upon this with out understanding specifics from the folks concerned. It’s true that some conduct can learn as extra intimidating from a big man (for instance, elevating one’s voice, transferring too far into another person’s private house, or blocking a doorway throughout sure kinds of conversations) and there wouldn’t be something actionable about your son’s employer suggesting that he concentrate on that in dealings that had been already fraught not directly. It’s additionally true, sadly, that folks being disciplined for harassment don’t at all times give folks exterior of the scenario a full, goal account of what occurred (out of embarrassment, defensiveness, or so forth). I’m not suggesting that’s the case along with your son — I clearly do not know — nevertheless it’s price accounting for that risk as nicely.

2. Coach retains calling me by the flawed identify

I’ve an extremely frequent identify that’s gender-neutral and sometimes a diminutive of an extended identify (assume “Alex” or “Sam”), however in my case it’s simply my identify.

I’m within the second week of coaching, and my coach has been chronically mis-naming me by calling me an extended, feminized model of my identify (like “Alexandra” or “Samantha”). That isn’t my identify and by no means has been. I’ve corrected him repeatedly, generally a number of instances in a day, however however he has endured.

His identify, Bob, can be a diminutive, although I’m undecided if it’s his full identify or not. Would it not be extremely petty and unprofessional of me to mis-name him again by calling him “Roberto” or “Bobert” or “Robespierre” till he will get it proper?

This has occurred to me all through my life and it’s a huuge pet peeve of mine, so I acknowledge I could possibly be overreacting from a lifetime of individuals giving my identify extra syllables that don’t exist. I simply don’t perceive why it’s so arduous to say such a brief identify! (Simply kidding, I do know the reason being sexism.)

I’d like to let you know to do it — and also you’d be justified in doing it — and I wish to see you do it — however you threat it not reflecting nicely on you to folks witnessing it. Or who is aware of, possibly not — it depends upon the group of individuals concerned. Some folks would possibly applaud it. Nevertheless it’s a threat, notably if “second week of coaching” means you’re in your second week at this job (and thus particularly not nicely positioned to threat making an enemy of an current worker, justified as you’d be).

Another choice, if you happen to haven’t already tried this, is to say, “You’ve been repeatedly getting my identify flawed. It’s Alex, not Alexandra. I’ve reminded you repeatedly nevertheless it doesn’t appear to have caught. How do I get you to name me by the proper identify?” The concept right here is to both embarrass him into correcting himself or make him say out loud no matter his bizarre thought course of has been. Within the latter case, if it seems that he thinks your full identify is Alexandria (and what, he doesn’t approve of nicknames? regardless that he himself makes use of one? and regardless that that’s not his name to make regardless?) that’ll provide you with a gap to say, “Nope, Alex is what’s on my beginning certificates.” (In full transparency, I’m fairly uncomfortable with that since try to be known as what you ask to be known as no matter whether or not it’s in your beginning certificates, nevertheless it could possibly be a helpful reality to say on this case.) Be happy so as to add, “This is able to be like me calling you Robespierre each time. It’s not your identify. Alexandra isn’t mine.”

3. Is it unprofessional to promote/donate maternity/nursing gadgets in native Fb teams ?

I not too long ago had a child and have many barely used being pregnant/nursing gadgets. I’ve been promoting/donating in hyperlocal fb teams. I not too long ago acquired a message from a former colleague (male) asking if that individual was me. I had not thought-about the affect on my skilled picture and received interested in it. I barely use fb and nobody from my skilled community is my “fb good friend.” I not too long ago began utilizing FB once more because it’s useful to attach with native mothers and parenting assets. Is it thought-about unprofessional to promote/donate being pregnant/nursing gadgets in these hyper-local teams? Would it not affect my skilled picture in any means?

Not within the least. It is a fully regular life exercise! (I’m hoping your coworker’s message was simply seeking to reconnect and never creepy. I’ve been penning this column too lengthy to not surprise.)

4. Explaining why I’m leaving once I don’t have one other job lined up

I’m planning on leaving my job in just a few months with no back-up plan. I wish to take a while off to journey, and regroup on what I wish to do with my life (I don’t assume this profession discipline is for me). Is there a tactful means of placing in my resignation with out having to clarify why I’m leaving? Whereas truthful, I really feel like saying one thing alongside the strains of “I don’t have a brand new job lined up, I simply don’t wish to proceed working right here” wouldn’t go over nicely.

“I’m taking a while off to journey and take into consideration what I wish to do subsequent.” Some folks shall be stunned (as a result of lots of people can’t afford to try this so that you don’t hear it loads), some folks will assume there is likely to be extra to the story that you simply’re selecting to not share (which is okay), and a few folks will simply be jealous. For those who assume that in your explicit workplace it would generate a bunch of feedback or questions that you simply don’t wish to cope with, it’s additionally an choice to go along with a white lie as an alternative, like “I’ve some household stuff happening that I want time to cope with.”

5. My ex-boss pretends I nonetheless work there

I left a job in a poisonous start-up just a few months in the past and went again to academia, the place I took up a post-doctoral function. I’m loving it. The beginning-up was based mostly out of one other college to the one I at the moment work in.

Yesterday, I had just a few messages from former colleagues and my wider community saying, “I assumed you’d left firm X, and brought the postdoc place at (new college).” I mentioned I had. However in keeping with those that received in contact, my ex boss is pretending I nonetheless labored for her. Apparently she was doing this in one-on-one conversations, and in a chat she gave at one of many largest tutorial conferences. I’m flabbergasted.

I don’t know how you can proceed. One of many causes I left was that she had no regard for the reality and my scientific integrity was being eroded whereas I continued to work for her. I’m contemplating writing to her, copying in her tutorial line supervisor (she nonetheless holds a tutorial put up on the host establishment from the spin-out) to stipulate the experiences I acquired and specific grave considerations, and in addition ask her to take away me from her web site. However that is likely to be too far.

That’s not too far in any respect. That’s precisely what it is best to do. (Caveat: I assume “take away me from her web site” means take away something which may suggest you’re nonetheless there. If it means one thing past that, like take away any point out that you simply had been ever there, you’d have to stability that in opposition to any skilled advantages of conserving that there, which is one thing I can’t decide from right here.)




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