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our off-site features a physique fats evaluation, have to make use of six PTO days to take a five-day trip, and extra — Ask a Supervisor


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

1. Our off-site features a physique fats evaluation

I began a brand new job not too long ago and I’ve been invited to hitch an off-site in just a few weeks time, out of the country.

At a briefing assembly this week, our group was given a preview of the agenda for the off-site, which is a mixture of working periods, out of doors actions, and group meals.

Nevertheless, the agenda additionally features a two-hour slot for an InBody check — which, for these not acquainted, is a physique composition evaluation that gives an in depth breakdown of physique weight when it comes to muscle, fats, and water. It’s been offered as an “non-compulsory,” “enjoyable” exercise. Even so, am I off-base to assume this can be a fully inappropriate factor to have in a piece setting? Most worrying, it’s additionally been talked about as a “conventional” exercise, which now has me questioning about what kind of tradition I’ve ended up in.

You aren’t off-base. That is inappropriate in a piece setting.

It’s non-compulsory. so skip it. If anybody asks why, say “Oh, it’s not my factor” or “No actual curiosity” or “I’ve at all times figured that’s between me and my physician.” When you’re snug with it, you additionally may ask some coworkers about it — “they stated this was a conventional factor — what’s up with that?” Who is aware of, perhaps you’ll hear the CEO loves it and nobody else participates, or that not less than a bunch of different individuals assume it’s bizarre. I wouldn’t essentially conclude you’ve led to a totally messed-up office tradition; a number of corporations have This One Bizarre Factor We Do. However I can see why you’re alarmed.

2. We’ve got to make use of six PTO days to take a five-day trip

A number of years in the past, I labored for an organization with a trip coverage I discovered really bonkers. I labored on the company headquarters of a big regional chain. Everybody on the company workplace was salaried and exempt and labored a typical 40-hour work week, Monday by Friday. It was extremely uncommon to work late (and nobody labored on weekends). We obtained three weeks of PTO a yr.

The bizarre factor was: should you took off a full work week of PTO Monday by Friday, you have been required to make use of six PTO days, not 5. The reasoning from administration was that technically, we have been all presupposed to work a 46-hour work week (eight hours Monday by Friday, plus six hours on Saturdays), however they merely by no means enforced the “requirement” to work on Saturdays. And this coverage solely utilized to taking off Monday by Friday—you could possibly take off 5 (or extra!) consecutive work days (as an illustration, Wednesday by Friday, then the next Monday and Tuesday) with out having to make use of an additional trip day for the Saturday you “missed.”

Neither the 46-hour work week nor the bizarre PTO coverage was ever communicated earlier than hiring, and it wasn’t documented within the worker handbook—individuals would discover out about it by the grapevine or once they tried taking per week off.

Naturally, this induced a variety of anger amongst employees, however no person would push again as a result of administration was very poisonous and punitive every time somebody questioned authority (that’s a complete separate letter). Folks simply accepted it or discovered some workaround to keep away from dropping an additional trip day. In a single memorable occasion, a co-worker took PTO Tuesday by Friday, got here to work on the next Monday, then took PTO the subsequent Tuesday by Friday (they really flew residence to work that Monday, then flew again to their vacation spot to complete their trip!).

I do know that in circumstances like this, the reply to “Is that this authorized?” is nearly at all times “Sure, nevertheless it sucks.” However I’ve at all times questioned if this not less than tiptoed as much as the road of one thing shady (particularly because the firm was recognized for sketchy labor practices, like hiring long-term freelancers and treating them like staff). I additionally can not fathom the reasoning behind such a coverage — there was zero influence on workflow if somebody took a Monday by Friday trip, and we have been by no means requested to truly work on Saturdays.

Can an organization actually require salaried, exempt staff to take an additional PTO day for a weekend day they’re by no means really required to work? And why on earth would an organization achieve this?

What?! That’s probably the most weird insurance policies I’ve ever heard in my 100 years scripting this column, and that bar is kind of excessive. (To be clear, there have been many far extra weird occurrences. However as a company coverage, that is up there.)

They claimed that they had a 46-hour work week that nobody was ever knowledgeable of and that wasn’t practiced as a result of it was really pretend? And it was pretend — as demonstrated each by the truth that nobody ever labored Saturdays or over 40 hours per week, and by the truth that they didn’t inform new hires about it. When you have a coverage of working Saturdays in a company job, you inform individuals about it earlier than hiring them. They didn’t, as a result of the coverage isn’t actual.

As for why an organization would do that … I can not think about. Perhaps a decade in the past they actually did work Saturdays and nobody ever up to date the coverage as soon as that modified (nonetheless fairly indefensible). Perhaps there’s a sociopath in HR. Who is aware of.

However whereas there is likely to be a state legislation on the market that this might violate (California, is it you?), in most states this might be authorized. No legislation requires your employer to offer you trip time, so corporations can typically make up no matter bizarre guidelines they need to about it.

P.S. I’d wager cash you shouldn’t all have been categorized as exempt although.

3. Ought to my resignation letter embody 700 phrases on why I’m leaving?

I’ve determined to go away a corporation that I’ve labored at for nearly six years. I’ve some frank, vital suggestions that I wish to undergo the group’s leaders; it’s a small group and I’ve labored carefully with them previously. Is the resignation letter an acceptable place to stipulate the the explanation why I’m leaving? My present draft is about 700 phrases.

They’ve finished exit interviews previously, however not constantly, and I need to doc my suggestions in writing earlier than leaving. I can’t want them as references as I’m quitting to work for my very own enterprise.

Noooo, don’t do it. First, a resignation letter completely will not be the suitable place to supply suggestions. A resignation letter needs to be about two sentences and is used solely to doc your determination after the dialog the place you resign. Second, if you wish to give that form of suggestions, I’d strongly suggest that you just do it in a dialog, not in an unsolicited letter — however I’d much more strongly suggest that you just rethink doing it in any respect. In the event that they have been really open to enter, you in all probability would have had alternatives to offer it earlier. Crucial suggestions shot at individuals as you’re strolling out the door doesn’t typically carry a ton of weight or credibility, and it’s an funding of your emotional power into a spot that you just’re attempting to sever ties with.

(Additionally: don’t write off the likelihood that you may want them as references in some unspecified time in the future. Hopefully your new enterprise will thrive and also you’ll by no means apply for a conventional job once more, however enterprise ventures don’t at all times work out that means.)

Associated:
ought to I inform the reality in my exit interview?

4. Did my trainer spoil my faculty functions?

When making use of to school, I requested my highschool historical past trainer to jot down a letter of advice for me. Our faculty had a system in place the place the academics would submit letters by an internet portal. The coed can not view the letter till after submission, and solely then in the event that they request a replica.

Months after submitting my functions I wanted to make use of this letter for scholarships and so I requested a replica. To my shock, I noticed that my trainer had, in truth, used my older sister’s identify repeatedly all through the letter, as a substitute of my very own. All the info listed have been the identical, we each have been 4.0 college students, each class president, and each had this trainer for a similar AP class, simply two years aside!

I obtained rejected or waitlisted by each faculty I utilized to. It has been nearly a decade now and I nonetheless surprise. How unhealthy of a mistake was this? Is that this sufficient to reject an applicant by itself? Wouldn’t it be worse in knowledgeable context, reasonably than educational?

Nah, they’d nearly actually simply assume the trainer despatched the unsuitable letter. I doubt it was a significant component in your functions.

Professionally it is likely to be somewhat weirder, though there too you’d typically assume the trainer tousled. (Though in most industries, written letters of advice for jobs aren’t a lot of a factor anyway, particularly from highschool academics.)

5. Explaining why I’m leaving a job after 15 years

I’m fighting the best way to finest clarify my determination to go away an organization after 15 years of employment. The job had run its course and I used to be not making the cash I ought to have after being there that lengthy. I don’t need to seem adverse or cash hungry at an upcoming interview.

First, it’s not money-hungry to consider you needs to be incomes extra. However you’ve been there 15 years! You don’t even want to say cash; you’ll be able to merely say, “I’ve been right here 15 years and I’m able to tackle one thing new.” Everybody will get that. It’s one of many best solutions to offer and to grasp.

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