Office ignoring my surgery, undergraduates using ChatGPT to hurt networks, and more — ask the manager

5 answers to 5 questions. please…

1. My workplace ignored my surgery and sick leave.

About six months ago, I announced to an office of over 30 people that I was going on vacation after undergoing knee replacement surgery. I am the office manager of a local branch, and he has been with us for six years. Our branch does not have an HR representative. We have a personnel manager at our head office. Whenever someone in our office gets sick, experiences a death in a family member, retires, or otherwise deserves to be recognized, that responsibility falls to me. I am the one who makes sure cards are handed, pizzas are ordered and employees feel seen and supported.

In the weeks leading up to my absence, I had two meetings with my supervisor to review my temporary coverage. She trained my replacement and created pages of documents to help her navigate the tasks I dealt with. I helped plan her boss’s retirement party (he’s going out to retire while I’m on vacation). And I made sure everyone knew who was responsible for certain aspects of my work while I was away.

The last day I was in the office was two weeks ago. My surgery was a week ago. I haven’t received a card, flowers or notice of absence. I am fed up with the lack of humanity and compassion shown by my colleagues and leaders at work.

In a situation like this, are those who take care of others in the office expected to be entitled to some consideration themselves? Is it right to feel that way?

I can’t tell you how many letters I’ve received over the years from people in exactly the same situation as you. In the absence of the person responsible for this kind of awareness/care, very often the person himself receives no such care at all. If you think about it on a strictly logical level, you’ll probably understand why. No one else has been assigned responsibility. That doesn’t mean I’m offended. You’ve spent years making sure others care about you, and now you’re being ignored. But it’s very likely that no one thought to deal with it because it wasn’t their responsibility. Before.

now, should do it Do people usually think that there is no one to handle this issue and someone else needs to stand in? Yes, of course (especially the boss). But in reality, most people are focused on their work, and it’s not intentionally neglected.

If you want, you can also point out that no one is in charge of this task while you’re on vacation, so someone should do it. Not only for your own cards, flowers, etc., but also for others who have experienced these types of life events while you were away, if Cordelia’s dad died or Niles was hospitalized while you were away, They will probably suffer. was also ignored. So, if you want, you can message your boss and successor with a note pointing out that it’s a task someone needs to handle in your absence. You might add, “I didn’t receive any notice about my surgery, so I realized there was no one to cover this while I was away.” And even if they’re completely oblivious, that should make them aware of their oversights. (In the future, it would be nice to include “let’s send flowers to anyone who’s out for XYZ reasons” instead of “please send me flowers” in your temporary cover training).

2. My colleague is not handing over the project to me properly

I just joined my company and everyone works primarily remotely. Her colleague Jane, who is almost next to me, although she’s been with the company for a few years, she seems very surly when speaking to me. This may just be a stylistic difference, but I’d like to acknowledge it. But she was to hand over her own project to me. She has an incredibly fulfilling job. I’m new so I assume the company is trying to ensure that I have enough work and that the project is within my jurisdiction. When our boss (very soft-spoken and not very aggressive when it comes to management) asked me if I would like to take over the project, I replied that I would be happy to do so if Jane was okay with it. transfer. Our boss reported that yes, it was okay for Jane to hand over the project to me. But every time I got a call or follow-up about a project and asked if I could take it, Jane said, “No, she’ll do it.” She doesn’t really seem to hand over anything.

Perhaps the boss should have had a handoff conversation on the phone with all three of us at the same time, but that didn’t happen. Given that Jane is usually very unfriendly to me, she honestly wants to avoid any more offensive interactions. But instead of going back to her boss and asking the company’s intentions regarding this project assignment, I feel she should be the big lady and say something directly. Given the distance, it’s not so easy to tap her on the shoulder and say, “Do you have time for a quick chat?” is not.

Please tell me the facts about it. “Hi Jane. Rupert has asked me to take on X. Can I schedule a time this week to do the transition?” Do you still think it makes sense to move to If not, I’ll have to go back and let Rupert know. Because now he expects me to take it on. “

If that doesn’t help, go back to your boss and say: “I asked Jane several times when I could meet to hand over X to me, but I didn’t have time to meet with her and thought I was at the limit of how much I could get her to do it. If it still makes sense for me to take it over, could you please ask her to make time to meet with me so we can begin?”

3. Use ChatGPT to connect to the network (bad)

Last week, I received a LinkedIn message from an undergraduate at my alma mater asking for advice on how to connect and get started in his field. I’m always happy to help people who are just starting out, so we exchanged a few messages… but it became very clear that they were using his ChatGPT to write their messages. I was. In fact, my area of ​​expertise is machine learning, especially natural language processing. Just look at LLM and you’ll see. I’ve put some serious thought and effort into crafting my advice, but I’m getting back with clerical rephrasings of what I said and general requests for more information.

Is this as rude as it feels? Should I say something to them about it? I know networking is hard for students, but I really don’t like it.

This is an area that is likely to evolve considerably over the next few years, but based on current standards and expectations the answer right now is that it is a one-sided conversation and that your level of effort is otherwise. I can certainly see why you think. Equivalent. It’s especially irritating when you’re giving this person your time as a favor. (And no one wants to be business-like paraphrasing what they just said. Oh my God.)

Give it a name and ask about it. For example: “You’re talking about machine learning, can I ask — your response sounds like it was written by ChatGPT. Are they? Thank you.”

If it continues after that, feel free to end the conversation or just offer to call instead.

4. Are voicemail greetings inappropriate for job hunting?

I’m about to start job hunting soon and I’m wondering if my voicemail greetings intended to be funny would be considered unprofessional. My last name rhymes with “telephone.” So my greeting, mimicking the recording as best as possible, is, “First name, last name will not be answered.” Please leave a message after the beep. ’ It is my normal voice, but very monotonous. I didn’t want to inadvertently turn into a singing tone (the whole recording is under-emphasized, after all), so I spoke very flat. Remember the robocalls of the 1990s? There were many phrases that were recorded from someone’s voice rather than synthesized.

Should this be changed to “FirstName LastName has been reached”? Please leave a message” or just leave my name on the general recording instead?

If you use a jokingly robotic voice, I highly recommend changing it during your job search. But if your normal voice just happens to be speaking rhymed normal outgoing messages, it’s not a big deal.

That said, I don’t listen to messages (I always want sound files with letters like this!) and you always safer It’s a bland and professional greeting, so changing it is a more prudent approach.

5. Nobody wants to manage

I never want to manage anyone. Is that ok or am I naive?

Most people in the world go through their lives without anyone in control. So it’s not at all naive to expect you to be able to do that too.However, it depends heavily your field, and income expectations. In some fields, to avoid managing people, you have to stay at a much lower level throughout your career, which means accepting commensurately lower salaries. It might be okay! Many people are fine with that. On the other hand, in other areas you can make progress without managing people (whatever you do, you’ll become more and more advanced versions). To really know what that means for you, you need to research what career paths exist in your field of interest.

But mind you, it would be a huge improvement if people who didn’t want to manage weren’t pushed into management. Managers often become too passive and avoid exercising authority to avoid difficult tasks. And sometimes there is even a painful part of management (on the other hand, there are people like this) that too Interested in holding a position of authority. )

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