Shared posts

24 Feb 02:05

Study: More Americans Opting To Have Decapitated Heads Placed Under Silver Cloche After Death

BROOKFIELD, WI—In its annual study of consumer preferences for mortuary arrangements, the National Funeral Directors Association reported Friday that more Americans were opting to have their decapitated heads placed under a silver cloche after death. “While still not as popular as cremation or casket burials, the…

Read more...

24 Feb 02:05

Removed Notre Dame Scaffolding Reveals Construction Crew Accidentally Built Mosque

PARIS—With a minaret protruding from atop the former Catholic cathedral as the repairs that followed a 2019 fire neared an end, the removal of scaffolding around Notre Dame revealed Friday that it had accidentally been rebuilt as a mosque. “Well, shit,” contractor Mathieu Renaud told reporters, explaining that he had…

Read more...

24 Feb 02:04

Lancôme Introduces New Full-Body Moisturizing Chrysalis

NEW YORK—Touting the new product as a “transformative approach to skincare,” luxury cosmetics manufacturer Lancôme announced Friday the release of a full-body moisturizing chrysalis, now available at select retailers. “This beautiful chitin structure is filled with 80 gallons of our patented moisturizing enzymes,…

Read more...

24 Feb 02:04

Man Trying To Make Meal From Stolen Bag Of Groceries Just Like Real-Life ‘Chopped’

MESA, AZ—Noting how fun it was to push his creativity to the next level, local man James Shafley told reporters Friday that trying to make a meal from a bag of groceries he had recently stolen was like a real-life version of the television show Chopped. “It’s amazing—I’ve got all these completely random ingredients I…

Read more...

24 Feb 02:04

Victor Wembanyama’s Head Lodged Between Rim And Backboard Again

SAN ANTONIO—As they took turns trying to jump up and tap it out, the San Antonio Spurs confirmed Friday that Victor Wembanyama’s head had gotten lodged between the rim and backboard again. “It’s really wedged in there good—hey, can I borrow that?” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said to a nearby custodian, before…

Read more...

24 Feb 02:04

Nikki Haley Vows To Remain In Race Until Campaign Bus Runs Out Of Gas

COLUMBIA, SC—Claiming she still had a quarter tank and was ready to fight, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley vowed Friday to remain in the race until her campaign bus ran out of gas. “To the critics who say I should drop out, let me be clear: I am in this race for as long as it takes for my campaign bus’s…

Read more...

24 Feb 02:03

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Invokes ‘VeggieTales’ In Ruling

MONTGOMERY, AL—Sparking a national debate about the separation of church and state, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker came under fire this week for blatantly invoking VeggieTales in an official ruling. “Somebody up there is really upset with somebody down here,” the decision read in part, attributing the…

Read more...

23 Feb 12:49

Why We Can’t Build Better Cities (ft.Not Just Bikes)

by Philosophy Tube

See Dracula's Ex-Girlfriend here when it comes out! https://go.nebula.tv/dex
Support the show on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/PhilosophyTube

Subscribe! http://tinyurl.com/pr99a46

Twitter: @PhilosophyTube

Instagram, TikTok, Tumblr, BlueSky: @theabigailthorn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PhilosophyTube/

MUSIC:

‘Cold in amarillo’ by Luke Levenson https://open.spotify.com/track/0dX3z3unBedzLrNbNpIwZa

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Esther Addley, “‘This is political expediency’: how the Tories turned on 15-minute cities,” in The Guardian
Sara Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion
Bernadette Atuahene, “Predatory Cities,” in California Law Review
Bernadette Atuahene, “The Scandal of the Predatory City,” in The Washington Post
David Banks, The City Authentic
Adam Barnett, Michaele Herrmann, and Christopher Deane, “Revealed: the Science Denial Network Behind Oxford’s ‘Climate Lockdown’ Backlash,” in DeSmog
BBC News, ‘How 15 Minutes Cities Became a Lockdown Conspiracy’
Judith Butler, Who’s Afraid of Gender?
Alice Capelle, “The Anti 15 Minute City Conspiracy is Ridiculous”
Alice Capelle, “The manosphere meets the climate movement”
Lisa Chamberlain, “The Surprising Stickiness of the “15 Minute City”,” in World Economic Forum
Steven Conn, The Lies of the Land: Seeing Rural America for What It Is (And Isn’t)
Samuel R. Delaney, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue
Gareth Fearn et al., “Planning For the Public: Why Labour Should Support A Public Planning System”
Hannah Fry, “A ‘failure to launch’: Why young people are having less sex,” in Los Angeles Times
Edward Glaeser, “The 15-minute city is a dead end - cities must be places of opportunity for everyone”
David Harvey, “The Art of Rent”
David Harvey, “The Political Economy of Public Spaces”
David Harvey, “The Right to the City”
Tiffany Hsu, “He Wanted to Unclog Cities. Now He’s ‘Public Enemy No. 1.’,” in The New York Times
Frank Laundry, “The USA Will Never Build Walkable Cities”
David Lawler, “A World of Boomtowns,” in Axios
Eisha Maharasingham-Shah and Pierre Vaux, “‘Climate Lockdown’ and the Culture Wars: How COVID-19 Sparked A New Narrative Against Climate Action,” in Institute for Strategic Dialogue
Michael Naas, “Comme si, comme ca” in Derrida From Now On
NotJustBikes, Designing Urban Places that Don’t Suck (A Sense of Place)
NotJustBikes, How Suburban Development Makes American Cities Poorer
NotJustBikes, Suburbia is Subsidized: Here’s the Math
NotJustBikes, The Great Places Erased by Suburbia (the Third Place)
Oh the Urbanity! “15-Minute City Conspiracies Have It Backwards”
Feargus O’Sullivan, “Where the ‘15-Minute City’ Falls Short,” in Bloomberg
Feargus O’Sullivan and Daniel Zuidijk, “The 15 Minute City Freakout is A Case Study in Conspiracy Paranoia,” in Bloomberg
QAnon Anonymous, “Attending the 15 Minute Cities Oxford Protest with Annie Kelly”
Elliot Sang, “Nowhere To Go: the Loss of the Third Place”
Chris Stanford, “The 15-Minute City: Where Urban Planning Meets Conspiracy Theories,” in The New York Times
Darin Tenev, “La Déconstruction en enfant: the Concept of Phantasm in the Work of Derrida”
Trashfuture, “Cell Block IPA”
Trashfuture, Honk if You’re Honu ft. Dr Gareth Fearn
Joy White, Terraformed: Young Black Lives in the Inner City
Kim Willsher, “Paris Mayor Unveils ‘15-minute city’ plan in re-election campaign,” in The Guardian

#philosophy #education
22 Feb 21:08

Emerging Filmmaker Malia Obama Changes Surname To Scorsese

PARK CITY, UT—Noting that she did not want her parents’ fame to distract from her Sundance premiere, industry sources confirmed Thursday that emerging filmmaker Malia Obama had changed her surname to ‘Scorsese.’ “Although her legal name is still Obama, Malia is officially promoting her short film The Heart under the…

Read more...

22 Feb 21:08

Do We Live In A Simulation?

Debate among scientists has risen in recent years about whether we live in a simulation, but what does that even mean, and what would be the consequences if we did? The Onion answers common questions about whether we live in a simulation.

Read more...

22 Feb 21:05

Alabama Supreme Court Rules Frozen Embryos Are Babies

The Supreme Court of Alabama, a state which already does not allow for abortion under any circumstances, recently ruled that frozen embryos in test tubes are considered children, a decision that has made the process of in vitro fertilization possibly illegal in the state and has caused some practices to stop offering…

Read more...

22 Feb 21:04

New Law Requires SNAP Recipients To Balance Food On Nose Until Receiving Command To Eat It

WASHINGTON—As part of an effort to ensure the benefits were only allocated to those in “true need,” a new federal law went into effect Thursday requiring all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients to balance food on their nose until they receive the command to eat it. “There’s no reason why working-age,…

Read more...

22 Feb 18:24

Why Capital One wants Discover

by Paddy Hirsch
undefined

Capital One Financial Corporation plans to acquire Discover Financial Services in a $35 billion deal that would combine two of the largest U.S. credit card companies. Today on the show, five big questions about the deal, and the opaque system behind every swipe, tap or insertion of your credit card.

Related:
Planet Money's TikTok on the secret behind credit card rewards

For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.

Music by
Drop Electric. Find us: TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Newsletter.

22 Feb 18:23

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Hatero

by Zach Weinersmith


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
It's the baaaaasexuals you have to look out for.


Today's News:
22 Feb 17:43

I was fired during my probationary period, mentioning kids in a cover letter, and more

by Ask a Manager

This post was written by Alison Green and published on Ask a Manager.

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. I was fired during my probationary period

If you are fired during your probationary period, should you expect it to be without warning? This just happened to me, where I was let go of at the 60-day mark. I had a 30-day check-in, where the only feedback given was that my boss appreciated that I was at work every day, that she was “frustrated” with something I had done on my second day (when she was gone, as she worked part-time), and that I needed to do more things independently. None of this was put in writing. It’s unclear to me if my firing was budget-related, as the grant funding for my program ran out a few months prior to my hiring, and I was hired at a significantly higher wage than the position had initially been listed at.

My termination letter only says that they could let go of me at any time if I was deemed to be the wrong fit. Obviously, I’m terrified of this happening again and I’m wondering how common it is.

Yeah, it can happen. The purpose of probationary periods is to allow companies to let an employee go without doing a ton of coaching, warnings, etc. (It’s not that firing someone without doing those things first would be illegal, but many companies have their own internal policies that commit them to specific cycles of coaching and warnings after probationary periods are over.) Whether or not that’s reasonable in any given case depends on what the issues are; if something can be corrected with clear feedback or a little coaching, generally that makes more sense to do. In other cases, it’s clear there’s a fundamental mismatch with the role, or the amount of coaching required to get the person where they’d need to be isn’t practical. In others, you get a manager who just doesn’t know how to manage effectively or overreacts to minor things and ends up making the wrong call. Regardless of which category it falls in, though, ideally managers wouldn’t blindside employees with it — ideally they’d be giving feedback along the way, not just letting you know one day that it didn’t work out. But some don’t operate that way.

None of which really answers your question about how common it is. I’d say you don’t need to go into every job terrified that you’ll be fired out of the blue during your probationary period, assuming you know yourself to be reasonably capable … but it’s useful to be aware it can be a thing that happens.

2. I’m in charge of DEI because I’m a woman

My manager has suddenly decided that, because I’m one of the only women on our team of 20 or so men, it’s my responsibility to become an expert in accessibility and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). I don’t necessarily mind leading this initiative (well, a little — I’m irritated as it’s increased my workload and this feels like exactly the thing DEI efforts are supposed to mitigate), but the problem now is I’m being given very vague tasks with zero direction to “make everything we do accessible and DEI-friendly” — by people who can’t be bothered to learn about accessibility/DEI themselves. And I’m getting in trouble now because I’m not implementing it exactly to their vision. What exactly is their vision, I’m not sure, but some of the ideas they have either don’t match the reality of how it works, or require resources I don’t have, or simply don’t make sense to me.

Now my whole team is looking to me for guidance on this very vague, nebulous thing that I’ve been trying to grasp with no help. I’ve tried to explain my situation, and offered up some basic frameworks and processes to follow, as well as links to documentation, but apparently that’s not enough — they want every last thing spelled out for them. They appear blind to the irony of the whole situation. I’ve been considering leaving this job for some time, and this may be the final straw. What can I do?

DEI is an incredibly challenging job under the best of circumstances — and that’s when you have a receptive team, committed leadership, and someone leading the work with expertise in the field. Expecting you to do it without any of those things is a recipe for failure and frustration. Honestly, I’d wash your hands of it entirely — tell them it’s work that needs to be led by an expert, that expecting the women on the team to do it is itself a DEI problem, and that you’re not equipped with the expertise, resources, or team buy-in to do what they need. Hold firm on the “I’m not doing this simply because I’m one of the few women” point in particular, and consider pointing out it’s illegal to assign work based on gender.

And yes, let it be the final straw and get out.

3. How to explain a family crisis to very demanding clients

I work directly with clients in a niche of a touchy-feely-warm-fuzzies industry. I’ve been lucky to have really warm, friendly relationships with most of these clients for years — we trade book recommendations, I get to hear about babies in their families, they sent well-wishes ahead of my first triathlon last year, etc. The downside is that they tend to take things very personally. If I don’t respond to an email as quickly as usual (we’re talking within a few hours) I’m liable to get a message asking if I’m too busy for their projects, or even occasionally asking if I’m annoyed or ignoring them. I try to shut this down when it happens, but I mostly just avoid it by being very responsive and always giving them a timeline of when they can expect progress, so they never have to worry in the first place.

Unfortunately, I’ve been in and out of the office lately dealing with a family member’s unexpected and severe health issue. They’re stable and responding well to treatment so far, but I’m understandably behind on work, and I’ll likely be slower to respond and finish projects as this situation shakes out and settles down. Based on the follow-up emails currently in my inbox, my feelings-first clients are already upset. I know that if I say I’ve been out with a family emergency, they’ll want to know what happened. I wouldn’t mind telling them and, honestly, it would be a relief for me if they knew, as they’ll be less likely to send me “r u mad at me pls respond” notes if they have a better explanation on hand. But I don’t want to overshare, or start a cycle of having to talk about all this on a regular basis at work. Any wisdom for approaching these conversations with the right balance of transparency and boundaries?

How about this: “I’ve had a family health emergency — nothing you should worry about, and honestly it’s easier for me to not think about it when I’m at work, but if my responses are slightly delayed for a little while as this settles down, that’s why.” If you’re pushed for details: “It really is easier for me not to think about it too much at work, thanks for understanding!”

For what it’s worth, it’s possible to have warm relationships where you trade book recommendations and hear about new babies without people taking a few-hour delay so personally that they start asking if you’re too busy for their projects! This is weird and over-the-top! Do you know if others who do similar work all get this same treatment from clients? If they don’t, it could be interesting to compare notes and see if you can figure out what’s bringing it out in yours. (Also, what industry is this?! I’m dying to know.)

4. Mentioning (relevant) children in a cover letter

I am job hunting and looking at applying to jobs that are parent-oriented (the “Parenting” or “Family” brand/section of a media company, etc.) Is it okay to mention that I’m a mom in my cover letter? It’s definitely part of why I’m interested in the job, but it’s been pretty drilled into me not to mention my personal life in an application! If I do mention it, is it best just to keep it brief/vague (“as a mom…”) or more specific (“as a mom to a toddler and an infant…”)? Is it something I should just keep for a potential interview? Or never mention it at all?

I wouldn’t, partly because of unconscious bias (especially if you mention they’re young kids) but more because having kids is common enough that it doesn’t do a lot to make you stand out from other applicants. But what you could do is cite something more specific that could differentiate you in a relevant way — like mentioning that you’ve have a long-running interest in childhood development or experience volunteering with kids or so forth. Those are more application-appropriate and they’ll connect to the job in a more targeted way.

5. Turning down an offer

I’m in a field full of blunt crusty Massholes. I’m also a blunt crusty Masshole, so this isn’t generally a problem. But I’m currently job hunting, and I’m at a loss for interview advice because white-collar officespeak advice involves unspoken mind games and social scripts that tradespeople don’t use. (For example, I’ve found they like you better as both a candidate and employee if you’re honest to the point of being self-effacing about your skillset, rather than hyping yourself up like most people say.)

I have three serious offers right now. One is easily my first choice; it has better pay, benefits, schedule, and location, but the real deciding factor against the other two is the poor management I saw during my trial days with each, and I’m concerned about how to turn them both down. Telling the truth would be a personal insult. If I cite pay, I’m pretty sure both will offer me a competitive counteroffer. If I cite location, I think it’d be fair if they pointed out that I knew the locations when I applied. As for being vague about my reason, I was enthusiastic about all three in interviews (as you do), and since people in my field are very straightforward, I think they took that at full face value and would feel snubbed if I didn’t give a reason for rejecting them.

So, what do I say? This isn’t about abstract professionalism; the field is small and tight-knit (all three options know each other and one of my previous bosses personally), and I didn’t leave my last place on great terms, so I’m concerned about my reputation. I definitely shouldn’t be honest; what do I say instead that won’t sound flimsy or vague? I’ll probably work with these people in the future; what rationale can I give that would help me maintain connections?

My family heritage is Masshole, and you’re overthinking it! You have three offers; you’re taking one and thus necessarily have to turn down the other two. So with the two you’re turning down, just cite those multiple offers: “I had several offers and ultimately decided one of the others was the stronger fit for me.” You really don’t have to say any more than that! If they push you anyway, it’s fine to be vague — for example, “It’s a combination of a lot of factors, but I enjoyed getting to talk with you and learning more about your work.” Truly, there’s no obligation to open your heart to them (just as they don’t need to be candid with applicants they turn down either).

22 Feb 17:42

Mom Only Likes The Other Outback Steakhouse

ANAHEIM, CA—Hearing a sigh as the car turned into the crowded parking lot of the Australian-themed chain restaurant, sources confirmed Thursday that local mom Dana Oliver only liked the other Outback Steakhouse, the one over by the Starbucks. “I just don’t see why we can’t drive the extra 10 minutes to the one in…

Read more...

22 Feb 17:42

Tattered Banner Ad All That Remains Hanging Over Long-Abandoned Website

CHICAGO—In what many described as the ghostly remnants of an internet that died long ago, a tattered banner ad was reportedly all that remained Thursday hanging over long-abandoned website MovieFacts.com. “It’s just so sad, in its heyday, this website used to be a bustling e-commerce hub that people would visit from…

Read more...

22 Feb 17:42

Oregon Man Contracts Plague From Pet Cat

A man in Deschutes County, OR is being treated for a strain of the bubonic plague that he contracted from his pet cat, which succumbed to the disease after hunting rats in an area where the ailment is endemic to the rodent population. What do you think?

Read more...

22 Feb 17:41

Blue Origin Builds $8 Billion Barrel For Jeff Bezos To Ride Over Niagara Falls

KENT, WA—After seven years of what it described as painstaking research and development, Blue Origin unveiled Thursday an $8 billion barrel it had built for Jeff Bezos to ride over Niagara Falls. “Ever since Mr. Bezos was a boy, he has dreamt about soaring 188 feet down through the air in a barrel, and we’re proud to…

Read more...

22 Feb 17:41

Congress Allocates $55 Billion In Infrastructure Funding To Fill Holes Angry Boyfriend Punched In Nation

22 Feb 17:41

How to Go to the Bathroom While Wearing a Jumpsuit

by Holly Patton

You step inside the bathroom and shut the door.

You lock the door.

Get a good look at yourself in the dim lighting. You look great. Remember this because you’re about to look more vulnerable than a baby antelope at the watering hole during lion lunch hour.

Unsnap (they’re always snaps) the top two snaps. Then, resnap them.

You go back to the door. Double-check to make sure that it is locked. Jiggle the handle. Shake it.

Once you’re sure it’s locked, unsnap all the snaps and zipper (there’s always a zipper too), and slide your arms out of the sleeves. Unpeel yourself, you big, stupid banana.

Look down at your chest: you’re either wearing the bra you’ve had for too long and that you tell people you wash, but you’ve never washed it, because you’re worried it’ll lose some of the comfort it brings you. Or you’re completely naked. There is no in between.

Hold the top of the jumpsuit under the back of your thighs so that it’s not touching the floor (gross) and also not touching the toilet (gross). This will be difficult but necessary.

Bend your legs and assume a sitting position. You are ready.

As you are peeing, cold and alone, you consider the history of your choice: you’re wearing a garment originally designed to be worn in factories around dangerous machinery or by fighter pilots or people jumping out of planes. You have a Substack that you send out sometimes and pile everything on the floor so you don’t have to build shelves. The jumpsuit you’re wearing tonight was purchased at Madewell with a gift card your grandmother gave you.

The door handle jiggles. You’ve never known fear until then.

You say some combination of words to let the potential intruder know that the bathroom is occupied. Your voice is at a higher pitch than you’ve ever reached before.

You pee faster.

You reach for toilet paper while still managing not to let the jumpsuit fall to the ground. You are so brave.

Somehow, the door opens, and someone walks in. They back out with apologies, but not before you make full eye contact. They have seen you. There’s nothing you can do or say. Everything will be different from now on.

You finish, suit yourself back up, wash your hands, and get back out there. You see the person that saw you. They are sitting at the bar with friends. You are both telling the story of what just happened, and, for a moment, there is a sense of unity. The jumpsuit has made you one.

You keep drinking until, once again, it’s time.

22 Feb 12:25

He’s No Brad Pitt: Brad Pitt At 60

22 Feb 12:25

Biden Chases Soap Bubble Across Nation

WASHINGTON—Clapping with delight while attempting to catch the thin, floating film of cleaning liquid, President Joe Biden chased a soap bubble across the nation Thursday, Beltway sources confirmed. “Come back, Mr. Bubble!” said the commander in chief, who reportedly gave chase to the bubble after spotting it…

Read more...

22 Feb 03:44

Alabama's largest hospital says it is halting IVF treatments in wake of court ruling

by Melanie Peeples
Frozen embryos and sperm are stored in liquid nitrogen at a fertility clinic in Florida. The Alabama Supreme Court ruling stems from wrongful death cases brought by three couples who had frozen embryos destroyed in an accident at a fertility clinic in the state.

Fertility clinics in Alabama are contemplating next steps after the state Supreme Court ruled that frozen fertilized eggs are children — and discarding them would be a crime.

(Image credit: Lynne Sladky)

21 Feb 21:08

Spring-fling seventies streak is officially underway in Houston

by Matt Lanza

Summary: A couple more very warm days are upon us before a Thursday night front cools us down just a little for Friday and the weekend, mainly in the mornings. We warm back up again early next week with another possible front after Tuesday. Rain looks to be at a premium over the next week or so.

Before we begin today, there was an article published yesterday by AccuWeather that sounded the alarm on the upcoming hurricane season. It singled out Texas as being at higher risk than normal as well. Over at our companion site, The Eyewall, I have a post up this morning explaining why we think it will be an active hurricane season but also why we believe it’s too soon to be singling out specific places. I have to warn you now: The next few months are going to be chock full of noise about the upcoming hurricane season. It does look setup to be active. We will continue to share what we know and what we think here and over at The Eyewall so you can make sense of what you might hear or see shared on social media.

Today

We’ve got some fog out there this morning, so use caution through 8-9 AM or so. Houston officially rocketed to 78 degrees yesterday, oddly the same temperature we hit exactly one year ago. But it likely begins a somewhat lengthy stretch of 70 degree days in Houston. Look for warm temps again today, with a chance at hitting 80 degrees in spots. Winds will be noticeably gustier today, at times 25 to 30 mph. Overall, a windy, mild day. For those of you that suffer from seasonal allergies, get ready.

Thursday

Expect a few more clouds tomorrow with morning lows in the 60s and daytime highs around 80 degrees or so. I don’t know if “humid” is the right word, but it will feel a little “thicker” outside.

Tomorrow looks very warm, with highs in the 80s, though a bit cooler near the coast. (Pivotal Weather)

Our next cold front will be moisture-starved and hit right around midnight tomorrow night. Maybe a few raindrops could get squeezed out ahead of the front Thursday afternoon, but I’d probably be more likely to bet on the Oakland A’s to win the World Series this season.

Friday

With the front past us on Friday, expect a lovely day: Sunny, with morning lows in the 50s, warming into the 70s.

Weekend

If you want stereotypical spring weather, this is absolutely your weekend. The streak of rainy weekends is in the past. Look for morning lows in the 40s and 50s with daytime highs in the 70s Saturday and upper-70s Sunday.

The National Blend of Models offers a decent guess at temperatures over the next 10 days. Look for another warm up early next week before less warm weather kicks in mid to late week. (Weather Bell)

Early next week

I’d expect a pair of warm days Monday and Tuesday with increasing cloud cover. A slight chance of rain may enter the picture midweek with our next front knocking at the door. But details on that one are TBD right now. Either way, expect a slight cooldown after next Tuesday or Wednesday.

21 Feb 21:04

my boss reprimanded me for not answering an email … in four minutes

by Ask a Manager

This post was written by Alison Green and published on Ask a Manager.

A reader writes:

I’ve been at my new job for just over a month and have very grave doubts about whether it’s going to work out. I’m finding it impossible to make my supervisor, Martha, happy. Her criticism is frequent, harsh, and, in my opinion, often very unreasonable. The incident that has me writing to you happened today, when she reprimanded me in writing for failing to answer an email in four minutes.

To set the scene: Earlier this week, Martha and my other boss (I support two teams but it’s an uneven split; unfortunately my primary boss is the awful one) had a meeting with me in which Martha told me all the things I was doing wrong and what needed to change. I’m trying to understand where she’s coming from, but I’m just not used to a work situation like this. She proudly describes herself as a micromanager (she doesn’t appear to know the word has a negative connotation) and is looking for constant, immediate responsiveness, “overcommunication” (her words), and accountability. I understand she’s the boss and it’s her call, but it’s a hard adjustment. I’m not used to being watched so closely. Every job I’ve had, the boss has been concerned with results, not with knowing exactly where I am every minute, hearing back from me instantly, etc.

All week, I’ve worked so hard to keep her happy and show her that I took the conversation to heart. Then today, I received an email, on which Martha was CCd, from a senior partner asking for contact info for one of our clients. I saw the email come in while I was working on a project for the other boss. I made the apparently grave error of not stopping instantly, but instead finished up the line in the Excel sheet I was working on, then opened the email and began gathering the requested info. Before I had finished, Martha replied to both of us, sending the partner the requested information (the wrong information, for the record, but I’ll get to that later.) I saw her email, which arrived in my inbox a whopping four minutes after the email from the partner, stopped working on my response since it was no longer necessary, and went back to the project I’d been working on. Then I get an email from Martha: “Jane, this would have been a great opportunity to build a relationship with the partner. Why didn’t you dive in and assist?”

Four minutes, Alison. Four minutes. A bathroom break can take four minutes!

I just feel like she’s determined to hate me. I tried so hard all week to do everything exactly the way she likes, and she still found something to criticize. If she wanted me to answer the email, why didn’t she give me a grace period of, you know, maybe five minutes before answering it herself? Also, as I said earlier, she gave him the wrong information. He asked for the email address and she gave the physical address — which, to me seems like she was so eager to answer the email, so that she could blame me for not answering it, that she rushed and sent the wrong info. (By the way, if I sent incorrect information to a partner, she would act like it was the end of the world. But it’s no big deal when she does it.) Also, for the record, I understand some things are very time-sensitive. I still think four minutes is kind of a stretch, for almost any situation, but I also want to make it clear — this was not an urgent request, it could have waited five, maybe even, gasp, 10 minutes!

I’m not asking whether my boss is being reasonable here. I’m very confident that she isn’t. My question to you is: do you think I should start looking for a new job? I just feel like this is such an unreasonable criticism that there’s no way I’m ever going to make this person happy. She either has no idea how to manage people or has developed an instantaneous hatred for me and will continue to find things to criticize no matter how hard I try. I’ve been so stressed out since I started this job, worrying about messing up — which, not surprisingly, is probably leading me to mess up more. Is this salvageable or should I start looking for an escape plan?

Start looking for a new job.

Some years back, I would have recommended you try to address the problem head-on with Martha: give specific examples of projects where you could have worked more effectively if you weren’t on such a short leash, ask if there’s anything you’re doing that makes her feel she can’t trust you and how you can work more autonomously, and suggest experimenting with giving you more autonomy on one specific project to see how it goes.

But I’m increasingly convinced that while that approach may result in small improvements around the edges, you’ll still be left working for a manager who fundamentally doesn’t know how to manage, who doesn’t trust you, and whose instincts are punitive where they should be supportive.

This is someone who proudly describes herself as a micromanager. I just don’t think direct conversation is going to solve it to the extent you need.

Maybe I’m wrong. You could try that conversation and see how it goes! (There’s advice here on doing it. I also did a podcast episode on micromanagers that could help.) But I’m skeptical.

There is potentially another avenue for redress here: the other boss. What’s your dynamic with her, and what’s your impression of her management style? If you sense she doesn’t agree with Martha’s assessment and she looks like someone more reasonable to work for, is it possible to talk discreetly with her about what’s going on and reshuffle the balance of your work so that you’re mostly or exclusively working for her? (In particular, I’m curious about her input during the meeting Martha held with the two of you and whether she agreed with Martha’s criticism.)

Otherwise, though, I’d rather you get out quickly before Martha has affected your confidence and your sense of yourself as a competent, autonomous person, and while this is still a relative blip on your resume.

21 Feb 21:02

The Onion’s Guide To Starting A Sneaker Collection

The global sneaker market has exploded in the past several years to about $70 billion annually, but it can be hard for those looking to develop a sneaker collection of their own to know where to start. The Onion offers tips for starting a sneaker collection.

Read more...

21 Feb 20:52

It’s Over

by Reza
21 Feb 20:52

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Demand

by Zach Weinersmith


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Normally you don't get a flat price, but have to bid at an auction.


Today's News:
21 Feb 20:47

Light Leap Years

When Pope Gregory XIII briefly shortened the light-year in 1582, it led to navigational chaos and the loss of several Papal starships.