updates: the car alarm, the editing coworker, and more

It’s a special “where are you now?” season at Ask a Manager, when I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are three updates from past letter-writers.

1. Car alarm keeps disrupting our office (first update here)

After my neighbor’s father got involved (chief of police), the alarm stopped for a while. The person that owned the car in question ended up getting another car eventually but the issue resurfaced (I guess she has a thing for after market alarms). Luckily by this point I was friendly with the President of the company she worked at and was able to send a quick text about it and he asked her to move the car permanently (he never heard the alarms as he was on a higher floor, on the opposite side). We also were able to make the parking spots directly in front of our building available to our clients only, so she cant park there at all, which dramatically weakens the sound of the alarm. Since then that office has closed (not permanently) so it is a nonissue. So all is good!

Some more good news though! My neighbor who put us in touch with the police chief and his partner got pregnant! They welcomed a beautiful baby girl in January, and have since moved to a new home close by so she can have a yard to play in when she gets older. I have remained friends with them and we occasionally zoom for dinner or happy hour. I even did their baby shower cake and cupcakes. So this situation actually gave us a great friendship. His father was scheduled to retire in June, but due to Covid-19 and his immune system being compromised, he retired early in Mid-march and the new guy took over a little early. He and his wife are also doing well.

2. My employee keeps making a show of editing my work — and it’s obnoxious

You were right in your response to me, Alison. What was happening was part of a broader issues with her. But what it took me a while to realize is that those same issues were reflected in the company as a whole. She has been at the company much longer than I, and I came to see that part of why she was the way she was is that she had always been permitted to be that way, because the company was that way.

I’ve reflected a lot over what happened to me at that job. I learned that by ignoring my instincts, and allowing myself to be disrespected, I set myself up for failure. True, if I had stood up for myself in that place sooner than I did I would’ve lost my job sooner, but then I wouldn’t have gotten as sick and full of self doubt as I ended up getting there, either.

3. Are these LinkedIn tips crap? (#2 at the link)

I sent in a letter two years ago asking about the bad LinkedIn advice I was given as part of my internship, and I’m excited to share an update! I interned with the same group again last next summer, and they had drastically changed the LinkedIn seminar. (As part of the program, we’re required to attend a seminar series.) A different person presented on it, and it was a lot better – he didn’t mention the phrase “thought leader” once, and it was better tailored to its audience of interns who haven’t used the site before. And more exciting: I’ve just accepted a full time position at the lab! I start in July, and I’m so thankful to have a job in the current market – especially one as good as this. I’m still kind of in shock, honestly! I really liked the people and the research I was doing, and I’m excited to start. I’ve been reading your blog since I was a sophomore, and it’s been absolutely invaluable as I navigated my internships, job applications, and now my first full time job. Labs are a little different from office jobs, but I feel like I have a better sense of workplace norms than I otherwise would as I start my career. Thank you so much!

updates: the car alarm, the editing coworker, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

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