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the ChatGPT boss, the candidate who recently took another job, and more — Ask a Manager


Here are four updates from past letter-writers.

1. I think my boss is ChatGPT

Thanks so much for your response- your advice was right on.

I left very shortly after your answer was published and am happily working for a new, much more mature brand.

It turns out that after I left, things went steadily downhill. The boss in question fired those who gave him feedback regularly, stating that the problem with the company was that there is not “Kumbaya” leadership. Then, he fired the one person they had in HR because “they didn’t need it,” and I learned that he refused to look at my exit survey. Sounds like he is also blaming me for people “not respecting” him because I was “insubordinate.” Wild stuff considering that I was- at the most- carefully asking only the questions that needed to be asked to avoid disaster.

I am so glad I didn’t give more feedback or stick around.

2. We’re interviewing a candidate who was recently hired elsewhere (#2 at the link)

You advised that I leave it alone, and that’s what I did. The hiring manager decided on a different candidate, so Uniquely Named Guy (UNG) ultimately made the right call for his search. Another candidate had more directly applicable experience, so if there was a strategy involved for UNG, at the end of the day, it didn’t matter.

After some commenters assumed that UNG was under- or unemployed, I realized that I wasn’t clear in my letter: According to his resume, UNG was currently employed at the same mid-level job for several years, and he talked about that job as if he was still there during the interview. (I am 100% sure it’s the same person. There was a headshot in the announcement, and he’s in the employee directory at my former employer.) Part of why I was so confused by his new junior level job at my former employer was that it was a big step down from the job he described as his current position. Other commenters talked about why they had left what looked like stable employment for any other job while still looking for something better, which was very helpful context for why UNG might be doing what he appeared to be doing.

The bottom line is that there is clearly information I’m missing. Either the junior job changed to something higher level, or the job UNG described in his resume wasn’t as mid-level as it sounded, or UNG was working two jobs, or had already changed jobs but didn’t want to talk about it, or something I haven’t imagined yet. Thank you and the commentariat for your advice! It was not a high-stakes question but asking my colleagues would have defeated the purpose of the question.

3. How to request time off for a last-minute interview

In your answer, you advised me to just not provide a reason, or to stay vague. Sadly, this kind of thing didn’t fly in my team, not so much because my manager was a bad one, but because we were close-knit and it was a normal discussion subject people volunteered or got asked about. I ended up lying (bad of me 🙁 ) and said a friend was coming over and I had to entertain her. This went without suspicion and I was able to go to my interview, and ended up being offered the job. I’ve moved over to my new company three months ago and no one was the wiser (well, they did realize I interviewed, but no one told me anything about that day off).

Just a note that you advised a sick day in last resort — sadly I don’t live in the U.S. and this wasn’t an option as any sick day I take needs to be justified by a doctor note, no exceptions (by law, not by my company).

Thanks for your advice again. AAM is still the first thing I open when I connect for a new workday.

4. Asking to go part-time as a new employee (#5 at the link)

I wanted to provide an update! I chickened out at the time we had this exchange, because I was still so new, but asked to drop to part time in January. They said yes and I’m thrilled with my new arrangement.



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