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

1. My voice resounds really young that callers envision I’m a kid

I have to answer external phone calls in my work, but I have a really young-sounding utter and often patrons ask if they can speak to my mum. When I say I’m individual employees here and ask if I can help, sometimes they don’t believe me. Some even ask why I’m not at school. Sometimes they can get fairly rude. I’m 39 years old.

When it happens to me at home, if it’s a telemarketer I can have a bit of fun with them and say my mum doesn’t live their lives, and no my papa doesn’t live their lives either. When they ask for the homeowner, I say,” oh yes, that’s me ,” at which point they hang up.

Obviously I can’t do this at work. Nor can I answer all sees with,” hello,* corporation refer *, I’m an actual grown-up, how can I cure ?” Do you have any suggestions?

You’ve somewhat stumped me, but let’s try to puzzle through it. If you only had a young-sounding voice and it was making it hard to din definitive, that would be one thing( still challenging, but manageable ), but if people are regularly refusing to believe you’re an adult, that’s trickier. Advice like “make sure you’re being extra professional and refined in how you speak” doesn’t work if they’re going to assume you’re a kid playing around.

I think your basic options are:( a) work on changing your tone with rehearse, possibly even with the aid of a vocal coach if you want to invest in that, or( b) breezily accept it — “yep, I seem young, but I assure you I’m well into adulthood , now how can I help you? ” If someone continues to question you or is otherwise rude, I think you’re allowed to sound pestered — “sir, I don’t want to debate my senility with you, I’m the( job title) now, how can I help? ”( Adapt based on how direct you can be with clients in your framework .)

2. Is it genuine you are able to never pace yourself “needs improvement”?

I often experience the advice that parties should never under any circumstances give themselves the rating of “Needs Improvement”( or “Does Not Meet Expectations, ” or however their fellowship words the rating for poor achievement) when replenishing out self-evaluations for achievement discuss. I understand this to an extent — you don’t want to undercut yourself or highlight your mistakes unnecessarily. I also think if someone’s performance is right on the line between the two ratings and they are unable to draw the bag for the higher one, it’s fine for them to select the higher rating, even though they are ultimately their boss doesn’t agree.

But as a overseer who leaves execution critiques every year, if I had an employee who was clearly underperforming and they still rated themselves “Meets Expectations, ” I would immediately be concerned that there was such a inconsistency in how they considered their recital versus what I was seeing. This is particularly true since, as you talk about so often, overseers should be giving feedback regularly so employees aren’t surprised by performance reviews — i.e ., if an employee’s performance is poor and credit ratings of “Needs Improvement” is likely, they should know that, which represents it would make even less sense for them to still give themselves a “Meets Expectations” rating.

What do you think? Is this a smart way for employees to protect themselves, or could it potentially do parties more harm than good to give themselves “Meets Expectations” ratings on self-evaluations no matter what?

Yep, I’m with you. If I’ve been establishing clear feedback about serious concerns with someone’s work and shaping it clear they’re not gratifying anticipations, I’m going to be concerned if their self-evaluation says they are. An exception to this would be if we had a clear disagreement about those expectations and how the performance of their duties appraised up, and if their self-eval acknowledged that disagreement and laid down by their subject for the rating … but most of the time, if we’re talking about serious concert both problems and you hand in a self-eval that doesn’t wonder those conversations, that’s worrisome.

There are some work environments that are toxic and dysfunctional fairly that whatever it is you describe is a reasonable self-preservation strategy — but otherwise it’s a weird and sort of clueless move.

3. Is it rude to bold and highlighting key parts of an email?

I have a particular client who is very busy- too busy to read long emails( or get on a phone call instead ). I often need policy decisions from her on, for example, three key questions, but she’ll only answer one, or dedicate a moronic reaction because she’s clearly really skimming the email and misread something important.

I make the emails as short-lived as I possibly can, but I often need to include technological documentation and supporting data within the email itself. I also “ve been trying to” gave the important issue at the top and the details on context below, but she still sometimes misses it.

Is it considered acceptable to format the key things she wished to know or answer in bold with a bright amber highlighting, or is that rude? I’ve done this once or twice when I actually needed an answer fast and it operated enormous, but it also feels a bit aggressive. What’s your give?

It’s not rude, as long as you’re do it sparingly. It would come across aggressively if the email is dripping with adventurous and spotlighting — at that point the formatting is sort of yelling at the person and signaling “PAY ATTENTION, DAMN IT” — but if you’re merely bolding/ highlighting a few key mottoes, it’s fine and often useful.

Another option, of course, is to talk to her about it — saying something like, “I’m finding we’re spending more time emailing because you’re merely noticing a few questions in an email with three of them, so then I need to check back with you on the other two. I don’t mind doing that but is there a better room for me to highlight when I need numerous things from your cease? ”( For speciman, maybe she’d rather you transport all the issues in its own email or something vile like that .) But yeah, some people are just not careful email readers( and that may be true even with the most strategic bolding in all countries of the world ).

4. Former coworker keeps trying to contact me and he’s way more persistent

A onetime coworker persists in trying to contact me, and it’s become a bit strange. Back in January I left my job with a horrendously noxious constitution. It was a genuinely soul-crushing environment rife with every sort of ministerial abuse of power imaginable. During my nearly two years with this employer I reluctantly became acquainted with a coworker who was a union representative. My first impression of him was that he was a pathologically nosy, somewhat unhinged piece of work with whom I demanded nothing to do. But, I would at times need association buoy, and especially as I was leaving the organization I expected a bit of union assistance, so I had to deal with him. Despite his strangeness, he actually afforded enormous buoy and I express our appreciation for it but ready to move on with my life and set the unpleasant event behind me.

The first few months after I left the job, he would contact me every four to six weeks or so to vent about the place and try to wheedle from me personal information that I wouldn’t give him. On one call he was actually screaming about the place; I told him I had to go and hung up. Another era, I flat out told him that I wasn’t going to answer a personal question he had asked, and I intention the bellow. I responded to a few calls and textbooks, briefly. I truly do not want anything to do with this guy, don’t care about the perpetual theatre at the old-fashioned racket, and do not want him knowing anything about my current life. My strategy was to fade out, hoping if I neglected him hard enough he would go away.

Now his attempts to contact me have increased to every couple of weeks. A couple of weeks ago he went so far as to basically impersonate that he provisioned a occupation remark for me and texted me asking whether I “got the job.” It was a transparent attempt to elicit a response or some information from me. I had not applied for any errands where I scheduled him as a citation. It was strange. I disregarded the textbook and didn’t react in any way.

Now I be understood that he really tried calling me, but didn’t leave a message. I blocked his amount. The struggles at contact are never a barrage and haven’t been threatening. I exactly don’t want anything to do with him.

My boyfriend sees I should instantly meet him and tell him I’m not interested in keeping in contact, I’ve got my own life and issues, and my life is none of his business. I’ve been doubtful to do that because I think he would see it as a challenge and it would aggravate him. But then the ghosting hasn’t seemed to work. Again, this chap seems mentally unhinged to some degree so I’m trying to tread lightly.

Trust your own tendencies on this; your boyfriend’s inclinations probably aren’t sharpened by a lifetime of thinking about safety around people in accordance with the arrangements that wives is therefore necessary to( or by actual knowledge with men who react gravely to refusal ). I’d also pick up The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, which is excellent on how to deal with persistent, unwanted notice. One of the points he makes is that when you’re dealing with this kind of behavior, you should tell the person formerly, clearly, that you’re not interested in further contact and then ignore all future attempts to reach you … if you are give in and greeting after 50 summons, you learn the person that calling 50 times is what it takes to get your response. So it might make sense to send a message saying something like, “Got your messages, so busy that I’m not able to stay in contact, good luck with everything” and then designate your phone and email so you don’t meet future strives at contact.( Note that de Becker advises that you gave this up in a way where you don’t have to see the contacts but there’s a record of them in case you ever need it — like a separate folder in your email that bypasses your inbox, etc .)

But read the book; it’s extremely supportive.( Obligatory note that I make a commission if you use that Amazon link .)

5. Can I use my vacation time to work at a second job?

I have two jobs: my central salaried racket and a second weekend gig. They are completely different and don’t overlap at all( meditate corporate finance and tutoring ). I’ve been doing SideJob for years on a volunteer basis and recently discovered I can monetize it. It’s not much, genuinely exactly coffee/ brew fund. I’ve been in MainJob for several years and have 15+ times in service industries under my belt.

I have a lot of leave to burn this year for MainJob. It’s use-it-or-lose-it and they’ve been clear there’s no opennes because of 2020. I’m debating acquiring myself available for a few hours at SideJob while on leave since there’s not much else to do and am having trouble figuring out if this is okay or A Bad Idea. MainJob does not mention or forbid this in the employee manual, but I know that’s not a rug green light( and there’s always one person who motivates these rules, right ?). Both gigs are remote, though SideJob does need me on-site( with no one around ), so COVID isn’t a strong consideration.

To be clear, this is not about the money. This is solely about not spend several consecutive days watching Hallmark movies in sweatpants while depleting every pumpkin spice make ever originated, and getting out and doing a bit of good in all countries of the world when the big stuff is so far outside of my restrict. If annual leave is meant to refresh and unwind, SideJob does this really well. It get me out of my head for at least a couple of hours and that is something to be hoarded right now. I have few other channels for this at the moment because of Things.

I don’t think it’d be an issue for my administration if it ever came to light, knowing them as people, but I’m sensitive to the optics and am not sure if I’m overreacting. Going back to volunteering is unfortunately not an option because of The Times We’re In.

You’re fine. Your vacation time is yours to do what you want with. As long as your main job doesn’t prohibit you from having a second job and you’re not doing anything that’s a conflict of interest, there’s no reason you can’t do something that happens to generate money during your time off.

Normally I’d caution you about coming a real break from use, specially this year, but if the side job certainly does help you relax and refresh, I don’t watch any issues now. Only make sure you come in some actual leisure time as well( there is nothing wrong with a few consecutive daytimes in sweatpants binge-watching TV, and there is often plenty right with it ).

You are also welcome to like: my voice concludes callers recollect I’m a kid, onetime coworker retains trying to contact me, and moremy phone voice sounds like the other genderjob candidates who call for more information before we’ve invited them to interview

my voice starts callers feel I’m a kid, former coworker excludes trying to contact me, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

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