Shared posts

22 Jan 03:08

spookymllder: Alexander Skarsgard being too tall accepts Best...

Anne Griffin

caption win


Alexander Skarsgard being too tall accepts Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Limited Series for ‘Big Little Lies’ at The 23rd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards | January 11, 2018

19 Jan 17:46

Why the Aziz Ansari Story Is Important

by Joanna Goddard
Anne Griffin

I feel like TOR is the only place to have an actual safe space conversation about this - trying to talk about this on Facebook would be a disaster. I'm curious how people feel about this.

I'll start... Deep breath: definitely on the NYT op ed side of this and I think this is a public humiliation / character assassination of Aziz Ansari for behavior that I do not think even remotely approaches sexual assault.

Aziz Ansari

My texting conversations with friends usually run all over the map, but this weekend they were 99% about Aziz Ansari…

Have you been following the story too?… Read more

The post Why the Aziz Ansari Story Is Important appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

11 Jan 12:47

ask the readers: weird job advice your parents gave you

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

oh my god these are horrible! #2!!!!

Over the years, we’ve heard about some really weird job advice and other actions from parents. Some examples:

* “My mom once tried to go into a job interview with me, when I was 23. I told her ABSOLUTELY NOT. (She did a lot of crazy things when I was that age, but I eventually trained her out of the helicoptering.)”

* “My father accused a recruiter that had called me of working for a “fake” company. Apparently she misspelled the name of the company she worked at, and when he googled he was redirected to a porn website. The company was legit, but the recruiter was so offended that never called me again or returned my emails.”

* “My dad told me to wear jeans to a job interview when I was a teenager. Everyone else was in smart trousers, I didn’t get the job, and have never been able to figure out if he genuinely thought this was a good idea or if he didn’t think the job was suitable and didn’t want me to get it…”

* “My dad once insisted on accompanying me to a job interview that turned out to be for Cutco knives. He embarrassed the hell out of me by hovering over me while I filled out the application, loudly yelling about the “inappropriate rap music” that they were playing in reception, and snorting conspicuously throughout the presentation. I practically had to fight him not to come into the one-on-one with me. Of course, they offered me the opportunity, because anyone who needs her dad to go to interviews with her must be a rube. I didn’t take it, of course.” (Okay, this one is pretty awesome.)

So: Did your parents give you weird job advice or otherwise try to interfere in your career in bizarre ways? Or have you heard an outrageous story of that happening to someone else? We want to hear about it in the comments.

ask the readers: weird job advice your parents gave you was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

15 Dec 23:32

Chicken With Ají Amarillo and Coconut Is a Ray of Sunshine in Winter

by Sohla El-Waylly

Fruity and bright ají amarillo pairs with rich coconut milk in this quick weeknight chicken braise. Read More
07 Dec 16:50

Alex is set to star in a John le Carré adaptation on the BBC...

Anne Griffin

ooooooh, if this is anything like The Night Manager I'm IN (and even if it's nothing like The Night Manager...)

Alex is set to star in a John le Carré adaptation on the BBC directed by Park Chan-wook!

Emmy award winner Alexander Skarsgård is set to star in The Little Drummer Girl, from The Ink Factory, BBC, and AMC. Production on the Park Chan-wook directed six-part le Carré adaptation begins in early 2018.

The Ink Factory, BBC One and AMC announce that Emmy Award-winner Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies, True Blood, Tarzan) will join Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth), in Park Chan-wook’s (Old Boy, The Handmaiden, Stoker) television debut The Little Drummer Girl, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by John le Carré.

Production on the six-part mini-series begins early next year, with global sales handled by Endeavor Content/IMG.

Brilliant young actress Charlie (Pugh) strikes up an acquaintance with an intriguing stranger while on holiday in Mykonos - but it rapidly becomes apparent that his intentions are far from romantic. The man is Becker (Skarsgård), an Israeli intelligence officer who entangles her in a complex and high-stakes plot that unfolds as she takes on the role of a lifetime in the ‘theatre of the real’.

Set in the late 1970s, yet sharply contemporary, The Little Drummer Girl weaves a dynamic and exciting story of espionage and international intrigue, of love and betrayal.

Simon and Stephen Cornwell, co-CEOs and Founders of The Ink Factory, say: “The level of expertise and creativity behind this series is unmatched, and we are excited to be gathering a cast of incredible talent to inhabit the brilliant world le Carré has created. Alexander Skarsgård is a captivating actor with great depth and we are delighted to have him join the project.”

Park Chan-wook says: “To play an enigmatic man who hides his true feelings deep inside, I couldn’t think of a more fitting actor. I believe Skarsgård’s growing depth as a great character actor and his soaring energy will elevate The Little Drummer Girl to a high place.”

The series will be financed and produced by The Ink Factory in partnership with 127 Wall and co-producers the BBC and AMC. Laura Hastings-Smith (Howards End, Macbeth and Hunger) will work as Producer, with Simon and Stephen Cornwell serving as Executive Producers alongside John le Carré, Mona Qureshi for the BBC, Joe Tsai and Arthur Wang for 127 Wall, and Wonjo Jeong.

Skarsgård will next be seen starring in Duncan Jones’ Mute opposite Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux; and The Aftermath, starring opposite Keira Knightley. He is currently shooting Hummingbird in Montreal, which he is co-starring in opposite Jesse Eisenberg, with Kim Nguyen directing. Skarsgård was most recently in Jean-Marc Vallée’s award-winning HBO series Big Little Lies, for which he won the Emmy for best supporting actor in a limited series.

24 Nov 19:37

Buzzfeed’s 23 favorite Ask a Manager letters

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

Guys this is an all-star list right here ... THOUGH I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S MISSING THE DOG ALLERGY ONE

30 Oct 17:09

cherry0908:Alexander Skarsgard’s first TV movie, Hunden som log,...

Anne Griffin

hundo P would still do


Alexander Skarsgard’s first TV movie, Hunden som log, which made him widely known in Sweden back then in 1989. The movie is about a teenage boy, Jojo (Alexander Skarsgard), who lives in the suburb of Stockholm with his dog, King, who is ill and will soon die. Jojo and his friends try to make Kings’ last time as good as possible. 13-year-old Alex was soooooooooooo cute in this movie!!!! I’m so obsessed with him that I keep watching the movie even though I don’t know a single word in Swedish.

30 Oct 17:03

Halls Gap Zoo Successfully Breeds Spotted-tail Quolls

by Andrew Bleiman
Anne Griffin

A "spotted-tail quoll" sounds like a Roald Dahl creation....


Halls Gap Zoo recently announced the breeding success of beautiful Spotted-tailed Quolls (or Tiger Quolls). Two healthy joeys, male and female, were born at the Australian facility.

The Zoo credits their dedicated and passionate staff for the successful breeding. The Zoo shared that the team at Halls Gap Zoo works hard to care for many threatened species, whilst sharing their passion for conserving many of the animals Australians are lucky to share their backyards with.


21314870_1429132360457373_3450014820914595854_nPhoto Credits: Halls Gap Zoo

The Tiger Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) is also known as the Spotted-tailed Quoll. It is a carnivorous marsupial of the Quoll genus Dasyurus and is native to Australia. With males and females weighing around 3.5 and 1.8 kg (7.7 and 4 lbs), respectively, it is mainland Australia's largest carnivorous marsupial, and the world's longest extant carnivorous marsupial (the biggest is the Tasmanian devil). They are found in wet forests of southeastern Australia and Tasmania.

The species is classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage considers the northern subspecies, D. m. gracilis, as “endangered”.

This species is vulnerable to decline because it requires certain climates and habitats, it tends to live in low densities, it is likely to compete with introduced predators and requires lots of space. The biggest threat to the Quoll is habitat destruction. Humans may also directly contribute to Quoll deaths though persecution, motor collisions, and poisoning.

30 Oct 17:01

skarsjoy: News for #TheHummingbirdProject:  Item7 has confirmed...

Anne Griffin

omg guys, if you thought he could still be hot with a mustache, can he still be hot while balding?


News for #TheHummingbirdProject

Item7 has confirmed that Alexander Skarsgård will be playing Anton in their upcoming film, The Hummingbird Project, which is filming now in Quebec, Canada. They also said, “we started shooting last week, Alexander is great, and yes you are right it is very interesting to see him in this kind of character!”

The above photo (shared 10/24/17) is from @rexdanger and he captioned it ‘Moonrise.’ 😂

Keep reading

26 Oct 19:17

Perth Zoo is Saving Numbats and Dibblers From Extinction

by Andrew Bleiman
Anne Griffin

"Numbats and dibblers" sound like creatures from Harry Potter


In 1936, Australia said farewell to the very last Tasmanian Tiger, also known as the Thylacine. The Perth Zoo is committed to preventing the endangered Numbat and Dibbler, two marsupials found only in Australia, from facing the same fate.

AlexAsbury_numbatjoey_5999WEBPhoto Credit: Alex Asbury

Perth Zoo’s Native Species Breeding Program (NSBP), in partnership with other organizations, has bred and released more than 220 Numbats and more than 800 Dibblers into the wild. This spring there has been a flurry of furry activity from 22 Numbat joeys, and 53 Dibbler joeys!

In June this year, three Dibbler mothers, with 21 pouch young between them, were released. The NSBP’s goal is to repopulate these species in their natural habitats. Perth Zoo is the only zoo in the world breeding both of these rare species.

The Numbat, a striped, bushy-tailed relative of the extinct Tasmanian Tiger, is so rare that there are less than 1,000 of them remaining in the wild.

Dibblers, tiny mouse-like carnivorous marsupials, were thought to be extinct for more than 50 years until a chance rediscovery in 1967.

As keepers prepare to release the joeys, they must first wean the Dibbler young from their mothers and prepare enough termite custard to meet the Numbats’ appetite for 20,000 termites a day.

The main threats facing both animals in the wild include habitat loss and introduced predators such as feral cats and foxes. Australia’s zoos, including the Perth Zoo, government agencies, and private groups are determined to protect Australia’s unique wild heritage.

See more photos below.


Related articles
24 Oct 18:35

henricavyll: Alexander Skarsgård in War on Everyone

Anne Griffin

Alexander Skarsgard is my new Oscar Isaac. Katie's been trying to convince me of his hotness/amazing acting for years and it's finally dawned on me.

PS Did everyone watch Big Little Lies?

PPS: Don't watch War on Everyone, it's shit, but it did result in this gif so there's that.


Alexander Skarsgård in War on Everyone

24 Oct 18:34

Japanese Black Sesame Ice Cream Is Sweet Oblivion for Your Dark Soul

by Stella Parks
Anne Griffin

guys the before-the-jump pic does not do this justice. black ice cream = perfect for Halloween (and I LOVE SESAME)

If you like peanut butter ice cream, you'll love the nutty richness of Japanese-style black sesame ice cream. Read More
17 Oct 20:21

does an employer asking you to name your salary requirements first mean they’re jerks?

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

"My reaction was fury. Just pure fury"
Uhhh, what? (... like, no wonder this person is unemployed because they are angry about something really banal?!)

A reader writes:

I’m currently unemployed. I’m in a final interview for a position. I’ve already had a first interview and a writing test. The company then asked me to send my salary requirements or current salary before the interview.

My reaction was fury. Just pure fury because I think this is a dick move. They clearly have a budget for the position, and if they think I’m going to ask for too much they could have told me what they expect to pay rather than demanding what I want to earn. I cannot stand organizations that act this way and it sets off a bad beginning should I work for them.

My friends and I split about my reaction. One person who does more hiring than I ever have didn’t understand why I was *so* upset and cited times when candidates were in interviews for positions that paid $50,000 and they asked for $100,000. (I’ve seen that happen before, where a person was considered a strong candidate and then may have asked for six figures because they thought the office was going to pay it, not realizing how cheap my then-boss was or didn’t know how to look up a 990 form on Guidestar.) I have also been in positions where I had no idea what they were budgeting for a position and been told it was $20k more than I even imagined. Then asked “would that be acceptable to you?” (Hell ya!) Hiring managers are becoming strangely insistent at asking before the interview even happens for my salary requirements. I absolutely will refuse to give salary history, but I may cite what I made at my previous job, but only if I absolutely have to or forfeit the possibility of the position.

The truth is I’m in such dire financial straights that if the position paid $30k less than I previously made, I would still take the position. But the employer doesn’t need to know that. I was well compensated at my previous job but not unreasonably so for the field. I also got that employer $5,000 above what they wanted to pay for my role. I know for a fact I negotiated them above what they initially were hoping but not outside the real range they capitulated to.

I know my field pretty well and my position in it. I’m not a naif who would think I’m going to get a six-figure position at an organization where only the president is earning above six figures, according to their 990.

I eventually settled on giving a 20K range back to the interviewer prior to the interview and got back “Thanks so much.” I’ve handled this question in different ways. After a first interview or during a first interview, if I have to give a range or expectation, I go with the 20K range or the “well, in my last position I earned X” if I think they will go that high. But prior to a first interview, I won’t give that number at all, and one employer withdrew an offer of an interview because I asked them for the range because I needed to know more about the position. (I was less interested in that job and really disliked how they handled it.)

Here’s my actual question though: am I wrong to think that an employer who acts this way during the interview will be a miser when it comes to either actual salary negotiation or a terrible boss? I think that’s the split between me and my friends. I think this is a *terrible* indicator for a boss and some of my friends think this is just “maybe not the best but not the worst.” Is this objectively a “dick” move for an interviewer or am I flying off the handle thinking this says something about how they will operate should I work for them? For what it’s worth, it may be my field is especially filled with people who try to take advantage of youth and nativity or that I’ve just had some bad experiences with miserly employers.

It’s so, so common that I don’t think you can read that much into it.

I’d also distinguish between salary history and salary expectations. The former is no one’s business (for all the reasons I talk about here), while the latter is at least a more reasonable question. It’s still better for the employer to name a number first (for the reasons I talk about here), but it’s not outrageous for them to ask what salary range a candidate is looking for.

But both of these things are so common that they’re really not automatically terrible signs about the employer more broadly. I’ve known excellent managers who ask, “So what are you looking for salary-wise?” and I’ve known perfectly good employers who ask for someone’s previous salary, even though that’s an incredibly wrong-headed thing to do.

There are lots of wrong-headed hiring practices that are so common that you can’t draw broader conclusions about what working there will be like (for example, using unfriendly application systems, or waiting months to update people on the status of their candidacy, or sending you into an interview with someone who just got your resume two minutes earlier).

It would be much easier if it was always true that stupid act X meant an employer would be a terrible place to work — you could screen much more effectively if it worked that way! — but the reality is that it doesn’t. Even at good employers, hiring can be messy and full of less-than-ideal practices. (Most places kind of suck at hiring, actually.)

And to be clear, I don’t mean to say that just because something is common, it’s okay. That’s not the case. But I do think you’re wrong to jump to broad conclusions on this one, and fury feels like an overreaction.

does an employer asking you to name your salary requirements first mean they’re jerks? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

13 Oct 18:19

Hey Ladies: We Wrote a Book!

by Michelle Markowitz
Anne Griffin

Omg u guys

Hey Ladies!

We're so excited to show our book cover here for the first time, and wanted to do a special Hey Ladies as a thank you to our fellow Toasties.

Read more Hey Ladies: We Wrote a Book! at The Toast.

05 Oct 13:37

askarsswedishmeatballs:Alex having a True Blood reunion with...

Anne Griffin

Fun fact, Adina Porter played Rutina Wesley's mother on True Blood


Alex having a True Blood reunion with Rutina Wesley and Adina Porter at the HBO Emmys after-party

02 Oct 20:57

Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes Worth Making this Fall

Anne Griffin

brb making all of these

Because pumpkin recipes can often be so wrong, you need a list of when they are so right. A hit-list of recipes to have in rotation for peak pumpkin (and winter squash) season. Emphasis on dinner, emphasis on savory.

1. Pumpkin and Rice Soup - (101 Cookbooks)

Six ingredients stand between you and this favorite ginger-chile kissed pumpkin soup. Served over rice it makes the perfect simple, soul-warming meal. Get the recipe here.

Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes worth Making this Fall

2. David Kramer and Hayley Magnus' Squash and Kale Salad - (Salad for President)

Use whatever pumpkin or hard winter squash you've got, cut into thick slabs. Kale represents big here accented with hazelnuts, pickled onions, and cilantro. Get the recipe here.

Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes worth Making this Fall

3. Pumpkin Cauliflower Risotto - (Wild Apple)
A beautiful autumn risotto made with pumpkin, cauliflower, and sage. You can up the veg even more, and, on occasion I'll even boost a risotto like this with a good amount of shredded kale...(The site seems to be gone, I'll replace the link if it comes back)

Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes worth Making this Fall

4. Incredible Squash Pizza - (Wholehearted Eats)
If you're open to alternative interpretations of pizza, this is a beauty. The "crust" is a riff on the popular cauliflower crust, this one made with pumpkin (or winter squash) slathered with a basil-spinach nut sauce, and topped with vibrant cherry tomatoes or other seasonal veg. Get the recipe here.

Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes worth Making this Fall

5. Two Ingredient Fresh Pumpkin Pasta - (Wholefully)
Making fresh pasta when I have a lazy weekend afternoon, is one of my favorite things. This Pumpkin Pasta caught my attention. Get the recipe here.

Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes worth Making this Fall

6. Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba - (My New Roots)
Soba noodles in a pureed pumpkin soup flavored with miso and ginger. Top with lots of scallions, sesame seeds, seaweed (I like toasted nori, crumbled), and sautéed (or roasted) shiitake mushrooms. Or you can simply make the base soup and top with whatever you have on hand. Get the recipe here.

Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes worth Making this Fall

7. Pumpkin & Feta Muffins - (101 Cookbooks)
These are a super interesting, hearty beast of a savory muffin. Packed with seeds, spinach, herbs, and seasoned with mustard, you can use any winter squash. Get the recipe here.

Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes worth Making this Fall

8. Pumpkin, Spinach and Walnut Spaghetti - (Lazy Cat Kitchen)
If I can't be bothered to carve and cube an actual pumpkin or squash for a recipe like this one, I grab for a bag of frozen sweet potatoes. They're pre-cubed, and I always keep a couple bags in the freezer for lazy weeknights. Alternately, you might carve a number of pumpkins or squash on your own, and freeze any you wont be using. Being nice to your future self! ;)Get the recipe here.

Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes worth Making this Fall

9. Roasted Delicata Squash Salad - (101 Cookbooks)
If breaking down a big pumpkin or squash fills you with dread, this is your recipe. A longtime favorite, it calls for thin-skinned delicata squash, and you leave the skins on. Tossed with a miso harissa paste, roasted and combined with potatoes, kales, and almonds. Give this one a go for sure. Get the recipe here.

Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes worth Making this Fall

Continue reading Fantastic Pumpkin Recipes Worth Making this Fall...
05 Sep 20:53

Left or right?

Anne Griffin

I have no idea where this picture comes from and I don't care.

Left or right?

24 Aug 17:32

Make a Perfect Stack of Blueberry Pancakes This Weekend — Delicious Links

by Lauren Kodiak
(Image credit: Cooking Classy)

When's the last time you made pancakes? Whether you're hosting friends for brunch or making breakfast for your family, pancakes are often a special treat reserved for the weekend. This is not yogurt eaten hastily at your desk or a granola bar scarfed on the train to work — this is a fluffy stack of pancakes that took time to prepare, and they should be slowly savored. The fact that you get to stuff them with blueberries and top them with copious amounts of butter and maple syrup really is just the icing on the (pan)cake.


07 Aug 16:24

the dark side of “unlimited” vacation time

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

My new company has a "use it or lose it" vacation policy (3 weeks, plus they close the week btwn Christmas and New Years) and I'm actually super excited about it because I assume it means people ACTUALLY take their vacation!

A reader writes:

We’re thinking about implementing an unlimited paid time off program in my company, where if you need a day, or a week, you take the time and aren’t bound by a certain number of weeks you can take in a year. Certainly there are a ton of considerations in doing this. I’m interested in knowing what you think of this and whether there might be unintended consequences that we haven’t thought of.

I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

the dark side of “unlimited” vacation time was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

01 Aug 19:24

Link Roundup!

by Nicole Cliffe
Anne Griffin


Wait, really? What is this?

Read more Link Roundup! at The Toast.

14 May 16:31

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

by David
Anne Griffin

Guys I am so excited to cook this. So far my undisputed favorite chocolate chip recipe is Smitten Kitchen's salted chocolate chunk cookies, and this looks like that but WITH TAHINI OMG

Whenever I mention “Chocolate Chip Cookies,” this recipe seems to come up in the conversation. I’ve been making chocolate chip cookies all of my life, and am always happy to add new ones to my repertoire. I’ve made them with various kinds of flours, different types (and sizes) of chocolate, some with nuts (or cocoa nibs), and others without. In some cases, the salt in the chocolate chip cookies may be in the butter, or sprinkled on top. Or there might be a double-dose of chocolate in them.

But I haven’t done too much tinkering with the butter, because to me, that’s one thing that’s non-negotiable in chocolate chip cookies. But when I heard about tahini, my loyalty to butter was put into question.

Continue Reading Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies...

05 May 19:02

employee told two coworkers they’re overweight, friend has no experience but wants the job, and more

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

Re:Q5, I have been interviewing a bunch recently and *every single one* has asked my salary.

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

1. Diet-obsessed employee told two coworkers they’re overweight

I manage a small team at a mid-size company. We work very closely with another team on a daily basis. “Mike,” a member of that team, is a vegan and loves to tell people about his lifestyle. It’s to the point that you cannot mention anything related to food around him, lest he go on a 20-minute tirade. Recently two members of my team were in the break room and asked him an innocent question about his lunch, which consisted of all veggies. He proceeded to tell them the virtues of an all-plant diet. About 15 minutes into his spiel, he looked at both of them and said something to the effect of “you should both consider this lifestyle since you’re overweight.”

When my employee told me about this, I was instantly enraged. I approached my boss (who is Mike’s boss as well) and explained the situation. He had me confirm with my employee that he actually used the words “you’re overweight” and it was not implied. My employee confirmed that Mike did say that exact thing, but pleaded with me to please not say anything to him, and that it was okay with her and she did not want to see him get in trouble. I don’t want to make her uncomfortable or strain their work relationship by approaching him about this, but I don’t think I can stand for someone body shaming my employees! What is your take? And if he is approached about this comment, should I talk to him on behalf of my team members, or should his boss?

His boss should talk to him and tell him that he cannot comment on other employees’ bodies or diets, period, and get him to commit that he won’t do it again. It also wouldn’t hurt for his boss to tell him to rein in the nutrition talk in general because he’s being a huge bore and people are going to start to avoid him.

You should tell your employee that Mike’s boss has a responsibility to ensure that Mike doesn’t keep making comments like that to people — and that even if she’s willing to let it go, other people may not feel as forgiving. You should also tell her that she doesn’t need to let Mike or other people hijack her time like that; make sure she knows that if anyone is ever droning on to her about food, knitting, porcupines, their kids, or any other non-work topic, it’s fine for her to cut them off and say she’s on deadline and has to get back to her work.

2. My friend has no experience and no portfolio but wants the job

My friend (A) is working a normal office job but apparently likes writing. Two years ago, A applied for a full-time position to write articles for a consumer publication. You don’t need a background in the subject, but need to be able to make a technical subject friendly enough for consumers to understand and apply to their own lives. A does not have a background in the subject or any professional writing experience. However, she was invited to interview because her friend (B) works in the company and recommended her to the manager. Although A passed the first-round interview and received some positive comments on her writing test, she later found out via B that she was ultimately rejected based on lack of experience.

Fast forward to last week, the same position opened up again. B encouraged A to reapply and promised to put in a good word again. This time, the manager informed B to tell A to give up on the position because nothing had changed about her lack of experience, so she would be automatically taken out of consideration. And by that, I mean A has ZERO writing experience. She does some copywriting work during her normal job, but she has never written full articles in a professional capacity. I suggested that if A really wants to be writer, she should create a portfolio of writing samples or do some freelance work during her spare time. She rejected the idea on the grounds that she is too busy to write unless she’s being paid on a full-time basis. She believes she has a gift for translating jargon for the layman and just needs a chance to prove it.

I have past professional writing experience and could tell anyone that even getting an internship would require a portfolio. Yet, she has brushed off all of my advice, thinking that she just needs to wait for an opportunity to land in her lap without any hard work. To make things worse, B continues to praise A, saying that the company made a mistake on passing on her. Maybe A is really an undiscovered talent but if she doesn’t have the portfolio to prove it, who on earth is going to know or care? I’m bewildered that she can say that she likes writing when she actually hasn’t written … anything at all.

As a concerned friend, how do I get A’s head out of the clouds, preferably without hurting her feelings, and is it even worth trying? Is it better to simply stay silent in future? If it matters, we are of similar age.

It doesn’t sound like you can get her head of the clouds. You’ve give her what sounds like good advice, and she’s ignoring it. You can’t force her to believe you.

The nice thing about this dilemma is that she’s going to have to figure it out on her own at some point, or at least she’s likely to, because she’s not going to get the jobs she’s applying for. As someone who has written professionally for years and has hired lots of writers, the idea of someone applying for a writing job with no clips, and no apparent interest in creating clips, is basically a non-starter. Writing jobs attract a huge number of applicants, and most of those applicants have published clips. Someone who says they wants to write but has never actually bothered to do write on her own is going to get cut in the first round.

Anyway, you’ve tried, she’s ignoring you, and you can in good conscience let it drop. (You might want to tell B that he’s being an ass, though.)

3. Will not having Facebook hurt my job search?

I am not on Facebook. I don’t like very concept of it and think it’s invasive. It has recently occurred to me, though, that not having a Facebook account could be hurting my job search. Will it look like I have something to hide if I don’t have a Facebook account? Will it make me look too old? Will the company not interview me because they can’t verify me through a Facebook account? (I had trouble signing up for a government service because they couldn’t find me on Facebook!)

How would I handle interview questions about Facebook? The truth that I hate the concept of it could alienate an interviewer. Is a nonchalant “it’s not for me” sufficient? I have my own professional website and am listed on a few industry sites.

Unless you work in PR, marketing, or social media, employers aren’t going to care that you don’t have Facebook, and it’s highly unlikely that you will be asked about it. For 99.9% of employers out there, this will be a non-issue. (If you run into that 0.1% who care, be suspicious because sensible employers won’t.)

Plus loads of people aren’t on Facebook; it’s really not a shocking thing.

4. Unplanned absences and our review process

In Oregon, we have what’s called “Oregon Sick Time” (it came into effect a couple years ago). Basically it requires employers (that qualify) to provide 40 hours of protected paid leave per year to employees for illness.

When it comes to our employee review process, one thing we look at are unplanned absences. Under our current process (that was enacted pre-OST), anything between one and 39 hours per year is fine. Anything beyond that, we start looking at discipline.

My issue is this: Say John has 41 hours of unplanned time. However, 40 hours are protected leave due to illness. So come review time, we can only take one hour into account. Jane on the other hand has actually only missed one hour (she’s pretty picky about her attendance). So after I get done giving kudos to Jane about her attendance, I have to turn around and give the same kudos to John, even though we both know he’s missed more than one hour.

This situation is creating resentment among some of the employees towards their coworkers. We’ve looked at redoing our attendance policy but are at loss on how to adjust it. We don’t want to shrink the number of hours before discipline because life happens. Just because you’re unable to come in doesn’t mean you’re sick. I’m writing you to see if you or your readers have any ideas about how to deal with this.

Stop disciplining or praising people for their use of sick time, period. That should not be something built into your review process at all.

If someone is missing so much work that it’s impacting their performance, address that — and don’t wait until formal reviews to do it. But if it’s not, then be an employer who doesn’t penalize people for being sick. And also be an employer that doesn’t praise people for being lucky enough not to get sick. Treat people like responsible adults, which means focusing on performance and results.

5. Massachusetts’s new law against asking for salary history

I live in Massachusetts, where it is illegal to ask for salary history.

I am currently searching for a job, and am working with some recruiters. I am repeatedly asked for my salary history, and what salary I would take. This happens when the recruiter is working on a specific job posting, not in a general information call. What can I do? I’ve tried asking what the employer’s range is, along with other strategies. But the recruiters keep asking for specific numbers.

The Massachusetts law that makes it illegal to ask about your salary history doesn’t go into effect until July 1, 2018 so they’re not breaking the law yet. But it’s still pretty crappy of them to be asking, knowing that the change is coming and knowing that the law was passed because of serious concerns about racial and gender salary inequities. And it’s not like you’re seeing it on forms that just haven’t been changed yet; you’re being asked it by humans, who could easily just not.

I think you can cite the law anyway: “Oh, there’s actually a new law in Massachusetts that prohibits asking that. But I’m looking for a range of $X to $Y.” Or, “Oh, there’s actually a new law in Massachusetts that prohibits asking that. What’s the range for the position?”

If the recruiter responds that the law doesn’t take effect until next year, know that you’re dealing with a pretty crappy, unethical recruiter.

employee told two coworkers they’re overweight, friend has no experience but wants the job, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

27 Apr 20:56


Anne Griffin

True story: when he was in middle school Justin played on a soccer team called the Chodes, because the coach's son refused to tell him what it meant so as a punishment that's what he named the team.

27 Apr 20:42

update on the bird phobia letter and the employee who won’t come back unless her coworker is fired

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

Kind of boring resolution to the bird phobia story tbh. I wanted more drama!

Remember the letter from the person dealing with a bird-phobic employee who pushed another employee in his effort to get away from a bird in the parking lot? The second employee was seriously injured and was refusing to come back unless the first employee was fired. Here’s the update.

There was a police investigation because Liz was injured by a vehicle. Both the police and the driver’s insurance company found Jack to be 100% at fault for what happened, based on multiple witness accounts that Jack had extended his arms back and then out when he pushed Liz and didn’t just lightly bump into her. Liz agreed it was Jack’s fault and not the driver. One of the mirrors on the vehicle was damaged when Liz was hit and Jack paid to have it repaired as a resolution with the driver, and everything between the driver and Jack has been settled. Jack has not been charged with anything. (It is still a possibility that he might be.)

HR and Jack had attempted to keep in contact with Liz after she got out of the hospital to see if there was any chance of her coming back but she never responded. Eventually both Jack and the company received a letter from a lawyer asking that they not contact Liz again. She never asked for money to pay her medical bills, didn’t file a workers comp. claim, and didn’t take any legal action against Jack.

The legal department and the outside legal counsel who HR got a second opinion from had told Jack and the company to prepare for a claim and other legal action and advised all to settle because Liz had a strong case. Her letter stated she had decided to not take action and just wanted to move on for her own well-being. She now has another job. Our company was not contacted for a reference or employment history. I don’t know if Liz told them what happened during the interview but our industry in this area is small and I know for sure she has now told her new job everything that happened.

After what happened, Jack told me he decided to take a break from therapy and look at his options. I was surprised and he volunteered that information without me asking. But since I am in a management position over him, I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to comment or tell him that.

His work is still excellent and he has had no disciplinary or work-related issues.

Note: Due to how out of hand the comments on the original letter got, all comments on this post will go through moderation, which means they may not post immediately.

update on the bird phobia letter and the employee who won’t come back unless her coworker is fired was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

27 Apr 12:36

I accidentally insulted my boss’s daughter

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

OMG WHO SAYS THIS!?!? I literally gasped out loud reading this note. Also, how did it take her *hours* to realize that this was inappropriate!?

A reader writes:

I am a female employee in my late 20s working for a large Fortune 500 U.S. company. My boss is in his early 40s and is a father of two. His oldest is a 15 year old girl. My boss often tells me, totally unsolicited, that his daughter is “very attractive,” a “perfect tall blonde,” and “so beautiful.” He says boys are fawning over her and she wants to start dating.

One day a couple weeks ago, my boss was talking as usual about how his daughter is very attractive and wants to start dating. Then he paused, looked at me, and said “I bet you had that problem!” Without thinking, I instinctively responded, “Actually, I didn’t, because my parents didn’t raise a whore.” I was raised in a devoutly Christian home in which provocative clothing and behavior was forbidden, and dating wasn’t even a consideration.

My boss looked shocked and a little taken aback. But I didn’t realize until hours later how this came across: I basically said my boss and his wife raised a whore of a daughter.

My boss has been acting weird/standoffish towards me since I made this comment, and understandably so. But he is also a devout Christian (we’ve discussed this many times), not to mention my boss. How can I fix the relationship?


This is problematic on multiple levels, including that you shouldn’t be calling teenage girls “whores” for expressing a perfectly age-appropriate, culture-appropriate interest in dating. Actually, you shouldn’t be calling them “whores” even if it weren’t age-appropriate or culture-appropriate. That’s a horrible thing to say about another person — sexist, punitive, and demeaning, and another person’s sexuality is none of your business — and I hope you’ll take this as a flag to rethink whatever thought pattern led you there. The problem isn’t just that you said it to your boss; it’s that you said it about another person at all.

And then there’s your boss, who sounds pretty creepy in the way he talks about his daughter and with his crudely appraising “I bet you had that problem!” comment to you. Ick.

Anyway, yeah, you did indeed insult his daughter, and you need to talk to him and correct the record. Something like this would probably help: “I’m so sorry for my comment the other day about Jane’s interest in dating. I realized afterward that I may have sounded like I was insulting her and/or your parenting— and that very much wasn’t my intent. From everything you’ve told me, she sounds like a wonderful girl. It was terrible wording, and I’m so sorry for that.”

I accidentally insulted my boss’s daughter was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

11 Apr 17:51

employee won’t come back unless her coworker is fired

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

This is so crazy! I have so many questions for Jack!
-How did he get this phobia!? Did he always have it or was there an incident that caused it?
-What on earth does he do if he has to go to a city with pigeons?
-How did no one notice this before if his phobia is so bad that he pushes people out of his way and runs every time he sees a bird nearby!?

This letter was originally part of a five-short-answers column, but it’s getting enough interest that I’m making it its own post. The other four letters that were originally bundled with it are now here. (Keep in mind that that’s also why my answer here is short and not as comprehensive as it might otherwise be.)

A reader writes:

I’m a manager. I’m having an issue with a two of my staff, Liz and Jack. They were returning from an off-site meeting and had parked in front of our building. According to Liz and other witnesses, there was a bird on the sidewalk and when it flew away Jack ran. Liz was less than a step ahead of him and he pushed her out of the way when he was running. Liz fell off the curb and got hit by a car that was parking. She ended up covered in bruises and breaking both bones in one forearm. Liz had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The breaks were in the middle of her forearm and were so bad that Liz had surgery on her arm the next day and required a total hospital stay of four days.

Jack didn’t try to help Liz after it happened. He stood far away and came into our building as soon as the ambulance arrived. Jack told me, my boss and HR he has a phobia of birds and later produced a letter from his therapist stating he has been in therapy and treatment for ornithophobia and anxiety for over two years. He explained it was why he tried to run from the bird and said he didn’t help Liz after she got hit because the bird landed on the ground close to her. Understandably Liz is angry. She wants Jack to be fired. HR was wary of firing Jack when he has had no previous trouble and has a phobia and mental illness that rise to the level of needing treatment, and so am I.

When Liz found out that Jack wasn’t going to be fired, she quit. Liz was working on a few projects, and without her the could be delays and extra costs incurred. We have tried to get her to come back, but she refuses unless Jack is fired. Jack called her with HR present to apologize but she didn’t accept and yelled at him. With Jack’s permission, his phobia and mental health issues were explained to Liz but she says she doesn’t care. What should I do? I don’t feel comfortable firing Jack or recommending it given what he disclosed. I’m not sure where to go from here.

This sucks for everyone involved, most of all Liz, but it sounds like the resolution here is that Liz quit. You can’t make someone come back who doesn’t want to come back and — while Liz is absolutely entitled to be upset and angry and to refuse to continue working with Jack — you can’t let an employee dictate that another employee be fired.

And while reasonable people can certainly disagree on this, I think you’re right not to fire Jack, who apparently has a documented phobia that he’s in treatment for and who presumably didn’t intend to push Liz as he ran by her. (I should note that I’m reading your letter as saying that he was pushing past her to get away, not that he deliberately pushed her.)

I get that Liz’s resignation is causing problems for the projects she was involved on, but that would be the case if she quit for normal reasons too. That’s part of doing business — employees will sometimes leave at inconvenient times, and you cobble together a solution as best as you can. (In this case, that solution should presumably include ensuring that Liz’s medical bills are covered and a plan to ensure that Jack’s phobia doesn’t endanger anyone again.)

employee won’t come back unless her coworker is fired was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

05 Apr 17:41

Fiona the Preemie Hippo Tops 100 Pounds

by Andrew Bleiman
Anne Griffin

breaking news, a group of hippos is called a Bloat

17352433_10154941852100479_3804671967843059119_nFiona the Hippo has captured the hearts of hundreds of thousands of fans since her premature birth was announced by the Cincinnati Zoo and shared here on ZooBorns. 

Fiona was born six weeks premature on January 24 and was unable to stand and nurse from her mother, Bibi.  After Bibi ignored her tiny baby, keepers decided to care for the baby in the zoo’s nursery.  Under the expert care of the zoo’s staff, Fiona has grown from a mere 29 pounds (less than half the normal weight for a Hippo calf) to more than 100 pounds today.

Photo Credit:  Cincinnati Zoo


The zoo’s nursery staff has helped Fiona overcome several health hurdles, including underdeveloped lungs, finding the right milk formula for her, regulating her body temperature, and keeping her hydrated.  No other zoo has raised a premature baby Hippo before.

Fiona has learned to walk, including up a ramp leading into her exercise pool.  She has learned to swim and exhibits all the normal behaviors of a Hippo.

Keepers hope to reunite Fiona with Bibi and Henry, Fiona’s father. Bibi and Fiona were separated during the normal bonding time between mother and calf, so it is unlikely that Bibi will recognize Fiona as her offspring.  However, the staff expects Bibi and Henry to welcome Fiona into the bloat just as they would any other new Hippo.

Eventually, Fiona will become too large to be cared for in a hands-on manner by keepers.  For now, Fiona and her parents can see and hear each other, but they are separated by a protective barrier. The staff will begin working to transition Fiona to the bloat so she can become a well-adjusted Hippo.


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29 Mar 19:53

Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman Are Hosting a Crafting Competition Show

by Tara Bellucci
Anne Griffin


We still miss catching up on the goings on of our favorite Parks & Rec staffers, but a new craft competition show is bringing back together two of the show's illustrious alumni, Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Here's what we know so far:


10 Mar 17:28

Maryland Zoo Cares for Orphaned Grizzly Sisters

by Andrew Bleiman
Anne Griffin

more bears! that first pic is A++++


For the first time in its 140-year history, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is now home to two Grizzly Bear cubs from Montana.

The pair was found trying to survive in the wild without their mother. “Although no one likes the tragic circumstances that lead to the cubs coming here to the Zoo, we are pleased that we can offer a permanent home to these sisters,” said Don Hutchinson, president and CEO of The Maryland Zoo. “They are being well cared for and we plan to do so for many, many years.”



4_JFB1309Photo Credits: The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

The two female cubs originated on Confederated Salish (Say-lish) and Kootenai (Koot-nee) Tribal Lands in Montana. For several days, they were observed foraging by themselves with no mother in attendance. It became obvious that one cub was failing, and the decision was made by the tribal biologist to capture both cubs on Labor Day, September 5, 2016.

“The cubs were taken to a local veterinarian and upon examination, it was discovered that the smaller of the cubs had been shot,” said Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior veterinarian at the Zoo. “Luckily the wounds were not severe and the cub was able to be treated with antibiotics. The cubs, however, were starving having not quite learned how to forage for themselves at such a young age.”

They were moved to The Montana Wildlife Center, in Helena, which rehabilitates orphaned wildlife for the purpose of release back to the wild and is run by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP).

“Unfortunately, several weeks after their capture, the failing mother of the cubs was located with severe shotgun wounds to her face and was subsequently euthanized,” said Mike McClure, general curator at the Zoo. “DNA analysis was used to determine that this female grizzly was indeed the mother of the two cubs, who at the time were approximately six-months-old.”

Due to their age, they were not good candidates for rehabilitation and release to the wild, so in early November, Montana FWP put a request to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Bear Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) to assist with finding the cubs a permanent home.

“We learned of the cubs through the AZA Bear TAG and began to make inquiries about the possibility of bringing them to Baltimore,” continued McClure. “While we have not housed Grizzly Bears before, we do have experience with many of the extant species of bear, and staff agreed that we could definitely provide a good home for these two cubs.”

It was determined in late November that the zoo would be the home of the cubs, pending appropriate permits and approvals by zoo personnel. In mid-December, after the appropriate approvals and permits were obtained, Dr. Ellen Bronson and Mike McClure flew to Helena, Montana to complete a health check of the cubs and meet the transporter to prepare for the over-land travel from Helena to Baltimore. Due to severe weather in Montana, they were stranded in Helena for five days before the roads became clear enough to load the bears and begin the long drive to Baltimore. McClure and the bears had a 3-day trek back to Baltimore with the transporter. They arrived at the Zoo late in the evening of December 21, 2016.

The cubs were in quarantine for 30 days at the Zoo Hospital, after which time they were moved to the Polar Bear Watch exhibit to acclimate to their night quarters, the Animal Care staff and their outdoor yards. Just recently Zoo staff has been watching them from the public area to prepare them for their introduction to the public.

“The cubs are probably around 11-months-old and are on permanent loan from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks,” continued McClure. “They are very curious about their outdoor yard, and have spent a lot of time digging up the mulch, rolling in the grasses and exploring the pool. Essentially, they are bear cubs just being bear cubs, which is fascinating to watch. We hope everyone enjoys seeing them and learning about grizzly bears here at the Zoo.”

Grizzlies (Ursus arctos ssp.) were declared endangered in the 1970s by USFWS. Previously, there were around 50,000 grizzly bears in North America. Today, there are an estimated 1,800 Grizzly Bears remaining in five populations in the lower 48 states. Most of these bears are located in the Northern Continental Divide Population (including Glacier National Park) and the Yellowstone Population. Alaska is home to a healthy Grizzly (sometimes called brown bear) population.

Females will rear their cubs for 2-3 years. When a female Grizzly Bear leaves her mother, they often set up their home range quite close to their mother’s home range.

Grizzly Bears are omnivores, and their diet can vary widely. They may eat seeds, berries, roots, grasses, fungi, deer, elk, fish, dead animals and insects.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Consolidated Tribes are now offering a reward of up to $4,000 for information leading directly to a conviction in the illegal shootings of the mother and cub.









09 Mar 14:12

Polar Bear Cub Emerges From Den and Explores Everything

by Andrew Bleiman
Anne Griffin

omg this baby polar bear is so cute, hope this cheers up everyone's Monday morning

20170224_MM_24748After 14 weeks snuggling with her mother in the birthing den, a big day arrived for a female Polar Bear cub at Munich Zoo Hellabrunn:  The baby and mom Giovanna emerged from the den for the first time to explore their tundra habitat. 

Everything is new and exciting for the cub, who, still somewhat unsteady on her feet, ventured out cautiously onto the grounds of the tundra enclosure. There was so much new to discover: every ray of sun, every blade of grass, and every stone had to be closely examined. Determined to explore everything, the little polar bear followed Giovanna's every step in this unknown world.

Eisbaerenbaby_TierparkHellabrunn_2017_JoergKoch_63Photo Credits:  Joerg Koch, Marc Mueller

After spending the last few months in the mothering den, Giovanna has used up almost all her fat reserves and as a result lost much weight, which is normal for Polar Bear mothers. Giovanna is gradually returning to her normal diet, and her cub is trying bits of solid food. The cub still drinks her mother’s milk, which will continue for two more years.

Zoo director Rasem Baban said, "In the last three months, Giovanna has shown herself to be an experienced and patient mother. It is a great joy to watch her show her cub the world outside the mothering den. The little one will discover more and more every day and become increasingly bolder." 

The little cub, who is not yet named, is an ambassador for her species, which is under threat from shrinking sea ice.  As ice in the Arctic diminishes, Polar Bears’ ability to hunt seals from the ice is impaired. Polar Bears are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos below!


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