Shared posts

16 Apr 17:32

Here's How Target Almost Tricked Me into Spending $44 This Weekend — Shopping

by Lisa Freedman
Anne Griffin

Okay guys I am embarrassed that I even clicked through on this BUT now that I have, I have to share because this features this inane sentence: "This pun is funny because it has two meanings."

The most dangerous part of any Target store? The first few square feet. I'm talking about Bullseye's Playground, which I will forever affectionately call the Dollar Spot. No matter how frequently I visit, the section always seems to be full of fun new stuff that I've never seen before. And each item is more enticing than the last. It's all so cute and inexpensive — but it does add up.

I didn't buy anything from this section (because I'm trying to practice restraint — and I was there to shop the new Opalhouse line!). So, while I left with $44 extra dollars in my pocket, I also had some regrets.

Here's what I was eyeing this weekend.


13 Apr 00:02

Broad City Is Ending After Season 5 And There Aren't Enough Bed Bath & Beyond Coupons To Drown Our Sorrows

by Tara Bellucci
Anne Griffin

I'm actually okay with this -- don't want it to feel stale

Sad news, queens: Broad City's next season is its last.


04 Apr 16:48

Have a Great Weekend.

by Joanna Goddard
Anne Griffin

the links aren't worth the clikckthrough, it's just LOOK AT THESE FUCKING COOKIES OMG

Chocolate Chip Cookies With Sea Salt by Thalia Ho

What are you up to this weekend? Tonight we’re making pizzas at home (the boys requested pineapple!). And, most important, we’re going to the March for Our Lives tomorrow — if you’d like to join, here’s a list of marches around the world.… Read more

The post Have a Great Weekend. appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

20 Mar 05:37

my boss suggests hiring her boyfriend for everything, someone threw out my boots, and more

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

#2 is so dumb! "I put something in the trash and now I'm upset that the trash got taken out." What is wrong with this person!?

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

1. My boss suggests hiring her boyfriend for everything

My current supervisor is a real go-getter. In the way that she’s unaware of how many heads she steps on to be validated in her success. And successful she is! She’s roughly 27 and has worked for our Fortune 500 company for the entirety of her professional career, beginning as a waiter in the executive dining suite and progressing quickly through channels to reach her current, significantly elevated position leading the events planning team.

Leaving aside my personal feelings about her management style in general, I’m really struggling on how to approach her about her tendency to suggest using her boyfriend, let’s call him Sam, for a number of tech-related projects for our team. She always suggests this solution when her supervisor is out of the room, thus making her the ranking “person in charge” and always with a tone suggesting the boyfriend could provide this service to our team better and more efficiently than using the existing company-approved channels. In one meeting she even went as far as to say that we should hear what the company tech group has to say, and then “when they fail our expectations” we can bring on Sam and ask for forgiveness when it’s done.

Worth mentioning — I happen to know that Sam, with whom she lives, is currently unemployed and working as a “consultant for a financial thing.” So does everyone else on our staff. I mention this because his employment would have a clear positive effect on her financially as well, given their cohabitation, and it makes it feel extra-sticky inappropriate for the workplace.

In as much as it irritates me that she is influencing our very young staff (I’m only 36 but I feel ancient in this crowd) to believe it’s okay to ignore company policies and procedure in favor of a personal connection — and others are beginning to imitate her behaviors — I also think that this makes her appear very immature and that it’s inappropriate. Is there any way to politely tell her how unseemly these proposals sound?

Agh, yes, that’s really inappropriate.

How does she normally handle opinions that are different from her own? And what kind of relationship do you have with her? If you have decent rapport with her and she doesn’t penalize people who disagree with her, I think there’s a lot of room to say something here.

First, check to see if your company has a conflict-of-interest policy. It probably does, and she’d probably be in violation of it if she gave paid work to her live-in boyfriend.

Then, approach her privately, one-on-one, and say something like this: “Jane, I know you’ve suggested a few times that we could hire Sam to do work for us. I wanted to mention that I think we could get in trouble if we do that. Because he’s your boyfriend, we’d be in violation of the company’s conflict-of-interest policy. I figured you might not realize that.” (The “we” here isn’t strictly accurate, of course; it’s Jane who would get in trouble. But sometimes that formulation can make this kind of thing sound less adversarial, without changing your actual message.)

2. Someone threw out my boots

I have a question about lost property and responsibility for it. When I come into my office, I wear snow boots that I take off and leave in my recycling bin so they don’t get the carpet wet. I have other shoes at my office that I change into. I was under the weather on Wednesday and wasn’t really myself. After I left the office, I realized I had walked out in my office shoes and not the snow boots. I worked remotely the next day since I was still not feeling great, and when I arrived on Friday there was nothing in my recycling bin.

I’m afraid that my boots were thrown away by the cleaning staff, which would be really upsetting — they were expensive and I’ve only had them for a few months. I reached out to the person who manages the property and she also thinks they were probably thrown away. Had I been thinking clearly, I definitely wouldn’t have left them, but I also can’t understand why someone would have thrown them away rather than erring on the side of caution and thinking, “These don’t actually look like garbage.”

The janitorial team is contracted through a vendor and are not employed by my company. Does anyone have an obligation to me here? I just can’t believe that a momentary lapse in memory resulted in my $140 boots being thrown in the garbage.

No, I’m sorry. I totally get why this is upsetting — it sucks! But … well, you left them in the recycling bin, so it’s understandable that the people in charge of emptying recycling bins assumed they were being thrown out. It’s not that different than if you’d put them in your trash can and they’d gotten thrown away. They aren’t expected to double-check that the things in trash and recycling bins are really meant to be there. You could certainly try contacting the janitorial vendor on the off chance that they know anything about the boots, but if they don’t, there’s no standing here to ask anyone to compensate you.

3. How much weight should I put on bad Glassdoor reviews?

I am a college senior, and I landed an interview with a very prestigious company (in a month). When looking through Glassdoor, I started to get really worried about the company culture.

Many people are complaining about the work-life balance, but I think you have a lot of good scripts on how to handle unreasonable requests! What I am more worried about is what one reviewer said is a company culture of subtle racism and sexism. White male researchers supposedly get more complex and exciting work than women and minorities. As I fit into those categories, I’m obviously concerned. Is there a way during the full-day interview to try to suss out if this has changed at all over the last few years? Also, the CEO has a reputation on Glassdoor as screaming at people, being emotionally abusive, reducing even senior staff to tears at meetings, and often switching priorities with no warning so that hours are suddenly crazy.

This place is really prestigious, and obviously I’d really love a job. But I’m really new to the work world, and I’ve only had really great experiences interning. Should these be major red flags? How much weight can I give these Glassdoor reviews?

Yeah, they’re pretty major red flags. If the majority of reviews are positive and it’s a small minority that are negative, it wouldn’t worry me so much. There will always be some people where the culture just wasn’t the right fit. But if you’re seeing multiple people report that the CEO screams, is abusive, and make people cry (and it sounds like you are), I’d take that very seriously. Switching priorities without much warning isn’t great, but it’s not on the same level as verbal abuse and I wouldn’t let that on its own deter you. It’s the rest of the picture that’s an issue.

Can you find anyone in your network who’s connected to someone who works there or has worked there in the past? If so, that person might be able to talk with you confidentially about their experience there.

I’ve also got some advice here about how you can spot problems before you take a job … but candidly, it can be hard to suss that out competently when you’re brand new to the work world, so I’d put a lot of weight on what you’re reading. (And pay attention to the age of those reviews too — how recent are they?)

4. The person who got me an interview just got fired

I’m looking to switch fields, and networked my way into a coffee appointment with a hiring manager who seemed to like me. However, the friend who got me the coffee appointment and subsequent offer of an in-person interview and portfolio presentation just got fired. I’m really not sure what this means for me and the prospects at this company. I only know their side of the story, so I’m trying to work out whether this lead is worth pursuing or whether this will affect my candidacy.

It’s hard to know from the outside! If you and the person who got fired are very good friends and they know that, it could potentially impact their interest in hiring you. (For example, they may worry that you’ve heard a not-very-accurate version of what happened from your friend and that they’d be starting things on a weird foot, and if they have other good candidates, it might be easier for them to just not deal with that.) Or if they were basing their interest in you largely on a glowing recommendation from your friend, and they now don’t trust her judgment, that could have an impact on your candidacy. But in a lot of cases, this wouldn’t impact you — your friend did the work of connecting you, and if you’re a good candidate, they might just proceed with you the way they would in any other case. It’s going to be hard to know until you see how it plays out. I’d just move forward with the interview and see how things go.

5. Running into my interviewer after I interviewed badly

Earlier this year, I applied for a job and didn’t get it; I underprepared for the interview and really wasn’t at my best that day. Now I’m starting an organization in the same very small industry, and I’m very likely to run into the CEO of the company where I didn’t get the job. I’d like to stay on positive terms with her if and when we see each other at the same conferences. Should I be worried that she’ll hold a grudge against me? Should I be doing something preemptively to smooth things over?

It’s very unlikely that she would hold any sort of grudge against you! Sometimes interviews just don’t go well. Interviewers don’t normally take that personally or hold it against the candidate in non-interview contexts. If anything, she may worry that you feel negatively toward her and the company; that’s the more common concern with rejected candidates in a small industry. When you see her, just make a point to be warm, friendly, and normal!

my boss suggests hiring her boyfriend for everything, someone threw out my boots, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

19 Mar 14:17

sweet potato tacos

by deb
Anne Griffin

I have a sous vide recipe for this that is EXCELLENT and I've made it several times -- sweet potatoes sous vide get this awesome very meaty texture, whereas roasting them small often dries them out. but either way, highly recommend sweet potato tacos!

One of the places I love to lurk on the internet is on boards and groups where people discuss their menu plans for the week. I am so sorry you thought I was going to say something more exciting here. I mean, of all the place to lurk on the internet, Deb. I am truly a bore — possibly to everyone but people who love to cook.

Read more »

10 Mar 19:27

I said something profane to my boss, should I tell my manager my coworker is in jail, and more

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

omg the first one... i GASPED

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

1. I said something profane to my boss

About a month ago, I got a job at a small company. This is my first job out of college, and my first time working in a fairly informal environment; there is no dress code, and judging by the way my coworkers talk, foul language isn’t just acceptable — it’s the norm.

I’m not used to such relaxed rules, and in a poor attempt to fit in, I made a pretty raunchy comment to one of my supervisors, who was definitely shocked by my choice of words. (I’m totally cringing writing this, but she was warning me about her bluntness with delegating tasks and saying that she hoped I wouldn’t get offended. I told her not to worry, and that “it’s not like I need you to suck my dick every time you tell me to get something done.” Meaning, I don’t need her to do me any favors or soften her delivery when delegating tasks. For the record, I am also a woman, so she knew I couldn’t have meant that literally. I knew I shouldn’t have said that the second it came out of my mouth. Ugh.)

She later told me that another coworker had overheard what I’d said and was surprised/put off that I’d said something like that in the workplace. My supervisor said that she understood that people my age are used to talking in the way that I did (I’m the youngest person in the office, though not by much) but that I shouldn’t say things like that at work.

I apologized for what I’d said and thanked her for telling me, but I’m now afraid of saying the wrong thing again. When boundaries and expectations aren’t clear, how do I ensure that I’m following them? And if a situation like this one happens again, how do I deal with it in a way that shows that I’m sorry and puts it behind me?

Ten years from now, you will find this hilarious. I hope.

But now, yes, you’re mortified! Which … is warranted. But it really can be hard to know exactly where the line is when you’re working in an office that has relaxed a lot of them, as yours has. One thing that might help is to think of swear words as separate from truly raunchy language; you can probably see the difference between “this printer is shit” and what you said.

When your boss talked to you about it, you handled it perfectly: you apologized and thanked her for telling you. That’s exactly what you should do. If you’re corrected about something in the future, you could also add, “I will definitely correct this going forward” or “I’ll make sure I don’t handle it that way again.”

Going forward, I would err on the side of caution — meaning stay toward the very light end of the profanity spectrum, and don’t do it at all around your boss or other people senior to you, even if you hear them doing it themselves. And it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to cut it out entirely; in most places, that wouldn’t stop you from fitting in (although if it would in your office, you could drop in an occasional low-grade swear word if you feel you must) — plus then you won’t be stuck having to re-train your mouth when you move to your next job. (To be clear, some amount of profanity is fine in many offices, but it sounds like yours might be on the extreme end of that.)

2. Should I tell my manager my coworker is in jail?

I have an ethical dilemma. A coworker was arrested two weeks ago. She has been in jail the whole time, because the bail is high and she cannot raise it. I found out about it through another coworker. I was able to find the affidavit for her arrest online, and she will be gone for awhile. She had told my coworker that her ex was “messing with her.” The reality is quite different. She is charged with grand theft, scheme to defraud, cashing checks with intent to defraud, etc.

I am torn about what to do. One thought is that she has been arrested, not convicted, and I should mind my own business. The competing thought is that the affidavit shows a lot of evidence, and she admitted to some of the charges when speaking with the police prior to her arrest. We work in accounting (bad enough), but we also have secret government clearances to allow us to work on certain projects.

The first day that she missed work, her father called our manager and stated that she would be out for a “family emergency.”

It takes around two months to interview and place a qualified candidate. In the meanwhile, her work is being handled by the rest of the department, and the longer this goes on, the more stress and strain it places on already full workloads. The thought of telling … or of not telling … neither feels completely right. Do I have an ethical obligation to tell me employer? Or do I leave it alone, because at some point my manager should terminate her for no call/no show?

I would share with your manager what you learned. But all you need to share is that she appears to be in jail charged with financial crimes. (You don’t need to pass judgment on any evidence the affidavit shows; there are a jury and a judge to do that, so you don’t have to.) You’re not gossiping here; you’re passing on information that’s relevant to your team and to your manager — that she’s in jail and that the crimes she’s accused of are ones with implications for your work and her clearance. Your manager can decide how to handle it from there.

This is going to come out at some point anyway, so you’re not divulging some huge secret that would otherwise be kept (or, given the nature of your work, that should be kept), and it sounds like it would be significantly better for your team if your manager were aware of the situation now.

3. Not labelling an interview an interview

I’m “interviewing” at a very large global company. I’m really excited! My professional network all says it’s a great company and would be a great opportunity, and my own research indicates this as well.

However: they’ve yet to call any of the steps in this process an “interview.” It’s been called: a chat, a conversation, meet the team, etc.

Is this a new strategy in the hiring/recruiting world to put candidates at ease? (It definitely worked for me.) It’s a very large, corporate company, so I don’t *think* it’s part of the culture (I could be wrong because the interviews were very conversational). Are they trying somehow not to lead me on by being so casual about it all? (Like theoretically, they have someone else in mind but are going through the motions with me to fill some applicant/candidate interview quota?)

I’ve treated the process no less formally, but like I said above, I appreciate the terminology because I felt like I was really able to shine and give my best when I thought of it as a conversation and not strictly an interview. If this is a new trend, do you have any resources/articles you could refer me? I tried googling it but nothing really came up.

I’ve occasionally noticed people who do this too! I don’t think a particularly deliberate strategy with specific goals attached to it, but it might reflect a general trend toward less formality in some aspects of work in general. I suspect the people who do it just feel more comfortable with that terminology themselves for some reason, like it somehow lessens the pressure for all involved. And really, it’s perfectly accurate; there’s no reason it must be labeled an interview. (That said, I usually say “interview” because I don’t want to inadvertently signal to the person that it will just be a free-roaming chat, as opposed to a relatively structured conversation with lots of questions coming their way. I want them prepared and not taken off-guard.)

4. Can my employer delay our paychecks for not doing a required training?

I just found out my company is considering holding paychecks if we don’t complete some required training on time. I’ve completed it so I’m not personally worried, but is this legal? I’ve read up on the FLSA but I’m a little confused if the requirement of being paid on the next scheduled payday is for non-exempt employees only, or applies to everyone. We are all (I think) exempt.

No, they can’t do that. Your state law should specify how frequently you must be paid, and I don’t know of any state that makes an exception to those rules for exempt workers. To be sure, here’s a great site that lists employment laws for each state; click on your state and then on “frequency of wage payments.”

You message to your boss could be, “Hey, we’d run afoul of state labor law if we did that. The state requires that we pay people (insert frequency here) and we can get fined if we violate that.” You’re especially well positioned to say this since you’ve already completed the training that he’s threatening people over, so you’re not impacted by his threat.

I said something profane to my boss, should I tell my manager my coworker is in jail, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

23 Feb 15:28

Good Hair Day Pasta's Delightful Packaging

Anne Griffin

ahhhh i love this

Few people love whimsical, clever food packaging more than me, and the design for Good Hair Day Pasta by Nikita Konkin is a real day brightener. Especially the fettuccine box, where voluminous swirls of billowy fettuccini stand in for epic hair. The natural color of the pasta is set off by a sea of white combined with simple lettering. So good.

Good Hair Day Pasta's Delightful Packaging

Nikita has received numerous awards for his design, and it looks like the pasta has gone into production. Available here (if you have access to It is a 100% durum wheat pasta from Italian grains and produced in the Abruzzo region. The pasta is extruded through brass dies, and dried at low temperature to preserve the fragrance and flavor of the grain.

Good Hair Day Pasta's Delightful Packaging

Good Hair Day Pasta's Delightful Packaging

Continue reading Good Hair Day Pasta's Delightful Packaging...
21 Feb 21:00

You Aren't Cleaning Your Pet's Bowls Often Enough — Pets in the Kitchen

by Dana McMahan
Anne Griffin

"The bowl — and rubber mat, if you're using one — has to be washed in hot, soapy water (as hot as you can stand it) every single day. After you've washed it, you need to disinfect your sink (unless you happen to be able to dedicate one sink to just pet things, that is). This step can be as simple as a quick go with a disinfectant wipe. Then, let the bowls air dry — we don't want any cross contamination of towels.

And once a week, it's time for super sanitizing. You can do that with a solution of 1/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water, and a quick soak of up to 10 minutes, or throw the things in the dishwasher on the highest setting (some will have a sanitize option), says the vet."

How often do you clean your pet's bowls? Are you washing them daily in soapy water as hot as you can stand it, followed by air-drying them, and also sanitizing them once a week? No? Well, according to Dr. Jerry Klein, an emergency and critical care veterinarian in Chicago and chief veterinary officer for the American Kennel Club, it's time to up your pet bowl game.


16 Feb 18:15

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.

10 Feb 19:10

my coworker is crowdfunding for IVF and keeps asking everyone for money

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin

I'm shocked that every company doesn't have an official policy banning requests for donations because of this type of BS

A reader writes:

I work in the HR department in payroll for a medium-sized company. My coworker (and his wife) want to have a child. They have already tried the conventional way, drugs, IUI, IVF, and surrogacy with her eggs/his sperm. They have not had success. Adoption OR surrogacy for a non-biological child is not an option for them because they both have past addiction issues and criminal records, although they have since turned their lives around.

They want to try IVF again, but since it was unsuccessful before and multiple doctors have told them his wife will never be able to conceive or carry a child, insurance will no longer cover it. And no doctor will attempt surrogacy again, given the history. They have turned to crowd-funding to raise the money.

Ever since the funding started, my coworker will not stop asking everyone for money. I don’t mean he once casually mentioned the fund and then dropped it. I mean he brings it up multiple times a day, send emails about it, prints copies of the fund page from the internet and hands them out, and flat out asks people for money “so we can make our dreams come true.” Giving money won’t deter him because one of my other coworkers did donate, and he still gets asked and emailed same as the rest of us. It makes everyone uncomfortable because he isn’t taking no for an answer.

Their past fertility struggles are written on the funding page and my coworker mentions them all the time. He even tries to show us paperwork from the doctors to “prove it isn’t a scam and we really are going to use the money for IVF.” I don’t think it is any of my business to know about their past attempts and medical issues, but he discusses them as casually as one would discuss traffic or the weather. He won’t take no for an answer and if anyone asks him to stop he will get upset. He will leave but act like we are personally trying to hurt him. The next day it starts all over again.

He isn’t a manager or supervisor, but he is by far the most senior person here so some people are afraid to speak up because he isn’t a peer. How do we get him to stop? Our boss retired right before the fund started and we are being remotely managed from another location until a new manager is hired and none of us have met our new management because they are largely hands-off. We are in our slow period so it might be a while before a permanent new manager is here. We are all getting sick of this. What would you advise?

Stop worrying about hurting his feelings

He’s being a jerk. He’s not taking no for an answer, and he’s ignored requests to stop. That’s jerk behavior. And yes, it’s stemming from a personal situation that’s presumably difficult and painful, but most people who are dealing with difficult and painful situations do not run roughshod over their coworkers and refuse repeated requests to stop.

So stop worrying about hurting his feelings by telling him to stop. You’re not saying something that’s actually hurtful; you’re making a request that’s beyond reasonable, and that anyone who cared about your feelings would have respected.

I get that it can be tough to push back on someone who’s senior to you at work, but this isn’t about work stuff. This is about personal behavior — very personal behavior — and you do have standing to assert yourself there.

You can start with kindness, but if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to escalate from there. Here’s what that escalation can look like:

The next time he hits you up for money, say this: “You’ve asked me about this a lot. It was fine to ask the first time, but I told you my answer was no, so I don’t want to keep being asked.  Thanks for understanding.” If he gets upset and leaves, that’s fine! It’s okay for him to be upset. Don’t be manipulated by that.

If he continues to bring it up with you, then you need to escalate in firmness: “I asked you not to raise this with me again. You’re making me really uncomfortable.” Or simply: “No. Like I’ve already said, don’t ask me again.”

And if he brings it up after that: “Dude, no. I’ve told you multiple times that I’m not open to this. It’s really inappropriate for you to do this at work. If you’re not going to stop, I’m going to escalate this to (manager). Please don’t make me do that.” (And I get that your current manager is remote and hands-off, but this really does sound insanely disruptive and like something you could escalate after a bunch of attempts to deal with it yourself don’t work.)

That’s the professional approach. But frankly, in a lot of offices there would be room for a bunch of you to just yell, “Fergus, STOP ASKING FOR MONEY” the next time he raises it. Sometimes there’s room for social shaming when someone is repeatedly being a jerk.

my coworker is crowdfunding for IVF and keeps asking everyone for money was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

09 Feb 22:33

here are animals taking over home offices

by Ask a Manager
Anne Griffin


In the comments on last week’s post about working from home with pets, demands were made for a post with photos of pets taking over people’s workspaces. I sent out a call for them, and you delivered, with a ton of photos readers submitted of their pets in their workspaces — mostly home offices, but not entirely. (Click photos to enlarge. And if you’re reading this from the home page, you have to click through to see the photos.)

here are animals taking over home offices was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

06 Feb 19:59

It Takes Two: Cooking Projects for You and Your Valentine

by Miranda Kaplan
Anne Griffin

guys I would just like to say that I looked at this EXACT RECIPE on seriouseats this morning and suggested to Justin that we make it for Valentine's, WAY BEFORE it was included in this Seriouseats roundup, i'm amazing

Cooking together this Valentine's Day? Here are some projects that were practically made for two. Read More
24 Jan 21:56

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

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.


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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.