I work an on-campus job and my manager and I have very conflicting views on workplace etiquette. My manager likes to call me in to pick things up on days when I’m not scheduled to work. I cannot bill the 15 minutes it takes for me to walk from my room to my place of work — and on top of that, it is usually through the snow. She’s also sensitive. Very sensitive. So I don’t feel like I can bring this up with her. How do I resolve this dilemma?
— Damsel in Distress
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I tend to have pretty unique relationships with my managers at work. For example, I gave my boss at my internship this past summer a Beyoncé poster as a farewell gift, and then she took me out to lunch so we could dissect every minute of the Mrs. Carter World Tour.
But I’m not claiming to be a boss-whisperer or anything. I, too, have had problems with bosses overstepping their limits and know how frustrating they can be.
A particularly memorable experience was the summer that I was a vegan and worked for a pasture-raised poultry company. We sold poultry at farmers’ markets four days a week, and despite the predictable, weekly timetable, my boss’s approach to scheduling was erratic at best. She would often text me midmorning, asking me if I could work that night. I had to cancel my plans, because otherwise, who would sell the poultry? Eventually, I had to ask her for the week’s schedule in advance, but even getting to that point took a lot of guts.
It’s up to you to decide whether your job is worth putting up with your boss’s flighty nature. I remember spending that entire summer feeling as though my boss did not respect my time. (I knew that when I agreed to work at a poultry start-up I was completely compromising my vegan morals, but I didn’t realize I would also have to give up dinners with my parents.)
The bottom line is that if you like your job and need the source of income, the inconvenient infringements on your time might be a necessary evil. Just keep in mind that, eventually, the snow will melt.
My most rewarding jobs have been those in which I am able to foster valuable relationships with my managers and coworkers. My boss from the summer just told me that the last song they played at her wedding was “XO”— clearly, we developed a close relationship. But even if you don’t envision your boss keeping you in the loop on his or her wedding plans, that’s okay. As long as you find something worthwhile at work each day, I suggest you hang on to your job.
If not, it’s also okay to quit.
Best of luck,
A party I threw for my birthday last year was so great that one notable campus celeb even praised it as the “sleeper best party of the year.” My birthday party for this year is on Friday. I’m starting to feel the pressure. How do I make sure to throw a party so rager that it maintains this reputation?
— Birthday Boy
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First of all, a very happy birthday!
Unfortunately, I have to start off by warning you that if your party last year was called the “sleeper best party of the year,” the bar is high for this year. People are now expecting a lot from you.
To be perfectly honest, I’m impressed that you are even throwing yourself a party this year after last year’s success. I’m personally too anxious to ever throw myself birthday parties, and then I get mad at my friends for not throwing them for me. (Yes, still a sore subject.)
But I have planned a lot of parties during my time at Yale. I should warn you, though, that at the height of my time spent as social chair of a major campus social organization that I will not name, only 25 people came to the party I was throwing (a similar event had drawn over 300 the previous year). So take this all with a grain of salt.
First of all, do you need to have a theme? A theme can be a big draw, especially if you can dress up, tailor the drink menu accordingly and play games. I once threw a hugely successful SodaStream party, which included its own hashtag #sodastreamyale. The “Soda” playlist featured such hits as “We’re up All Night to Get Bubbly,” and people, put simply, were into it.
Basically, themes are always the way to go. The only exception is a 21st birthday party, because the theme is always liquor.
So once you have a theme and a date, it’s time to create the guest list. Make sure to invite both the people that you want to be there, along with the people that you can only hope would want to be there. In the off chance that these “reaches” show up, this will increase your street cred and push the fun through the roof.
When the night arrives, make sure your closest friends are there early to establish the vibe. It’s always good to ask someone to wear a romper — pretty much the insta-cool outfit. And before you press play on your theme-specific playlist, take a shot of tequila and get pumped up.
But I’m just wondering — you said your party is this Friday night, so did my invite get lost in the mail?