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PayScale’s VIP Blog Roundup: The Case of the Singing Employee


What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen at the office? For one manager, it’s probably the time a report pulled out a harmonica and started singing his status update. The question, of course: is that OK? And if not, how exactly do you tell your subordinate that this is not the opera episode of Mr. Rogers? All that, plus avoiding student mistakes, and how to accept a job offer the right way, in this week’s roundup.

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(Photo Credit: striatic/Flickr)

Alison Green at Ask a Manager: My Employee Delivered a Status Update … in a Song

Do You Know What You're Worth?

A reader writes to Green to ask:

I am a newly promoted manager and am stumped on how to handle something bizarre that happened in a meeting today, primarily because my sense of humor is getting in the way. I asked one of my employees to explain the progress he’s made in the assignment he’s been working on, and he said, “I would love to tell you…in song.” He proceeded to pull out a harmonica and “find his note,” before erupting into a musical ditty explaining everything in detail. It was so weird…that I did not know how to respond in the moment. Making it worse is that I find this hysterical, and I could not stop smirking the rest of the meeting. Whenever I think about the occurrence, I start to laugh again.

However, that doesn’t mean I find it acceptable, and intend to have a serious discussion with him tomorrow. But I’m curious to know how you would address it, particularly since my potential laughter and smiling will not convey how unacceptable I find his behavior. I do not want this to seem like a suggestion. Am I immature in not being able to hide these emotions? Am I making too big a deal about the situation? I never thought I would have to deal with this as a manager.

Green’s reply offers insight for where to draw the line, even if no one in your office ever produces a musical instrument during a meeting.

Danielle Rosvally at Dani Prose: How to Avoid Common Student Mistakes

At some point in your career, you might go back to school, whether to finish your degree, earn a graduate degree, or get a certificate. If you’ve been out of school a long time, you might be surprised at how much you’ve forgotten about being a good student.

“Between mentoring my own students, listening to my mentors tell stories about their experiences, and discussing teaching with colleagues, I’ve come to recognize a few basic patterns that students can develop which are ultimately destructive to their success in the classroom,” Rosvally writes. “This is not to say that every student will make the same mistakes (far from it), or that avoiding these mistakes will guarantee top grades, but certainly remedying these issues can nip failure in the bud.”

In her latest blog post, Rosvally offers tips to help us avoid some of the most frequently committed student screw-ups.

Don Goodman at Careerealism: 6 Tips for Handling a Job Offer

“It’s not every day that a job offer comes around,” Goodman writes. “When you do get that phone call from your dream employer on a job offer, you’re thrilled! In the moment you must be feeling a rush of adrenaline, but with every job offer that comes around, it’s absolutely necessary to have a clear head in evaluating what the offer includes.”

His tips will keep you from being rude, committing to the wrong opportunity, or taking less than you’re worth.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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