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Tips for Dealing with Unrealistic/Oblivious Boss(es)


Jibralta
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SIGNS OF A TOXIC BOSS | THERAPIST R...
SIGNS OF A TOXIC BOSS | THERAPIST REACTS TO RAISSA KENGNE

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1 hour ago, indea08 said:

Every time I see this thread pop back up, I come in here hoping to see “I GOT THE JOB AND IM OUTTA HERE.” I’m emotionally invested now so I need you to get the offer too!! I’ll send up a prayer for you!

Thank you so much !!

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Time to decide if these are the type of people you want to support with your awesome skill set and care for your work. If they don't appreciate you or care, then you should. Good luck in your job search if that's what you should choose.

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1 hour ago, Mel11 said:

Time to decide if these are the type of people you want to support with your awesome skill set and care for your work. If they don't appreciate you or care, then you should. Good luck in your job search if that's what you should choose.

Thank you! I'm working on leaving.

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No significant changes in my asymptotic career.

Yesterday, I had my interview with the other company. I think the job is a little over my head at the moment. I have the skills and the ability, but I don't have the experience yet. 

The company is good, though. They have a strong QC policy--an arduous ISO process, actually. That's awesome. I'd say that eliminates 75% of potential bullsht finger-pointing right there. 

My boyfriend predicted that Bill would message me right after my interview, just because when it rains, it pours. And he was right. Bill did message with a screenshot of his convo with the potential client: they say they have been extremely busy, are reviewing the quotes and have some questions. I guess in my case, when it rains, it drizzles lol.

I responded to Bill:

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I guess that was a little much on my part lol.

One day, while I was stomping around our apartment shouting to the ceiling for Bill to hire me, asking the ceiling why Bill doesn't message me, my boyfriend said, "You know, I don't think it's the same level of stress for Bill. He's just trying to win a job. It doesn't feel like a life-or-death situation for him, like it does for you."

I thought that was the craziest thing I'd ever heard. How could this not be a life-or-death situation for everyone?

But after Bill's response last night, I realized that my boyfriend might be right. Maybe Bill doesn't know that he is potentially rescuing me from the jaws of death.... maybe I'm the only lunatic in this room lol!

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2 hours ago, Jibralta said:

I guess in my case, when it rains, it drizzles lol.

lol

2 hours ago, Jibralta said:

shouting to the ceiling for Bill to hire me, asking the ceiling why Bill doesn't message me

You would get the same reply but why are you talking to the ceiling and not God? Just curious lol

2 hours ago, Jibralta said:

my boyfriend said, "You know, I don't think it's the same level of stress for Bill. He's just trying to win a job. It doesn't feel like a life-or-death situation for him, like it does for you."

You boyfriend is right, why would Bill be in the same situation? I do get that when you are trapped you just want to get out of the situation no matter what, discipline and patience help to a point but eventually stress is catching up with you.

Hold on there as much as you can though, don't accept the first offer you receive if you have misgivings. 

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1 hour ago, dias said:

You boyfriend is right, why would Bill be in the same situation?

I know he isn't..... but when I'm stressed out, it feels like the whole world around me is made of stress. Of course Bill is stressed. Everybody is stressed. How can anybody not be stressed? 

Then, when I am blissfully happy, I think everybody is happy. 

It's just one of those me-centric things that I know is not true... but it still feels like it's true.

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No major updates.

On Monday, I received a call from Potential Job #2 requesting a second interview with the hiring manager and his boss. I let Bill know about it, and asked if he had any good news about the upcoming projects. Bill replied instantly, saying, "It's all been positive so far. He is just extremely busy. I am confident we will get the jobs. Probably both. I guess just do what you need to do. I will let you know the minute I get more info."

After a little more back and forth, he said, "You are still on the shared Dropbox. We are having a meeting tomorrow to discuss the BIM implementation and one of our 7 story projects. If you can join the meeting you are welcomed. Or at least you can look at the template as it goes together."

I had the day off yesterday anyway, so I agreed. I spent about three hours hours sitting in on two meetings with Bill, his team, and some Revit consultants. I was really impressed with the consultants, and felt like Bill had made an excellent decision in hiring them.

During the meeting, Bill told everybody that he had delivered a very expensive bottle of whiskey to the potential client's office that day, in the hopes that it would prompt a positive decision from them soon. I guess the consultants are waiting for these guys, too!

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I had the second interview with Potential Job #2 today. This time, it was with the hiring manager and his boss, the regional architectural manager. This interview was shorter than the first, but it seemed positive. The hiring manager highlighted my construction administration experience to his manager.

He also asked me to tell his manager about the cost estimate debacle that I experienced at my current job. That came out in my first interview, when the hiring manager asked me to describe my worst day at my current job. I thought it was weird that he wanted me to describe such a negative experience to his manager, but I went ahead and explained what had happened.

At the end of my story, the regional manager said, "I feel like I'm there working with Craig and Alex [the two people that I'd mentioned in the story]." She said it in a lighthearted way, so I guess that's positive? Honestly, I don't know what the hell is going on lol.

They asked me how much I was looking for, and I told them. I think I aimed a bit too low, because the regional manager said, "That was easy. Negotiation's over." 

They also asked me if I'd be willing to work out of New York, specifically Brooklyn, to do construction administration in addition to project management and project architect roles. I said yes, but that I'd prefer to remain in New Jersey. I asked them if I'd be compensated for travel time, and the answer was, "Yes, about 90% of the time." That sounded a little like BS to me. But my answer about being ok with that kind of travel was sort of BS, too. So, I guess we're even. 

I have deliberately avoided working in NYC because travel there and back sucks, even though I have good access to mass transit. Commuting to Brooklyn would be a major pain in the ass, and if they do offer me the job with that kind of travel, I'm going to ask for more money. I just don't know what to ask for! 

If nothing else, at least I am getting good interviewing experience.

I've also hired an expert to review and rewrite my resume. That monster is actually four pages long. It's crazy. 

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13 hours ago, Jibralta said:

the regional manager said, "I feel like I'm there working with Craig and Alex [the two people that I'd mentioned in the story]." She said it in a lighthearted way, so I guess that's positive? 

I have deliberately avoided working in NYC because travel there and back sucks,

It means you are a good storyteller 🙂

Well, money is one thing, how long does it take to commute to Brooklyn from NJ?And if my memory serves me well you are somewhere  in the south part of NJ which is not so close...

I used to drive to work(stuck in traffic) 1,5 hours in the morning and 1,5-2 hours in the way back when I was in Athens. Certainly a cause for depression. Commuting to work is a waste of time, money and energy. You get exhausted and you haven't done anything. Quality of life drops dramatically. 

Ask for more money if you can....

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20 minutes ago, dias said:

And if my memory serves me well you are somewhere  in the south part of NJ which is not so close...

Actually, I am more in North Jersey, only about 20 miles from Manhattan. By car, it can take well over an hour to get in because of traffic. Then to get across the city to Brooklyn is probably another 45 minutes, due to traffic. It's the same if I cut south, through Staten Island.

By train, it's 35 to 60 minutes to Manhattan and I'd have to transfer somewhere to get to Brooklyn. Easily a solid 90 minutes.

It's just not pretty, no matter how I go.

I don't know if any amount of money could make it worthwhile, to be honest. I really have to think about this. I'm not 25 anymore. I don't have the energy for such a long day. 

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Still in a holding pattern.

Early Friday afternoon, I wrote an email to the people I interviewed with for Potential Job #2:

Dear S:

Thank you for making time to meet with me for a second interview yesterday.

I am very interested in working as a project architect for Potential Job #2. Your company offers the kind of interdisciplinary work that I enjoy.

After our discussion, I looked more thoroughly into the travel time to Brooklyn and back. It seems that by car or train, the round-trip commute would be three hours per day. 

On an occasional basis, this would be ok. But it would not be ok if travel would regularly turn an otherwise 8-hour day into an 11-hour day.

I wanted to let you and K know my feelings on this as soon as possible, as I know it is an important concern for you both. I do still think that I have a lot to offer your team in terms of skill and dedication. 

I do not have K's email address to tell her this myself. Would you please convey my gratitude to her for the interview, and my feelings on travel?

Sincerely,
Jibralta Lastname

I didn't hear anything back from them, but I didn't expect to. I feel much better having sent it.

If it causes them to pass on me, fine. I'm looking for a new job to reduce my stress, not add to it.

Just the thought of that kind of travel was causing me anxiety. 

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Well done, Jibralta. I'm in north Jersey, too. While I 'do' Brooklyn for occasional business, there's no way that I'd make that trek every day except for a temporary--and wealth-making--opportunity.

I think job location will likely rise to the top of your list of questions to ask in first interviews, ay?

Having lots of irons in the fire can help us to learn what to value in the eventual choices we make.

It can also take the pressure out of your cooker in your current job. Instead of chomping at the bit to get out of there, you can opt to reverse that focus and view the current stint as an enjoyable placeholder.

After all, you don't have the same imagined stakes in preventing your bosses from hanging themselves--and, so what if they try to scapegoat you anymore? They've already dealt you a blow that CAN remove any and all fear of repercussions going forward. So, now, you can just do your job to the degree that it best suits YOU, and without policing your bosses or anyone else.

EnjOy that much, and you're golden no matter when you end up making a switch.

Fingers crossed, and rooting for you!
Cat

 

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1 hour ago, catfeeder said:

so what if they try to scapegoat you anymore? They've already dealt you a blow that CAN remove any and all fear of repercussions going forward.

Exactly right. 

Yes, I still ruminate over it sometimes. But that's mainly because I wonder, what's the point of acting so stupidly? It's one of those irritating logic-loop questions that have no answer, similar to "If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?" 

I only wonder about it because I have to interact with them every day. Once I am out of this place, I will only reflect on it occasionally, as a weird experience that enlightened me on an aspect of human nature that I never expected to see in a functioning business. 

I don't care whether they fail or they succeed. On that level, I am totally checked out. And aside from feeling the unpleasantness of working for people that I have no respect for, my anxiety over the matter has reduced drastically.

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1 hour ago, Jibralta said:

Exactly right. 

Yes, I still ruminate over it sometimes. But that's mainly because I wonder, what's the point of acting so stupidly? It's one of those irritating logic-loop questions that have no answer, similar to "If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?" 

I only wonder about it because I have to interact with them every day. Once I am out of this place, I will only reflect on it occasionally, as a weird experience that enlightened me on an aspect of human nature that I never expected to see in a functioning business. 

I don't care whether they fail or they succeed. On that level, I am totally checked out. And aside from feeling the unpleasantness of working for people that I have no respect for, my anxiety over the matter has reduced drastically.

Yep. I get it. Sometimes I ruminate just to reach my own exhaustion with the puzzle, but most especially when the problem has 'appeared' to work against my favor.

It's only later that I recognize that my sacrificial 'loss' was actually THE important signal to take my first step toward gaining my own 'WIN' in a different way.

While it can be excruciatingly frustrating whenever I can't save stupidity from itself, this has been the experience that inspired my sig in this forum. Sometimes the real lesson for me has been the futility of trying to bend people to my vision of what is right for all, when the real solution is pulling back to allow for others to show me how well they will sink or swim without my influence.

I've been pleasantly surprised many times by how well my peers have been able to navigate the slings and arrows of bad bosses of their own accord--often in ways that have taught me a thing or two.

My intentions have always been in the right place, but when those run counter to the needs of others to take the long road and the hard way toward outcomes that will best teach THEM, then my railing against that is only a minor gnat to their bigger agenda.

It's not that I've been victimized by unfairness, but rather, I've been offered opportunities to observe how well I can navigate the 'bad boss' experience toward my overall gain AND how well I can support others while they do the same.

Once I flip that script and see my participation with a broader lens, my fears fly out the window and I'm able to fully immerse myself in enjOying the ride while my days are numbered.

I hope the same for you, and keep going! You 'do you,' because you are FABulous!

PS: I like to picture bad bosses with those People Magazine black boxes over their faces and captions that say, "Do NOT wear this management style!!!!"

 

 

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No major updates.

Had another job interview on Thursday with a company here in my town.

It was sprung on me so fast! I applied to the job a couple weeks ago. But the recruiter contacted me on Wednesday at 2PM, and asked for an interview on the same day, at 3PM! I was like, huh?

I saw the message on LinkedIN way too late for that to be possible. And besides, I had a doctor's appointment that afternoon. So, I rescheduled for Thursday.

It was a phone interview. The recruiter had a nice personality, but was not terribly knowledgeable about the industry. In fact, she works full time as a school teacher and only part-time as a recruiter for this company. I'm wondering if she might be the owner's niece or something, lol.

The company is pretty small, only four architectural staff, an administrator, the part-time recruiter, and the owner. They've been around for over 20 years, but god only knows what that means. I have learned that people tend to play fast and loose when it comes to representing their company.

For example, when I interviewed for my current job, the owner told me they'd been in business for eight years and had about 20 employees. But I found out that 5 of those 20 people were actually part-time consultants, 8 of them were brand new hires (like me), and that most of the rest had been hired in the last 2.5 years. Also, the actual number of employees fell short of 20.

And yes, they'd technically been in business for eight years, but the company had no full time employees for the first five or six years. For those years, it was a part-time endeavor with only a few contracts. From 2018 until 2020, they only had about three fulltime employees.

Even Bill over-represents himself when he tries to recruit. It's just the way that it is. Sigh.

So, god knows what this current place is really like. During the interview, I asked a lot of questions about daily operations, quality control, average employee tenure, etc. But it was hard to get a sense of the place because the recruiter didn't have industry knowledge. It was clear that I'd need to talk directly with the owner before I could make an assessment.

And that's what I'm scheduled to do, this coming Thursday. 

As far as Potential Job #1 is concerned, Bill has been MIA since Friday. I hadn't communicated with him since March 10, so I reached out on Friday. Still haven't heard back, which is unlike him. Maybe he's on vacation.

Haven't heard back from Potential Job #2, either. I expect they will contact me whether they decide to hire me or not. I'm not in a rush to hear from them. I hope they take their time--but not too much time!!

Ideally, I'd like to be able to consider multiple offers. So, if everyone could just decide to hire me, and if they could all just make me an offer at the same time, that would be great. And if it could be within the next week or two, I'd be really happy. lol.

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Wow. Hiring a resume service and updating my LinkedIn profile was a good move. I've had recruiters calling me up the wazoo. I'm booked out til Wednesday with interviews.

I've had an interview literally every day this week--except for today. Today's interview was rescheduled for Monday. Sigh of relief. I needed a break--it was like a pile-on all of a sudden.

So far everything's been by phone or zoom. God, that's convenient. I only have to get half-dressed. Wear makeup for an hour, tops. But next week, I have two in-person interviews. 

I did hear back from Bill. He's still in limbo.

 

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I think yesterday's interview went well. It was the first time I ever wore a mask to an interview! I felt like a ninja.

I didn't expect to like the guy (Victor), but I did. And Victor seemed to like me.... I don't want to get ahead of myself, though.

My stress over my current job has been diminishing at a steady rate over the last two months. But having a positive interview yesterday made me feel like even more of the heaviness has lifted from my shoulders. It's starting to feel like there really is more to life than this stupid job I'm in.

At the end of the interview, I asked Victor who was responsible for QC, and what their QC process was. He said, "I'm responsible for QC, and I check the drawings throughout the course of the project." I asked him who was responsible for code review, and he said, "I am."

This morning, I wrote out my questions for the interview I have this afternoon (with another company). Most of them are the same questions I asked yesterday. I thought about Victor saying, "I am responsible," and I realized what music that was to my ears. The owner should be responsible. I want to work for a business where the owner takes responsibility.

So many owners and so-called 'leaders' just point the finger down the line until the end result is chaos and a sht project. Working for people like this, my attitude becomes, "what's the point?" The expectations are always going to shift. What's the point of attempting forward progress? It's depressing, and I find myself reluctant to start my work day. 

My boyfriend is very proud of me. He says I'm an animal and that I'm kicking ass. It doesn't feel like I'm kicking ass, though. I'm putting a ton of effort in, but I can't tell if it's really making a difference.

It's sort of like I'm tunneling my way through a mountain. I know the other side is there, I know I'm generally headed in the right direction, but I don't know how many more swings of the pickaxe it's going to take to get through.

And I don't know where it's going to land me! Everybody talks a good game when they need to hire. Everybody. Victor said everything I wanted to hear. But he already knew what I wanted to hear because I'd already spoken to his recruiter. She reported all that stuff back to him. It feels like an espionage plot, lol.

It's going to be a risk no matter which way I move. The risks I've taken over the last three years have been difficult, but I can't deny the fact that they've really paid off in terms of knowledge and experience. 

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1 hour ago, Jibralta said:My boyfriend is very proud of me. He says I'm an animal and that I'm kicking ass. It doesn't feel like I'm kicking ass, though. I'm putting a ton of effort in, but I can't tell if it's really making a difference.

It's sort of like I'm tunneling my way through a mountain. I know the other side is there, I know I'm generally headed in the right direction, but I don't know how many more swings of the pickaxe it's going to take to get through. 

That right there is what kickass is, girl. That faith, confidence, and perseverance that you have to have to continue forward despite not knowing how much further you have to go. It doesn’t matter if you swing and miss 999 times, you just have to make contact once. That’s probably the most important quality a person can have. And you’ve got a lot of it.

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5 hours ago, indea08 said:

That faith, confidence, and perseverance that you have to have to continue forward despite not knowing how much further you have to go.  That’s probably the most important quality a person can have. And you’ve got a lot of it.

Exactly! 

6 hours ago, Jibralta said:

I know I'm generally headed in the right direction, but I don't know how many more swings of the pickaxe it's going to take to get through.

This is what makes all the difference, this is what makes a person different than the rest of the pack, this is why you are different 🙂

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11 hours ago, Jibralta said:

It doesn't feel like I'm kicking ass, though. I'm putting a ton of effort in, but I can't tell if it's really making a difference.

Oh, I sooo understand. I've found it helpful to stop measuring my successes externally, and I take them privately, instead. I set myself a bunch of little milestones and carrots for rewarding myself as I complete certain things. From there, whoever notices or doesn't becomes irrelevant as I meet my own goals and rewards.

I started doing this when I was a consultant to avoid seeking approval. Instead, I'd rock my own world, and whenever I landed an external payoff, it was like icing on my cake instead of something I longed for.

So glad the interviews are opening your vision and inspiring you!

Keep the faith, dearest J!
Cat

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I had the following text exchange with my coworker that was so freaking validating. The repeated, unreasonable changes and deadlines, the way the owners suddenly vanish when someone has an issue.... I felt like I was the one writing her complaints!!!

A little background: This is my coworker Dinah, who's started working with me on a lot of projects. She's very young, in her early 20s. She lives in Brooklyn and works remotely. She was supposed to drive into the office recently for her 6-month review, but Kasey and Simon keep cancelling on her.

Dinah's grandmother is terminally ill and lives in Egypt. Dinah took tomorrow and Friday off, and is scheduled to fly out to Egypt later tonight. She will spend a couple weeks in Egypt with her grandmother, and work remotely. We've done it before; it works. Even though Dinah's flight is from Brooklyn at 6PM, she agreed to drive way out to the boonies of NJ today, in order to meet with Kasey and Simon. But, they cancelled.

They also sent her an email last night telling her that she needed to address comments on her renderings by Thursday or Friday (when she has scheduled off, and will be jet-lagged in Egypt with her dying grandmother) because this project is (as usual) an emergency.

(My texts are in blue)

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9 hours ago, Jibralta said:

I had the following text exchange with my coworker that was so freaking validating. The repeated, unreasonable changes and deadlines, the way the owners suddenly vanish when someone has an issue.... I felt like I was the one writing her complaints!!!

A little background: This is my coworker Dinah, who's started working with me on a lot of projects. She's very young, in her early 20s. She lives in Brooklyn and works remotely. She was supposed to drive into the office recently for her 6-month review, but Kasey and Simon keep cancelling on her.

Dinah's grandmother is terminally ill and lives in Egypt. Dinah took tomorrow and Friday off, and is scheduled to fly out to Egypt later tonight. She will spend a couple weeks in Egypt with her grandmother, and work remotely. We've done it before; it works. Even though Dinah's flight is from Brooklyn at 6PM, she agreed to drive way out to the boonies of NJ today, in order to meet with Kasey and Simon. But, they cancelled.

They also sent her an email last night telling her that she needed to address comments on her renderings by Thursday or Friday (when she has scheduled off, and will be jet-lagged in Egypt with her dying grandmother) because this project is (as usual) an emergency.

(My texts are in blue)

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Hello, Luv. I wouldn't take it on myself to address the pressures of anyone else, since this is a learning experience for each of you.

While it's a pressure valve to vent to others, it's also a burden to involve yourself with their stuff.

You have your own. Focus there, resolve YOURS the best you can, and stay in the mindset that this is only temporary.

Hang in there! We are with you,
Cat

 

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It's really more commiseration than it is getting involved with her stuff. We've been through most of it together. She's worked with me on most of my projects, through multiple weekends, to meet these crazy deadlines. It has been a conversation between us, and between me and other coworkers.

Yes, it is a pressure valve. It feels good to vent. But as far as getting 'involved'.... I don't take her problems to heart. It is time-consuming to sometimes deal with her questions and concerns. But it's part of my job. I provide her with mentorship and guidance as a normal part of our work day. In turn, she produces technically correct documents and helps me complete projects. 

Yes, this is more 'personal' issue, but only because our job bleeds into our personal lives. It is a problem that's affected both of us in every project we've worked on together. I couldn't blow her off even if I wanted to. I understand exactly what she is feeling and she knows it. She's been an enormous source of support for me, and I can't afford to break her trust. 

Also, I totally hear what she is saying, and I sympathize. I've written her exact words. I've felt her exact confusion, "why don't they understand? I don't get it. I'm trying to teach them. When are they going to learn?" Those are the questions that have driven me crazy, and which I ultimately learned to give up on.

It seems cruel not to at least try to plant the seed of reality in Dinah's mind: that Kasey and Simon will never 'learn' because they don't care. Whether Dinah is capable of accepting the ugly truth at this point is not my concern, and there's zero chance of me coaxing and coddling her over that hurdle. This is her journey. But I enjoy the sense of validation I get from observing it. 

 

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Especially since you are looking for a job I'd be extremely discreet and careful about interacting in this way especially in writing. You never know when you two will end up at the same company, she will be the one interviewing you, etc. and for all you know by then she'll be BFF with Kasey and or Simon.

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