You Bought a House. Your Colleague Didn’t. It’s Still OK to Celebrate.

I applied for a position and over the course of two months, I had several interviews. I was asked to complete an assessment that included addressing four hypothetical situations. They paid me $500 for this work.

Next, they want me to do several more interviews. Also, and perhaps most disturbing, the position is still posted online.

I’ve hired or promoted a couple dozen people in my career, and I never put anyone through this type of scrutiny. My fear is that this drawn-out process is a sign the company really doesn’t know what it is looking for in this position.

What’s your take?

— Anonymous

It is standard for job listings to remain posted until a position is formally filled and an employment contract has been signed. You’re not really embroiled in a situation. You’re dealing with a lengthy and, yes, convoluted interview process. Whenever I hear about job searches requiring so many interviews, I wonder why employers make things so unnecessarily complicated. But the rigorous process probably means that they want to be as certain as possible about a new hire given the resources it generally takes to bring a new employee into an organization.

I am encouraged that you were paid for the required assessment. The organization understands that your labor has value. All you can do is continue with the process, and be your best professional self. Or, of course, you can simply remove yourself from consideration if you have lost patience. I’d recommend sticking with it. You’ve made it this far. You’re a contender. Best of luck in getting the job!

I have been having trouble managing a relationship with a colleague. We used to intern together and our relationship was contentious. Before me, he had been the only intern for two years, and he gained a reputation for being the “golden boy.” I brought a fresh perspective and work ethic that the team had not experienced. I quickly became a valued member of the team and, as he later admitted to me, he became jealous and treated me negatively because he was insecure. He is a white man and I am a woman of color, which has contributed to our dynamic. He has a tendency to mansplain. Others on our team find his shenanigans endearing, whereas I find them frustrating.

Now, we both work full-time on the same team. Because of a pandemic hiring freeze, I started a year later than he did. During that year, he managed projects that are now part of my role. My work is more visible than his. He can see what I am doing, but I do not have visibility into his projects. He continues to provide unsolicited and unhelpful feedback. Even though he can see everything, he does not know the strategy behind it. I have tried to take it in stride, gently pushing back when he says things that are misguided.

My patience is wearing thin. I am trying my best to keep my head high and work diligently, especially as my manager is happy with my work. But it is exhausting to hear consistent criticism from someone who has no idea what they’re talking about — and to feel like communicating my discomfort to my manager will not be met with understanding.

— Anonymous, Chicago

You are under no obligation to listen to this man. Stop engaging in these conversations. When he tries to offer unsolicited feedback, tell him you aren’t seeking input at this time. Walk away. Ignore him. All too often, we indulge bloviating men for the sake of decorum. Life is too short. You don’t have to be rude but you don’t have to indulge his nonsense. You can also tell him he is not privy to all the information that goes into your work so you would appreciate it if he would not comment on matters for which he only has a partial set of information.

Regardless, try not to be defensive as you are not the problem. You might also bring this up with your manager despite not knowing if you will be supported. At the very least you can put this issue on management’s radar. His bizarre interference is not conducive to a productive work environment, or your sanity.

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