I just finished my sophomore year in college and landed a paid summer internship with a company in the field I want to go into when I graduate. My problem is with my parents. They’ve planned a family vacation around the 4th of July and expect me to go. My dad thinks I will have July 5th off since the 4th falls on a Thursday, or that I will have no problem getting it off if I just ask for it. I want to be with my family, but I don’t feel comfortable asking for a vacation day when I first start my internship. My dad wants me to look into it right away so he can make airline reservations. What’s the proper thing to do?
Want to do the right thing
Dear Want to do the right thing:
I agree with you. Asking about a day off is not something you want to do when you first get to the firm. You may have the good fortune of never having to ask because the firm will have an orientation upon your arrival that outlines office policies in general and specifically for paid interns. Part of that information may even include that the office is closed July 5th. If you do not get this lay of the land and you learn the office is open on the 5th, I suggest you make a concerted effort to get a feel for the culture of the organization and the nature of the person you report to. While you are making your assessments and demonstrating your strong work ethic and competencies, you should be able to determine whether or not such a request is appropriate.
Best of luck with your internship!
There’s a person at my work I wouldn’t say I’m friends with, but I try to be friendly with her. In a short amount of time I realized she was a very unhappy, insecure person. So, I actually try to stay away from her as much as possible and interact when only necessary, which has to happen from time to time since we’re in the same department. Almost every time I deal with her, she accuses me of never taking her advice or agreeing with what she has to say. Just because I don’t immediately take it or tell her I agree with it, doesn’t mean I’m not considering it. She has good points, a lot of which I’ve heeded to, but I don’t rush into anything with anyone. I thought keeping my distance would prevent her accusations, but that’s the furthest from the truth. She goes there almost every time we get into any kind of conversation. I know I shouldn’t, but I lose my cool and end up verbally sparring with her. Do you have any suggestions on how I should deal with her?
Need to keep my cool
Dear Need to keep my cool:
You indicated you take your time in making decisions with everyone and that you actually take quite a bit of this co-worker’s advice and agree with her comments. Have you ever told her that? The next time she starts her accusations do not stoop to her level and get defensive. Instead, with civility and respect, let her know these things, but also explain that you treat what she has to say the way you treat what anyone says to you. You absorb it slowly, and you methodically decide what you will do with the information. Bottom line, you want her to know your deliberativeness should not be taken personally. Regardless of the outcome of your conversation, continue to maintain a cordial, professional relationship while keeping a healthy distance.
© 2013 Rozanne R. Worrell