DEAR ABBY: What has happened to professional courtesy in the workplace? I am a high school teacher, and recently a colleague learned that he was being replaced by another teacher when he read it in the school board minutes! The principal did not even extend the courtesy of telling him in person -- although his room and her office are only yards apart. Abby, that teacher could have been applying for other jobs.
Another example: My daughter works in the television industry and is quite successful. Months ago, she was contacted by a major network asking if she was interested in applying for an opening with them. They interviewed her twice, then flew her cross-country at their expense for a final interview, at which time she was told she would hear from them the following week. That was two months ago. Is it that difficult for a prospective employer to call and say, "We offered the position to someone else," or "We haven't decided yet"?
Finally, my son, a college student, was told he would hear in one week when he was to start a new job. That was five weeks ago. Couldn't the employer have been honest up front and told him that perhaps they wouldn't need him right then? My son could have accepted another job and have been earning money instead of waiting.
Employers: Prospective employees have lives and obligations. Put yourselves in their shoes. How would you like to put your life on hold while someone dangles a carrot in front of you? Please show some professional courtesy! -- DISAPPOINTED IN NEWPORT, PA.
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Sometimes people have an aversion to giving others bad news, so they say nothing, figuring the message will get out -- eventually. Obviously, the principal wimped out rather than face the teacher and tell him his contract would not be renewed.
As for your daughter's experience, "show biz" is notorious for its lack of empathy -- and even honesty -- when it comes to telling someone things aren't working out. I hope she lands a higher-paying job at another network.
Your son's experience this summer could provide a valuable lesson for him. In the future, if someone tells him he'll get word in seven days and it doesn't happen, he should resume his job search on day No. 8. Period.