Ask Jack: Interim Promotion, Snubbed at Lunch, Job of the Week

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Office workers looking at menus

AOL Jobs reader David has a question written in present tense, which makes it kind of fun to read!

While employed in a labor position, the department manager abruptly quits and I am placed as an interim replacement. I am told by the store manager, let's see how you do before making it a permanent placement. As the months go by there is always a doubt that the store manager comes up with for delaying a decision. Long story short, I don't get the promotion. Question: Should I be compensated for the extra duties assigned for the past six months while in this interim position?

Jack ponders the situation and then begins to write his response.... You know, I really like this present-tense thing! But to your question: Should you be compensated? Of course you should. Does it surprise me that you weren't? It does not. I've seen this happen a few times, and it's already a drag when the person doesn't get the promotion after the process has been dragged out. But then not getting paid for the extra work? That's injury added to insult! (Rather than the more common vice-versa.) In some more formal work settings, a temporary pay level for interim positions is built right into the system. But you might just be out of luck here.

If there is a human resources department (or you're in a union) and you have a written job description, you could lodge a complaint about doing these tasks outside the scope of your normal job for an extended period. And then maybe there would be some retroactive justice. Otherwise, I don't know. On the positive side, you gained valuable experience and a nice résumé item. But money is good too. It is hard to say no when the boss asks you to do something, especially if she or he dangles a possible promotion as bait. I think it's reasonable at the start to innocently ask if there will be any extra compensation. Or wait a few weeks, and then slightly less innocently ask about extra pay or a bonus for your extra workload. It might make the present a bit tense (see what I did there?), but I think it's worth a shot.

Meanwhile, Victoria is hungry.

What do you do when people in the office are passing around a menu to order in and they bypass you and don't invite you to order with them?

Ooh! Maybe you are a genius! Because something like that happened to Alan Turing in the movie The Imitation Game and he didn't let it get him down; he went ahead and cracked some kind of sinister Nazi code! (Um, hello? Spoiler alert much, Jack?) Ah, but for the rest of us non-geniuses, getting snubbed at work is no fun at all. We're transported back to schooldays when the popular kids didn't let us join in any (imitation) reindeer games. The thing is, we're not school kids anymore. So be an adult and speak up! There's no need for accusations; simply say: "Hey, are you ordering lunch? Can I get in on that?" If they say no, they are the worst people on the planet. You could be even more proactive: "Anybody want to order in?" Bring in a menu of a new place you want to try. And if you really win over some unfriendly folks, bring in a box of donuts. People are often less complicated than we think, and can be easily swayed by complimentary baked goods.

Last week's "Ask Jack" Special: Baseball's Mark DeRosa on Career Change

Do you have a work-related question for Jack? Write it in the comments below (better answers to this week's questions are also welcome!) or tweet it @AOLJobs with the hashtag #AskJack.

Jack's Job of the Week

Why not apply to be an Interim HR Administrator! At least you know from the get-go that it's an interim position. And if there's any confusion about it, you're already in the HR department (where I hear people are very nice about ordering lunch). Looking for something a little more permanent? Do your own search on AOL Jobs until you find something perfect. We're in this for the long haul!

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