Ask Jack: End Runs, Business Card Blunders & Job of the Week

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AOL Jobs reader Michelle wants to know:

What's the best defense against repeated end runs?

Even though the NFL season just started, I have a sneaking suspicion that this question is not about football. People sure are crummy, though you do have to admire the circus-like flexibility of someone who can go both behind your backand over your head. It seems that the first thing you need to do is lead by example: Confront the person directly. Stress that this is always the preferred way to address an issue, that the chain of command exists for a reason, and that you're always open to suggestions, etc.

Assuming this fails, you have no choice but to... rat the person out. Now this can be tricky, because you don't want to come across in an "oooh I'm telling" or overly defensive sort of way. Explain to the higher-up that it has "come to your attention" that Person X is ignoring the chain of command (being unprofessional!), that you have tried to deal with the situation one-on-one on multiple occasions, and express concern for the busy schedule of the supervisor. Wonder aloud if you should involve Human Resources. If this also fails, it at least sends a message: "I know what's going on, and I don't like it." And then go over your boss's head. Ah, the circle of life!

Kevin recently started a new job and has a question....

I use my middle name (never really liked my first name). But when they printed up business cards for me, guess what, my first name is on there. There are a ton of them. Should I ask for new ones or what?

So wait, IS your name Kevin? I'm so confused. Talk to the person who ordered them. See if getting a new set is a big deal; if it's a regular vendor they might even do it "on the house" to keep everybody happy. But at the end of the day, your name is really all you have. And when you hand over that card, you want the other person's trust. A split second of "Wait, he said he was Kevin, but this says Charlemagne" might impact that. Of course, maybe you are someone who can use it to your advantage, as a conversation starter. Worst case scenario, just drop them in fishbowls all over town; perhaps you'll win a free lunch.

Last week's Ask Jack questions

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

You'll never get an incorrect business card again if you're the one designing the cards! There is a graphic design position open right now at the Police and Firemen's Insurance Association in Indianapolis, Indiana. I imagine the benefits are pretty good. And the fire drills must be AWESOME! The truth is, AOL Jobs has thousands of great jobs coast-to-coast for you to search through right now. You'll be complaining about your own business card in no time.
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