Ask Jack: Rejection, Idea Theft, and Job of the Week

checking reject with chalk on...

AOL Jobs reader Debbie asks:

Why is it that employers do not follow up with people who interview with them any longer and never tell them they didn't get the job? This rudeness is now an acceptable business practice. Has all etiquette gone out the window?

My last four interviews have been at Miss Manners-type organizations, and I must say, they have been exceedingly polite in their rejections. But you're right, the kind "no" seems to be a dying art. Blame shrinking HR departments? Fear of lawsuits? And I get it that in our modern age and economy, businesses are likely overwhelmed with online applications. But it seems to me that if you've actually invited someone into your workplace -- and they took time out of their day, dressed up nice, and experienced all sorts of anxiety -- the least a company can do is send out a form letter (a form e-mail, fer crissakes!) or make a quick phone call.

It's weird, in life, people are often so nostalgic, always looking back, but business can be so cold and future-looking. The focus is solely on the one person they did hire, not the other 10 they dragged in for dog-and-pony shows. Well, I'm sorry this has been happening. Send thank-you notes; it might at least spark some sort of guilt. I guess my other advice would be similar if this was a dating column: You wouldn't want to go out with someone who treated you like that anyway, and I bet you'll find a better match soon.

Meanwhile, Dave says:

One of my colleagues is always quick to dismiss my ideas without even allowing the group to consider them. The kicker is that she then later presents them as her own. I'm glad to see my ideas benefiting our projects, but how do I get recognition?

Simple. Next time this happens in a meeting, stand up, point at the colleague, and shout, "That's MY idea!" Then throw a glass at the wall as punctuation. Hmm, this is a tricky one. In a non-accusatory way, let the colleague know that you know what's going on. Or maybe don't share your entire idea. Withhold an aspect of it. Then, in a team setting, you can say something like, "Oh, after we discussed this the other day, I came up with a great way to implement..." You'll at least be viewed as a key contributor. And the cleaning staff will appreciate the lack of glass shards in the carpet.

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

Do you have excellent business manners and etiquette? And a valid driver's license? And, um, can you speak Japanese? Well, then, do I have the sales rep job for you in Livonia, Michigan! There are thousands of listings on AOL Jobs right now, across the country, for every combination of skills. (And it never hurts to read those qualifications before you apply.)

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