Ask Jack: Passing the Buck, Applying Online, and Job of the Week

The Buck Stops Here - Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Library - Independence, Missouri
Flickr/Marshall Astor

Kayt asks:

I have discovered that someone at work who thinks they're far too important to do stuff has been telling others that I am the person to go to on various matters. This is not true and is disrespectful. What shall I do?

You know who could really answer this question? My friend Charles. Yeah, you should totally send this in to his "Ask Charles" column; he's your man, for sure. Oh, alright, alright, I'll take a crack at it. You're dealing with a personality type here that we're not big fans of: Those whose gut instinct isn't to help someone who needs help, regardless of the situation. So all I can really suggest is to whack the ball right back into the court of Mr./Ms. Too-Big-For-Their-Britches.

The next time this happens, quickly dash off an e-mail to the scoundrel in question. Ah, but don't be harsh; in fact, just 'play dumb.' "OK if I send [innocent bystander] your way? She's dealing with [matter du jour] and I know you're the real expert on such things! Kthxbai!" This will force the individual to either 1) accept responsibility and actually do their work (shocking!), or 2) at least admit to foisting it off on you, likely with some weak "I am totally swamped today" excuse. To this you can respond that although it's certainly not your job and that you're also rather busy, you will gladly take care of it this time, team player that you are. WIth luck this will make the self-aggrandizing jerks think twice the next time they plan to duck their duties.

Eduardo says:

I'm using online sites to submit my résumé for jobs I know I'm qualified for. Not one call or e-mail in response. But other friends have been successful with this approach. What can I do to up my chances of getting to the next step? I'm sure I can ace the interview.

"Online job-hunting sites"? I don't think I've ever heard of such a -- oh wait a minute, never mind. A combination of online searching and real-world networking can be a great method: First use online sites to find an ideal job and apply electronically to guarantee you're in the system. But after that, LinkedIn can truly be helpful -- and the more connections, the merrier. Search for the company: Do you know anyone who works there, in any capacity? Or perhaps you have a 2nd-degree connection who works there. "Hey friend, I noticed that your connection K Bacon works at Footloose Industries. I'm applying for a job there. Would you mind putting us in touch?" That human contact can often help put you in direct communication with the hiring manager. Always mention that you've gone through official channels and applied online -- it can save companies a lot of hassle. And speaking of online job sites, have I got a position for you, in my Job of the Week below!

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

I don't know if you've heard of it, but there is this excellent site called AOL Jobs and they have so many job listings, it's unbelievable! One of them is even for an opening at AOL! (Whoa, meta!) You could be a senior DNS engineer in Dulles, Virginia. I don't know what DNS is so I am not qualified! But maybe you are. (If so, apply today. The salary is attractive, and I know there's an airport nearby.) Do a quick search on AOL Jobs of skills, job titles, or companies; you can find the perfect fit in a snap!
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