Ask Jack: Facebook Requests, Noisy Neighbor, Job of the Week

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AOL Jobs reader Donald explains...

The HR director at my company is very friendly and asked me to be her "friend" on Facebook. Although she's nice and personable, it seems like a bad idea. I like having boundaries between work and personal social media. How do I decline without sounding rude?

Before you even finish reading this sentence, open up another window and Link-In to her. Ah yes, good old LinkedIn, whose slogan should be "You're not my friend, but I do acknowledge your existence." Now let's take a moment to pity the poor human-resources professionals of the world. Nobody wants to be their friend on social media, because obviously they are spying on you and want to get you fired. (The Newsroom even had a subplot about this.)

I think your best bet here is honesty: Send her an e-mail explaining that you really appreciate the friend request but you're trying to establish some boundaries. Anyone who is slightly tuned in to the modern world should be able to agree with that reasoning. And assuming that she is genuinely nice and personable, in the same e-mail you might want to suggest meeting up for lunch sometime, which would certainly soften the blow. Then you'll actually become friends, and will accept her on Facebook, and then she'll get you fired.

Question No. 2: Eloise says...

I recently started working at home full-time. I live in an apartment building and have made an unfortunate discovery: My neighbor plays music all the #&$^%@ time. Thump, thump, thump -- it never stops!! What can I do?

Eloise, welcome to the wonderful freelance life and all its unexpected sounds: construction! children! dogs! emergency vehicles! robo-calls! And yes, music. The outside world can be a virtual symphony of distraction for the at-home worker. Some freelance pals have decided to work in quiet cafés. (No, they are not the baristas -- hey, that's mean!) Noise-cancelling headphones or white-noise machines are other options. In your specific instance, a note to your neighbor could be very effective, but remember to be reasonable. You can really only ask for quiet during standard working hours. Ooh, and also during the middle of the night. That's the answer! Sleep during the day and work at night when it's nice and quiet. Especially recommended for freelance vampires.

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

If you like after-hours work, how about being a night-shift quality assurance technician at a scientific lab in Bowling Green, Kentucky? (Note to self: Write a script for a scary movie, set during the night shift at a science lab in Kentucky.) Don't want to throw off your circadian rhythms? Then do your own search on AOL Jobs. There's some sweet science to finding the right job, and this is a great way to start.

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