Ask Jack: Snow Days, Disabilities, and Job of the Week

Parked cars in winter

AOL Jobs reader Jesse says...

Well, it happened again. We had a huge snowstorm, and I -- who lives more than an hour from work -- made it in nice and early. A coworker who will remain nameless, who lives much closer, said he couldn't make it in. This happens every time and it's not fair. Why does he get a day off when I'm the one making an effort?

Jesse, I'm reminded of a quote I once heard: "Fair? Fair is where they judge hogs." You are not going to find a whole lot of fairness in the world. And comparing our own workplace behavior to that of others is a loser's game -- you set yourself upfor disappointment, time after time. All I can say is, focus on you being fair to other people; it can genuinely have an impact. And just be a good worker -- show up on time and do your job well. It may not always seem like it, but in the long run, someone will notice. Oh, and of you and your coworker, guess who sleeps better at night. (Well, it's you, but only because you're tired out from all that shoveling.)

Roseann is looking for work. She explains...

I have noticed lately that on job applications, in addition to optionally filling out gender, nationality, and veteran status, they offer another option of identifying having any of a long list of disabilities, both physical and mental. It's followed by a statement that the government encourages companies to hire someone with disabilities, but the applicant doesn't have to reveal which disability they have. Since I am having difficulty finding work, I am considering claiming that I have a disability. Do you think this would give me an advantage in the job market?

Roseann, this can only give you an advantage in the "Being a Terrible, Terrible Person" market. Hey, I totally understand that looking for work -- especially when it drags on and on, seemingly with no end in sight -- can really wear on you. They say that desperate times call for desperate measures, so it might cross your mind to do something that you know in your heart is wrong and stupid (lying on a job application, knocking over a liquor store, etc.). I don't really want to address your specific question except to say that -- and you already know this -- people with disabilities are far too often discriminated against by potential employers, so this suggestion is just trying to give them a fair shake.

Here's what I truly want to say: When you have a job, there are compromises involved, and politics, and nastiness. Yes, being unemployed completely and utterly stinks. But think of it as an opportunity to reset your humanity -- to be the best you that you can be. You will find work, I promise you. And why not be a good person at the same time?

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

This week, have you thought, "Hey, I'm really enjoying this snow shoveling and I'm ready to go pro!" Well, have I got a job for you in Laconia, New Hampshire. As the job description says: "Must be able to use a shovel." More of an indoor type? Do your own search on AOL Jobs, and save the shoveling for the job interview.
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