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The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

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The Vine: September 10, 2008

Submitted by on September 10, 2008 – 9:54 AM46 Comments

Dear Sars,

I have this friend, let's call her Poodle. We're both in college (senior year) and have been best friends since our very first day when we were both terrified whimpering freshmen. I love her to bits and she's great.

But: she sleeps around. And I don't judge her for that, at all — hell, in my freshman year, before I started dating my boyfriend of now three years, I put not-so-few notches on my bedpost myself. The problem is, Poodle doesn't use any protection.

She's not on the Pill. She's too embarrassed to buy condoms. We'll go out, we'll get drunk, she'll leave with a random guy, the next day she's asking me to go get the morning-after pill with her. She's been doing it for about two years now — bringing two, maybe three different guys home in a week, having unprotected sex with them, then crossing her fingers until her period comes. She knows for sure that one of the guys she's been sleeping with has chlamydia (she found out through a mutual friend, he sure as hell didn't bother letting her know), and she's freaking out about it, but she refuses to go get tested. I've offered to go with her, I've explained the procedure, she'll make drunken plans to go but then she'll bail.

I don't want it to sound like I'm clutching my pearls because she's having sex with guys. She can sleep with whomever she likes and more power to her; I don't subscribe to the idea that a guy's a playaaaaa and a girl's a slut, it's not like that. I'm just so worried about my friend's health.

When I'm in when she's doing it, I'll lend her condoms (I've probably bought more condoms for her than I have for myself) but I'm not usually there. I've told her to buy condoms herself and her answer was, "No, it's his responsibility. It's his penis!" Umm, yeah, but it's going in your body, Poodle.

She won't listen. She's too embarrassed to buy them; she's apparently too embarrassed or drunk to insist on using protection; if a guy tells her that it "feels better" without, she'll agree. She's freaking out that the possibility of her having chlamydia (I pray that's all she's got) means that she could become infertile if she doesn't get tested and treated, and she STILL won't go to the doctor. She's stopped telling me now whether or not she used a condom because, she says, "I know you'll get mad if I don't."

I know this isn't my responsibility, it's hers. I know it's her body and her health, and it's none of my damn business anyway, but I'm worried about her. Do you have any advice?

They're Not So Bad — Look, This One Has A Reservoir Tip!

Dear Tip,

Well, it depends on whom you want advice for, Poodle or yourself.If it's for Poodle, frankly, I don't think anything I can tell you to do or say is going to have much effect.

But advice I give you might have a secondary effect on her — because I think Poodle does this at least in part to create drama and get attention, so when I tell you to stop taking responsibility for her sexual health in any way, that will in turn cut off the supply of attention she receives for behaving irresponsibly and involving you in the resulting agita, and when she stops getting anything out of it, maybe she'll stop doing it.

I mean, you have to stop trying to save her from herself for your own sake, because it's just going to make you feel guilty if she gets an STD, and you really shouldn't; she knows this is risky behavior, and she knows "better."But she's getting something out of it.She's getting mothering from you; she's getting to abdicate the job of taking care of herself or addressing consequences.You take her to get the morning-after pill; you nag her about the condoms.

Stop.She's an adult.I know you don't want responsibility for what happens if you don't stay on her, but 1) you don't have it, she does, and 2) it's not working in the first place.Sit her down one more time and tell her that, while this behavior worries you, you will no longer involve yourself with it — at all.You will not ride her to make clinic appointments or buy rubbers; nor will you go with her to get the morning-after pill again, listen to whining about when her period is supposed to come, comfort her about potential infertility that may derive from chlamydia she refuses to treat, or otherwise engage in any sympathetic response to behavior that she could have avoided.You love her, and you don't judge her; you just won't invest any more of your time or mental energy in a problem that has solutions she's declined to try and that she created herself. She's putting herself at risk for an unwanted pregnancy and/or serious disease; if that happens, you will still love her, but she will have to deal with it.

If a condom breaks, fine, you'll hear that.If she finally makes a clinic appointment and asks you to go with her, great; go, support her, give her positive reinforcement.But until she grows a brain and starts looking out for herself, you don't want to hear about it or help with it.And, you know, maybe she's just a bonehead, or maybe this is about self-loathing — whatever, it doesn't matter why.The point is that, whether or not your parental role in the situation is the root cause, it's letting her think that someone else can care about it instead of her — and that someone else will care about her if she makes them take care of her.

No more.You're friends; be her friend, not her mom.She needs to do this for herself; if she has to learn the hard way, well…

Hi Sars,

I always thought if I had a Vine question it would be an "Ask the Readers" sort of thing, but something else has cropped up that I could use your advice on, as everyone I could ask is either too involved with the situation itself or too interested in making me feel better about it to give an impartial answer.

I work for a large private university in a very small administrative department. I've been here for four years and had two bosses pretty much evenly split over that time.Because of a bunch of budget cuts and other hassles that have been making my work increasingly difficult for the last year or so, I recently started sending out resumes in an attempt to find something better.These resumes listed as my references Boss #1 and Boss #2 from this job, as well as my boss from the job I had before my current one.

Last week, Boss # 2 was fired for falsifying expense reports before he actually became my boss (he'd been at the university in various positions for some time).Our department is basically being shut down, and though I technically am being absorbed into another department, the intensity of my job search has gone up another couple of levels.Only now, I find myself wondering what to do about my references.

The contact information for Boss # 2 is no longer correct on the resumes I already sent out, but that alone is not the problem.Is it even proper to include him on my reference list any more? What should I say if I'm contacted by one of the employers that has the resume with his name on it?If I take him off the list, should I say anything to explain why the most recent reference on my list is someone I haven't worked for in over two years?

On a more personal note, as he was being escorted out of the office, Boss #2 asked me to call him in a few days.I may have to if I'm going to have to ask him if it's okay to leave him on my reference list, but I really don't feel like speaking to him, at least for a while.I've learned some things about exactly what he did and when he knew he was being investigated that have changed my perceptions of the kind of person he is and how much I can trust him.I'd just email him, but the only email address I have is the work address that he won't have access to anymore.Am I being a baby about this?Should I just suck it up and call him and try to keep the conversation as professional as possible?

This situation has affected me emotionally far more than I would have expected (I didn't sleep at all the night after I found out), with the unfortunate result that everyone I've spoken to about it now treats me as if I'm not capable of handling anything other than the most comforting clichés, lest I burst into tears again.So I could really use some patented Sars straight talk here, if you got it.

If they'd fired me too, at least I wouldn't have to get up in the morning

Dear Morning,

The first question to answer is whether you still want the guy on your reference list.I think you don't.I don't see an up side, honestly, unless it's a glowing recommendation, which won't mean much coming from this guy at this point; do you want to muddy those HR waters by wondering if you should explain that your best/most recent rec came from a guy campus security took out of his office?

It sucks to have to do, it's awkward, and on top of that it's not even your fault, but if I were you, I would call to follow up with the various places you've sent your c.v.Explain that Boss #2's contact information is now incorrect and he's no longer available because he left the department; if the HR rep wants more information, it's not my sense that you should give it, so you may want to check with your own HR contact to see whom you can refer people to for carefully couched information.

On future résumés, don't list Boss #2; if anyone asks why the gap in references, give the same explanation: "Boss #2 is no longer with the university, for reasons that allegations rather not go into it blah blah contact such-and-so blah."

Whatever you decide to tell them, you need to tell them something and seem proactive — but you need to rehearse it about a hundred times so it sounds professional and flat.Practice a tone of mild regret; don't sound nervous, and think of every possible follow-up question so you can answer it readily.

As for calling Boss #2, yeah, I'd just get that over with.Let him know he's off your reference list, tell him to take care, and try to get off the call; if he's all angling for sympathy or over-apologizing, don't tell him it's okay.Just thank him for saying whatever, wish him well, and hang up.I'm sure he's got problems and I'm sure he feels alone, but he hung you out to dry with this and he can live with that.

I finished my master's in December and moved 450 miles to try to find a job near my boyfriend. Through a connection from grad school, I met a very awesome and competent professional at a local university who let me volunteer for her in what ended up being a mix of internship and research partnership. It was a great experience, and I built up a ton of useful skills that I will be deploying in my new professional position at a different university, starting next month.

At the end of my internship, she asked me if I would write a letter of support to her supervisor. She has been working on some innovative and exciting projects with her supervisor, who is the dean of a major program, and has no doubt that her performance review will go well, but she thinks (and I agree) that any supporting material can't hurt.

The only problem I'm having is that I know her supervisor — I worked as her (paid) personal assistant and helped her set up house, move boxes, and so on. We developed a friendly relationship, although not a relationship of equals. So I'm not sure what tone to use and how to reference the fact that I know the director when I write the letter.

Would it be inappropriate to throw in something personal near the beginning or the end ("I really enjoyed getting to know you and learning about your career" etc.) in this letter, or would that make it sound like I'm trying to push on my personal connection with the director? Do I write it without acknowledging that I know and like the director in order for the letter to be taken seriously? Also, should I mention that I am writing the letter for it to be included in my mentor's personnel file, or is there another way to make that obvious?

Any guides out there for writing letters like this?


Dear S,

Throw in a cover letter — short, not too familiar, something like, "Dear Supervisor, Enclosed please find a letter of support for Mentor's personnel file.I had a fantastic experience working with her on X and want to" so on and so forth, new paragraph, "I hope you're well and that [Y project I remember from working for you] is proceeding apace."Closing, sign.Separate piece of paper: letter of support.

Not acknowledging that you know the supervisor is, I think, weird, but I also think you don't want that to become part of the letter itself, which is about your internship with your mentor and not about the three of y'all's six degrees of work-aration.So, a brief, pleasant but not overly friendly cover letter should do the trick.

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  • attica says:

    I agree with Sars's advice to Tip. I'd only offer another perspective about what might be driving Poodle's behavior. For some women, sexual desire is a dangerous, dicey thing. Whether it's because of a repressed upbringing, or some adherence to a Victorian model of womanhood, there's a notion that Good Girls aren't supposed to want sex. Maybe Poodle thinks (and maybe it's not even a conscious thought) that if she doesn't make concrete plans for having sex (like refusing to stock up on condoms), or doesn't monitor and protect her sexual health, she can still lay claim to being a Good Girl. Being beset by all the post-behaviour consequence also feeds this — She's Pauline tied to the the railroad tracks! (Oh! How innocent! How aggrieved! Won't somebody save her?!?!) Being in denial about the realities of sexual life means she can protect her image of herself as Not Wanting It (but if you insist, well, then, okay!) Even the specter of clamydis

    It's the distaff/het side of Larry Craig in the airport mens' room. His community frowns upon The Gay, so he's so way not gay, but if there's a fellow in the next stall, well, hey!)

    Now, this may not be at play with Poodle. But I've seen it before, and it wouldn't surprise me, even in this day and age.

  • Chrissy says:

    To Morning: something about "as he was being escorted out of the office, Boss #2 asked me to call him in a few days" puts up the creepy flag for me. Why would you call him at all? Why tell him you're dropping him from your reference list? Just do it, and find someone else to list. And as someone who has done a lot of job searching and also a lot of hiring, I don't believe it's odd to have a list of references of people who did not supervise you at all, so a "gap" in bosses is nothing strange. I prefer not to list my current boss anyway, because usually I don't want him/her to know I am looking. I think most hiring managers fully understand this.

    Chances are, depending on the size area in which you live, word of Boss #2's demise will have gotten out on its own anyway.

  • Boss lady says:

    Morning should ask a trusted colleague to be a reference. Potential employers like to hear from a supervisor but they want to know what you are like to work with so a peer is an acceptable reference. That way, you can have a current name listed as a reference and still omit Boss #2 from your list of references. I would also recommend removing the references from your resume. References are usually requested only of short-listed candidates. No one will be calling references until they've determined you are a strong candidate so there isn't a need to list them at the outset.

  • Jeremy Preacher says:

    To Morning – it may vary from industry to industry, but every recruiter I've discussed resumes with in the past five years has said, very firmly, that on an actual resume all you should have is "References available on request." Don't list names or phone numbers there, wait for them to actually ask you. That gives you quite a bit more control of the process, and hey, it's aoparently the in thing.

  • Kymster says:

    To Tip: There might even be another side to this. You say you have been friends since day 1 of college – what do you know about Poodle's personal history before that point? Did she have a Norman Rockwell childhood? Was she abused or molested?

    Many times, when a girl is molested, and then won't or can't deal with it, it plays out in another way. She may think she deserves to come down with an STD, because if she wasn't such a whore, she wouldn't have been molested in the first place. Not right, she doesn't deserve it, but accurate nonetheless. In which case, a trip to the counseling office would be a VERY good thing.

  • Kate says:


    First off, this is why I never put references on my resume.

    "References are available upon request" should be at the bottom of any resume. You should keep an updated contact list on your computer with your references, but I would never go around sharing it.

    There are a few reasons I do this.

    1) I have enough job experience so that, depending on what job I'm up for, if someone is looking for references, I might give different ones for different jobs. If the job requires someone with research and writing ability, I would go for a reference that would exemplify that. If it's looking for someone with an excellent phone presence, I would refer them to someone else.

    2) If I am going to give out someone's contact information to a stranger, even for this purpose, I like to give them a heads up. "Hi ___. So-n-so might be calling you checking my references for X."

    3) It is a great way to keep your network going when you're looking for a job. "Hi ___. So-n-so might be calling you to check my references. In the meantime, how are you? Wow, they're hiring at your company…really?"

    If you do give out Boss #2 as a reference then advise the person who you're giving the reference to why you are sending them to Boss #2. "Boss #2 was let go under somewhat unpleasant circumstances, but I did work for him for two years and he can speak to my professionalism and yada-yada-yada."

    Remember not all people want references for the same reason.

  • Kermit says:

    Poodle sounds exactly like the "self-rejuvenating virgin" from Florence King's Southern Ladies and Gentlemen:

    " 'It didn't really happen because…'

    "1. I was drunk.
    2. We didn't take all our clothes off.
    3. We didn't do it in a bed.
    4. He didn't put it all the way inside me.
    5. He didn't come inside me.
    6. I didn't come.
    7. ,,,Well, not really.

    "The self-rejuvenating virgin never bothered with contraceptives because that was premeditation."

    Not helpful, but it rang a bell for me.

  • Diane says:

    @attica – you are probably exactly right.

    For Morning – I agree with Chrissy in that I cannot understand why a call should be required for Boss #2, either in context of losing him as a reference or anything else.

    As to references in general, because sending resumes and actually going through applications processes are two different things, I tend to separate "references" from "may we contact your manager" fairly distinctly.

    My own references have generally consisted of (a) a coworker within my department, who can speak to my service to my own group; (b) a fairly close associate who occupies a position similar to my own, who can speak to my skills therein; and (c) senior managers or executives familiar with my work from the "outside." I have only rarely included past or present managers on a *resume* reference list, as requests for references are almost always separate from the listing of past/present managers included in most application processes.

    This said, I do discuss my relationships with both present and past managers in all job interviews, and readily provide contact information and assent-to-contact ("as appropriate," for the latter, with current managers). Because manager contact information is a built-in part of the application process, the references I provide with my resume are geared to different functions and perspectives in order to provide a wider view and context for my performance.

  • Diane says:

    Double posting to add, in response to Jeremy Preacher – exactly! Since manager contact information is almost always a part of the application process, but not all companies request and/or contact references, references are not a default inclusion with any initial contact. My reference page is separate from the resume itself, and I generally include it only once I've gotten to the application/interview step.

    Job postings almost never seem to include "with references" anymore, and I don't add excess pages or information to any initial contact. Recruiters tend to prefer meat-and-potatoes information concisely delivered: no padding, no extras, and don't-give-me-anything-I-didn't-ask-for.

    (This also goes for salary histories.)

  • BDanger says:

    As a recruiter, I need to chime in. Never put your reference on your resume itself. It is outdated and most hiring managers hate it. I never rule out a candidate because their CV made no mention of references. I think it is safe to assume most adults will understand they need two or three solid references to secure a position. Also, if your resume is posted on one of the job boards (Monster or Careerbuilder), having references listed can muck up the phone number that the website pulls for employers to see.

    @ Diane- You are totally right. Recruiters and hiring managers alike are most concerned with your dates of employment, title, and responsibilities along with education. Corporate synergy buzzwords can be a dead giveaway that the candidate is padding their experience.

  • ferretrick says:

    @ fired:
    Another person chiming in who says you shouldn't send the references with your resume anyway. Hiring managers are not going to start reference checks until they have at least scheduled an interview, and probably not till after its been done. Unless they ask for it before this point, the best move is to hand it to the interviewer as the interview concludes, and say something like, "Here is my reference page. What is the next step in your hiring process?" or "When can I expect to hear from you again?"

    As far as what to say about the boss, I would go with, "He has left the company, and unfortunately I do not have any personal contact information." Say nothing about the termination or the circumstances. I would look unfavorably on any candidate who said ANYTHING about whether a coworker was fired or left on their own. Stick to "left the company."

  • Margaret in CO says:

    Tip, in addition to everything Sars says, I'd add thatin your last-ditch effort to get Poodle to be smarter, try a bit of role-play. I did this with my daughter, the poor kid. I said to her "I'm the boy. How are you going to get me to wear this condom?" and she took it from me, and said "You're not putting that in until you put this on." and I knew I didn't need to worry! Of course I worried anyway.
    (And when I became single again, she made me do that same role-play in reverse. Love that kid!)
    Maybe if Poodle rehearses the condom scenario she will feel more comfortable insisting on safer sex. If you're intimate enough to fuck a guy, you're intimate enough to talk to that guy, and Poodle needs to speak up!

    But yes, what everyone else says – these issues go deeper than mere carelessness. You are lovely to care so much, but I think you're in over your head & that Poodle needs to talk to someone with professional training. She's being self-destructive.

  • Linda says:

    It's true that Poodle might be tormented about her own sexuality, but it's also true that Poodle might just be embracing her role as the fuck-up. Unfortunately, a lot of people find their own fuck-uppery sort of adorably wackadoo, and they're really most comfortable in that state of chaos, constantly twirling and being reassured that things are fine. There are people who find that cycle reassuring — panic over being pregnant; get your period. Panic over getting an STD; decide you probably don't. It sounds crazy, but there are people who learn to live off the pattern of going on and off the ledge, just because coming off the ledge feels so good. That's kind of what it feels like to me, that her ability to constantly worry about herself and then find out that nothing happened has become a habit and she'd miss it.

    The other theories seem plausible too, though I have to say, I think even the most repressed and guilt-laden woman would have a hard time convincing herself that she can play a stereotypical "good girl" when she's having quite this much anonymous sex. NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG with what she's doing, but I find it hard to believe that she's even subconsciously protecting any prudish image of herself at this point. If this had happened a handful of times, totally. But this…I'm not so sure.

  • Expat Erin says:

    I am a corporate recruiter, and have worked in both the U.S. and the U.K. I know other people have already posted this, but references in my opinion really do not belong on a resume. At a certain stage in the hiring process, I will request them from candidates. There is a place on our standard application form for references. Regarding this particular instance, I would strongly second Sars' advice that Morning practice a short, professional explanation if asked about the boss – but only if asked! Most recruiters and hiring managers either wouldn't particularly notice that the most recent boss isn't listed, or if they do, not think anything weird is going on. It's very common for current bosses to not be listed.

  • Diane says:

    For the recruiters who've piped up, I'd love to pose a question. In the interest of keeping my resume relevant and concise, I tend to let old jobs drop off it after ten years or so. I'm old enough to have been working over half my life, and most of the experience that predates any given period by more than a decade or so is either no longer relevant, or no longer an accurate reflection of the level at which I work now. Yet a year or two ago, when I was searching for a new position, I was MINUTELY questioned by an HR rep (I would hesitate to glorify this person as a "recruiter" for several reasons) as to why my entire work history was not on my resume. This is the only time I have ever encountered such a strangely completist attitude, and it's certainly had no effect on my approach to job hunting (except to convince me I was perfectly happy not to gain further attention for that "opportunity" …), but I was curious whether there might be fields or reasons for which certain recruiters might actually prefer loads of detail.

    I can say this – for my job (administration/project management etc.) reiterating my experience in my dad's academic department in 1986 is unquestionably superfluous!

  • Annie F says:

    As someone who could almost be qualified as a professional job seeker (or so it feels, sometimes), I have never made any reference to references on my resume. I may allude to it on my cover letter, but I don't think so. In my experience, they don't matter until I get to either the application phase, or, recently, to the job offer phase. I rarely list my current boss (don't really need them to know I am looking), but do have people who have managed me at past positions with whom I have kept in touch. I also have co-workers with whom I have worked closely and directly, and always give the heads up when I think they may be called (they usually want to know what I am interviewing for so they know how to focus answers).

    @ Diane, I recently had a recruiter tell me to wipe out all the experience that wasn't relevant to my search…in this case it was my first few years as an admin. She said that once you have over 7 years, you don't need to put the jobs that have no direct relation, but can mention them in an interview.

    I highly recommend the book "Knock 'Em Dead" by Martin Yates to help on your job search. It was invaluable to my most recent…netting me 2 firm offers (and was on my way to the 3rd, but pulled out of the running due to the other two offers).

  • Expat Erin says:

    I don't want to annoy Sars by hijacking the thread, but I will say that I strongly prefer resumes with the candidate's entire work histories. Less recent or relevant positions can certainly be discussed much more briefly than the more recent roles. However, I find it very useful to get a sense of the candidate's overall career progression, kinds of industries worked in, size and types of employers, and so on, even if the earlier roles aren't obviously and directly relevant to the role we are considering them for.

    Back to topic, this is perhaps a good reason for leaving off references – most recruiters would rather see a full job history than have the resume space used by something we may or may not need.

    Also, Linda, very interesting insight on Poodle's possible motivations. Now that I think about, I have definitely known people like that. Especially at university!

  • abs of steel says:

    When I grew up (not so long ago), I remember learning that you could have sex if you were mature enough to handle the consequences. It seems Poodle is begging the question. And yes, her friend is not her mother, and shouldn't be enabling the behavior. I understand embarrassment about asking your doctor for a birth control script or buying condoms, and I understand seeking out a friend's help to procure these items (please drive me to Planned Parenthood), but it ultimately is her responsibility. If she thrives on the drama, that's her own business. Because she is having sex, she needs to deal with the consequences on her own.

  • Ellen says:

    To Diane, As part of my job, I teach resume writing and job hunting workshops and you are right to leave off older experience. Employers are most interested in your *recent and relevant* experience (ten years is plenty). Your resume should not be more than two pages and for many people including everything would make it over two pages. Also, if your work history goes back to the days of long ago, the HR person may engage in a bit of age discrimination – illegal of course, but it still happens.

    n.b. In the U.S., resumes and C.V.s are not the same thing – C.V.s do include just about everything, but they are mostly for academic positions.

    And as it has been stated by others, references should be a separate document (not on your resume), don't send it or hand it over until you are asked for it, and you can leave the "References furnished upon request" or similar phrase off the resume – in the past it was always included but now it is not necessary.

    (OT) P.S. Attica – this cracked me up: "His community frowns upon The Gay, so he's so way not gay, but if there's a fellow in the next stall, well, hey!"

  • Emily says:

    @ Diane, I always keep my resume under two pages so I drop off old jobs too. I only ever list my three most recent jobs. If someone asked me for my complete job history, I would say, "I only listed my three most recent jobs in the interest of providing a concise resume, but I'd be happy to forward you the rest of my job history."

    @ Expat Erin, do you really care that I stocked shelves, waited tables and worked in a call centre when I'm looking for a job in forestry? This seems like stuff that might come up in an interview, not something you would want to read in a pile of 200 resumes.

    I'm definitely interested in your view on this. :)

  • Judy says:

    Am I overthinking this, or does it strike anyone else that someone who is fairly sure she's been exposed to chlamydia should no longer given a pass on not bothering with protection/treatment/responsible behaviour? It's not cute anymore, it no longer only affects her, it's not just her own/her enabler's drama, etc. ad nauseam…

  • Judy says:

    …or 'no longer *be* given a pass'… if you want it to make sense.

  • bobbi says:

    to tip: who gets embarrassed buying condoms as a SENIOR IN COLLEGE?! Maybe as a senior in high school? But by age 22 I don't understand "embarrassment" as an excuse. Now, I understand many many other excuses (didn't have one handy, didn't want to interrupt, etc.) but if Poodle is going for the morning-after pill without embarrassment then I don't buy that as an "excuse" for not protecting herself to begin with. And I know it is not longer chic to think about it, but why has no one mentioned HIV? Is death no longer a potential consequence of unprotected sex?

  • Tarn says:

    I was recently on an interview committee, and it was interesting to see the wide variety of resumes we got…none of them had references listed on them. Most of them featured employment experience that was relevant to the position, but there was one I thought was interesting that outlined in detail her relevant experience and the work that she had done at those jobs, and then at the bottom, in a separate section titled "Other Employment," she made a brief, undetailed list of her "starter" jobs like waitressing and temping. Like Expat Erin says, it kind of gives a more well-rounded look at the applicant, and shows where they came from and could start an interesting interview conversation about how they came into the desired field.

  • Kim says:

    I'm really enjoying the idea of including my entire job history in my current resume. I'm a writer and tech editor with people and project management experience, but–full disclosure–I can ALSO operate a Slushee machine. It *might* be relevant, you never can tell. If there is a job where I could actually utilize all those skills, heck, I kind of think I want it.

  • jennie says:

    I have to agree with everyone above who says reference do not belong on a resume. As a recruiter it is part of my process to request them on a seperate form only from the top finalists for the position.

    Also, sending a resume with reference contact info to an employment agency exposes your references to receiving cold calls from recruiters looking for leads on jobs or candidates.

    But if you do say "References available upon request", please make sure you actually can provide them upon request. It may seem crazy but I've had more than one candidate struggle to provide references and tell me they just put that on because that's what everyone does.

  • jill (tx) says:

    While we're at it, is it generally accepted that resumes be limited to one page, no matter what? I'm in academia, so I have a 2-3 page CV, but sometimes I need a resume, and I want to make sure it's not too verbose.

  • Linda says:

    @Judy and @bobbi: I haven't sensed that anyone is overlooking the behavior or giving anyone a pass. I think everyone is well aware of how risky this behavior is; that's why the friend is upset in the first place. The problem is that Tip doesn't have the ability to actually stand over Poodle and make sure she doesn't have unprotected sex. Yes, it endangers Poodle; yes, it endangers Poodle's partners. But neither Poodle nor Poodle's partners can possibly not know that. I don't think, in this case, that the advice to disengage and leave Poodle to make her own mistakes comes from wanting to give Poodle a pass. It comes from realizing that after a certain point, you genuinely have no other choice. There are times when there is genuinely nothing you can do, and a friend who is absolutely insistent on engaging in dangerous behavior despite being well aware of the consequences can be one of those times, I think.

  • Emily says:

    Linda, I agree. Both people involved in the unprotected sex are equally responsible. Whether your partner has chlamydia or not, you are the sole person responsible for your sexual health. But Tip can't make her friend be an adult, so once again she's right about everything. :D

  • Emily says:

    By "she" I meant Sars. Sorry guys.

  • Bev N says:

    i don't disagree with a word of your advice about Poodles. And yet…
    her behavior isn't just risky for disease and pregnancy, it is also effective behavior for finding a crazy guy who beats women, or worse.

    I don't have any better advice for her friend, but AA or SA might be worth considering.

  • Alyson says:

    Tip: It sounds very much like Poodle doesn't like herself. It totally makes sense that you're worried about her, seeing as she's actively refusing to take care of herself. This is the attitude of someone who desperately feels like she needs to be punished.

    And, having said that, I really don't have any useful advice for dealing with her, beyond what Sars and others have already said. Maybe that's just something to keep in mind when you decide how to respond to her. If she's so determined to hurt herself, you can't make her behave like a responsible adult.

  • nsfinch says:

    For Morning: there's no rule that says you have to put references on your resume. Provide them upon request, after you've been interviewed. A lot of companies won't even let employees give references anyway, beyond verifying that someone worked there on the dates specified.

  • Valerie says:

    When I was in my 30's, I included a brief paragraph in my resume on "early work experience." Those early jobs can lay the foundations of your work ethic, people skills, time management, prioritizing, beginning management experience, etc. – all of these can help fill in the picture for the recruiter. Now that I'm in my 40's and have been in my profession for over 15 years, though, I've dropped that information off of my resume.

  • Sandman says:

    "There are people who find that cycle reassuring — panic over being pregnant; get your period. Panic over getting an STD; decide you probably don't. It sounds crazy, but there are people who learn to live off the pattern of going on and off the ledge, just because coming off the ledge feels so good.

    There are also people who get addicted to living in crisis mode – whether it's because of the "coming off the ledge" high that Linda notes, or a kind of conflation of "feeling alive" with "fight or flight response" that sometimes happens. Either way, I agree that the best thing you can do is support her while making your own limits clear.

  • CJRW says:

    I agree, there is no reason for Morning to call her boss. That sounds straight-up creepy to me.

    On the topic of resumes: as an HR nerd, I like to see a full job history. For anything older than eight or so years, I don't need the details, but maybe just a company name, job title, and dates. If I see "25 years administrative experience" on your cover letter, and your resume only lists the last five years, I get suspicious.

  • Expat Erin says:

    I read my post and realized I should probably have been more clear. Waitressing jobs while in college and/or high school, the boring retail job that was the only thing you could find when you first graduated, and so on probably don't belong on a resume. But I am usually interested in anything that you did for longer than about a year and anything that was a "proper job" even if it is not in the industry or career you are in currently. So I do want to see brief mention of your first entry level job, and how you progressed to where you are now. One thing I hate is seeing the resumes where the very first role is something like "Operations Manager – 200 direct reports." It gives me no sense of how the candidate got to where he/she is now.

  • Izzy says:

    It's worth keeping in mind that, whatever psychological issues Poodle has…they're not her friend's problem. They're hers. She's twenty-two, which is an awfully big girl, and she can own up to her own behavior.

    Suggest counseling, by all means. Go "yay!" and be supportive if she gets counseling or makes an effort to change on her own. But otherwise? Stop taking responsibility for her; stop feeling bad about not taking responsibility for her. One of the things she probably needs to learn is that this behavior *won't* get her attention.

    The only thing I'd feel guilty about, re: "I've had it and I'm now ignoring the whole situation" is her partners. Should Tip make Poodle's partners aware that she's an STD risk, assuming the chance arises, or is it a "they're hooking up unprotected, they're taking their own chances" thing?

  • Being "too embarrassed" to buy condoms is not a valid excuse for not having them, period.

    Most big supermarkets have self-checkout now, and as long as the store doesn't keep them in a locked case, you can check yourself out and no one has to know you're ZOMG BEING SEXUALLY RESPONSIBLE (oh, the shame!).

    If you don't live somewhere with self checkout or the stores in your area all keep the condoms in lockdown, there are ways to get them free. When I was in college, you could get a handful of condoms in a plain paper bag from the campus health center. They were in a basket by the door, so you could just reach in from the hallway and grab them without having to speak to or make eye contact with anyone. The office was around a corner, so if you came from the right angle, you could snatch them without even being seen. When the health center was closed, they moved the basket into the hall so people could still get them after hours. Poodle's campus health center undoubtedly has something like this, too.

    That said, I agree with Sars' advice– be supportive, but stop making this your responsibility. Poodle is never going to take this seriously as long as she's got someone taking care of it for her. Yeah, it sucks to see the people you love make choices you don't agree with, but sometimes you just have to step off and let people make their own mistakes.

  • Kristina says:

    You don't even have to go to the supermarket for your "embarrassing" products nowadays. Internet, anyone? Yay completely anonymous sexual health purchases!

  • Ted says:

    I don't want to sound like a wowser here, but I'd be concerned that Tip's friend has a drinking problem.

    1) If she's drunkenly bringing guys home two or three times every week, she's getting drunk at least that often, maybe more, which is a bit much.

    2) She only makes plans to get STD tested when she's drunk. That means she has trouble facing her problems when she's sober.

    Her risky sexual behaviour might be a symptom of something bigger.

  • Karen says:

    Regarding Poodle: Second to what Kristina said. A few clicks and keystrokes can result in a lifetime supply of whatever kind of condoms you want, and delivered to your front door.

    Sars, you're right about just sitting Poodle down and letting her know that you have nothing else to say regarding her sexual exploits. It's all been said, and she's chosen to disregard it. One thing that Tip could possibly add to the conversation: "I don't want to be around when you're drinking. I love you, but I can't stand what you do when you're drunk, and I don't want to be around it." No, it's not something that will convince Poodle to stop the idiotic behavior when she's drinking. Drawing that line isn't something Tip should do to change Poodle. Tip should draw the line so she can save her own sanity.

    All in all this sounds like a combo platter of the major truths learned by female college students: 1. childhood crap sometimes surfaces in college, 2. Help your friends with their problems, but don't shoulder those problems yourself, 3. Alcohol–wheeee!!

  • Darla says:

    If she's too embarassed to buy them, you should take her more seriously. Some people are seriously embarassed to buy toilet paper and go through crazy extremes not to buy them.

    Try buying some condoms for her or tell her about:

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Let's not go way out on a skinny limb to make excuses for Poodle; if it's pathology, she needs to deal with it with some behavioral therapy instead of living in denial and having unsafe sex. Comes the day you have to face your problems, whatever they may be, and I'm not unsympathetic to weird neuroses, or possible acting out as a consequence of abuse or low self-esteem, but whatever the issue is, if Tip keeps holding her hand, Poodle is never going to face it herself, which is what needs to happen.

    And it's irrelevant anyway. Tip says she's bought more condoms FOR Poodle than for herself. Access to condoms is not the problem; the unnecessary drama created by Poodle's refusal to use them is.

  • Moonloon says:

    Coming in late on this, I agree with Sars' last point – Poodle will never deal with her issues if she can still keep acting out their weird pantomime, that lets her make it about the symptom and not the cause.

    Re whether Tip has any responsibility to Poodl'e partners until she's chalmydia free – I would say not.

    I was the queen of casual sex in my twenties, always rubbered up of course, but the few times I met a guy who was johnny-shy, it was always the him who'd plead not to use one. I've never heard of a woman talking her partner out of using one!

    If P's partners go on to try that "it don't feel so nice, honey" schtick with anyone else, that's their problem – sadly, we cannot save people from themselves, and your responsibility is over now you've done the educational bit.

  • Michelle says:

    I find it really disturbing, and very reflective of the "college" lifestyle, that so many GUYS are willing to take Poodle at face value and not insist themselves on condoms. How come the GUYS aren't worried about getting her pregnant, or aren't worried about her giving them an STD? I guess this is why the largest growing age group for HIV are 19 to 24 year olds. It's such a scary cycle, cuz if these guys will sleep with Poodle without protection, they'll sleep with other girls without it, and those girls will sleep with other guys without it and viscious cycle etc etc. Throw in one person with Herpes or HIV and you got an uncurable epidemic. I wonder if Tip appealing to Poodle's social consciousness/responsibility could help?

    I agree with Ted that Poodle may have an alcohol problem, since it appears she only sleeps with guys while drunk (no mention of regular boyfriends or sober dating). This girl needs therapy, and I'm not trying to pathologize her but agree with Sars – she needs to deal with her issues, and she needs to deal with them FAST. There is no excuse in this day and time for consistently and deliberately not using protection, especially because you're "embarassed" to buy condoms. My roommates and I in senior college each bought a jumbo sized box of condoms to see who could finish it first with our boyfriends and/or various hookups. THat was a fun and fabulous Walmart trip! It was a point of pride for us to have our own rubbers.

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