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My Boss’s Drinking Is Getting Worse. How Do We Intervene?



Send questions about the office, money, careers and work-life balance to workfriend@nytimes.com. Include your name and location, or a request to remain anonymous. Letters may be edited.

I have a job I enjoy, and it’s going well. I’ve been getting more responsibility, and I get on well with most of my colleagues. But one woman on my team has taken a very strong dislike to me. Every time I say or do anything in a meeting, she puts me down. She refuses my meeting invitations and makes snarky comments about me in front of others.

I’ve tried to rise above it, but it’s wearying — and interfering with my work. I need her input on a shared project, and the attitude is making it difficult.

I haven’t said anything to our boss because I’m embarrassed. I feel like I’m worrying about a mean girl in class. Is now the time to ask for help? How?

— Anonymous

Like most people, I am no stranger to bullies and other petty tormentors. In high school, I assumed things would get better in college, and in college, I assumed things would improve when I entered the workplace, and when I entered the workplace, I realized there are always going to be mean girls and mean boys — people who take out their personal problems or deficiencies on professional colleagues.

Before you go to your boss, which may end up being your most effective option, have you tried having a direct conversation with this woman? Bullies often back down when they are confronted. They tend to pick on people they think they can bully. If you push back, you will let her know you are not going to be her punching bag. You’re clearly not looking for friendship with this woman. You simply need her to act like an adult so the two of you can work together and make your shared project the best it can be. I would ask her why she treats you so poorly, outline your expectations for how she should treat you and make clear that you’re just interested in developing a functional professional relationship.

If, after that conversation, her behavior does not improve, you have every right to go to your boss, so long as you manage your expectations for what your boss is able to do. Unfortunately, there is little recourse for immaturity and petty cruelty. Regardless, please know you have nothing to be embarrassed about. You aren’t the problem here. Your colleague is. There is no shame in being the target of someone else’s bad behavior.

I graduated college in 2020 and was offered a job with a top consulting company, where I previously had an internship. Because of the recession, all new hires were laid off. My boss got laid off, too. She quickly got a job at a new company and lobbied for me to be hired there as well. The company said they couldn’t hire me full time during a pandemic but did take me on as a part-time freelancer, with the expectation of an eventual permanent position. I accepted because it was better than nothing.

The company gave me a freelancer contract and introduced me to the team as an “intern,” even though I’m not doing intern-level work. Privately, they told me it was for “optics” — they didn’t want to appear like they had money. But the company has a lot of new business and hasn’t been affected by the pandemic.

In fact, they immediately extended my hours. I’ve been working full time at $15 an hour, with zero benefits. My duties have expanded, including presentations where partners and clients said they were impressed. My three-month anniversary is approaching. I want to argue to be hired as an employee at a rate reflecting my peers’ so I can afford to live.

I’ve brought up my situation with my boss, but she tells me to keep track of my hours, bide my time, pay my dues and be grateful. How should I campaign to get hired and paid what I deserve?

— Anonymous, Florida

This situation is a mess. It is an absolute mess. When an employer says one thing privately and another thing publicly, they are being shady. They are taking advantage of you. The company is calling you an intern not for optics but because in their eyes you are an intern — one who is doing the work of a full-time employee for a fraction of the compensation. They are privately dangling the carrot of a full-time position so you don’t question or challenge the terms of your employment.

Your boss is neither your friend nor your ally. The company does not and cannot love you. They will simply try to extract from you as much valuable labor, for as little compensation and for as long as possible. Your boss is allowing her employer to exploit you because it benefits her. If she was a true mentor and advocate, she would do everything in her power to bring you on full time. You don’t have to be grateful they are paying you a pittance while exploiting you. And you don’t pay your dues by tolerating an abusive situation. You pay your dues by working hard, for a fair wage.

You have to ask yourself how much you can tolerate and for how long, because it will persist indefinitely — and entirely to the company’s benefit. I don’t know how much room you have here to argue for yourself. The precedent has been set, and not in your favor. But still, just because something is difficult doesn’t mean you don’t try. I would approach your boss and outline for her that you’re working full time and should be brought on as a proper employee with benefits. Describe your responsibilities and how well you fulfill them.

And certainly, though the employment market is stressed right now, you should continue looking for other work — not for leverage but as an exit strategy. As the saying goes, when people (or companies) show you who they are, believe them.

I work at a small organization where nearly everyone has been there for a decade or longer. In the past couple of years, our chief executive started working at home occasionally, and when she does, she drinks heavily. Everyone has had the experience of speaking with her while she’s “working” at home — slurred speech, rambling, forgetting the conversation the next day. Since the pandemic hit, though, these occasional annoyances have become near daily occurrences.

Managing her drinking has become a constant challenge. We try to schedule all meetings in the morning, as the drinking seems to pick up after noon, but fear she will be drunk on a call with an important client or potential funder. We’ve talked about ways to confront her about the issue but are not sure how to do it. We have no H.R. department and she is in charge of everyone and everything. Should we be direct? Enlist outside help from other professional colleagues? Have one employee approach her or do it together? Or just keep our heads down and continue to work around the problem?

— Anonymous

This is a painful situation. It sounds like an intervention is in order. I would approach your boss as a group. I would be compassionate but firm and frank about the pattern of behavior you’ve noticed, how it affects your collective work, and how it is affecting your organization both internally and externally. And I would also make clear that your primary concern is her well-being as a person. This will be tricky. You’re neither friends nor family — you’re her employees, and she holds the balance of power. To that end, does she have family you can enlist? Who does she answer to, and is there a way of involving them that won’t jeopardize her position? Before you stage this intervention, ask yourselves what ultimatums you’re willing to set, and what consequences you’re willing to impose if she fails to address her drinking. I don’t envy the position you’re in, but I do hope that your boss hears your concerns and finds the help she needs.

Roxane Gay is the author, most recently, of “Hunger” and a contributing opinion writer. Write to her at workfriend@nytimes.com.


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Quibi, Short-Form Streaming Service, Quickly Shuts Down



Quibi, the beleaguered short-form content company started by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, announced on Wednesday that it was shutting down just six months after the app became available. The mobile streaming service offered entertainment and news programs in five- to 10-minute chunks intended to be watched on phones by people on the go, but it struggled to find an audience with everyone stuck inside their homes during the pandemic.

Despite raising a combined $1.75 billion in cash from each of the Hollywood studios, the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and other investors, Quibi will wind down its operations and begin selling off its assets. It had searched for a buyer for the company but found no takers.

“Quibi is going to go down as a case study at Harvard Business School on what not to do when launching a streaming service,” Stephen Beck, the founder and managing partner of the management consultancy cg42, said in an interview.

The news of Quibi’s shutdown was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Katzenberg announced the news to his 200-person staff on Wednesday afternoon. Quibi did not give an exact date for when the app would no longer be available.

“The world has changed dramatically since Quibi launched and our stand-alone business model is no longer viable,” Mr. Katzenberg said in a statement.

Ms. Whitman added that while the company had “enough capital to continue operating for a significant period of time, we made the difficult decision to wind down the business, return cash to our shareholders and say goodbye to our talented colleagues with grace.”

Quibi produced more than 100 original series, along with offerings like news from NBC and CBS, and sports programming from ESPN. Marquee names like Steven Spielberg, Sam Raimi, Antoine Fuqua, Jennifer Lopez and Chrissy Teigen were involved. But it struggled to attract subscribers from the start and those who did tune in groused that Quibi wasn’t giving them what they wanted. Consumers complained that the programming couldn’t be watched on television sets (something that became more important with people stuck at home) and they criticized the app’s inability to allow them to share content on social media, a feature that could have helped generate word-of-mouth excitement.

Quibi is also embroiled in a lawsuit with Eko, a tech company that accused Quibi of misappropriating trade secrets and infringing on a patent for the technology that allows viewers to shift seamlessly between horizontal and vertical viewing on a phone. The activist hedge fund Elliott Management has committed to funding the lawsuit.

And as the pandemic continued for months, the company’s backers began looking for a return on their investment.

One major challenge in trying to orchestrate a sale was the fact that Quibi doesn’t own any of its content. In an attempt to lure the brightest lights in Hollywood, Quibi offered each of its partners sweetheart deals where Quibi would pay both to produce the content and then to license the programming for an exclusive two-year period. After that two-year term ended, Quibi would still be able to show the programming on its app, but the content creator would be allowed to stitch together the short episodes into a television show or a film and resell it to another buyer.

“Katzenberg created something that was beneficial to content creators,” said Michael Goodman, an analyst with Strategy Analytics. “But when push came to shove, the market spoke that chunking up premium content is not what consumers want. They like short-form video: news clips, sports clips, beauty. There is a market for that. It’s just not a premium market. It’s not a new lesson but a lesson that has to be continually taught over and over again.”

Despite its shortcomings, Quibi did win two Emmy Awards last month, for the actors Laurence Fishburne and Jasmine Cephas Jones in the series “#FreeRayshawn” from Mr. Fuqua. Two of the company’s other shows also scored nominations: “Most Dangerous Game” starring Christoph Waltz and Liam Hemsworth, and a reboot of the comedy “Reno 911!”

“We continue to believe that there is an attractive market for premium, short-form content,” Ms. Whitman said in the statement. “Over the coming months we will be working hard to find buyers for these valuable assets who can leverage them to their full potential.”

Hollywood is marveling at the pace of Quibi’s demise. The company’s advertising campaign for its April introduction included a series of commercials featuring characters facing imminent death, whether by quicksand or from a zombie bite. They all had about “a Quibi” before disaster struck. In the end, the company’s life cycle didn’t last much longer.


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Mexico City Prosecutor's Office is looking for 100 professionals



The organization opened the call for graduates of the Law career.

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October 21, 2020 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

  • Applicants can register from October 19 to 23, 2020, on business days and hours.

The Attorney General’s Office of Mexico City, presented a call for professionals of the Law Degree. With this they want to incorporate 100 new people to strengthen the areas of investigation related to corruption, gender crimes, among others.

In order to apply, people must:

  • Having graduated two years ago.
  • Make a letter of reasons explaining your desire to work in the body.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation.
  • Be at least 25 years old.
  • Be of Mexican nationality and in the case of men have accredited the National Military Service, among other requirements.

The Prosecutor’s Office specifies that they are preferably looking for people with postgraduate studies in matters of gender violence, forced disappearance, anti-corruption or fighting corruption and electoral matters.

How do I register for the call?

Applicants may register from October 19 to 23, 2020, on business days and hours. The required documentation must be scanned in PDF format, each one separately. To consult it in full, you can enter the official website of the Institute for Professional Training and Higher Education.

Once you meet all the requirements, you must request your registration by sending an email to the address: ifprecysel.21@gmail.com , where you have to specify your full name, home phone, cell phone number, personal email and name of the call. in which you are interested (Gender crimes, crimes of forced disappearance of persons, crimes related to acts of corruption, electoral crimes).

You must attach the required documentation in PDF and Excel format, then a recruiter will be in charge of following up and attending to the registration request. Those who meet all the requirements will be given a registration sheet.


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Stimulus Deal May Come After Election, Pelosi Concedes



Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top White House officials said on Wednesday that they were continuing to narrow their differences on a sweeping stimulus plan to provide pandemic relief to struggling Americans and businesses, even as the California Democrat conceded that a bipartisan deal might not be possible before the Nov. 3 election.

A nearly one-hour conversation between Ms. Pelosi and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary brought the pair “closer to being able to put pen to paper to write legislation,” a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi said.

And Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, said he was “still very hopeful and very optimistic that we’re making progress.”

But with time waning to cement an agreement that could be enacted in time for Election Day, both sides remained wary.

Mr. Meadows, who met with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, told reporters that lawmakers in his party had grown suspicious of Ms. Pelosi’s tactics and were “starting to get to a point where they believe that she is not negotiating in a fair and equitable manner.”

Ms. Pelosi said she remained upbeat about the prospects for a compromise, but allowed for the possibility that it would wait until after the election.

“I’m optimistic that there will be a bill,” she said in an interview on MSNBC. “It’s a question of, is it in time to pay the November rent, which is my goal, or is it going to be shortly thereafter and retroactive.”

Across the Capitol, Senate Democrats blocked a move by Republicans to advance a $500 billion plan that would revive lapsed federal unemployment benefits and a popular federal loan program for small businesses, as well as provide additional money for testing.

Democrats, who have argued the package falls far short of the level of aid needed, unanimously opposed it, and it fell short on a party-line vote of 51-44, failing to clear the 60-vote threshold required to move forward.

Mr. Meadows said earlier Wednesday that a call by Democrats for hundreds of billions of dollars more in federal aid for states and cities and their resistance to a liability shield for businesses remained the toughest obstacles to a bipartisan stimulus deal.

“The biggest issue remains state and local assistance,” Mr. Meadows said on the Fox Business Network. “That remains a stumbling block.”

The White House has proposed providing $250 billion to states and municipalities, Mr. Meadows said, while House Democrats have called for double that. He also said that the liability protections were a crucial priority for Republicans, and he chided Ms. Pelosi for resisting them, saying she was being “disingenuous” if she believed that his party would agree to any deal without them.

Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Mnuchin are expected to speak again on Thursday.


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