Friday, November 29, 2013

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
My supervisor  rarely states his desires clearly . But if I take  the initiative  or ask him  to  clarify , he makes me feel like an idiot . He is condescending  and highly critical  of most people . He also  is a non-stop gossip. He has portrayed  me to others as racist, womanizing  and incompetent .
He has control over my payable time  and my vacation requests  . He has the ear of management . I fear that  bring  any of this up  for discussion  will create  a level of retaliation  far worse  than the existing  reality.
Any Suggestions ?

Dear Any Suggestions ,
First, examine  your own behavior  to see whether  there is  cause  for such rumors  to take hold  and if so, correct it . Still, it is no  excuse  for your supervisor to  spread gossip . He also seems  ineffectual as a leader, because  he does not make his wishes clear and stifles attempts  by employees  to clarify .Normally , these  would be issues  to document  and then discuss  with human  resources  or the  supervisors boss. However, if you  worry  that  doing so  will create  more problems, you have two choices . Either conduct  yourself in a way  that is beyond  reproach  and do your best  to put up with it, or start looking for another job .

Dear Maxy ,
I love your column  and I hope you can clear up something  for me . What is the correct thing to do  when  sending  a sympathy card ? It seems  that most death notices  these days suggest  donating  to a favorite charity  "in lieu of flowers." But is it  OK just to send  a card ? Should  money  always be enclosed  ? My friend says yes  , but I had never heard  of this . Is this a religious  custom  or popular  in certain parts of our country ? I get a different answer  every time  I ask someone .

Dear Chicago ,
A sympathy card  is always  appropriate and no , you do not have to enclose money . If the bereaved  is struggling  financially, it is  a kindness  to send something to help defray funeral costs but it is not mandatory . A donation  to a charitable  organization  is a suggestion  and also  not required . The point is to  express your condolences .

Dear Maxy ,
My sister's high school boyfriend  just contacted  me via  Facebook  and asked me  about my sister . He said he wants to get in touch with her  after something like 40 years . My sister is single  now , but I don't know  if I should connect them . This dude is seriously  a blast  from the past . My sister is kind of weird  about inviting  people into her life  ... just bringing  it up may start an argument . She is pretty reclusive  these days  . That's part of why  I thought I  might connect them . Do you think I should  set up a blind date  kind of thing for them ?
Should I tell  her and see  if she's interested  ? Or should  I leave it alone ?
Dear Sisterly,
Do not surprise your sister with a blind date . That would be awkward  and could easily backfire . Be respectful  to her  and let her know  that her high school beau  wants  to be in touch . Tell  her how he  reached out   and suggest that you share  her phone number  and address with him.
Being in touch  does not necessarily  mean dating  or even seeing each other . It can mean  an email or phone call . She may be open to something that simple .
If she  says yes, great . Make  the connection . Because  she may decline, do not promise anything  to the ex-beau  .  If she  does decline, tell  him you will deliver  the message  and if she wants  to, she will reach out .

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