1. Sami

    I belong to a group who meets once a month at a restaurant for lunch and to catch up. A new person has recently joined our group who has severe dietary restrictions. We are sympathetic to this dilemma however it has now become the topic at every meal. Not only are we regaled with the list of things this person cannot eat but we are then asked how good our meals are and are then subjected to all the things on our plates that this person cannot eat. This behavior is truly taking the joy out of our gatherings. Any thoughts on how to stop this behavior before we disband the group all together?

    • Elizabeth

      Perhaps the person that brought the food-allergic person into the group could say something?

      Or perhaps it’s as easy as cutting short the monologue with something like, “Yes, Bill, you told us before that you were allergic to gluten and eggs. I know it must be difficult to be surrounded by food you can’t eat, but at least you’re healthy and you’re giving your body what it needs. So anyway, what are your weekend plans? (Or, “But Mark how did you say that dog training was going?”)

      So, you can ask that person to talk about something else, or direct attention to another person. If you do it enough, either that person will learn to stop monopolizing the conversation, or will get fed up that they don’t have an audience and leave on their own accord. If it gets bad enough, then the group should feel free to meet without this person.

    • Zakafury

      I have an acquaintance who behaves in very similar ways. I suggest “Please, Jay, we know you can’t eat eggs, but hearing about it again isn’t going to make anyone’s meal more enjoyable.”

      Don’t provide more sympathy than you feel.

  2. Pam

    Help! I have a job interview tomorrow morning. I am on a list where you receive a letter in the mail and then call to arrange an interview. I never expected to have one scheduled so quickly, so tonight I will be scurrying around to prepare. However, I want to bring a list of references. The only issue is that I only have 2. One is my current supervisor who knows I was on this list and the other is my former employer who is working elsewhere now. I don’t want to ask my current employer as I do not want her to know that I am looking elsewhere. This current position has been my only professional position since grad school (4.5 years ago). Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Did you have an internship? I used the contact person from my grad school internship as a reference.
      Did you have a coworker who can speak to your abilities?
      Do you volunteer somewhere (humane society, soup kitchen, shelter)? Many times the contact person for that place is happy to help.

      You must have some great skills to be picked up so quickly in this job market! Best of luck.

    • Elizabeth

      Laura’s are all good suggestions.

      I would add: have you remained in contact with your thesis advisor or whoever supervised you in school? I think that school counts as “professional development” in some professions, so this might be a good way to go if you’ve only had a small number of positions since school days.

      Also, what about a coworker at your current job? They can attest to you from the position of colleague, which is also valuable.

      Lastly, I might add that two references might be plenty. Your explanation that you’ve had the same job since grad school is a good one. If they ask for references, I would present your two confidently and only explain why there is no third if asked.

  3. I have a friend who currently suspects that his boss may have signs of Alzheimer’s. He works in a small business with lots of this man’s family. How does one bring issues that that to the attention to the family, or the individual? Recently he started hearing rumors from people not involved in the business that his boss has regretted hiring him, and his boss has been making strange, overreaching demands of his time. He’s starting to be worried for his future.

    • Country Girl

      These are two completely diffent issues for your friend.

      1) The more important issue may be that your friend’s boss is acting out of line. Bringing up rumors is an act that is sure to get your friend in at least more unfavorable terms with his boss, if not worse. Instead your friend would be better off having a chat with his boss and say “Mr. Collins, I have been noticing lately that you have been giving me a lot of work that does not cooincide with the job description given to me when I was hired. I am happy to go above and beyond for this company and my job, but some of these requests seem to fall outside of the my position. Perhaps we can discuss the job description and time perameters again.” The cold hard truth is that a boss may be in the wrong, but the only options for an employee are typically to discuss, conform, or quit. If the boss doesn’t change his tune after a discussion, there may not be any other options but to conform to these new reuqests or start to look for a new job. Also, lastly, I would recommend your friend take an honest look at his job performance to see if there is room for improvement. Perhaps the boss is somewhat justified in his regret for hiring or in his requesting extra work? It is a possibility.

      2) Alzheimers is often a difficult disease to initially admit to for those struggling with it. ( I know from personal experience with my own family members.) Unfotunately it is not at all appropriate for your friend to assume a diagnosis or share his suspicions with his boss or his boss’s family. What he can do is to keep a log of important events/deadlines/discussions/etc if he suspects his boss may forget them, but other than that I wouldn’t push the issue with anyone close to boss. It would probably come across as unsolicited advice, which is not desirable if this friend is already struggling with a shaky employment situation.

  4. Aliya

    I am 3 months pregnant and have only told a few people. I also just relocated to Florida. I wanted to kill two birds with one stone and send out moving annoucements with my husbands name,my name, and “baby to be”, my family etiquettte experts (mom and sis) are on the fence about this…

    • First of all, this is your news to share, so don’t let others rain on your parade. Congratulations on so many life-changing events! That said, three months is pretty early. So early, in fact, that you don’t even know Baby’s gender yet. Why not wait until a month or so after you move and make the big announcement about Baby its own special event?

    • Chocobo

      I agree, I think it might even be missed if someone doesn’t read closely enough. Three months is still fairly early and you don’t want to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation should anything — God forbid — go wrong. Personally, I think pregnancy announcements are best made by word-of-mouth or by personal phone calls, or personal letters. Anyone whose relationship to you doesn’t warrant one of those may be better off hearing it from someone who is closer to them (say, your mother or another relative), and then receiving the birth announcement once the baby is born. You might consider saving the formal announcement until the baby is safely in your arms, and then you can send out the standard birth announcement.

      Whatever you choose, make sure you protect yourself and your family. Congratulations!

  5. Alicia

    Well you are technically ok in doing this but I would send out the two different things . One send out info about move and new address. Then once baby is born send out cute baby picture. I am not sure why it bugs me but I find it offoputting to recieve an announcement from when before someone is born even if baby is simply referede to as baby to be and that way it sounds like the baby is teh reason for the move which may or may not be true. But they are both wonderful fantastic things worthy of their own seperate topic. Let each have their own moment in the sunshine.

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