16 Comments

  1. Thanksgiving Dinner

    A cousin and I are cohosting a large family Thanksgiving this year at her house. ( I had planned the gathering to be at my house but more of her family is now able to come so she asked, and I obliged, that we hold it at her new house since she now has more room than I.) Since I had previously been planning the dinner solo, I had a menu planned out and we decided that I will still be making/buying 95% of the meal with her contributing part of the desserts.

    A family that will be attending told my cousin that they would be sending us money for the dinner since they are traveling and not able contribute to the meal. She said it was not necessary, but they generously insisted. They sent my cousin a sum of money to use for the dinner, which she decided to split between us 40/60 in my favor. (The 40% more than covered her costs for making her dishes especially considering I had already paid for the main ingredient in her desserts.)

    A few days later the family also unexpectedly sent me the same amount of money as they had my cousin. I’m a little confused as to what to do in this instance. I am wondering, am I to return the 60% my cousin had split with me? Or since I am the one providing all the food (a fact this family didn’t know) should I just put this new check towards the food? Should I say something to cousin about receiving this new check? Should I say something to the family? This whole situation is a bit confusing to me. I don’t want to be deceptive to anyone, but the money is obviously intended to go toward the food.

    • Alicia

      Yes you mention this to your cousin/cohost. Then you discuss it with her. It is a generous and lovely thing that this family is doing and any of those solutions is fine you just need to discuss with your cousin and offer to return the portion she shared with you.

    • Elizabeth

      I agree with Alicia, you should tell your cousin. However, it sounds like when she received the money, she decided on the split. So now that you’ve received the money, I suppose you can make the same call. Otherwise, if you don’t need the money, the nicest thing to do might be to return it to the family that sent it. It would be improper for the to fund the food for everyone.

  2. Winifred Rosenburg

    I’m getting ready to send out Christmas/holiday cards. One of my friends was living with her boyfriend (whom I also have a friendly relationship with). However, they recently broke up, but she is still living with him while she apartment hunts. If they are still living together when I send out Christmas cards, how should I address my friend’s card? Sending them one card with both of their names seems to imply that they are still together. Sending a card with just her name seems to ignore the fact that he’s living there also. Sending them two separate cards seems awkward.

    • Elizabeth

      If she is the friend you will retain, and you foresee interacting with him a lot less, I would just address the card to her. Even if you had a friendly relationship with him, she will probably expect your support and allegiance unless you genuinely developed a real friendship with him separate from her. There’s not really a great answer in this scenario…except perhaps waiting to send the card until after he moves out?

  3. Clara

    I started a new job a month ago and I really like it so far. The location is beautiful and my coworkers all seem very nice. One part time co worker wanted my position, but because I scored higher on a civil service test, I got the job. I am well qualified and deserve the position, as I am sure she did. It is just that I have more education, so my score was higher. She actually seems like a very nice person, but I found that she is a bit bossy with me. My direct supervisor is not at all like this, but she is about 10 years younger than this part timer, and I am 7 years younger than that. We work in a public building and the part timer was heading out for the day. She told us that someone should go and sit in a particular area b/c a grandmother was not watching her child and she had already spoken to her twice. My supervisor said “okay. have a nice day!” and I smiled and said to have a lovely day. I figured my supervisor would tell me to go up or perhaps she was going to want to go up herself since the grandma had already been spoken to. I worked in the same type of public building for almost 5 years before coming here, but I think people are forgetting that I may be new here, but I I am not new to the profession. As she left she said “Come on Clara, you should go in there, you have to learn how to speak with Grandmas too!” I was a bit annoyed but just said “I have sat in there before….I’ll go up.” I hate the feeling that I am starting over even though I was responsible for even more at my previous location. Any advice? I feel like because I am so new here I have to just roll over and obey whatever anyone says to me.

      • Miss Mayella

        Hi Clara. I’ve definitely been in the sticky “new here, but not new to the profession” position, and I definitely empathize with your rankled feelings. I’m sure it can be hard to be friendly and respectful to a bossy co-worker. If it were me, I’d do my best to remember that it’s pretty likely that she’s still feeling the sting of not being selected for your position, and is probably acting bossy to soothe her own hurt feelings. That said, regardless of age or any other factors, you were selected as the most qualified person, and you have (it seems) a qualified supervisor. I would split the difference. You don’t have to prove to this person what your capabilities are, only to your supervisor. I’d tell the part-timer, “Thank you for pointing out this situation, I’m sure [supervisor] and I can cover it,” which politely asserts that you acknowledge the need, but that you take direction from your supervisor, not the part-timer. Then, I’d offer to my supervisor that I’d go to see to the grandma, which will make clear to her both that you know how to work with grandmas and how to handle over-stepping co-workers without treating them harshly. Win-win. Ignore the part-timer’s suggestion that you don’t know how to deal with your clients – we show our capabilities by doing, not by saying, anyway, and proving yourself to her isn’t necessary. You can go one better by asking for her advice (not direction) at a time when you genuinely need it, which may help assuage some lingering jealousy and make fora more pleasant working relationship.

      • Miss Mayella

        Hi Clara. I’ve definitely been in the sticky “new here, but not new to the profession” position, and I definitely empathize with your rankled feelings. I’m sure it can be hard to be friendly and respectful to a bossy co-worker. If it were me, I’d do my best to remember that it’s pretty likely that she’s still feeling the sting of not being selected for your position, and is probably acting bossy to soothe her own hurt feelings. That said, regardless of age or any other factors, you were selected as the most qualified person, and you have (it seems) a qualified supervisor. I would split the difference. You don’t have to prove to this person what your capabilities are, only to your supervisor. I’d tell the part-timer, “Thank you for pointing out this situation, I’m sure [supervisor] and I can cover it,” which politely asserts that you acknowledge the need, but that you take direction from your supervisor, not the part-timer. Then, I’d offer to my supervisor that I’d go to see to the grandma, which will make clear to her both that you know how to work with grandmas and how to handle over-stepping co-workers without treating them harshly. Win-win. Ignore the part-timer’s suggestion that you don’t know how to deal with your clients – we show our capabilities by doing, not by saying, anyway, and proving yourself to her isn’t necessary. You can go one better by asking for her advice (not direction) at a time when you genuinely need it, which may help assuage some lingering jealousy and make for a more pleasant working relationship.

  4. Emmie

    I am a 58 year old woman with 1 child, a 38 year old daughter. She has given me 3 beautiful Granddaughters ages 19, 15 and 10. I have been married for 11 years to a 69 year old man with C.O.P.D. My daughter has 4 dogs and 3 birds that irritated his breathing so he usually sits outside when we go to their house (we live in FL.). Aren’t you glad you’re not me? Spending the holidays at her house are very stressful for me, with divided loyalties, and I have M.S. The past couple of years either I went to my daughters alone and left my husband home or I stayed home with my husband. I suggested, last Christmas, that maybe they could go to the Christmas performance at my church with me, which is several weeks before Christmas and afterwards stop back at my house for cookies and a gift exchange. Well that didn’t happen. I guess my question is, who should go where? I don’t enjoy the holidays over this and it’s not about me it’s about the kids and my husband.

    • Elizabeth

      I agree, I think a conversation with your daughter is in order. Try to ‘enlist’ her in finding a solution. You can start by saying “You’re my only daughter, I love you, and I really want to figure out a way that we can be together for the holidays. I understand that, with three kids and the animals, things can be difficult, and you know with Husband’s medical problems we also have certain limitations.” And then go on to ask her: “What kinds of things can we do to still have a family celebration without excluding family members and avoiding major inconveniences? I am wide open to suggestion.”

      And then, you have to be wide open to suggestion! I’ll bet that with three teenagers and a house full of rambunctious animals, your daughter’s life isn’t super calm and spacious either. You both have limitations, so the goal should be to work around them while still expressing how much being together means.

  5. Jody

    I agree that a conversation with your daughter is in order. You need to explain to her that because of health reasons (your husband’s COPD) you won’t be able to visit her. Rather than suggesting she go to the Christmas performance and then to your house, why not make an outright invitation? Maybe she didn’t realize that the suggestion was an actual invitation and treated it as a “if you have time” suggestion.

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