amy 12-22-12

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Dec 22, 2012
Dear Amy: I am writing this for my wife, who is afraid of suffering repercussions at work. She works in a professional office with about 30 people. She likes her job, is well respected and gets along well with her colleagues.

One of my wife’s co-workers insists on keeping a bowl full of chocolate candies in a common area located where my wife can see it while working at her desk. She passes by it every time she enters or leaves her office.

The temptation has proven too much for her, and she succumbs to eating an average of three pieces of candy a day. Her candy habit has proven detrimental to her ability to keep away excess pounds.

She has asked her colleague to move the candy bowl to another location or to bring in some healthier snacks, but he refused and told my wife that she should have enough self-control not to eat it.

She took her complaint to the office manager, but he refused to have the candy moved and told her that she needed to be less rigid.

My wife tried to get some of her colleagues to back her up, but they are all too afraid of the political repercussions of confronting the office manager. I love my wife and will continue to love her regardless, but I think this office candy situation is potentially detrimental to her health.


Dear Husband: The world does not owe your wife, or any of us, an environment scrubbed free of risk or temptations. Following bans on smoking, profanity, alcohol, allergens, sharp edges and hurt feelings in the workplace, your wife would now like her company to remove chocolate from her sight line lest she overindulge.

Your wife’s manager could have easily “fixed” this by asking her co-worker to keep his candy stash in his own office, but, for whatever reason, this is not happening.

Now it is her job to accept this state of affairs, and if she cannot mitigate the bowl of chocolate with a bowl of apples placed next to it, then she should simply factor in those three pieces of chocolate and eat less at other times or exercise more.

In short, I’m suggesting that she accept reality and take responsibility for working around it.

Dear Amy: Is there some nice way to tell guests that they are being rude? We hosted a party for a small group of friends and relatives last week, and about half the adults (and some of the children) pulled out cellphones. In the middle of the party they were tweeting, checking email, looking at their Facebook pages, etc., and not interacting with the other guests. It seems everywhere you go nowadays, everyone is fiddling with electronic devices and not interacting with live people.

I thought this was extremely rude. I wanted to say something, but nothing came to mind. How do you ask guests politely to put away their electronic toys and pay attention to the live people in the room? Should I just shut up and tolerate this behavior? Is this the “new normal”?


Dear Puzzled: I understand your frustration, but this behavior seems to be less “rude” than it used to be, certainly in a casual environment. Sometimes, people are actually using their devices to communicate with other people in the room, by showing, sharing or tweeting to their followers:“Having an awesome time at Uncle Jack’s house.” Using your phone at a sit-down dinner is rude unless you are receiving an emergency call from the baby sitter.

There is no way to politely chastise guests for their poor manners. I agree with you that this is a social adjustment we are all struggling to make and look forward to learning what other readers think.

Dear Amy: Early in the summer our family received a “Save the Date” card announcing the late December wedding of some friends. We were delighted. Now we have not received an actual invitation to the wedding. We know mutual friends who have. Should we assume we’re not invited? Should we inquire about our invitation?


Dear Baffled: Definitely inquire.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Dec 22, 2012
1 Wow! Your wife is so afraid of the office political machine that she refuses to write Amy?
I dont think you writing for her is protection enough, and I am sure the gig is up. Tell her to start pounding the pavement looking for another job, as her time at this one is about to end. Oh, and maybe all that walking will cut down on that caboose she is carrying around.

2 Lots of luck with that.

3 Dont bother, your not invited.

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

#3 Dec 22, 2012
L1: what Amy said. Holy cow, your wife is self-centered.

L2: make new friends, I guess. I agree that it's rude to spend a significant amount of time on one's device in a social setting, but the occasional glance is just a part of our society now.

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

#4 Dec 22, 2012
L3: ask. I'd assume the actual invitation is lost in the mail if you have no reason to think the B&G are thoughtless jerks.

Los Angeles, CA

#5 Dec 22, 2012
L1: When I jokingly told my doctor I should have brought in cookies, he said he had to ban all goodies in his office because a staff member ate carbs all day and gained 75 lbs. My co-workers and I took turns supplying a small dish of jelly beans at the reception desk. One co-worker constantly passed the desk to help herself to the candy (she was obese).

L3: If you don't receive an invitation, you're not invited. The invitation list was reduced because of finances. Now you don't have to worry about buying a gift and receiving a thank you note.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#6 Dec 22, 2012
1- THIS is the liberal mind-set, people!

2- Maybe they're bored. Fact is, this is a new reality and I don't think it's much different than everyone watching the game and not "interacting" with each other. It's rude to do it at the table but otherwise I think you should unwind a bit.

3- Give them a call.

Since: Mar 09

Pittsburgh, PA

#7 Dec 22, 2012
PEllen wrote:
Sometimes, people are actually using their devices to communicate with other people in the room, by showing, sharing or tweeting to their followers:“Having an awesome time at Uncle Jack’s house.”
I am frequently doing that -- usually playing Words With Friends or Trivie, often with someone in the same room!

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