Dear Annie: I love my job, but I constantly see favoritism among the management staff. One in particular frustrates me. “Joe” was hired because of “what he brings to the table.” What he brings to the table is sitting at his desk surfing the Internet, talking to his friends and family, and playing games on his phone. In the meantime, the rest of us are working hard and getting nowhere.
Why is it that people who pretend to work are the ones who get promoted? It just doesn’t make sense. Are employers really that blind?
I’ve tried talking to my manager, who does nothing, as well as human resources, which sends me back to the manager. I get nowhere. I don’t want to come across as a bitter employee or a tattletale, but it is frustrating to see this type of behavior, and it brings down office morale, causing tension and friction. How do I make this stop?
-- Working Hard
Dear Working: If you have taken the matter to the manager and human resources without result, there is nothing more you can do through normal channels. What’s left is your personal response. If you like your job and wish to stay, you’ll have to ignore Joe and whatever his “table” lacks, in the hope that someday he will be found out and your hard work will be appreciated. Your second option is to look for another job where management takes these things seriously.
Dear Annie: After having no contact with us in 23 years, my husband’s nephew decided to move back to our state with his wife and build a new home. My husband agreed to do the plumbing for nothing, but at the very least expected to be paid a small amount for the three 40-mile trips he drove to perform the work. This apparently never entered his nephew’s mind. Also, in the three years since the home was built, we never have been invited to family gatherings there, not even those that included the nephew’s mother (my husband’s sister).
Should my husband say something or remain quiet in order to keep the peace?
-- Annoyed Aunt
Dear Aunt: First of all, if your husband said he would do the work for free, the nephew no doubt assumed that included all associated costs. Of course, it would have been gracious and considerate to offer some reimbursement for the trip, but if your husband expected remuneration, he needed to make it clear from the start. Since he did not, it’s pointless to hold onto that grudge. Invitations are a separate matter.
You had no contact with this nephew for 23 years, so obviously, the relationship is not close. A dinner invitation would have been a nice “thank you” for the plumbing, but it likely didn’t occur to the nephew to do so. We don’t believe it is an intentional slight. So, have you invited them to your home for dinner? That would be a good place to start warming up this relationship, teaching him nicely how to extend hospitality.
Dear Annie: You’ve printed letters about theater and concert patrons who stand up or squash you in your seat. I have a better one. I sat in the worst seat on Broadway. I understand “obstructed view.” This was NO view.
I was in the front row. All I could see was a staircase and the backs of actors who were seated in chairs on stage. I was brokenhearted. I found an usher at intermission and demanded to be seated elsewhere. She told me this is what happens when you buy discount tickets at the last minute. But she took me to the last row of the theater and said, “This way you can see the terrific part with the mirror.” I gasped, “There’s a mirror?!”
The second act was great. Afterward, I found the usher and thanked her. Then I wrote the box office manager and the theater owners and asked that they please stop selling this seat. I haven’t heard back.
-- Don’t Stick a Broadway Baby in a Corner
Dear Baby: Most theaters have at least one horrible seat, but it’s hard to know that when you purchase at the last minute, especially when those tickets are discounted. There’s a reason those are the seats that are left. Good for you for speaking up and finding a kind usher willing (and able) to seat you elsewhere.
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