Wise answers to perplexing questions
The Answer Lady invites inquiries from gentle readers on all manners of relationship quandaries, matters of the heart, and ethics. If you’d like to send a query, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Answer Lady
I’ve been wondering – is it appropriate to buy a holiday gift for my boss? I like my boss; on the other hand I don’t want to look like I’m kissing up, plus I’m on a tight budget. – Strapped
Etiquette does not dictate that we race out to purchase something extravagant for everyone we know when the holidays roll around, particularly in these tough economic times. Since you’re friendly with your boss, you may want to make a thoughtful gesture, but that should be more than sufficient and it needn’t plunge you into debt. Use your imagination, and think about what your boss likes. If he or she has a sweet tooth, perhaps some muffins from Cape May Bakers, or pumpkin fudge from the Fudge Kitchen. If more savory treats fit the bill, maybe a cheese selection from Seaside Cheese, or a nice bottle of wine from any of our excellent local vineyards. If the boss is on a diet, head over to Kate’s Flowers or Cape Winds for a nice plant, or over to the Exit Zero store and gallery for a stylin’ EZ coffee mug. Any of these gifts will say “I’m thinking of you this holiday season,” minus the kiss-up factor.
Dear Answer Lady
One of my co-workers drags himself into work no matter what is wrong with him – stomach virus, flu, bronchitis – it doesn’t matter. We work in a pretty small retail environment and this is ridiculous. He’s a nice guy otherwise, but flu season is now upon us, and short of breaking out the hazmat suits, how do the rest of us put up with it? – Dopey, for dealing with Sneezy
Do you actually have hazmat suits at your disposal? Perhaps if all of this pinhead’s colleagues agree to put one on, you may be able to get your point across without having to say a word. The Answer Lady doesn’t understand people like this. It’s important to have a strong work ethic, but there is a subtle narcissism at play in someone who apparently feels that the world will stop turning unless they and their germs punch in for the day. Presumably, hints along the lines of “Hey, George – you look like a pile of poop – why don’t you head home before you get the rest of us sick?” have not worked. If that is the case, you probably should go right to the boss to express your concerns, and let him or her deal with Sneezy. And please get a flu shot!