Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:08 pm
Dear Annie: I am at my wits’ end with a co-worker. Six of us work together as top aides to the head of our organization. For the past nine years, we have all sat in our office for lunch.
A new director joined our organization this past year and for some reason feels entitled to drop in whenever he pleases. Whether we’re in a conversation, on the phone or eating lunch, there he is. He drops in unannounced and always commands our attention. He’s there at 8 a.m. when we walk in the door, not even giving us time to get settled in, and will chat to whoever will listen. Every day when we sit down to lunch, in he comes and tries to join our conversation. I even put files on my spare chair, but he sat on the floor to talk to me!
It’s a busy office, and this is our time to relax for a few minutes and grab a bite. I think it is incredibly rude and presumptuous on his part to think we’re interested in spending this quiet time listening to him. A lot of times, we’re discussing our personal lives and I don’t feel comfortable sharing that with him.
I’ve tried ignoring this man, but it only seems to encourage him to try harder to gain our attention. Our boss is a kind person and does not say anything about the frequent interruptions, so the rest of us have to suffer through it. I’ve begun eating lunch at my desk to avoid him because he irritates me so much.
Without being rude, how do we let him know this is our break time and we’d like to be left alone? Today he dropped by eight times. It’s exhausting to have to give him so much attention. I feel like a prisoner in my own office. Any advice? — Frustrated and Hungry
Dear Frustrated: You see an intrusive executive. We see a guy who’s trying desperately to make friends with his new co-workers. He’d be a lot less annoying if you welcomed him into your conversations. If that simply is not possible, tell your boss that you appreciate the new director’s efforts to be chummy, but he’s a little overbearing and should back off before he alienates the staff.
Dear Annie: My husband likes to wear pantyhose. He told me he started wearing his mother’s and sister’s when he was around 12 years old. He is now 42.
He works in an office five days a week and wears pantyhose to work. However, sometimes he likes to wear them to bed. I don’t think this is good for him. He says nothing will happen. Can sleeping in pantyhose be unhealthy? — Pennsylvania Patty
Dear Patty: As long as they aren’t constricting, Hubby should be fine, although he should take off the pantyhose periodically and allow his skin to breathe. (You’re a very tolerant woman.)
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Snake in the Grass in Pennsylvania,” who said teenagers are loitering in her neighborhood. Your advice to call the police was useless. Kids today have no fear of the police, especially if they are underage.
Speaking from experience, I would recommend she replace all the outside light fixtures with motion detector spotlights and put some security cameras in conspicuous locations to make sure the kids know they are being recorded. They are like cockroaches — when the light comes on, they scatter. If she wants to have some real fun, she should blatantly take pictures of them. They hate that.
Unless there is a parent on the street protecting these kids, this should take care of the problem. — New Yorker
Dear New Yorker: Your ideas are interesting, but expensive. Other readers suggested turning on the lawn sprinklers when the neighborhood teenagers show up.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 7.30.08