Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I work in a hotel with a staff of about 20. Our general manager is an embarrassing liar. He stretches the truth and tells some outright whoppers. He also gets caught in lies by telling too many people different things. Everyone talks about him behind his back.
I have worked for this man for several years. I know not to take anything he says at face value. I also know he can be quite lazy and isn’t the brightest crayon in the box. But I am loyal, and I know he’s not trying to hurt anyone with his lies.
The problem is, our hotel is getting bad scores from disgruntled employees who castigate the manager for being a “loser.” He thinks everyone loves him because they are nice to his face. I get along with all the people at work, so I feel stuck. Should I tell the manager he’s the reason morale is down and that he needs to knock off the lying? Or do I keep my mouth shut? I really don’t want to get involved in office politics, but it is pretty hard to avoid. — Staying Above
Dear Staying: We assume your manager has a boss somewhere and that this is where those employee complaints are going. Whoever is in charge should deal with the situation, especially if it has become a noticeable problem. If you are comfortable talking to the manager, you may say that other employees find his tendency to “exaggerate” frustrating and he should be more careful.
Dear Annie: I’ve been married 15 years. My husband’s aunt and uncle are delightful, highly educated people, and I absolutely love them and their children. We see them a few times a year.
Here’s my problem: My name is “Kimberly” — not “Kim.” Although these relatives have each asked my preference about my name more than once, they continue to call me “Kim.” I would correct them, but after all this time, I’m embarrassed to do this with my husband’s family. During their last visit, my husband took them aside and said, “I just want to remind you that Kimberly goes by her full name, not ‘Kim.’” Still, as they were leaving amid hugs and well wishes, they called me “Kim.”
I know they don’t do it on purpose, but I really don’t like it. Any suggestions? — Not Trying to Be Burly About Kimberly
Dear Not Trying: Most people who see likable relatives only a few times a year would simply ignore this and consider the short version a term of endearment.
Since you cannot bring yourself to do this, however, and since they have not listened to your husband’s requests to stop, you will need to correct them sweetly each time they say “Kim,” and not respond when they address you improperly.
Dear Annie: After reading the letter from “Harassed Bride,” I felt I was looking in a mirror. I am relieved and comforted to know that others are going through a situation where the in-laws suddenly “flip a switch” after the engagement and behave abusively. Those were my exact words describing my husband’s family.
I agree that her mother-in-law needs therapy. In my case, I know there are other bigger and more deeply rooted issues at the heart of their dysfunction. Often they take their unhappiness with themselves out on others.
I sympathize with “Harassed Bride” and hope her fiance will speak with his family, as my husband has done the same thing. A broken relationship may not be the best outcome, but you must think of your new marriage and your personal happiness as a couple. It is not peace at any price. — Sympathetic Bride
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 2.18.09