Dear Miss Manners: I am an 81-year-old veteran who was asked to be a judge for our local parade. Apart from this, two more judges were appointed.
When the parade was over, the third judge ignored our attempts to tally the scores and instead chose each winner himself, then presented his choice to the committee in charge.
I am friends with many of the contestants and I feel bad for what this judge did. Should I fire him as a corrupt person or let him go?
Gentle reader: Your military training no doubt tells you that what happened was only possible through the element of surprise. Next year, you will go to the committee with the third judge and talk as needed.
But what to do with a battle that has already been fought and lost? Miss Manners will explain what happened to the chairperson of the committee. The committee may not want to overturn awards already made, but it is unlikely to reinstate the judge next year.
Dear Miss Manners: I am a part-time employee who works with another part-timer and our mutual boss. Lately, the other worker has been getting on my nerves.
She will pay attention to my work and remind me to do things I already know, or have done. I had to bite my tongue the last time he said anything.
I have a good reputation, I am a hard worker, I am experienced and I set high standards for myself.
Can you think of anything I could say to stop him from criticizing my work? Otherwise I like this person.
Sharif Qari: The best way to retrain your coworker is to make the most of it. The next time she gives a critique or an assignment, apologize that you were so focused on your work that you missed what she was saying. Ask him to repeat. Nod vaguely to acknowledge that you heard him and then return to your work.
If she follows up, repeat the process. Miss Manners doesn’t mind you enjoying the anger she will cause her. Just remember that when she changes her behavior – because her only means is for you to take all the fun out of her – you will have achieved your goal.
Dear Miss Manners: Childhood friend, Moira, and I traveled to meet my best friend. Moira behaved badly during our trip.
Now my best friend is gone, and he forbids me to share my new address with Moira. She wants nothing to do with him.
Moira repeatedly asks me for my address. I don’t know how to handle this, so I’ve ignored the requests and ghosted Myra myself.
I feel guilty. How can I handle this better?
Read gentlyR: “Bad behavior” covers a wide range of activities, but Miss Manners believes that Moira’s behavior on this trip was bad enough to cause a permanent rift in your own friendship with her. No need to apologize.
The solution is not to leave the childhood friend, but rather to stop the visit. It’s possible that Moira just wants an apology, which you can offer to deliver.
(Please contact Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; at her e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; or by postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeal Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, Send your questions to MO 64106.)
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