I acknowledged her concern by saying that of course I would wear a mask.
I have decided to no longer participate in personal conversations in the workplace and now it seems to be an issue for her.
I have not been hurt by it; I simply no longer choose to participate in private conversations with her.
What I do away from work is really no one else̵
This particular colleague smokes and drinks too much on her days off, but I have never judged her or talked to her about her chances of getting cancer because of her habits.
Do you have any words of wisdom for those of us who are still working in an office dealing with the different attitudes and personal responsibilities towards each other during this time?
Do not rate me: If you do not want to be judged harshly, do not be self-reactive and judgmental.
Your colleague’s smoking and drinking habits when she’s home have no bearing on your health – and you know it.
Your journey could (conceivably) have an impact on her – and others’ – and you know that too.
My advice to people who share office space is to adhere to local, state, and corporate guidelines.
My advice to people struggling with how to behave towards others who are at risk, nervous, anxious – or directly neurotic about contracting covid – is that those people who are physically and mentally healthier should adjust their behavior to the level of the most vulnerable.
It’s not fun, and sometimes (as in your case) you may feel manipulated, disrespected or hurt.
Your colleague’s mask request was reasonable. Your defensive response was ridiculous, just like hers! Finally common ground.
Dear Amy: My husband and I have been through a lot of ups and downs over the years. Despite having a 1-year-old child together, we have discussed divorce more than once, but we still hang in there.
Either way, at the end of the day, any wife will hear her husband say, “Honey, if I were to marry you again, I would do it with a heartbeat.” But I know he really does not feel that way. And because of that, I feel less secure. Should I be worried?
Confused: If you were to do it again, would you marry your husband with a heartbeat? Some days yes, some days probably not.
The first few years of family life with a baby can be extremely stressful. I think you should decide to pay tribute to your question. Put it aside.
I can not tell you if you should be worried about the future of your marriage, but I can say with certainty that “hanging in there” is something to celebrate.
Dear Amy: I want to give your readers a different perspective on how tough the holiday season has been.
I’m married to a police officer. We do not have children. For many years I am alone at Christmas or attending family events alone because he is working or sleeping to prepare for his shift.
And you know what? It is okay! I plan on watching movies, lighting candles and buying food I love to pamper.
Several years ago, my mother was in the hospital for Christmas and the doctors, nurses and support staff were there too.
Firefighters, hotel workers and road staff are also not allowed to celebrate with their families.
For us, this is not the “new normal”, it’s just normal.
Hopefully next year will be normal for you who are going through this “new normal”, but remember next year that your normal is not everyone’s reality.
Different Normal: Thank you! You have offered your important perspective at the perfect time. None of us should ever forget the experiences we have learned this year. My gratitude goes out – way, way out – to everyone who works so hard to give the rest of us a “normal”.
2021 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency