Dear Amy: Another Mother's Day has come and gone and I still don't know how to deal with the "Happy Mother's Day" greeting I get when I go to a store.
I am a female in my late 30s. I am not a mother (not by choice -- we have not been able to conceive) and my mother is deceased.These statements are very upsetting and offensive to me because of these facts -- and the fact that people assume that because I am female, I must be a mom.
I can't be the only person who feels this way -- there are women who choose not to have children and others who are unable to have children.
Aside from not going out on that day, how can I respond to these people?
I want them to stop wishing me a "Happy Mother's Day" -- I have never seen this happen to men on Father's Day.
Do you have any suggestions?-- Not a Happy Mother's Day
Dear Not: I realize that Mother's Day is challenging when you are struggling with fertility issues and the loss of your mother, but other people's innocuous comments really have nothing to do with you -- any more than the clerk's query, "Do you want fries with that?" is a dietary suggestion directed specifically to you.
"Happy Mother's Day" is just something that store clerks say on the second Sunday of May -- perhaps as an effort to push more greeting card sales -- or maybe they're just trying to be nice.
I can imagine that this day punctuates your sadness, but you don't really have grounds to be offended by people wishing you a boilerplate happy Mother's Day, and even if you were able to stop a clerk after the fact, he or she would no doubt go on to offend again -- and you would be re-offended by the next well-meaning person.
If you are looking for a response to this greeting, you can use the old polite standby: " ... and the same to you."
Dear Amy: I've been at my job for about seven months. For the most part, I love working here and am looking forward to a long career with this organization.
My problem involves a conflict I am having with my supervisor. She and I share an office with one other person. Our office has its own thermostat, which she has assumed control of.
She is petite and underweight and gets cold very easily.
Now that it's getting warmer outside, our office gets quite hot -- 80 degrees or higher. My supervisor will turn off the air-conditioning system altogether without checking in with anyone else, and seems content to go through the workday in a stuffy, stagnant room. Without air conditioning, I am finding it difficult to concentrate on my work -- my brain becomes foggy and sluggish, and it is very difficult to stay productive.
I've tried a desk fan, opening the window, but nothing works.
I have attempted to communicate with her on one occasion about this, but she was defensive and dismissive.
I don't want to just settle for being unproductive all summer.
I am considering going to human resources but fear this will make her hostile toward me. She is my supervisor, after all.-- Frustrated
Dear Frustrated: If working all summer in an 80-plus-degree office isn't a hostile environment, I don't know what is.
Take note of where the thermostat is set and the actual temperature. Then take this matter to your supervisor. Start by telling her how much you love your job, and then ask her if there might be a way to compromise about the temperature. Say, "I want to do the best work I'm capable of, but I'm quite uncomfortable."
Depending on what your supervisor says and how she reacts to this reasonable request, you might then want to take your issue to HR.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun