Life is complicated. Short Answers isn't.
LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT
Dear Short Answers: What do you do if you absolutely can't stand the person you work with? I don't have a choice because we are in the same department. He is mean, condescending, lazy and a liar.
- Hate Him
Dear HH: Feelings such as those you listed don't work in an office environment. Rethink, revise or resign.
AN AMERICAN STORY
Dear Short Answers: It is so hard for my boyfriend to find a job where we live. He was working at our local mall in a store, but they kept cutting back his hours for no reason. So he asked the general manager for more hours and they said that it wouldn't work out anymore and fired him. He's been filling out applications for months and still nothing. I feel like there is no hope. Where are some places like websites or anything where he could look for places that are hiring and submit his resume?
- Unhappy and Unemployed
Dear Un: Very few people find jobs online. Tell your boyfriend to learn a new skill and get good at it. Good skills and good attitude are a winning combination.
THE TRUTH WILL OUT
Dear Short Answers: A well-known nonprofit organization in town masquerades as a dogooder even though I know them (in my personal dealings) to be predatory, vindictive, opportunistic and arbitrary. What do you suggest I do?
- Robin Hood
Dear Robin: Bide your time. It rarely makes sense to vent in public or launch a personal attack. Ad hominum attacks are the weapons of the intellectually lazy and principally weak. We suspect their behavior will become manifest and others will soon learn what you apparently already know.
EAT IT RAW
Dear Short Answers: Is feeding a dog raw meat a healthy choice?
- Loving Fido
Dear Loving: Raw meat enthusiasts are trying to replicate the diet of canines when they were wild things. Our dogs are not wild things. In fact, they are very domesticated with stomachs that are quite sensitive to strange parasites, so we stick with highquality commercial dog foods. Ask your vet before you dramatically change your dog's diet.
THE ZEN OF MANAGEMENT
Dear Short Answers: This isn't a question but a comment. In a recent column, you said that the boss of a department should let the staff settle an internal dispute for themselves. Isn't that exactly what a boss is for, keeping the office running smoothly, not just letting the office figure it out themselves?
- A seeker
Dear Seeker: The art of management (rather like parenting) is restraint. There are surely circumstances that require intervention - but they are fewer than you think. Solutions that folks arrive at themselves are more likely to be viewed as fair and balanced than those that are imposed from above.
Dear Short Answers: What do you do if the passenger next to you on a plane clearly has the flu?
Dear Afraid: Just been there. Pull your turtleneck over your mouth and nose, lean the other way, and hope the flight attendant will see what you see and move one of you. If that doesn't work, wash your hands and face during and after and pray.
Send your questions anonymously on our website, www.shortanswers.net) or email them to email@example.com.Jeff Johnson has worked as a psychologist for New York State, New York City and the federal government as well as teaching at the graduate level. He is a Williams College alumnus and lives in Pownal, Vt. Paula Forman has worked as a professional "trend spotter" with high-profile clients such as Procter & Gamble. More recently, she taught sociology in the New York City university system. She lives and writes in Hudson, N.Y.