Dear Amy: I’m a Trump fan. I just started a new job.
Every single TV at work is playing CNN. Even though FOX (three times the ratings), and MSNBC (two times the ratings) have more followers.
I knew this coming in. However, now I have heard one teammate consistently speak up against Trump.
I, like many conservatives, have a hard time rebutting him, not because of any physical reaction, but because it could hinder my position within the company.
How should I handle this situation?
Dear Peter: First of all, unless you work in media, I don’t see why it is necessary to have any television on at work. But you don’t seem to object to the television itself; you just don’t want to watch the news.
Throughout time, people (women, or people of color, for instance) have been forced to suck it up and keep their opinions to themselves at work, if their views were in opposition to bosses or more powerful co-workers. You are now experiencing what it is like to be quiet on the outside, but pretty loud — inside your head.
The workplace isn’t the place to discuss politics. Topics at work should be confined to work-related matters and benign personal interchanges about vacations, sports scores and the most recent episode of “Game of Thrones.”
According to my research, speech is not necessarily protected at private companies, so yes, your job could be in jeopardy if you express a political opinion that your boss or the business owner finds offensive, or merely disagrees with.
But — you knew all of this going in.
The current political and media climate has fostered a level of personal discord that has infested many relationships — destroying some.
At work, keep your political opinions to yourself; it is within your rights to benignly suggest that others do the same. I also think that — unless consuming the news on a loop is vital to your profession — the televisions should be turned off.
In fact, I would love it if all of the televisions — at the airport, in the dentist’s office or the tattoo parlor — were all either off, or turned to the gardening channel.
Dear Amy: I am a 31-year-old career-minded woman with no children.
My best friend has a 2-year-old daughter. I’m conflicted on how to invite her to adult-only social events without coming across as rude or condescending.
I love her daughter and truly enjoy hanging out with the two of them together, but there is a time and a place for kids.
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I don’t want to hurt her feelings (her social life has already been impacted after having a baby), but I also don’t want my other friends to feel awkward when there’s a child walking around at a party with alcohol.
My friend is very sensitive, so I really need to be careful about how I approach this. Help!
— Friend Indeed
Dear Friend Indeed: I remember during my time as a single mother the tension I would occasionally feel over social occasions that were not meant to include children.
And so I got a babysitter.
It can be hard to find, afford and keep a reliable sitter. Some parents simply don’t want to leave their children at home.
And yet, just as toddlers increase their distance from their parents, occasionally parents must also venture out on their own. This is great for parents, and — given the right circumstances — it is also important for children to see that their parents occasionally do things without them.
Young children know through their experiences that they can adjust to another person in the household, and that — hooray — their parents always return.
You are a generous friend to include and involve your bestie’s child whenever you can.
Those times when you can’t (or don’t want to), you should give your friend plenty of advance notice and say, “I hope you can get a sitter for the 15th, because we’re having a dinner party and would love for you to be able to come!”
There will be times when your friend won’t be able to make it. She will be disappointed. But you should not be afraid of her, or her disappointment.
Dear Amy: You asked for suggestions for “Delicate’s” problem: how to dispose of old porn magazines.
Magazines are great for composting! I use them to enhance my garden.
— Happy Gardener
Dear Happy: Great suggestion! I also use magazines (and cardboard) under mulch to create new garden beds (the “lasagna” method).
Growing gorgeous flowers over a layer of porn sounds just right.