My boyfriend and I are a couple of years out of college and doing very well. Many of our friends are not as fortunate. My problem is that we have a housekeeper who comes every month, but her work is not good. Without checking with me, my boyfriend offered the job to two of our friends who have the time to clean and need the money. I think money and friends don't mix. I feel awkward trying to back out of this, but I want to do the right thing.You think the problem lies in the potential awkwardness in having your friends clean your toilets. I, however, see the truth. The truth is that you can't figure out how you ended up with such losers as friends. You envision yourself hanging out with doctors and novelists (if not movie stars and senators) and instead you're stuck with an endless parade of losers. Hire these people to clean your toilets and scrub your floors. When they ask about your plans this weekend, tell them you don't discuss such things with servants and ask to see their green cards.
I work for a very large company, and on our floor, we all share a refrigerator in the kitchen. Over the course of several months now, many of us have had food taken, sometimes directly from our lunchboxes. The thief happens to be not only a co-worker but a very good friend whom I spend a lot of time with away from work. I don't know how to handle this.If you like her, bake a laxative into your next batch of cookies. If not, use bleach instead.
I am not a germaphobe. I do, however, expect people to wash their hands after using the restroom, and I am amazed, in this day of swine flu hysteria, to find that there are still people who don't. How do I, as a reasonable person concerned for the health of my young family, encourage better hygiene practices from my co-workers and family members, not only after using the restroom but as a general rule?I'm amazed that someone as seeming literate as yourself used the word "hysteria" unironically in describing the current swine flu mania. I mean, you do realize that your whole letter amounts to complaining that others don't show enough concern for what you yourself describe as an overwrought emotional reaction. In other words, you liken the swine flu uproar to a mental disorder, then complain that people don't take it seriously. Tell me honestly: does anyone ever actually try to shake your hand? They don't, do they?
My brother is schizophrenic and has a violent history. Years ago, when I was 18, my brother and I were driving around when we saw a hitchhiker. We picked him up and took him back to our house. The next day, the hitchhiker was gone. I had an uneasy feeling, like maybe my brother did or said something that creeped the guy out, but maybe something else happened. So how do I ask my brother if he murdered the hitchhiker?You should just walk right up and ask him. Seriously. Straight out ask him. When he offers to show you where he buried the hitchiker and casually mentions bringing an axe and a shovel along on the trip, take solace in the fact that I will win $20 in my office pool with my selection of "passive-aggressive sister, in a hole in the park, with the axe."
As always, compare my advice to someone getting paid and see how I did.