Dear Annie: I love my job, but I constantly see favoritism among the management staff. One in particular frustrates me. "Joe" was hired because of "what he brings to the table." What he brings to the table is sitting at his desk surfing the Internet, talking to his friends and family, and playing games on his phone. In the meantime, the rest of us are working hard and getting nowhere.
Why is it that people who pretend to work are the ones who get promoted? It just doesn't make sense. Are employers really that blind?
I've tried talking to my manager, who does nothing, as well as human resources, which sends me back to the manager. I get nowhere. I don't want to come across as a bitter employee or a tattletale, but it is frustrating to see this type of behavior, and it brings down office morale, causing tension and friction. How do I make this stop? — Working Hard
Dear Working: If you have taken the matter to the manager and human resources without result, there is nothing more you can do through normal channels. What's left is your personal response. If you like your job and wish to stay, you'll have to ignore Joe and whatever his "table" lacks, in the hope that someday he will be found out and your hard work will be appreciated. Your second option is to look for another job where management takes these things seriously.
Dear Annie: After having no contact with us in 23 years, my husband's nephew decided to move back to our state with his wife and build a new home. My husband agreed to do the plumbing for nothing, but at the very least expected to be paid a small amount for the three 40-mile trips he drove to perform the work. This apparently never entered his nephew's mind. Also, in the three years since the home was built, we never have been invited to family gatherings there, not even those that included the nephew's mother (my husband's sister).
Should my husband say something or remain quiet in order to keep the peace? — Annoyed Aunt
Dear Aunt: First of all, if your husband said he would do the work for free, the nephew no doubt assumed that included all associated costs. Of course, it would have been gracious and considerate to offer some reimbursement for the trip, but if your husband expected remuneration, he needed to make it clear from the start. Since he did not, it's pointless to hold onto that grudge. Invitations are a separate matter.
You had no contact with this nephew for 23 years, so obviously, the relationship is not close. A dinner invitation would have been a nice "thank you" for the plumbing, but it likely didn't occur to the nephew to do so. We don't believe it is an intentional slight. So, have you invited them to your home for dinner? That would be a good place to start warming up this relationship, teaching him nicely how to extend hospitality.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Worried Grandma in Illinois," whose granddaughter is being force-fed by her mother and stepmother. I am an occupational therapist who works with infants, toddlers and young children. I spend a great deal of time working with feeding problems and picky eating. Many children are picky eaters at one time or another. However, force-feeding will result in picky eating turning into a significant problem. Stepping back and making mealtime a fun and positive experience will eventually lead to better eating.
The parents should talk to their pediatrician and seek further evaluation. Many times picky eating can be due to reflux, oral motor delays or oral hypersensitivity, which results in the child having a stronger gag reflex than is typical. These areas can be treated medically or with the intervention of an occupational therapist. — O.T. from Michigan
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2013. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.