Dear Annie: My middle child graduated from college last year and has been driving me crazy ever since. The transition into the adult world can be a difficult, confusing time for most college grads; thinking back, I obsessed over picking the "right" job, the "right" career, etc. So, that I can empathize with. But every time she presents a problem and I present a solution, she then presents another problem. It reminds me of Whac-A-Mole. Honestly, I think she prefers the complaining and drama to the promise of positive change.
This cycle is truly exhausting for me — and everyone else in the family. Half the time, our conversations become tense and end up being completely unproductive. Our most recent one resulted in my telling her to not come to me for help until she's ready to listen and act on one of the possible solutions. It's difficult for me to see her getting in her own way, but if she's not going to be an adult about it, then I guess she's going to have to learn the hard way by feeling frustrated and stuck until she makes a change. Right? Or is there a more constructive solution? — Mom Running in Circles
Dear Mom Running in Circles: Your daughter needs to decide for herself that she's tired of being a part of the Whac-A-Mole-like game, and she won't reach that point as long as someone's playing with her. So setting down the rubber mallet and stepping away was the most constructive thing you could have done. If she seems seriously stuck in a rut, it might also be constructive to encourage her to seek counseling.
Dear Annie: Your tipping column really hit home. I work part time for a ski area, where I teach skiing to all ages and groups of people. We are out there in all kinds of weather and are expected to always put on a smiling face. For the most part, we start our lessons and finish them in the time restraints. During that time, we do our best to improve the skiing or boarding skills of our students. Many times when we arrive back at the starting area, we have to wait for 10 minutes for the parents to show up. This then causes the next lesson to be delayed, canceled or given to another instructor. We work for minimum (or slightly above minimum) wage in most cases — and only if we have a lesson.
The percentage of tips given to ski or snowboard instructors is very low, and I would guess that only about 25 percent of the population remembers to tip. I don't know of another coaching industry that pays such a low rate, and the customers using our services feel they don't have to tip. Granted, they do pay big bucks for tickets and lessons, but they think nothing of spending the same amount in a restaurant or bar and then tipping the waitress or bartender.
Thanks for letting me vent. And if this helps or encourages one person to say thanks for a job well done, then I have done my job twice. — Ski Bum
Dear Ski Bum: A useful instruction to know before hitting the slopes. I'm sure many people aren't even aware that they're supposed to tip for ski lessons. Thanks for writing.
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