Dear Annie: I have worked for a long time at a large manufacturing company. I am a hard worker and believe in teamwork. Over the years, however, the company has let workers get away with everything: personal emails and texting, using their computers to watch TV shows, movies and hockey games, abusing overtime and sick days, taking photos of proprietary equipment, etc. Sometimes, workplace rules are ignored and accidents occur.
We are well-paid individuals with great benefits. The head office has put major changes in place to improve profit and productivity. I cannot blame them for trying to fix this aspect of things, but I have lost respect for management because the existing rules and policies are not enforced.
I strongly believe we will lose our jobs because the company will fail. I have made suggestions to management and human resources, to no avail. Fellow workers who are long term simply want to see their pensions kick in, and the younger employees just want to see their workday end and get a paycheck.
I am hoping someone might see this letter and recognize themselves and do something about this situation. I am open to suggestions.
— Frustrated Employee
Dear Frustrated: The problem with being an employee is that you cannot control what management does, nor can you make other employees shape up without the cooperation of the higher-ups. We agree that this is frustrating, but it is also outside your ability to remedy. You have taken what steps you can to effect change, but nothing has happened. If you can accept that these things are not your responsibility, you may be able to ignore them and keep working. Otherwise, it’s time to put an updated resume back into circulation.
Dear Annie: On Easter, our 8-year-old daughter accidentally came across her Easter basket and gifts in our home. Her facial expression was filled with questions, and my wife and I decided to tell her the truth: that her parents are the Easter Bunny. She then asked about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. I told her yes, we are those, as well.
Was I wrong? What is the appropriate age to have this conversation with your child?
— No More Secret Santa
Dear Santa: There is no specific time to tell your children these things, but by the age of 8, we suspect your daughter was figuring it out on her own. And most kids don’t appreciate remaining in the dark while their peers are more informed. Telling her the truth probably made her feel more mature and trusted.
You could have softened the blow by discussing the idea of Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, helping her understand that parents enjoy this type of pretending for their children and that using one’s imagination can be fun and creative. But please put a positive spin on your daughter becoming old enough to know the real story behind the presents. We think she’ll be just fine.
Dear Annie: This is in response to the woman whose grandchildren pull out their hair. I’m in my late 50s and started pulling hair from my moustache when I was in my 30s. I also picked my nails and was fatigued and irritable.
A couple of years ago, I began taking higher dosages of multi-B vitamin supplements. Within a year, all of these odd habits disappeared. Behavioral changes can happen slowly, and we tend to normalize how we feel day-to-day and are not aware that we may have these nutritional deficiencies.
I don’t know whether this will help your readers, but I figured it can’t hurt. They should talk to their health care provider and maybe give it a try for six months. It changed my life.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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