My question is about how to go about reporting sexual harassment at work.
How do I go about reporting sexual abuse at my office without getting fired or sidelined?
I feel so powerless as to how to handle this. If I report the incident to HR, everyone will know. I’ll be a pariah. People will stare at me and avoid me. I’ll feel so uncomfortable that I’ll probably quit.
- It's extremely important that you document the harassment in order to have an accurate record of exactly what is (or was) going on when and where.
- The app Blind lets employees at more than a hundred companies, including Facebook, Google, Uber, Airbnb and Amazon, sign up through their work email to chat about sexual harassment in a way that prevents the person from being specifically identified by name. Whether they are a victim or uncertain as to what is considered sexual harassment, or simply have witnessed it as a bystander, they have a voice.
- Additionally, the online how-to guide to handling sexual harassment at work called Betterbrave has had over 300,000 visits since its launch last summer. It's an excellent resource providing, tools, and employment lawyers to targets, whether you have a fear of retaliation or distrust HR.
My question is about table manners for kids.
My two kids have the worst table manners. My mother-in-law is a stickler for good manners. She’s prim and proper and thinks her five and seven-year-old grandchildren should tote the family line and have good table manners, as well. The big problem is that their friends don’t know how to behave nicely at the table, and kids like to fit in with other kids. Any suggestions?
–CM, Arden, NY
- Talk about outside voices versus inside voices in enclosed spaces -- such as a restaurant.
- To keep them focused, play a mind game while waiting for your food.
- Talk about why you use a napkin and where it goes.
- Elbows on the table are the primary reason why milk glasses topple over.
- Don't lay your arms and head on the table for the same reason.
- Flatware is not about waving flags and remains on the table or plate when not in use.
- Chew with your mouth closed.
- Don't talk with your mouth full.
- Sit up straight, with feet on the floor.
- Bring food to your mouth and don't eat like a dog with your head in the bowl.
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- Quite a few companies have long mandated anti-harassment training as a way of educating all employees about sexually abusive behavior. Although the jury is still out on the effectiveness of the training.
- Talk about Hugs: Hugging an old-friend is one thing, hugging a co-worker may have a different connotation. What about a half-hug?
- Ask a co-worker directly if they feel harassed.
- As far as harassment on social media, many companies make their policy clear to employees that they have a right to monitor electronic communications and many actually do.
- Additionally, to avoid temptations for after party liaisons, move the holiday party date and time from a Thursday or Friday evening to a Monday or Tuesday in the late afternoon.
- Open bars can include game zones.
- Water down the signature drink -- less alcohol in the holiday punch.
–DC, Salem, MA
- Add, "You can't come this year." And leave it at that.
- You've had a change in plans: Being that you've made the decision that you don't want him at your Thanksgiving dinner because he makes your family uncomfortable.
We’re worried about our daughter who doesn’t go out much. She has a fear of going out whether to school or to the mall to meet friends. We’re wondering if this is normal. She has an allowance, but buys everything she needs on line with a debt card.
We think she spends too much time alone in her room on her laptop.
How do we encourage her to socialize more?
–Name and location withheld
- Only a third of the girls feel pressure to live the 'perfect' llfe online.
- Only 47% feel their parents understand pressures they face on social media.
- How pictures of them will be used by others
- Threats from strangers
- Comparing themselves and their lives to others
- Seeing unwanted pornography
- Bullying from people they know
- 54% of girls aged 11-21 have come across unwanted violent or graphic images online that made them feel upset or disturbed.
- 95% of girls aged 11-21 said the advertising industry should make sure adverts show more positive, diverse representations of girls and women.
- 57% of girls aged 11-21 don’t think politicians understand the issues girls and young women face today.
- 76% of girls aged 7-21 feel confident in digital skills.
What exactly is a good guest? I’m not particularly outgoing, but my boyfriend — as it turns out — is a real party animal and especially loves Christmas. I try to get into the spirit and look with envy at how easily he glad handles everyone whether he knows them or not. Any advice on how to be a good guest would be appreciated.
- arrive late
- be a no-show
- play with food
- kiss, hug or touch just anyone
- get drunk
- gossip about the host or other guests
- take home the remainder of the wine you brought
- eat more than your fair share of the food
- bring an uninvited guest or plus-one
- be the rude guest that stares at their phone the whole time
- assume everyone knows your name and relationship status
- let friends drive who have had too much to drink
- accept as soon as you receive the invite
- be well-dressed and well-groomed
- listen to your host's requests about coats, boots, gifts, dress code
- do find out where the coats are being kept
- bring a small gift when the invite doesn't stipulate 'no gifts' and you are not able to reciprocate
- be a self-sustaining guest and mingle
- keep your hands to yourself, not everyone wants to be pawed
- sense when the host or another guest doesn't wish to be kissed
- introduce yourself, even if you vaguely know the person
- offer to help with the cleaning up
- ask for help getting home
- offer a drunk guest a ride home
- send a thank-you text, message, note, or holiday card
As much as I think I love my boyfriend, his bad habits annoy me. I point them out — time and again — by reminding him to put the toilet seat back down, shine his shoes, throw his used tissues away or not to scrape his plate at the dinner table, etc. Worst of all, he’s a hoarder.
Will he ever break these bad habits? I sound like a broken record complaining over and over about the petty ways he annoys me. Do you think he does them on purpose to get my attention?
–EB, Dorset, VT
- Don't beat yourself up about letting an annoyance get under your skin, just get back on track.
- Talk about what's really bothering you.
- Let him know what irritates you and find out what annoys him about your behavior.
–JC, Baltimore, Maryland
- It's your dip, so you can guard your dip. Suggest to approaching dippers that they turn their chip around for the return second dip to prevent their filthy germs from sending everyone at the gathering to the emergency room.
- Or you can bring a nice big wedge of aged Vermont cheddar cheese and an assortment of crackers as your contribution instead of the dip. Ahead of time cut up half of the cheese into bite size squares. Arrange on a festive plate with a cheese knife. Decorate the platter with fresh radishes, baby tomatoes, or cranberries and add a bit of edible greenery.
- Why not skip the 'salt and fat traps' of chips 'n' dips and provide flatbread or pita instead of overly salty tortilla and chips.
- Instead provide a thick creamy, dense guacamole, hummus or cheesy dip that is less likely to slip off the bitten chip or cracker when re-dipping. A thinly consistent dip - such as a salsa - spreads more germs than a thick dip because it is harder to keep the salsa on the chip.
- Scientists agree that if you must double-dip you should at least turn your chip or cracker around.
- One in five would ask someone to stop double dipping.
- One in ten have licked their fingers before picking up another chip or cracker out of the basket.
- One in five say it is totally acceptable to double-dip.
- Six in ten adults see double-dipping as a huge no-no.
- Sixty percent said double dipping was a big party faux pas.
- Only one in five of those 60% would stop someone if they caught them in the act of double dipping.
- If the holidays wouldn't be festive if you couldn't double dip, the consensus is to at least turn your piece of pita bread around before making that second dip into the guacamole.
- Scientists agree that double dipping in NOT okay, NOT healthy for anyone and NOT cool.
–Name and location withheld
–Nana, Springfield, MA
- According to many studies, girl teens express depression more openly and more easily than boy teens, so her rude behavior, as deplorable as it may be, is understandable. She acts out with you.
- Your 13-year-old granddaughter is struggling to become a teenager.
- Kids don't necessarily want to feel happy. Feeling sad helps them develop intense feelings - extremes of happiness and sadness.
- Puberty makes many kids seek conflict and behavioralists believe that this kind of experimentation can be a good thing when it isn't violent or self-destructive.
What exactly are the etiquette rules for vaping?
When and where is it acceptable to vape? My boyfriend, a former Marlboro man, seems to think he can vape anywhere. As a non-vapor myself, this has become a source of discontent and argument.
–Madelyn, Cleveland, Ohio
- Never ever in bed.
- Nor in a ticket line.
- Not during a job interview.
- Not in the presence of children.
- Always honor 'no smoking' signs in restaurants and public transportation.
- The worst never, is never in an elevator, car or other confined space.
- Don't when you see a no smoking sign such as those outside a hospital, theatre, shopping mall, airport terminal or office building.
- As your boyfriend is a former tobacco smoker, cut him a bit of slack. It's a social minefield, and you both have my sympathy.
- If you want to work it out, you will. After all, in romance, vaping is a matter of consideration on both sides.
- We all have our bad habits. You either put up with his habit or move on.
- Always ask first. Most public spaces make their policy known.
- That said, do find out about a hotel's policy before booking, because you can be fined if the smell of smoke is detected in your room -- no matter how sweet it is.
- Do consider that if your boyfriend is an ex-tobacco smoker, vaping has far less toxicity.
–Name withheld, Bangor, ME
- Don't make detailed excuses.
- Don't lie, you could get caught.
- Don't feel guilty about saying NO.
- Don't give mixed messages such as, "I should be working, but I want to be helpful."
- Give her a firm NO answer within a day.
- Be honest, say you have to work and suggest someone else who might be able to help her move. Look for 'Guy with Big Truck' ads in your local paper and give her the phone number.
- If she says she can't afford to pay for help, offer to give her the cost of having you hire a sitter to mind your kids -- if you had said YES.
What do you say when you’re having a lapse in memory and can’t remember a guest’s name when he arrived for dinner, and so you don’t know how to introduce him to the guests who are already there? I was mortified.
–GP, Brooklyn, NY
- Be a chicken. You should have ushered him in to meet the other guests, and then quickly excused yourself to "tend to something in the kitchen."
- With you out of the room they would have been forced to introduce themselves while you slyly eavesdropped at the door to recharge your memory.
- It happens to us all. Once I was having such a good time playing hostess, I forget to bring out the salad course! Of course, I didn't discover till the next day that my beautiful salad had missed the dinner party -- when I spied it snugged in the back of the fridge.
- Next time you entertain: Rehearse your guest list ahead of time by repeating the names out loud over and over again. It will help you not only to learn the names, but remember them as well.
My question is about wedding toast etiquette.
We went to a family friend’s wedding this past weekend and the father-of-the-bride lectured us for 45 minutes about his wonderful, brilliant, beautiful daughter. The best man spoke for at least half an hour about how much he admired the bride and groom. When the groom got up to take the mic, we had had enough already. The groom went on and on for another half hour.
As the mother of a bride to be, I’m wondering what the timing for the toasts should be and how to enforce limits for my daughter’s upcoming wedding?
–Susan, Westport, CT
- Toasters that go over that timing are not delivering a toast, but a lecture.
- Toasts and speeches should be loving, humorous and respectfully short.
- Wedding toasts are not the time for roasting the honorees. (Roasting takes place at the welcome dinner the night before the wedding.)
Accepting A Compliment