SENIOR SOLUTIONS AUGUST 2012
August 1, 2012
Dear Solutions: My friends and family made me a big birthday party recently and there were many presents. I opened each present in front of the givers and thanked each one sincerely. I know thank you notes have to be sent when you get presents in the mail but I’m not sure if I should also send thank you notes for these gifts. Some friends say since I already thanked them sending a note would be overkill. What do you think? - Rachel-
Dear Rachel, Actually, socially, nobody ever died from “overkill”. You can only make people feel even better about themselves for taking the time and effort to choose a gift and feel better about you for taking the time and effort to write and express your appreciation. You should also include a word of thanks for helping to make your party a success. Don’t worry. You’re not killing them with kindness either. You’re just being nice and that improves everyone’s life.
Dear Solutions: Another Pet Peeve. Lately everywhere I go employees are introducing themselves to me by their first name. Then they ask me my name. Then for instance if it’s a waiter I can’t just call “Waiter”, I have to remember his name and call across the room” Stephen” or whatever. Every other Stephen around looks up surprised. Something doesn’t feel right about all this. I was in a Casino recently, where it’s easy to get lost, and every time I asked an employee for directions she would tell me her name and then ask me mine. How to answer all this? I began to find this very annoying. They’re not my friends. Can you understand this? -Ada-
Dear Ada: Yes. By the time you try to remember her name and your name you could forget the question that started all these introductions. Try just saying (with a smile) “Oh I never remember names but if you’ll give me directions I’ll try to remember how to get there”. I think employers think if their employees seem personally friendly it will be good for business. Maybe it is. On the other hand it also seems to make people feel uncomfortable – as if they’re obligated to respond like a friend rather than a customer. Anyway Ada my name is Helen. Thanks for your Pet Peeve.
Dear Solutions: I recently spilled a drink on my friend’s new, very expensive chair. It left a big stain. This was at a party and she kept saying it’s all right, it was just an accident and she’ll take care of it but I feel terrible and I feel that this has put a strain on our relationship. Should I offer to take her out to dinner or something? -Bea-
Dear Bea: Don’t take her out, take the stain out. Insist on paying for a very good upholstery cleaning service of her choice or if she’s already had it cleaned insist on paying the bill. Then you can take her out to dinner. Hopefully, both the stain and the strain will disappear.
Dear Solutions: I fell recently and injured my leg. I’m a very active person ordinarily so it’s hard to be confined a lot now. My husband is very anxious and keeps hovering over me jumping to help me move or eat or anything and that’s the trouble. I like to try to do things myself but he’s there before I get a chance. I should appreciate all this but instead I’m very annoyed and I show it. I don’t like my reaction and I think I’m a terrible person. Can you explain me to me and how can I handle this? -Natalie-
Dear Natalie: It’s called the “let me alone, I’ll do it myself” syndrome. He’s treating you like an invalid and you are an invalid now so that’s what’s making you angry. It’s also scary to think that you can’t do things for yourself. He doesn’t know any of this and is probably hurt that you won’t let him help you. So – tell him that his jumping to help you makes you feel old and helpless. Explain that you appreciate his good intentions but to please allow you to try to do as much for yourself as you can handle and you’ll ask for his help when you need it. Get better fast so as soon as you’re well you can get annoyed at him for not offering to help you!
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