Dear Ann Cannon • A colleague I work with is clearly after my job. My manager continues to have me train her in areas specific to my job and areas of expertise. Although I don’t think my manager has the intention of replacing me, I feel used by this co-worker. Should I say something? Either to her or to my manager?
— Anxious Employee
Dear Anxious • There are a lot of unknown variables here for me, which makes answering your question a little tricky. For instance, are you certain this colleague is after your job? What has she said or done that makes you think this? And are you certain your manager has no intention of replacing you?
My impulse is to say leave it alone while being the best you can be on the job. Demonstrate, in fact, why you are the best candidate for the job. It might not be a bad idea, however, to check in with your boss to find out if she/he is happy with your performance without mentioning your concerns about your colleague, which could come across as paranoid or petty. Meanwhile, maintain a professional relationship with your co-worker and carry on.
Dear Ann Cannon • I asked a friend for advice about a personal matter a little while ago. She told me what she thought I ought to do. I thanked her even though I didn’t agree with her advice. The problem is that she has started checking in with me about my “progress.” What should I say to her? It seems rude to tell her that I’ve basically ignored her well-meant suggestions.
— Wish I Hadn’t Asked
Dear Wish I Hadn’t Asked • As always, you have options. You can a) tell her that while you appreciate her interest, you’ve decided on a course of action different from the one she suggested. Or you can b) tell her things are going great and leave it at that. Honestly, if it were me, I’d go with the second option and resist the temptation to explain.
Dear Ann Cannon • During this quarantine, I realize I’d like to do more to help in the community. After a lot of research, I find that what I’m drawn to is the idea of fostering kittens. My husband is adamantly against it. He doesn’t want the bother, the mess or anything to do with it. I’ve figured out a way that I could keep the kittens in my personal office space, so it really wouldn’t affect him. But he’s still against it. Do you think I’m justified in moving ahead despite his objections?
— Wannabe Kitten-Caretaker
Dear Kitten-Caretaker • I’m intrigued by the notion that you can actually contain kittens in your personal office space. My experience with cats is that nobody tells them where to go or what to do …
OK. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure how to answer your question. I heard from a lot of angry readers after once advising another reader to go ahead and get a dog over the objections of her husband. The only time I made readers angrier was when I wrote a snarky column about Mother’s Day. So, I’m a little gun-shy here, is what I’m saying.
If I were to answer your question, however, I’d maybe point out that during this difficult pandemic season, doing something that’s bound to create tension in your relationship may not be the best move. At least for now.