Dear Annie: I am the manager of a small bakery. I’ve had the same employee, “Sue,” for the past nine years. She is lazy and uninvolved, and I gave her a so-so review. Much to my surprise, Sue was promoted to management in another facility. I was happy for her achievement, until I heard she was telling others that she was doing the majority of my work, including ordering supplies. She added that I was suffering from Alzheimer’s and couldn’t remember anything. None of this is true. I think it may have been prompted by my less than stellar review.
Since Sue has been promoted, she has been asking me a lot of questions about how to do her job, because she is clueless. She doesn’t know that I am aware of her nasty comments. Last week, another co-worker told me that Sue is bullying her assistant and making her do the majority of her work. She is already making enemies there, and because of her lack of supervision, the bakery is becoming filthy and a potential health hazard.
Should I keep quiet about what I know or contact human resources (anonymously) and report her misconduct, as a few employees have suggested? I am retiring soon and don’t really need the drama. — Caught in the Middle
Dear Caught: You have nothing to report other than hearsay from co-workers. You have not witnessed any of this firsthand, and you don’t know whether it is true. The fact that Sue calls you for help is meaningless. Many employees rely on others when given new responsibilities. The negative things you already know about Sue were in your review. They promoted her anyway. You can complain about the condition of the bakery, but Sue’s new co-workers should be the ones to take responsibility for complaining to human resources now.
Dear Annie: I have four adult children. I announced to all of them that I would not be holding Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners at my home and that they were welcome to spend the time with their in-laws.
My oldest was hurt because she has no in-laws to go to. My son texted his middle sister to ask what was going on. My middle daughter was upset, saying I was allowing my youngest daughter to be the “winner.” My youngest daughter spent both days at a local church feeding the needy.
Why was my family separated? Because my middle and youngest are not speaking to each other. When one of them is hurt or angry, they hurl vicious insults at each other. I feel bad about this, but I refuse to sit at a table with these uncaring adults and pretend that all is well.
I had a nice TV dinner and a slice of sweet potato pie with whipped cream for the holidays. The losers in this mess are my grandchildren and I. I take responsibility for raising these people, but I will not allow them to ruin my day. — June
Dear June: If your children make your holiday celebrations frustrating and stressful, you do not have to include them. But how sad for all of you to spend these holidays separated or alone. Please give your children one more chance. Explain to them that nastiness will not be tolerated in your home and the first person to use an insult of any kind will be asked to leave. By now, they know you mean business.
Dear Annie: I loved your answer to “Last-Minute Hostess,” whose stepson and his family always show up hours late for Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s how I would respond to those who arrive late: “You’re just in time for a piece of pie!”
I bet they won’t show up late the next time. — Fort Myers, Fla.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., 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.