Ex­ces­sive laugh­ter is no laugh­ing mat­ter

Cape Breton Post - - ADVICE / LIFESTYLES / BUSINESS - Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Dear An­nie: How do I tell my neigh­bors that it’s an­noy­ing and frus­trat­ing to lis­ten to their teenaged daugh­ters shriek­ing and scream­ing as they’re hav­ing fun out­side?

Of­ten, I want to go out and play with my dog, but I can’t be­cause these girls are be­hav­ing like 5-year-olds, scream­ing their heads off. There are things I need to do out­side, but the noise makes it im­pos­si­ble. And it’s hor­ri­ble to have to lis­ten to it in­side as well.

The mother says she doesn’t like to in­ter­fere with the girls when they’re hav­ing a good time. Well, they may be en­joy­ing them­selves, but the rest of the neigh­bor­hood is not. Peo­ple are just too po­lite to say any­thing.

I don’t want to be of­fen­sive, rude or hurt my neigh­bors’ feel­ings. These par­ents and their girls are sweet, good-hearted peo­ple, but it seems that the dis­ci­pline and con­sid­er­a­tion for oth­ers is sim­ply not there. I don’t want the girls to stop hav­ing fun. I’d just like them to keep other peo­ple in mind, too. But try­ing to tell some­one else how to dis­ci­pline their kids is a very del­i­cate sub­ject.

This has been go­ing on since the weather has warmed up. I can’t even en­ter­tain out­side be­cause of the shriek­ing. Please help, An­nie. — A Frus­trated Neigh­bor

Dear Frus­trated: You say your neigh­bors are sweet and good­hearted. Surely they would not want peo­ple to think their chil­dren are so an­noy­ing and dis­rup­tive. There is noth­ing rude or hurt­ful about say­ing to your neigh­bors, “We’re happy the girls are hav­ing such a great time out­side, but we would deeply ap­pre­ci­ate it if they could tone it down a bit. I’m sure they don’t re­al­ize how loud they are.”

Un­less they are break­ing some lo­cal noise or­di­nances, there isn’t much more you can do. But you can re­peat to your­self that “this, too, shall pass.” Soon enough, those shriek­ing teenagers will be off to col­lege (or adult­hood) and this will no longer be a prob­lem. Un­til then, you might want to in­vest in some noise-block­ing head­phones and a fan.

Dear An­nie: Two of us work with a woman in our of­fice who sleeps propped up at her desk. She snores lightly and wakes her­self up nu­mer­ous times.

We have spo­ken to her about this, to no avail. We don’t want to tell the boss and get her into trou­ble. But as you can imag­ine, it is both ir­ri­tat­ing and dis­tract­ing. How should we han­dle it? — Very Frus­trated

Dear Frus­trated: Your co­worker is not get­ting enough rest­ful sleep at night. She may be burn­ing the can­dle at both ends, or she may have a sleep dis­or­der. Sug­gest to her that she see a doc­tor im­me­di­ately be­cause you are wor­ried about her. And please don’t feel guilty about re­port­ing her to the boss. She is sleep­ing on the job, which af­fects your abil­ity to work and your boss’ bot­tom line. But more im­por­tantly, she may have a se­ri­ous health is­sue that should be ad­dressed, and that is how you should ap­proach it — with gen­uine con­cern.

An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please

email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@cre­ators.com, or write to: An­nie’s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate,

737 3rd Street, Her­mosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find An­nie on Face

book at face­book.com/askan­nies. 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. COPY­RIGHT 2015 CRE­ATORS.COM

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