How to avoid cross words about cross­words

Sit­u­a­tion per­fect prac­tice for let­ting go of con­trol is­sues

StarMetro Vancouver - - DAILY LIFE - ELLEN VANSTONE

Dear Ellen,

I’ve started a new job where I am very happy. Dur­ing lunch break, I sit with a group of co-work­ers who I con­sider my friends. We talk about our lives to each other while fill­ing out the daily cross­word. The prob­lem is one co-worker, let’s call him Mr. X, who starts fill­ing out the cross­word be­cause his lunch break is first. He fills in many clues, then goes back to work. But a lot of his an­swers are in­cor­rect.

This re­ally both­ers me and I want to say some­thing. But he has been around for years and I am the com­pany’s new­est em­ployee. The other co-work­ers are fine with his mis­takes. “Oh, that’s Mr. X” they will say. I am won­der­ing if I should get my co-work­ers to rally against him, to not fill out the cross­word be­fore we ar- rive. I think he won’t have a leg to stand on if we do con­front him and we can fill out the cross­word col­lec­tively and con­tently. Sin­cerely,


Dear M.,

Be­fore you take any ac­tion, ask your­self the fol­low­ing ques­tions: Mr. X ob­vi­ously de­rives en­joy­ment from fill­ing out the cross­word — so why would you want to spoil his fun, or pub­licly shame him, by point­ing out he’s bad at it?

Ev­ery­one else at work is well aware that Mr. X is bad at cross­words, and they have no prob­lem with it — so how do you think they might re­act if you, a brand-new em­ployee, tell them to gang up on their ol’ buddy Mr. X, sim­ply be­cause you, and you alone, have a prob­lem with him?

Why do you think you feel so strongly about this? Is this some­thing that has come up in other ar­eas of your life? Do you of­ten find your­self in sit­u­a­tions where you are ob­vi­ously right about some­thing, but un­able to get the lesser folk around you to play by your rules?

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