Ur­ban Diplo­mat

Toronto Life - - This City -

I re­cently got en­gaged to the love of my life. In all the ex­cite­ment, I an­nounced the news on Face­book, and sud­denly peo­ple I haven’t seen or spo­ken to in years started com­ment­ing that they couldn’t wait to watch me walk down the aisle. To be blunt, I don’t want them there and had no in­ten­tion of invit­ing them. How do I say “see ya” with­out be­ing too harsh? If you’re hon­estly con­cerned about let­ting these long-for­got­ten Face­book “friends” off easy, mes­sage the wannabe at­ten­dees to tell them you and your fu­ture spouse are lim­it­ing the guest list to fam­ily and close friends (read: no long-lost pals or work­place ran­dos). But my ad­vice is: don’t bother. You’re un­der no obli­ga­tion to ex­plain your in­vi­ta­tion choices, much less to peo­ple you barely know or like. It’s far less awk­ward (for you and them) to just ig­nore them al­to­gether.

Dear Ur­ban Diplo­mat, My par­ents re­tired last year. Af­ter decades of hard work, they’re fi­nally hav­ing some fun—maybe too much. They’re splurg­ing more and more of­ten (din­ners at Ca­noe, Leafs sea­son tick­ets), and I’m pretty sure they’re liv­ing be­yond their means. It’s none of my busi­ness— and they’re my par­ents, so it feels es­pe­cially pa­tron­iz­ing to tell them how to man­age their money—but I’m wor­ried they’ll turn to me, their only kid, if they find them­selves out of cash. How do I con­vince them to rein in their spend­ing be­fore they be­come free­loaders?

—Par­ent Trap, Bed­ford Park

Your pro­gen­i­tors’ lav­ish over­spend­ing will be­come your busi­ness if they blow through their nest egg and start ask­ing you for cash. Don’t be afraid to have a can­did dis­cus­sion to find out if they’ve mapped out a for­mal bud­get to make sure they’re not broke be­fore they croak. Re­frain from cri­tiquing their spend­ing habits your­self—they may ac­cuse you of look­ing out for your own in­her­i­tance—

—Wed­ding Crash­ers, Riverdale

and in­stead sug­gest they visit an ad­viser. A pro­fes­sional, ob­jec­tive out­sider will be frank about just how many pricy restau­rant bills your par­ents can af­ford— and how of­ten they should watch the game at home in­stead.

Dear Ur­ban Diplo­mat, Not long ago, I got a raise. I asked a close col­league out for drinks to cel­e­brate. Dur­ing our hang­out, she re­vealed that, although she’s been with the com­pany longer than me, in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion, she makes quite a bit less than I do and has never re­ceived a raise. She’s great at her job and de­serves bet­ter. I’m start­ing to won­der if she’s been passed over be­cause she’s a woman. Should I say some­thing to my su­per­vi­sor?

—Over­com­pen­sated, The Kingsway

Be­fore you go white knight­ing, make sure your col­league ac­tu­ally wants your help. If she’d like you to speak to the brass on her be­half, go ahead, but she may pre­fer a sub­tler vote of con­fi­dence: some­one to gen­tly push her to ask for a raise her­self, or to help come up with a solid case as to why she de­serves more. If your boss can’t give ei­ther of you a le­git­i­mate rea­son why you’re mak­ing more than she is, your sus­pi­cions of gen­der bias might be right. And if he (I can only as­sume it’s a he) won’t budge, con­sider re­port­ing the pay gap to HR, who may be more will­ing to do some­thing to avoid the le­gal and PR prob­lems your com­pany’s Mad Men–era at­ti­tude could cre­ate.

Send your ques­tions to the Ur­ban Diplo­mat at ur­bandiplo­mat@toron­to­life.com

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