| Ur­ban Diplo­mat Ad­vice on how to be a civ­i­lized Toron­to­nian

Toronto Life - - Contents -

I bought a bike off of Craigslist the other day, and when I went to meet the seller I was greeted by a very tall young man. By way of ex­plain­ing the diminu­tive 10-speed in his pos­ses­sion, he told me he was sell­ing it for his lit­tle sis­ter. I took his word for it, but when I told my part­ner about the ex­change, he laughed and said the bike was prob­a­bly stolen. Was I wrong to make the pur­chase, and how can I keep my on­line buys above board?

—Hot Wheels, The Junc­tion

First, ask your­self this: did you re­ally buy the sis­ter story, or did you just give him the ben­e­fit of the doubt to score a bar­gain? If you’re hon­estly gullible and don’t want to fall into that trap again, next time ask a few pointed ques­tions. Toronto’s bike thieves may be gutsy enough to saw through locks on busy down­town streets in broad day­light, but you’ll catch an un­sus­pect­ing bur­glar off guard with in­quiries about how old the bike is, where it’s from and when it was last re­paired. Le­git own­ers will be happy to an­swer. If you’re still un­con­vinced, ask for the bike’s se­rial num­ber and run it through the Cana­dian Po­lice In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre’s on­line data­base to see if it’s ever been re­ported stolen. And if the se­rial num­ber has been re­moved, well, you have your an­swer.

Dear Ur­ban Diplo­mat, I started a new job eight months ago and get along with all of my col­leagues, but my much older su­per­vi­sor re­cently sent a re­quest to fol­low me on In­sta­gram. I don’t nec­es­sar­ily have any­thing to hide, but I feel strange about her see­ing my oc­ca­sional week­end ben­ders and stupid dat­ing jokes. Is there any way to de­cline her re­quest with­out in­sult­ing her?

—Up Close and Per­son­nel, High Park

It’s per­fectly ac­cept­able to want to keep your al­ter ego un­der wraps. You’re not ob­li­gated to ac­cept your boss’s re­quest, and you’re equally un­ob­li­gated to ex­plain why. A lot of ghosted re­quests go un­no­ticed, but if your su­per­vi­sor is de­ter­mined enough to bring it up, let her

know that you use In­sta­gram for outof-of­fice con­nec­tions and ask her to con­nect with you on LinkedIn. The con­ver­sa­tion might be awk­ward, but not as awk­ward as her scrolling through the finer de­tails of your pri­vate life. Op­tion 2: stop post­ing ev­i­dence of your drunken nights out—they’ll come back to haunt you one way or an­other.

Dear Ur­ban Diplo­mat, My friend re­cently went full-tilt vegan. Last week, I went out for din­ner with him, and he was su­per-judg­men­tal when I or­dered a ba­con burger, loudly list­ing off facts about the intelligence of pigs. I want to be con­sid­er­ate, but I would also ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing able to eat my food with­out feel­ing like there’s a cloud of shame hang­ing over my head. How do I get him to tone it down with­out seem­ing in­sen­si­tive?

—Ham­strung, Les­lieville

Pick­ing a fight over who’s right isn’t worth your time (un­less you want to spend your din­ner lis­ten­ing to him rhyme off sta­tis­tics from Cowspiracy). So, next time your friend goes on a tirade, let him know that you ad­mire his en­thu­si­asm but aren’t pre­pared to change your diet. Do your best to make your pref­er­ence clear and then move on to a new topic. Keep in mind that his lec­tures are un­likely to last. Once the nov­elty of his new­found right­eous­ness wears off, his need to pros­e­ly­tize should, too.

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.