You can’t in­clude ev­ery­one in cof­fee runs

Reader had her caf­feine crew ex­panded to in­clude sev­eral oth­ers, and it’s get­ting ex­pen­sive

Toronto Star - - LIFE - Karen Cleve­land

At my work, two col­leagues and I take turns grab­bing cof­fee. Lately, out of po­lite­ness, I’ve of­fered a few other folks a cof­fee while I walk past them. Now they are sort of hang­ing around wait­ing to give me their or­der. It’s an­noy­ing, im­pos­si­ble to carry and ex­pen­sive. How can I get out of this? Oh dear! Sounds like your kind­ness is cost­ing you! That’s very thought­ful of you to of­fer to grab morn­ing drinks, but you don’t need to treat the en­tire of­fice every day. I can imag­ine how quickly those costs add up. Plus, how do you pos­si­bly man­age five drinks with­out spilling them?

I would get your drinks with your two col­leagues more on the down­low. You could grab them on your way in, be­fore you even step foot into the of­fice, so you don’t feel tempted to of­fer to grab any­one else’s drink. Or, you could wait un­til later in the morn­ing with the hopes that the rest of your col­leagues are al­ready caf­feinated.

Years ago, I worked with some­one for maybe two weeks, tops. She added me on LinkedIn and asked me to endorse her for all kinds of skills that I never saw. I feel ob­li­gated, but gross. Oh, that is un­com­fort­able. Don’t feel ob­li­gated to vouch for some­one’s skills un­less you have to­tal faith in them. It’s not only disin­gen­u­ous, it is po­ten­tially a poor re­flec­tion on you. All of the con­tent on LinkedIn is fairly pub­lic, so it is akin to writ­ing some­one a let­ter of recom­men- da­tion, which I as­sume you’d put some thought into be­fore putting a pen to pa­per. I get it: it is easy to click those handy lit­tle en­dorse­ments willy-nilly, but treat them se­ri­ously. If you click on this per­son’s pro­file and scroll down to the Skills and En­dorse­ments sec­tion, you can likely find some­thing you’re com­fort­able vouch­ing for. Look for things such as in­ter­per­sonal skills, rather than tech­ni­cal skills, that you can attest to. Hope­fully this way you can main­tain a good re­la­tion­ship, but not feel like you’ve had to fudge the truth.

I couldn’t make it to the wed­ding of a friend that lives on the other side of the coun­try, but I want to send them a gift. Four months have passed, have I missed the win­dow for it not be­ing weird? I don’t think any­one has re­ceived a gift and thought, “ugh, this is so late I can’t en­joy it.” Well, at least any­one de­cent.

It is never too late to send a gift or a thank you card. While it is nice to get some­thing over a few months af­ter the wed­ding, some­times life hap­pens and that just isn’t in the cards. There is a long-stand­ing tra­di­tion that you have an en­tire year to send a wed­ding gift, but even if it has been longer that that, who cares? In­clude a nice lit­tle card ac­knowl­edg­ing bet­ter late than never when you send it over. They’ll be thrilled, I’m sure! Eti­quette ex­pert Karen Cleve­land an­swers your ques­tions about life on­line. Email your ques­tions: Karen@man­ner­sare­


Karen Cleve­land sug­gests get­ting cof­fee be­fore ar­riv­ing to work to avoid feel­ing ob­li­gated to get cof­fees for all of your co­work­ers.

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