That ain’t ap­ple juice in the jar un­der co-worker’s desk

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - LIFE - MAU­REEN SCURFIELD

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I work in an of­fice with four other people and we each have our own small of­fice (not cu­bi­cles). I re­cently dis­cov­ered that one of my co-work­ers has been keep­ing a pee jug un­der his desk in his of­fice. I think this is ab­so­lutely re­volt­ing, dis­gust­ing and un­hy­gienic. I don’t know how to bring this up to our su­per­vi­sor, but I feel like it needs to be dealt with be­cause I just can’t work in a place much longer with some­thing like this hap­pen­ing. This par­tic­u­lar co-worker is very lazy at his job. One of the worst parts of it is that I am in the of­fice next to him, and with the walls be­ing thin, I can hear him go­ing in the jug. How do I han­dle this? — Re­volted, Win­nipeg Dear Re­volted: Talk about sheer lazi­ness and lack of class! Your su­per­vi­sor should have been told im­me­di­ately. Ask for a pri­vate talk with him or her and pro­vide some de­tails about when you first no­ticed and how you know what he’s do­ing. Have you checked and seen the jug? If not, does the sound take a longer time than pour­ing liq­uid out of a pop bot­tle? Have you heard any­thing else through those thin walls, like a zip­per on its way up or down? This is a se­ri­ous ac­cu­sa­tion, so make sure it’s true be­fore you make a re­port. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m writ­ing in re­sponse to Sym­pa­thy, No Com­ments, the let­ter about people ask­ing per­sonal ques­tions. My daugh­ter went through this for four years be­fore fi­nally be­com­ing preg­nant. The bot­tom line is never, ever ask a cou­ple if/when they plan to have chil­dren. Ei­ther they are try­ing (and it’s not work­ing) or they are not try­ing be­cause they choose not to have chil­dren — ei­ther way, it’s their busi­ness, not yours. Also, please don’t ask cou­ples when they are plan­ning to have an­other child. My daugh­ter is not able to have any more chil­dren for med­i­cal rea­sons. This ques­tion is very painful for her. — Just Call Me Nana Dear Nana: It’s al­ways good to have Nana on your side, and you might run a lit­tle in­ter­fer­ence if this hap­pens in front of you. “Oh dear, that’s a per­sonal ques­tion. Let’s talk about some­thing else.” Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: In re­sponse to Been on Both Sides, I agree the prov­ince’s pro­gram For the Sake of the Chil­dren, as well as free fam­ily ser­vices me­di­a­tion, is ex­cel­lent and prob­a­bly works for most cou­ples, but un­for­tu­nately there are sit­u­a­tions where one par­ent re­fuses to co-op­er­ate. Ther­a­pist and fam­ily law at­tor­ney Wil­liam Eddy ad­dresses these sit­u­a­tions in his writ­ings and found that since more flex­i­ble and cost-con­scious people are re­solv­ing their di­vorces in me­di­a­tion, at­tor­ney-as­sisted ne­go­ti­a­tion, or just by them­selves these days, those cases re­main­ing in lit­i­ga­tion may be in­creas­ingly driven by per­son­al­ity dis­or­ders, and be­cause their is­sues are in­ter­nal, they will never be re­solved in court. I am also aware of a bill that would di­rect the courts in re­gards to di­vorce to make equal-shared par­ent­ing the pre­sump­tive ar­range­ment in the best in­ter­ests of the child ex­cept in proven cases of abuse or ne­glect. — Think­ing of the Chil­dren, Win­nipeg Dear Think­ing: Such a bill could be good in many cases as long as there are equal par­ent­ing skills and close­ness to both par­ents, but that’s not al­ways the way it is. In cases where one par­ent does most of the par­ent­ing al­ready, and the kids are much closer with that par­ent, those chil­dren may not want a 50/50 ar­range­ment. And many chil­dren of di­vorce don’t want to be shunted back and forth ev­ery few days, or ev­ery week, or what­ever is worked out be­tween the par­ents. Kids need more say than this change would im­ply, if that’s who we’re re­ally wor­ried about. A lot of step­moms or step­dads are go­ing to end up be­ing the al­ter­nate par­ent in cases where the bio-par­ent is off at work and un­able to take full part in the 50/50 back-and­forth ar­range­ment. They are not of­ten as bonded to the kids as their nat­u­ral par­ent and may have kids of their own to look af­ter, whom they may pre­fer. Please send your ques­tions or com­ments c/o love­coach@hot­ or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Win­nipeg Free Press, 1355 Moun­tain

Ave., Win­nipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.

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