Ruf­fling some feath­ers

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­

DEAR AN­NIE » I was at my brother’s home for my sis­ter-in-law’s birth­day a few weeks ago. My sis­ter-in-law, “Jess,” had a stroke some years ago and can only say a few sin­gle-syl­la­ble words at a time. She has an 18-yearold bird that she loves and takes care of.

My nephew’s fi­ance, “Becky,” and her daugh­ter, “Emily,” came over dur­ing the party, and Emily started to tease the bird. Jess looked at me and said, “Cover bird.” I went over and very po­litely put the cover on the bird­cage and said, “I think it’s time for the bird to go to sleep. When there are a lot of peo­ple in the house, the bird gets stressed out. The cover helps him calm down.”

Ev­ery­thing was fine for about 10 min­utes. But then Emily went over, flipped part of the cover off the cage and started to tease the bird again. Becky was sit­ting right there and did not say a word to her daugh­ter. I looked on silently be­cause I felt it was not my place to say any­thing, and Emily sat down after a few min­utes any­way.

But then she went over to the cage a third time. She be­gan teas­ing the bird. At this point, my brother po­litely told Emily to stop be­cause she was up­set­ting the bird, and she did.

At that point, Becky got up­set. She told my brother, “She’s only play­ing with the bird.” She and Emily left the birth­day party early be­cause of this.

My brother and I would like you opin­ion on whether or not it was in­ap­pro­pri­ate for him to tell Emily to stop. — Birdy-guard

DEAR BIRDY-GUARD » Of course it was ap­pro­pri­ate of your brother to speak up. If that ruf­fled Becky’s feath­ers, she should have stepped in be­fore he had to. The next time you’re all to­gether, set some ground rules right from the start, and make them clear to Emily, Becky and your nephew: no ifs, ands or squawks about it.

DEAR AN­NIE » I couldn’t agree more with your re­ply to “Won­der­ing Why at the Y,” who com­plained about the odor of his fit­ness class­mate. But this isn’t just a prob­lem at the gym.

In to­day’s of­fices, peo­ple are often crammed into small ar­eas to save money. If one in­con­sid­er­ate man or woman puts on too much fra­grance, it can give headaches to every­one around them. It’s un­for­tu­nate when the per­son caus­ing this prob­lem is a su­per­vi­sor. You don’t tell the HR man­ager she stinks if you want to keep your job for very long! Once, my man­ager ap­proached a cor­po­rate vice pres­i­dent about her per­fume, be­cause the nox­ious smell was mak­ing his em­ploy­ees ill when­ever she vis­ited. She replied that she paid big money for her French per­fume and any­one who didn’t like it could hit the road!

Long ago, I was given a piece of ad­vice that I feel should be stressed in em­ployee train­ing and at work­out cen­ters: If you wear scents on a daily ba­sis, you must be very care­ful. Over time, you be­come im­mune to the smell. Bot­tom line, if you put on enough that you can smell it, it’s prob­a­bly ter­ri­bly strong for every­one else! — Glad I’m Re­tired

Of course it was ap­pro­pri­ate of your brother to speak up. If that ruf­fled Becky’s feath­ers, she should have stepped in be­fore he had to.

DEAR GLAD I’M RE­TIRED » Let this be a pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ment: The per­fumes and colognes you wear could ruin a co-worker’s day. Spritz re­spon­si­bly.

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