Ter­ri­ble gram­mar at work

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - Cat Man Send ques­tions for Amy Dick­in­son to [email protected] amy­dick­in­son.com.

Dear Amy: I have a co­worker who has ter­ri­ble gram­mar. Sure, we all make gram­mar mis­takes from time to time, but his is re­ally bad all the time, and peo­ple are start­ing to laugh at him or make glances to other team mem­bers about it when he makes pre­sen­ta­tions.

I be­lieve English is his first and only spo­ken lan­guage (we all have our spo­ken lan­guages doc­u­mented in case a cus­tomer re­quires spe­cific lan­guage help).

How­ever, I don’t think any­one cor­rects him.

I don’t know him very well, but he is in my busi­ness cir­cle. How­ever, he is one level higher than me in the hi­er­ar­chy.

I hate to see this guy be the butt of co-worker jokes and for peo­ple not to take him se­ri­ously. He seems like a good worker and is quite lik­able.

The only idea I have so far is to dis­trib­ute or post a “com­mon gram­mar mis­takes” doc­u­ment and try to tie it in with an acro­nym guide for all staff mem­bers.

It still could come across as a tar­geted mes­sage, how­ever, as he is the acro­nym king. Is there a bet­ter way to ad­dress this, or should I just leave it alone? Cor­rect Co-worker

Dear Cor­rect: Dis­tribut­ing a list of “com­mon gram­mar mis­takes” might be a good idea for your team, cer­tainly if you all in­ter­act di­rectly with cus­tomers. How­ever, I don’t think this cheat sheet would nec­es­sar­ily have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the co-worker who has the big­gest prob­lem, be­cause he may not even hear his er­rors.

You should share your con­cern with your own su­per­vi­sor. Say, “I’m con­cerned about ‘Joe’ be­cause his very poor gram­mar is un­der­min­ing him with the team. I’m not sure how to help him, but I think some­body should. Can he be of­fered lan­guage coach­ing?”

Dear Amy: My wife, “Betty,” and I (both re­tired) do vol­un­teer work at a cat res­cue place. The “Cat Ranch” is a fenced area on a prop­erty owned by an el­derly lady, “So­phie,” who had seven cats of her own liv­ing with her in her trailer, and oth­ers on the prop­erty.

So­phie has moved into a re­tire­ment fa­cil­ity and will NOT be re­turn­ing to her house. The prop­erty is be­ing sold.

The Cat Ranch is be­ing closed down, the cats are be­ing dis­trib­uted to other in­di­vid­u­als who will take care of them and find homes for them.

Here is the prob­lem: So­phie wants to have her own cats eu­th­a­nized. She is an­gry with my wife (and “Tracy,” the other vol­un­teer) be­cause they refuse to eu­th­a­nize the cats.

I don’t think, at this point, that it is a le­gal ques­tion but, rather, a ques­tion of com­pas­sion for an­i­mals.

Do you think there would be any­thing wrong with dis­tribut­ing her cats along with the oth­ers (we plan to keep three of them with our cats) and just not telling her?

Or would it be bet­ter to just firmly refuse to have them eu­th­a­nized and let her deal with her feel­ings?

Dear Cat Man: “So­phie” has moved on to the next phase of her life, and it is un­fair and cruel for her to choose to have her house cats eu­th­a­nized, rather than re­homed. But you could safely as­sume that she sim­ply can­not han­dle the re­al­ity of what is hap­pen­ing.

Tell her the truth about her cats, and re­as­sure her that all will be well. Yes, she will have to cope with her feel­ings.

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