The Dallas Morning News

Coffee shop gaffe divides co-workers


Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: Egads. A colleague often goes to a local coffee shop to do his work. He likes the atmosphere and needs the “buzz” of people to be effective.

The other day, he noticed it was really quiet for a while, but stayed as usual and left at his normal 4 p.m.

Then he saw a sign saying the hours of operation have changed: They closed at 2 p.m. No one said anything to him. He just kept sitting there working.

Now he and I are arguing because I think he should admit the error he made and offer a big tip to the guy who stayed the whole time.

He just wants to pretend it didn’t happen — because while he knows most of the workers, this guy doesn’t work there often and he doesn’t think he’ll see him again soon. He also thinks the guy had an “obligation” to tell him they were closing. I said he had an “obligation” to see when they closed. What should he do?

Mea “Cup”-a? Dear Mea “Cup”-a? You’re right about the apology; a tip would be nice; he’s wrong about pretending it didn’t happen; you’re wrong to keep arguing.

In the end, it’s his decision, and you’ve clearly made your point. Once was enough. Here’s a drop-it script: “For the record, I still disagree, but it’s not my decision.” Give people room to live as they see fit.

When you have objections to a friend’s behavior that are more serious than this, the answer is still not to keep arguing till you “win” — it’s to recognize you may have cause to rethink your friendship. There’s no argument for ongoing arguments.

Re: Coffee Shop: If he had tried to order something after 2 p.m., he would have realized that the place was closed. If he is parking himself there, he really should be making purchases throughout the day. Anonymous Dear Anonymous: Thanks — an important PSA.

Hi, Carolyn: My neighbor moved away after we sparked a friendship of about two years. I loved her dearly and hated that she moved. We stayed in touch, with her responding slowly and initiating seldom. So I stopped texting and she never texted back. How to move beyond these feelings of rejection?

Take a Hint?

Dear Take a Hint? A grab bag of feel-better options:

■ She is consumed by other things, and it’s not necessaril­y personal.

■ She is more of a locationba­sed connector than a keepin-touch connector.

■ She is just one person — whose opinion of you and whose loss might hurt a lot, but who is still just one person.

■ We don’t give the same support to friend breakups, which can hurt even more than romantic ones. I can’t fix this for you, but I can sympathize and say that I’ve been there.

■ As with other breakups, you will be OK in time, it’s just going to feel really bad for a while. So you move beyond the feelings by just living with them till they wear out.

Hope these help. Take care.

Re: “Location-based connector”: This happened to me with a good friend and housemate. About a decade later, we were back in the same city again, and while we’re not housemate-level, we have lunch and still enjoy each other’s company.

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