DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am unsure of how to react to my co-workers’ spiteful comments whenever I choose to spend my paid/personal time off (PTO). I am a single male, under 25 and don’t have children.
The most common comment that I hear is an extremely sarcastic “Must be nice!” – as if I am the sole person upon this planet to earn PTO.
These comments have only come from co-workers who have children. What is the proper response to these immature comments?
It is not my fault that someone chose to have a child. When these people receive their tax returns, I certainly do not make rude comments about how it “must be nice” to receive an $8,000 tax return simply for having children (the individuals I am referring to also have no qualms about openly discussing how they spend these funds on material items such as cars, televisions, etc.). Frankly, I have too much class than to behave in such a way.
I am extremely respectful and conservative in most situations, but hypocrisy will make my blood boil. I obviously cannot obliterate their faulty logic with a brutal one-liner, since I’m at work. What should I do?
GENTLE READER: Spiteful hypocrisy that makes your blood boil? Miss Manners is afraid that you have a very low boiling point. This is what passes as office humor. Please do not escalate it to brutal. There is enough unemployment as it is.
However, if you will settle for being merely annoying in return, you need only agree with your tormentors, oops, colleagues. As you leave, just call out, “Ah, yes, the life of the carefree bachelor! Have fun working!”
DEAR MISS MANNERS: We attended two weddings that were at least a nine- and 13-hour drive away. One was on an island. These families are our very close friends.
We were not invited to the rehearsal dinners. As we were coming into town for the second wedding, we did get a call to come on over to the rehearsal dinner (it had already begun) but we were too far away and could not make it. We were surprised by our friends. They are not poor.
GENTLE READER: You were not in the rehearsals, were you? So why are you hurt at not being asked to the rehearsal dinners?
Yes, Miss Manners knows that you came a long way and that you know that there were rehearsal guests who were not in the rehearsal, either. The name of that event hangs on, even though it is now more often a catch-all for relatives, out-of-towners and such.
Well, apparently not a catch-all for all this time.
However, you cannot quite presume that a wedding invitation is always good for two days. Instead of suggesting that the idea was to save money (although the fact that they were not poor before paying the wedding bills doesn’t mean they are not poor now), it would be kinder to assume that the rehearsal dinner was a rehearsal dinner.