January 10, 2014 in Features

Miss Manners: Woman hopes to thwart office baby shower

Judith Martin Universal Uclick

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there a way to politely drop the hint that a baby shower at work is unwanted?

I began my new job and my pregnancy at the same time (not that it was quite planned that way), and as time goes on, I find that I am less and less comfortable with my co-workers socially (in the modern patois, “I find we are a poor fit”). There are many whom I do not want to mix with socially, much less be the object (or the mother of the object) of one of those forced in-office celebrations.

Also, my family will be showering me, as well as a group of friends. Is there any way I may use the “embarrassment of riches” excuse? Or is the only correct thing to do to allow my co-workers to express their (willing or unwilling) delight at my pregnancy as a social duty I must perform?

GENTLE READER: Has anyone actually mentioned throwing you a shower, or are you just afraid of the possibility?

If someone asks you directly, you may politely demure, not by citing your popularity outside of the office, but by insisting you wouldn’t want to burden people in the workplace. If they’re planning a surprise, however, you must endure. With all of the thank-you letters you’ll have to write, surely you’ll find something socially redeemable in your co-workers.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was wondering if there were any clear-cut rules for encountering, working with or confronting a person with disabilities?

GENTLE READER: You deal only with the person. Unless you have been hired to deal with the disabilities, Miss Manners assures you that they are none of your concern.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email