Dear Annie: I work for a state agency in a job I absolutely love. My problem is the attitude of my co-workers. In this office, people are rarely fired because it takes so long to find a replacement. As a result, there is a great deal of unprofessional behavior that is ignored.
We have a new supervisor who is trying his best to learn the ropes, but my co-workers refuse to give the man a chance. They have labeled him with childish nicknames and went so far as to throw a small party when his wife became seriously ill because it meant he had to stay home.
If I say something to the supervisor, it might hurt his feelings. I’ve told my co-workers that their behavior is juvenile, but they already consider me a goody-two-shoes, and the more I complain, the more they rub it in my face. I’ve considered going over the supervisor’s head, but that would imply he does not have control over his staff. Do you have any advice for me? — Tired of Working With Children
Dear Tired: Yes. Stay out of it. Your co-workers may be childish, but the new supervisor must learn to deal with these sophomoric employees in whatever way he deems most effective. Allow him to sort it out on his own, and meanwhile, be supportive, so he knows he has at least one ally.
As for your personal aggravation with these co-workers, the best response is to ignore them when they misbehave, giving them a condescending smile when they say something idiotic. They’ll eventually learn to leave you alone.
Dear Annie: I’d like to respond to “Infoseeker,” who asked what to do if you wake up and find that a household member has died. You said to call 911. I don’t know how it is in your part of the world, but here, if you call 911, you get an ambulance, the body gets a trip to the hospital, and you get a bill from both. If you call the funeral director, he will come, but he cannot remove the body until the coroner pronounces the person dead. — Eau Claire, Wis.
Dear Eau Claire: We didn’t say the family wouldn’t be charged for bringing in emergency personnel. Here are two more helpful letters:
Dear Annie: Your advice to “Infoseeker” is on the mark only if the person’s death was wholly unexpected. Allow me to offer additional insight.
In most states, the deaths of persons who die while having been under a doctor’s care within the past year for a grave or debilitating illness (cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc.) do not require the notification of any governmental agencies. Survivors only need to inform the funeral home that has been designated to reclaim the body and prepare it for its final disposition.
In many instances, there is no reason for survivors to have to absorb the exorbitant financial burdens wrought by an ambulance, emergency room efforts to revive the person, or hospital administrative fees and costs. — Glenn S. Goins, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, Chandler, Ariz.
Dear Annie: My husband unexpectedly passed away while taking a nap. I called 911, and the operator notified the sheriff’s office and EMT services. I kept on my refrigerator a list of my husband’s medications, Social Security number, name and phone number of his physician, date of last visit and list of illnesses. The only thing I had to think about was the name of the funeral home. The emergency personnel contacted the home, which arranged to transport his body. It was a shock to have a loved one pass in this manner, but wonderful that he went without suffering, and I am so grateful to the police, emergency personnel and the funeral home for all their help. — Midwest
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