Dear Annie: My best friend is hosting a second baby shower for her daughter. They are doing this remotely since she lives in another state. The invitations that were sent gave a specific date your gift had to be delivered to the new mother by. The daughter has been posting on social media about what is needed for the new baby, yet she has a registry at several places. She already has a child, 3, and has gotten all that was needed at her first shower. My financial situation has changed, and I’m not able to contribute to this, not that I want to after I contributed to the first. I just found it rude to ask people yet again to provide for your second child. – Just Frustrated
Dear Frustrated: Celebrations for a second or third child aren’t uncommon, though it’s popular to opt for a “sprinkle,” or a less elaborate event than when one welcomed their first child. This family might really need a handful of new items for their second baby, but it would be unreasonable for them to expect their guests to restock them entirely.
Dear Annie: I love my job, yet recently, a member of my office decided on their own that they wanted to purchase an office support pet, despite not needing any additional support in an already sound and safe office environment.
This individual, with their own money, went out and bought a hamster. This person takes care of it, and while the hamster bothers me, some people seem to enjoy this creature’s company.
I do not! I despise rodents of any variety. Every day I am at my wits’ end thinking that this thing might potentially get loose. Its presence has upset the entire workday for me. I fully understand the concept behind support animals, but isn’t this counterproductive when what it actually brings is a sense of fear to those who feel threatened by its mere existence?
I know there are other members of the staff who share my feelings but are just as fearful as I am to mention anything for fear of ruining the dynamic of our workplace. Please advise. – Hamster Hater
Dear Hater: If your colleague insists on bringing her hamster to the workplace, then they have to follow some ground rules. It should go without saying that the hamster must be in its cage at all times. If it’s making noise, it must go in a separate room from where people are working. Hopefully, you can land on a compromise that works for everyone. If you are still disturbed by the hamster, then you should go to HR or, along with your colleagues who feel the same way, politely ask your co-worker to keep the hamster at home.
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