Q: The father of a woman in my exercise class died, and the group is making a charitable donation in his name (as requested by the family, in lieu of flowers). But I’d also like to do something personal for my friend. What do you suggest?
A: A handwritten sympathy note is a great way to let her know you’re thinking about her. If you wish to give a thoughtful gift, then a meal, a plant, or a picture frame for her favorite photo of her dad would be appropriate.
Q: One of my coworkers doesn’t cover her mouth when she sneezes. Can I ask her to start doing so?
A: Absolutely. Sneezing into a tissue (or, if there isn’t one available, the inside crook of the elbow) is basic good hygiene, not to mention common courtesy. Next time it happens, hand her a box of tissues and say, “I know you’ve been suffering with a cold, and I’m hoping we can keep it from spreading. Thanks!” If she doesn’t get the hint, add, “Covering your mouth with a tissue when you sneeze will help prevent the spread of germs.”
Q: My hairdresser is fantastic — but she talks the entire time I’m in the chair. I’d like to close my eyes and relax. Is it rude to ask for silence?
A: No, but make sure you ask graciously and occasionally. When you’d rather zone out, say “Don’t mind me; I’m going to drift off for a bit. It’s been a busy week!” But let her chat on some visits. She’ll appreciate both your need for quiet and your respectful listening skills.
Pugs & Kisses,