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Jewish World Review May 3, 2001 / 9 Iyar, 5761

Workstyle by Paula Bern

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Consumer Reports

Working with younger people...airline manners -- Q: I'm an over-the-hill bachelor who recently took a new job with a company staffed by thirty-somethings. These young folk love to have cookouts and backyard barbeques. In my day we always took a bottle of fine wine to a party and everybody sipped it during dinner. Now, I notice, that every bottle of vintage I carry to the party is put aside and no one ever tastes it. I feel insulted when I see the wine set aside and a cheap beer served instead. Don't they appreciate the wine? - Senior.

A: I think you and your wine have aged well together. When your hosts serve beer they are not demeaning your gift. In fact, I suspect they appreciate it enough that they are saving it for a special private occasion. I'd say you should quit grumbling and feel honored that your hosts have excellent taste.

Q: I just returned from a coast-to-coast plane trip and what a hassle it was! No blankets, no pillows and no room for bags. I had stashed my small overnighter under the seat in front of me and put my 22-incher in the overhead compartment. You can image my surprise when the woman who was assigned to the seat next to me asked that I take my luggage down from the overhead compartment. Anyway, she created such a scene that it took two flight attendants to calm her down. The bag she wanted to put in the place mine had been was as big as a small elephant and was hard as a rock. The attendants were still trying to get the bag into the compartment when the pilot asked for all to take their seats for take-off. Shouldn't the baggage rules be enforced to prohibit stuff like that? Dan, Baton Rouge, La.

A: I agree with you 100 percent. If you want to start a protest march in front of the airplane gates to prevent rule-breakers from making life miserable for everyone I'll join you. The restriction on carry-on baggage size has no impact if all it takes to get around it is a little loud and rude behavior.

Q: My life is all stress and mess. I bought into that myth that you can have a successful career and normal family life. Believe me, it isn't true. I have a very successful career in finance and two great children but it isn't easy. I used to lie at work about my absence when I had to be gone to attend a school function with one of my boys. After all, I figured, I could be fired. But no more. And when friends ask me about hobbies I just laugh. I wonder whether any of your readers have found any answers that might help. -Caryl, Bloomington, Ill.

A: How about it, out there. Any of you got advice on how to make family and career work together?

04/26/01: Don't let nasty call keep you from volunteer work; absolutely musat-read book for anyone forced into early retirement
04/06/01: Office pest ... Manhattan cabbies .... actuary's gripe
04/02/01: Noise at work ... snoopy patients ... lunch protocol
03/28/01: Too many kids hawking stuff ... working at home ... candy
03/22/01: Express lane miscreant ... wife needs a life
03/15/01: Explaining gap in resume ... therapist ... unemployed
03/07/01: Rude public...venegeful man...whining speeder
02/20/01: Computers and preschoolers ... rude bank customers
02/13/01: Hooked on subliminal tapes ...picking up the tab

Dr. Paula Bern has taught executive seminars at Carnegie-Mellon University. Comment by clicking here.


© 2001 SHNS