Originally Published: August 31, 2017 6 a.m.
Dear Annie: I was at my brother’s home for my sister-in-law’s birthday a few weeks ago. My sister-in-law, “Jess,” had a stroke some years ago and can only say a few single-syllable words at a time. She has an 18-year-old bird that she loves and takes care of.
My nephew’s fiance, “Becky,” and her daughter, “Emily,” came over during the party, and Emily started to tease the bird. Jess looked at me and said, “Cover bird.” I went over and very politely put the cover on the birdcage and said, “I think it’s time for the bird to go to sleep. When there are a lot of people in the house, the bird gets stressed out. The cover helps him calm down.”
Everything was fine for about 10 minutes. But then Emily went over, flipped part of the cover off the cage and started to tease the bird again. Becky was sitting right there and did not say a word to her daughter. I looked on silently because I felt it was not my place to say anything, and Emily sat down after a few minutes anyway.
But then she went over to the cage a third time. She began teasing the bird. At this point, my brother politely told Emily to stop because she was upsetting the bird, and she did.
At that point, Becky got upset. She told my brother, “She’s only playing with the bird.” She and Emily left the birthday party early because of this.
My brother and I would like you opinion on whether or not it was inappropriate for him to tell Emily to stop. — Birdy-guard
Dear Birdy-guard: Of course it was appropriate of your brother to speak up. If that ruffled Becky’s feathers, she should have stepped in before he had to. The next time you’re all together, set some ground rules right from the start, and make them clear to Emily, Becky and your nephew: no ifs, ands or squawks about it.
Dear Annie: I couldn’t agree more with your reply to “Wondering Why at the Y,” who complained about the odor of his fitness classmate. But this isn’t just a problem at the gym.
In today’s offices, people are often crammed into small areas to save money. If one inconsiderate man or woman puts on too much fragrance, it can give headaches to everyone around them. It’s unfortunate when the person causing this problem is a supervisor. You don’t tell the HR manager she stinks if you want to keep your job for very long! Once, my manager approached a corporate vice president about her perfume, because the noxious smell was making his employees ill whenever she visited. She replied that she paid big money for her French perfume and anyone who didn’t like it could hit the road!
Long ago, I was given a piece of advice that I feel should be stressed in employee training and at workout centers: If you wear scents on a daily basis, you must be very careful. Over time, you become immune to the smell. Bottom line, if you put on enough that you can smell it, it’s probably terribly strong for everyone else! — Glad I’m Retired
Dear Glad I’m Retired: Let this be a public service announcement: The perfumes and colognes you wear could ruin a co-worker’s day. Spritz responsibly.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.