ASK AMY: Fired Employee Terminates Baby Gift

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Dear Amy: I work in a department of about 20 people.

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Recently, “Jo” was fired.

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I don’t know all the circumstances, but I was told there was a “cause”. Since then, many of us have stayed in touch with Jo, sympathizing and offering our support.

Meanwhile, my colleague, “Hannah”, is about to have her first child.

A group of us clubbed together to get a present for her.

Today, the person organizing the gift received a message from Jo, asking him to return his contribution for the baby gift.

We’ve already repaid Jo’s contribution (around $20), but most of us think asking for money back for a baby gift is corny and even a little mean-spirited.

Hannah had nothing to do with Jo being fired, and I know that Jo and Hannah were close at work. Jo had even signed the card before leaving and had written Hannah a very nice message—a message Hannah won’t see since we all think we should replace the card now!

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This whole incident has changed many people’s opinion of Jo. A few people are rethinking giving references for Jo because of this.

Was Jo irrelevant, or should we give this person some slack?

– Perplexed presenter

Dear puzzled: My first thought is that “Jo” is in a spiral and could suddenly be very worried about finances. It is not necessarily rational for Jo to believe that claiming that $20 will significantly affect the outcome, and yet when your employment situation has suddenly changed, the immediate choices are not always rational.

My next thought is that Jo is hurt and bitter. Wounded more bitter equals petty. And yes, the pettiness of this person is irrelevant. Pettiness always is.

Of course, this will affect your opinion of your former co-worker, and yet my experience tells me that you will almost never regret giving someone slack, especially when they are hurt and acting out. .

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Think of it this way: once the release is granted, you can always “release” later, depending on the person’s subsequent behavior.

When offering a job reference, you should only comment on your specific knowledge of that person’s job performance.

Not sure why Jo was fired, but using this episode as grounds for declining a recommendation would, in my opinion, be just as petty.


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Dear Amy: A close cousin of mine just got his first dog (after living as a cat).

I am very happy for my cousin because honestly this pup is definitely adorable, well behaved and a cute all around.

When she first got the dog, we were having an outdoor picnic and she asked if she could bring her pup. Naturally, we said yes. Her puppy charmed everyone and the visit went very well. After that, we had another (very small) event on our porch. Pup showed up and again the visit went pretty well.

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We are planning to have our first big indoor gathering since she got the dog.

We don’t want to set a precedent where the pup is automatically included in every event, but – we don’t know how to go back.

Your suggestions?

– Uncertain

Dear uncertain: Like many people, I acquired a “pandemic pup” – equally adorable and a real crowd pleaser. And even though my dog ​​is of the portable variety and has been made welcome by others, I guess any host’s preference is not to have a dog visit. I know this because I wouldn’t welcome a guest’s dog at an indoor gathering.

You will have to train your cousin. Just say, “We appreciate your dog, but since we’re going to have a bigger indoor gathering this time around, we hope you can leave the puppy-pup home safely.”

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People who have adorable dogs sometimes seem to have a blind spot when it comes to the people in their lives. Your cousin may insist that her dog will be no problem. You will have to be firm and say, “This time it won’t work for us. »

Dear Amy: “To Tell or Not” asked if she should disclose the sexual abuse she suffered as a child to a potential long-term partner.

My wife could have written this letter 40 years ago when we were dating.

The first six years of our marriage were extremely difficult because I couldn’t understand why she was holding herself back emotionally.

With the possible help of a good therapist, she was able to share this vital part of her life.

Of course, I feel bad for her. The result of this knowledge and trust is that we had a strong, loving and amazing marriage.

– Grateful Husband

Dear grateful: I am so touched by your account. Thanks.

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