My daughter and her boyfriend have decided to take the summer, travel and find work along the way. In my opinion, they’re still young, so I insisted they had a place to stay and a job lined up for the first leg of their trip.
I like her boyfriend a lot. He’s very easygoing and respectful. I wasn’t concerned for her safety knowing he would be with her. However, neither are highly motivated and could easily fall into a lazy pattern of sleeping late, hanging about, and not working – which is why I insisted they have a job to go to.
They left about a month ago; they both found work in a resort with rooms on-site. Because of their age, they weren’t allowed to live together, so they were each given a roommate in the gender specific “dorm.” At first, they both enjoyed their jobs and I was so happy for both of them.
Unfortunately, a new manager has taken over my daughter’s department and he’s very tough. He seems to be doing everything in his power to keep the kids apart. He has changed her schedule twice this past week so she can’t see her boyfriend.
She’s been calling me several times daily, completely miserable. This isn’t what she signed up for, and I agree. She wants to quit, and her boyfriend will follow suit. They’ll get paid what they’re owed, but it won’t be pretty as they’ll be breaking their contracts.
How do I advise her?
Parenting from Afar
If your daughter is miserable, then what lesson is she learning from staying under the thumb of a tyrant? It’s a summer job, not her career. I suggest she and her boyfriend look for another job or move on to the next leg of their trip. I also suggest they go to HR together, and that her boyfriend stays close. Something in your longer letter makes me think this manager has an ugly side and needs to be avoided.
And if the kids end up with a week or two in between jobs, that’s OK. Better that they’re safe, in my opinion.
My sister-in-law invited us up to her cottage for the long weekend. When we arrived, the place was a mess. Half-empty beer cans on the table and around the bonfire; mostly empty bowls of chips in the living room; and unflushed toilets in two of the three bathrooms. Every bed had been slept in and was unmade.
I called to tell her and, to my surprise, she laughed! She said her nephew from her other side had borrowed the cottage for two days and had some friends up. She then said, “just choose whichever room you want. You’ll find new sheets in the drawers.”
Really?!? This isn’t how I would treat a guest - family or otherwise. What do I do?
Maid or Guest?
Oh dear. That does sound awful. I’m only confused as to why, if she invited you up for the weekend, she wasn’t there. But either way, I think you have three choices:
- Call a cleaning company and pay for it. Your sister-in-law may or may not pay you back. You’ll be able to enjoy the cottage once it’s cleaned.
- Clean up what you feel comfortable cleaning and enjoy the weekend.
- I feel like there’s more to this story that you haven’t shared with me. It is definitely an odd situation, which is why I feel you’ve left out some key points.
But the choice is yours – if you want to enjoy the cottage, you’ll have to make it as comfortable as you want. If you can’t, then you’ll miss out on the weekend.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who has a physical disability (May 30):
Reader #1 – “She has already said the best line: ‘I have a hand that just doesn’t work properly.’
“Even children will understand.”
Lisi – I agree.
Reader #2 – “Sorry Lisi but I totally disagree with your advice to Not Too Handy. She has a physical disability; there is no need to make a joke simply to make her new acquaintances more at ease. If asked, simply explain the problem and carry on. Her real friends are able to deal with it.
“People with disabilities should not have to make jokes simply to make others more at ease.”
Lisi – You are absolutely right that people with disabilities should not have to make jokes. But sometimes humour and lightheartedness go a long way. She asked for my advice, on how to explain what’s happening to people she doesn’t know. I went with humour.