I’m a woman, age 36, who married a man from another country five years ago. I moved there and we bought a house together.
But we both found that we just weren’t compatible. He’s very laid-back; I’m hyperactive by comparison.
Since we had no children, we agreed to part in an amicable divorce.
I decided to go home for a visit, and scout the chances for work.
By luck, I was offered a terrific job and decided to stay. But I’d only brought one small suitcase along for the trip.
When I informed my ex that I’d like him to ship the rest of my things, and finalize splitting the proceeds from our house sale, his normally easy-going manner changed completely.
He became angry, said I’d have to do my own packing and shipping which had nothing to do with him. He added that the money wasn’t easily available.
I’m shocked at his meanness. Now I have to wait for my new job to allow early “vacation time” for me to travel overseas, retrieve my own things, and deal with this now-difficult ex about money that’s rightfully mine.
How can I manage everything in two weeks of so-called “vacation” time?
Start preparations now. Reach out to your contacts where you lived for five years, and ask them to refer you to a reliable shipping company. Get informed from that company as to what proof of ownership or other papers may be required.
But before addressing the money issue with your ex, try a non-combative phone conversation with him asking if there’s anything you need to know about the house proceeds.
Then, communicate with the lawyer involved in the sale, and have him/her or another lawyer inform your ex that you require your share to re-settle back home.
Have as many conversations as possible to prepare yourself to be ready to proceed when you travel to complete the move.
Invite a local friend there to help you with the packing, especially if it’s in the presence of your ex-husband.
I work in an open-concept office where my co-workers and I are respectful of each other’s sound space. Most conversations on the phone or in person are kept to reasonable decibels.
Unfortunately, we received a newcomer to our space who laughs like a hyena. I’m not exaggerating. She’ll say a name aloud, then laugh in hysterical bursts.
It’s very annoying and interferes with my concentration. What do I do/say that won’t be turned back on me as workplace harassment?
Earplugs Not Enough
Start with a plan of accommodation, rather than annoyance. She has an ingrained habit, you have a concentration problem.
Hers may be a nervous habit which gets exaggerated in new situation. Yours is a reaction. Neither of you are affecting or interfering with the other, on purpose.
You do have to be careful in a workplace atmosphere about how you proceed. Talk first to your supervisor who’ll likely ask a human resources representative as to the best plan (if there is an HR department).
But if left on your own, speak to this co-worker aside from others, and gently tell her that her exuberant laugh is too loud for an open-concept workplace.
Ask her to please try to tone it down. To show that you’re demonstrating goodwill, you could say that you’re willing to use earplugs when you need to concentrate more.
If she reacts badly, write a note detailing who said what, and then take it higher up.
FEEDBACK Regarding the grandmother who wants to save the name “Grandma” for her own children’s babies, not her step-children’s (Dec . 10):
Reader – “My partner of 20-plus years and I had up-and-down relationships with all our children over time.
“However, when the first grandbaby arrived, we staked ourselves out as Papa and Nana (which became “Nina”) and we’re happily Nina and Papa to all the children in our orbit - family and friends alike.
“Our grandchildren’s friends call us Nina and Papa (as do their parents). My mother was “Gamma” to our children and all their many friends. As she was dying, numerous cards came addressed simply to "Gamma."
“When my time comes, (and even more now before it does) I’ll cherish all the times I’m called Nina!
“Life’s too short, babies are only young once, children are so genuine! Find a term of endearment for yourself, stick with it, and revel in it!”
Tip of the day:
An “amicable” divorce still requires being legally informed and aware of any financial complications.