Ask Amy: Co-worker barking mad about tasteless videos

August 31, 2013

DEAR AMY: I work in a small office (there are only six of us), and we have a very open, familylike atmosphere. Recently, a co-worker began making YouTube videos of her dog doing silly things. She enjoys showing the videos at work, which (while distracting) seemed like a pretty harmless waste of time.

However, a few days ago she began showing some inappropriate videos of her pet going potty, among other foul doggie behavior. I have tried telling her to please not show those videos, but everyone tells me I’m just being a spoil sport and to just ignore it if I don’t like it. My boss even suggested I “go for a walk” if it bothered me that much.

As I said, the office is small (a large open loft space with just a bathroom and our boss’s office as the only private areas). What can I do when my co-worker refuses to stop playing those horrid videos, especially with everyone supporting her? -- Tube’d Out

DEAR TUBE’D OUT: Your colleague’s behavior is disrespectful, not only to you but to her dog. This may sound silly to some people, but exploiting animals for your own low-brow human purposes is the very essence of inhumane. Furthermore, this colleague’s exploits are escalating and very soon she could cross a line, which should prompt a call to your local Humane Society (humanesociety.org).

You have made your own views known (good for you). Without support from the boss (and in an environment too small for an HR department), you cannot control this tasteless co-worker. You should take your boss’s suggestion and exit from this activity.

If others are enjoying a little tasteless time-waster, then perhaps it’s your cue to pick up a newspaper and read an advice column or two.

DEAR AMY: I very recently discovered that I have a son. He is a grown man, and our newly found relationship has been great.

He is getting married in a few months, and my wife and I have been invited to the wedding. It seems that as the father I have a greater responsibility than just being a guest and am wondering how much an appropriate wedding gift should be. Basically, I don’t know how to approach this milestone in our lives. -- New Dad

DEAR DAD: You don’t say if your son was raised with a (different) dad in his daily life. If so, he may choose to celebrate this father relationship by asking this man to stand up with him at his wedding.

You should ask him if there is something you can do for him and his bride for the wedding. They might appreciate it if you offered to pay for an aspect of their celebration, such as hiring a photographer. Otherwise, if you can afford it, you could offer to pick up the tab for part (or all) of their honeymoon trip.

These are big-ticket ideas. Your main job is to be a great guest and follow your son’s lead. He may want you to be a low-key but proud witness to his big day.

DEAR AMY: I’m responding to your answer to “Caring Colleague,” the person wanting to know how to respond to a friend’s announcement of his sibling’s new child with Down syndrome.

I felt your answer was well-meant but wrong. As a parent of a 7-year-old with Down, I received both wonderful and horrid responses to the news of my child’s diagnosis. The correct answer is “Congratulations!” Period.

At the birth of a typically chromosomed child, one does not temper their joy at the thought of the work involved, the possibilities of difficult times (think drug abuse, teen drama, car accidents, school trouble, etc.) ahead. That comes with being a parent.

Just because the challenges faced by parents with kids with Down are different than the planned challenges, there is simply no need to acknowledge the road ahead as tougher than anyone else’s road. It is more work; it is more worry. But the benefits of having a child with Down totally level the playing field here. The birth of this child is a joyful thing. End of story. -- Proud Mom

DEAR PROUD: Perfect. Thank you very much.

Amy’s column appears seven days a week at www.washingtonpost.com/advice. Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

by the Chicago Tribune

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