Dear Miss Manners: I manage a department of about 15 professional and clerical workers. I am a direct resource for most, and I enjoy helping them find solutions. My office is a revolving door, with usually no more than 20 minutes between visits.
Another time, an employee coughed directly over my barely touched lunch salad. Sadly, I was then unable to consume it, which left me hungry and annoyed. This unintentional contamination occurs commonly enough that it is beginning to frustrate me.
I can close my door when I eat, but that reduces my availability and hampers workflow; also, it doesn’t address the coffee. I can cover or tuck away my consumables when my door is darkened, and have done so, but this seems offensive.
Is there a better way to protect my food while not causing offense nor inconvenience?
Please step aside while Miss Manners rearranges the furniture in your office. Your food should not be within leaning distance of others.
There is such a thing as being too accessible. Aside from dribbling on your lunch, visitors may be reading your screen. Position your desk on the far wall, facing a window, if you have one. When employees enter, you should swirl around to face them, leaving your food safely behind you. If you don’t have a window, do this anyway, hanging a nice picture above the desk — or, better yet, a mirror so that you can see who is coming.
Dear Miss Manners: I am the mother of the bride, and we have sent out “save the date” cards for a 150-person wedding. My daughter has now decided that she wants a more intimate wedding, with only family present. The wedding is seven months away.
How should we address the guests who were sent the “save the dates?”
You do know, Miss Manners hopes, that this is not a nice thing to do. She will help you, but it is not easy to tell people that you have decided you do not want them at the wedding after all.
Besides, if pictures of the wedding are posted, you won’t have a friend left.
Can you persuade your daughter to elope? Then you could express surprise that the planned wedding was superfluous, and invite all those people to a party for the already married couple.
You will have to give that party anyway. As those asked to save the date may have made travel arrangements, it would be best to do it on that date, but after that intimate ceremony.
New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.
©2022, by Judith Martin