How Can I Tell My Boss That My New Hire Is Too Attractive For Me To Manage Them, And Other Advice Column Questions

There are too many excellent advice columns to keep up with, so we’re committed to bringing you links to the best advice column questions and answers every week. Here’s a roundup of the most interesting, thought-provoking and surprising questions that our favorite columnists (and subreddits) addressed in recent days.

How Can I Tell My Boss That My New Hire Is Too Attractive For Me To Manage Them?

I feel like a bad manager for even asking this question, but I find one of the new hires assigned to me to be amazingly attractive. I would never act on it, or do or say anything unprofessional, but I find it unbelievably distracting. When I look at the coaching and 1:1 work I do with my other employees, I outright KNOW I will be uncomfortable doing that with this new hire.

I fully realize that the fault is entirely mine. The new person has done nothing wrong. However, I also know it would be much better for that employee if they worked for someone else.

The question is, how do I tell my manager that I’d prefer this employee be managed by one of our other team leaders? (There are several of us who manage very similar teams so it’s not like the new employee would have a manger who knew nothing about their work area.) Obviously it would be VERY unprofessional to say, “Hey, can you move S to another team because I find them too attractive and distracting.” Or should I say nothing, be professional, and hope the feeling passes with time?

[Ask A Manager]

Alison Green advises the letter writer to figure this out on their own, without moving the new hire to a different manager. “You really need to solve this on your side — hold yourself to a higher standard and figure out a way to make her looks irrelevant to you,” she writes. “If you can’t do that, I think you have to question if you should be managing a team at all.” Read the rest of her answer.

Am I A Jerk For Asking An Acquaintance To Take Down A Nude Drawing Because The Model Was My Son?

So I (48F) volunteer for a number of organizations… local museum, botanical garden, etc… So recently I was visiting with an acquaintance”Deb” from one of these groups at her place, she and I were planning for an upcoming meeting. I had never been to her home before.

In her beautiful home she had lot of art, she’s a collector and artist herself. In the salon where we were meeting was a large framed charcoal drawing, a slightly abstract male nude… It turns out that she was the artist herself, and that was a sketch she had done in a “life drawing” class a couple of years ago, in a local college’s adult ed art classes, and she liked it well enough to display.

Immediately my heart sank. I knew the drawing was of my son.

My beautiful boy Aaron (22m) had posed as a model for such a “life drawing” class when he was home after his freshman year. Why, I don’t know. He freely told us he had done that, even though he probably knew I wouldn’t approve. Despite being a near-perfect kid Aaron has always had a hint of a rebellious streak (think “Tarzan hair” and the kinds of clothes some kids today wear). I had been quite upset with him at the time, apparently parading around in his birthday suit for middle-aged men and women(!) to draw. I begged him not to do it, what would people think, that it was not right and that we didn’t do those kinds of things. He was paid but certainly didn’t do it for the money, said “it was just for fun.” His father didn’t seem to care. I always liked that Aaron is a “free spirit” but this was just too much.

So I discretely explained the situation to Deb knowing she would understand and remove the art, especially when our members visit. She refused though and it let to a big argument and me using some frankly unladylike language.

She thinks I’m an a**hole for asking and making a “big deal out of nothing,” and I think she’s one for displaying a drawing of my son.

I’m going to effort to arrange our meeting at another location, but in the meantime… AITA?

[Reddit via Twitter]

The commenters on the r/AmItheAsshole subreddit generally agree that the letter writer is the asshole in this situation. “Your son was an adult when he posed,” one of them writes. “No one cares that you are clutching your pearls about this picture except you.” Read the rest of their answers.

Should I Tell My Kids They Can’t Have A Pet Because Their Dad Let Our Last Cat Die Because He Didn’t Want To Spend The Money To Save It?

We adopted a cat when my husband and I first married, before we had children. We had constant disagreements over how much money was appropriate to spend on our cat. My husband argued that regular vet checkups, yearly vaccines, and premium cat food were unnecessary expenses. I put my foot down and took great care of our cat. I was away on a work conference and returned to discover that our cat had required emergency surgery, and my husband would not authorize the $2,000 expense so our cat died. I was heartbroken and so incredibly angry at my husband. $2,000 was not an uncomfortable amount for us to pay. I vowed that I would never have another pet with him because our ideologies on how to care for pets were too different.

Our two sons, who are now 10 and 12, were toddlers when our cat died, and they don’t remember her or know what happened. They would like to get a cat or a dog. My husband said yes, and I quickly shut that down and said we were not getting a pet. My husband then began egging our children on with comments about how it’s too bad we can’t have a pet because Mom is being a meanie. Things like that. I spoke to my husband in private and told him he needed to stop with those comments and have my back in this. He did stop making the comments, but whenever the kids bring up getting a pet he’ll shrug in an exaggerated manner and say something like, “It’s up to your mom.” or “Talk to your mom.” That is not having my back!

I am at my wits’ end. His thoughtless comments were bringing up all the bad memories about what happened with our beloved cat, and I hate that I am being put in the position of bad guy here. I’m tempted to explain to the kids what happened in age-appropriate terms, but I’m not sure whether that would help or hurt the situation.


Doyin Richards encourages the letter writer to demand accountability from her husband. “That means he needs to tell the truth to your kids about the demise of your cat, he needs to apologize in front of the kids for blaming you as the reason that you don’t have a new pet, and he needs to demonstrate in a way that would be satisfactory to you that he’s ready for the commitment of a pet,” he writes. Read the rest of his answer.

Should I Try To Bribe My Granddaughters Not To Get A Tattoo?

I am grandfather to three precious girls, via my two wonderful kids. The granddaughters are ages 18, 15 and 11 — and they are all intelligent, hardworking, charismatic, and lovely.

Ours is a close family, even though we are bi-coastal.

Recently my daughter informed me that the oldest granddaughter is talking about getting a tattoo.

If she (the granddaughter) were to ask me my thoughts about this idea, I would tell her honestly that I disapprove for the simple reason that body ink is for the most part permanent, extremely painful, and complicated to remove…

I honestly don’t want her to get a tattoo. Not now, not ever.

So, what do you think of the idea of bribing her (and her sister and cousin) not to get one?

I have in mind telling all three girls that if they will refrain from getting a tattoo until, say, age 30, I will provide a “bonus” to their inheritance (I’m thinking $10,000 each.)

I would be careful to explain that this has nothing to do with love — I will love them regardless, of course — nor is it “punishment.”

If they really want a tattoo, they should probably get one — but if they choose not to, or at least to wait until they are 30 (when I will most likely be dead), I will reward them for indulging me.

[Tribune Content Agency]

Amy Dickinson points out that this bribe might create a perverse incentive for the letter writer’s granddaughters. “For instance, the next choices they could run past you might be: The decision to take up smoking, or engage in other risk-taking behavior they know you might be willing to pay them to avoid,” she writes. Read the rest of her answer.

Can I Tell My Mom That She Shouldn’t Ask Her Grandchildren To Call Her ‘Mama’?

My brother and his wife have a baby due this summer, and my parents are in the throes of choosing their grandparent names. My dad has settled on “Grandpop,” and my mom has changed her mind approximately 592,129 times. My brother and sister-in-law finally told her to stop sharing every idea she had and just to let them know when she landed on something, so she has started vetting her new ideas with me.

Her current front-runner? “Mama.”

Yes, she wants her grandchild to call her Mama. This seems like a major boundary violation to me and I am almost positive my sister-in-law won’t like it. Moreover, I don’t like it. I hope to have kids someday and don’t want them to call another woman Mama!

Is it okay to tell her that she needs to take this option off the table?

[The Washington Post]

Carolyn Hax gives the letter writer permission to tell their mom “Mama” is not a good option. “Tell her you’re telling her this as a public service and she’s welcome to be as annoyed at you as she wants, but you’re saving her from herself,” she writes. Read the rest of her answer.

What Should I Do After My Cousin Walked Out Of My House Abruptly In The Middle Of My Girlfriend’s Heart Attack?

A cousin of mine found out that we get all the different sports networks in our cable package, and ever since, he has invited himself over to watch games at our house all the time, on a weekly basis. This was frustrating in itself — but then recently, something unbelievable happened. He was over watching a game at our house, yet again, when my 65-year-old girlfriend began having severe chest pains (which we later learned was a heart attack). As I attempted to figure out what was going on and to help her, this relative said that he’d get out of our way and abruptly left. He just walked out the door, not bothering to call 911 or even to shut the door behind him. 

What do I do about my cousin?


Annie Lane encourages the letter writer to set a very reasonable boundary with their cousin. “If he dares to invite himself over again after what happened, let him know you’ll no longer be hosting him for games,” she writes. “It’s that simple.” Read the rest of her answer.

LV Anderson is the news editor at Grist and an advice column aficionado.

Source: How Can I Tell My Boss That My New Hire Is Too Attractive For Me To Manage Them, And Other Advice Column Questions

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