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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (April 26, 2016)
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2016
How to tune out co-worker?
By Holiday Mathis, Creators Syndicate Inc.
Dear Annie: My cubicle is sepa-
rated by a low wall from “Terri,” the
woman who works next to me.
Here’s the problem: I might be
talking with seven other people near
me at different times and we could
be whispering, but Terri manages
to hear the conversation and always
has an opinion to add. Every asso-
ciate who works near Terri has an
issue with her constant opinions,
her butting into other people’s con-
versations, and the incessant talk
about her failing marriage, her difi-
cult kids and her inances. We don’t
invite these personal conversations,
especially because no matter what
you say, you are wrong and she is
Management has spoken to the
rest of us, saying we shouldn’t talk
about Terri when she isn’t present,
because it creates negativity in the
workplace. Yet they say nothing
about her constant, disruptive yap-
ping during an eight-hour shift. The
sound of her voice stresses me out
so much that it’s hard to maintain
a professional manner around her,
and I’m afraid that little negative
remarks are slipping out.
How can we make Terri mind
her own affairs until she is invited
into the conversation? How can we
get her to do some work (and let us
do ours) instead of blabbing all day
about her personal problems? —
Ready to Tear My Hair Out
Dear Ready: Let’s start with the
obvious — you don’t like Terri and
you have been excluding her from
your conversations. She responds
by talking and butting in, so that she
feels part of the workplace environ-
ment. You respond with annoyance.
Imagine how you would react
if you were frozen out of your
co-workers’ conversations. Have
you tried including her? Doing so
now and then will make it easier to
ask for some quiet time when you
both need to inish your work. But if
she still cannot stop talking, the next
step is headphones and a smile.
Dear Annie: I read the letter
from “Perplexed Grandmother,”
who has been unable to establish
a connection with her 3-year-old
grandson because the family lives
with the daughter-in-law’s parents
and she has limited contact.
Your advice was good, and I
agree that she should talk to her
son about taking a more active role
in his child’s safety. I have another
suggestion for Grandma to get
closer. I have many friends who live
far from their children and grand-
children and they have solved this
problem with FaceTime or Skype.
Over the phone or computer, they
read books to the kids, have lunch
“together” and simply enjoy regular
conversations. This is what military
families do, and it works just as well
for everyone else who lives far away
from their grandchildren.
Please remember this as an
option. You would be surprised how
many of the older generation man-
age to make this high-tech connec-
tion. — M.
Dear M.: We have often men-
tioned how easy it is to keep in
touch with far-lung family mem-
bers through smartphones and lap-
tops. We hope those who haven’t yet
tried the technology will learn how.
Dear Readers: Tomorrow
(Wednesday) is Administrative Pro-
fessionals Day. If you have assis-
tants who make your job eas-
ier, please let them know they are
ARIES (March 21-April 19). Emotional-en-
ergy-saving tip of the day: Take a gentle, non-
confrontational approach to communication.
Avoid if you must. Defer if you can. Flattery
and sweetness will work wonders, as will a
gracious exit strategy.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You’ll have
a clear sense of what you need to do. Get-
ting yourself to actually do it is another story.
Mostly this is a matter of being organized and
falling into a routine that can be easily repeat-
GEMINI (May 21-June 21). With Mercury
as your guiding planet, you’re keenly aware of
the opportunities to be seized before tomor-
row’s retrograde. There’s such confidence in
your approach that others can’t help but fol-
low your lead.
CANCER (June 22-July 22). The club
you’re in now is a very small one. Cherish
the other members. Only the ones who are in
your league know and appreciate all the work
that goes into playing at this particular level.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). You’ll meet one
who has succeeded at this game already and
overcome surprising obstacles to do so. For
you to win at this too, you’ll need to train hard.
Much will depend on the internal fortitude.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). You’ll find your-
self enjoying the very same thing that others
are stressing over. There is opportunity in this
dynamic. Perhaps you can relieve their pain
for a fee. You truly want others to have as
much ease in life as you do.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Moving forward
can be scary, and yet right now you feel
oddly undaunted by the prospect. Perhaps
you sense there’s something very familiar to
embrace a few steps beyond where you are.
FRANK AND ERNEST
PHOEBE AND HER UNICORN
WIZARD OF ID
ROSE IS ROSE
Rushing ahead feels like coming home.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Do a quick
self-esteem check. It would be a shame not
to fully accept the abundance this day has to
offer you because you simply don’t think you
deserve it. You do! And how!
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). The dif-
ference between excitement and anxiety is a
belief that you’re safe in the world. You are, so
relax. Once you do that, you can direct your
energy in a most productive manner.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). You’ll fol-
low a direction, stand in a line, see a need
and fill it, all in the name of duty. Don’t let this
take over your whole day! There really is time
to energize your spirit by doing what (SET
ITAL) you (END ITAL) want to do, if you make
it a priority.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). Maybe you
don’t know exactly how to say what you need
to say, but open up and try anyway. You’ll
be extremely effective in getting your point
across; the language of emotions is universal.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). Is the rela-
tionship progressing or regressing? Don’t
worry too much about it now. Instead, just be
mindful not to get too comfortable where you
are, and welcome change in whatever form
it shows up.
WEDNESDAY’S BIRTHDAY (April 27).
Your rules for yourself are what keep you
on track, and you’ll make some stellar ones
in the next three weeks. By the end of May
you’ll already see the evidence that 2016 rep-
resents some major life improvements. A big,
joyful love will touch everything you do. You’ll
be changing over the next three weeks. Can-
cer and Virgo adore you. Your lucky numbers
are: 4, 22, 14, 11 and 29.