Crunchtime doesn’t mean stress time
Dear Annie: I am a 25-year-old woman working at a small company with an open floor plan in a nice, spacious office.
I sit near “Sarah,” who seems irritable about a lot of things, including the sound of eating or drinking. Because of my fast metabolism and active lifestyle, I need to snack every hour or two.
At first, Sarah would put on her headphones, start blasting music and sigh loudly when I started eating — even if it was something quiet, such as a banana. She does the same when another co-worker drinks soda. When it became an obvious pattern, I privately asked a few co-workers (without mentioning Sarah) whether my frequent eating bothers them. They all told me it doesn’t bother them. After all, we all snack at our desks, including Sarah.
Today Sarah got closer to being openly hostile, giving me a death stare every time I bit a carrot stick. I didn’t react, but I’m starting to get uncomfortable. I would eat only on break and lunch if that were enough time, but it isn’t.
Should I just ignore Sarah’s hostile attitude toward me? Should I carefully ask her about what’s bothering her or go through a supervisor? We don’t have human resources. — Girl Who’s Gotta Eat
Dear Girl: The more time I spend writing about this sort of topic and hearing from readers the more I realize there are two types of people in the world: those who can usually tune out background noise and those whose blood pressure starts rising the minute they hear someone opening a bag of chips. I’m guessing Sarah is in the latter camp.
The next time you start snacking and Sarah starts glaring, be direct. Ask her whether your eating is bothering her. Then explain what you told me — that you have a high metabolism and need to eat snacks throughout the day — and say you’d like to compromise and figure out a way for you to work near each other in harmony.
It’s always better to clear the air — especially when you consider how much carbon dioxide Sarah’s letting out with all those exaggerated sighs.
Dear Annie: This is in response to the couple who have been married for one year and have the “too hot/too cold” problem when sleeping.
My husband and I have been married for 32 years. We had the problem that he likes it hot and I like it cold. Many years ago, I bought a mattress pad that has dual heating elements. My husband sleeps with it on high every night. When we had a king-size mattress, I could feel some of the heat. About 10 years ago, we needed a new mattress. We were living in a two-story condo, and they couldn’t get a king-size up the stairs because there was a turn in the stairway. So we got two twin beds and pushed them together. The only difference I have noticed is that I no longer can feel the heat from his side of the bed. Hurray! We have a heavier comforter, and if I feel warm, I just throw it off me. My husband sleeps with it almost covering his head. — Sleeping Like Babies
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.