I am severely myopic and can't see without my prescription eyewear. Yet people continually ask me if they can "borrow" my glasses to read the menu. (I work as a hostess.) Abby, my glasses are not reading glasses; they are my eyes - literally. When I explain this, I get snorts, grunts and muttered comments that I am "rude."
My husband says I should let them try on my glasses and cut out the explanation, as they would immediately realize that they can't see through them. I disagree. I think it is inappropriate to even ask, let alone become offended when I politely refuse.
Abby, I would like to explain the concept of reading glasses versus prescription eyewear: Most people do not walk around with reading glasses fully on their face. Reading glasses are often halfway down the nose or hanging around a person's neck so they don't impair his or her distance vision. If someone is wearing glasses full on their face - they're usually not reading glasses. If a person is wearing glasses, do not ask to borrow them. Instead, ask if there is a pair of reading glasses at the wait station or host stand.
- The Blind Leading the Blind
DEAR "BLIND": I'm printing your letter, but I warn you - there are none so blind as those who will not see. For a stranger to expect to borrow someone's glasses is presumptuous. If the bows were bent or the lenses were broken, you'd be in serious trouble.
Talk to your employer about keeping a magnifying glass or several pairs of reading glasses in various strengths available for patrons who have forgotten theirs. Many restaurants do. With our aging demographic, it's good business, because people order more when they can see the menu.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a female manager in a male-dominated field, and a high-level corporate executive. I am good at what I do, but sometimes I become impatient with subordinates who don't "get it" like I do. I admit I prefer the company of some over others.
Several years ago, a friendship with a subordinate turned into something more. I was - and still am - married with children. During this time I had to discharge another employee for substandard performance. Since he left he has sent me several unsolicited emails in which he has suggested that he knows about the affair I had with his former co-worker and believes he didn't receive fair treatment because of it.
My former lover is no longer with the company, and I have done everything I can to put this behind me. I still worry, however, that the employee I let go may someday make the company aware of my indiscretions, or worse, my family. Abby, is there anything I can do to set the whole thing right?
- Threatened in the Northwest
DEAR THREATENED: Let me get this straight. You say you are good at your job as a manager, but you lose patience with subordinates who don't "get" things as quickly as you do - and play favorites among the employees in your department. If that's not a hostile work environment, it's at least one that's very unpleasant. And you had an affair with one of them? Didn't you know that you were leaving your company open to a lawsuit for sexual harassment? It appears that when you assumed the title of manager, you exceeded your level of competence.
You have gotten yourself into a jam from which I can't extricate you. Go to your superiors and tell them about the emails so the company can protect itself from a possible lawsuit for wrongful termination. Stop deluding yourself and face the consequences of any indiscretion you have made because you have placed not only yourself, but also your employer, in jeopardy.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.