DEAR STEEL ADVICE: I work in an office of about 40 people. A few times per year we'll have office parties during our lunch hour. Everyone pitches in by bringing a dish or chipping in a few dollars to help get something that the whole office can share. Everyone but one person, that is. In the past, this person has made the least amount of effort possible, and recently he has stopped contributing at all. That being said, he is always first in line when it comes time to actually celebrate. He makes it abundantly clear that he has no interest in socializing with the rest of the office unless he can get something out of it. It really bugs me that everyone else puts in so much effort and he makes none while reaping the rewards, but I'm not sure what to do. Any advice would be much appreciated.
— TICKED OFF PARTY PLANNER
DEAR PARTY PLANNER: This fellow has a sense of entitlement to the “free food.” He may feel contributing food or money to an office party is not part of his job description. Usually there is an excess of food at these affairs. The display and abundance are a good excuse for everyone to gush and then gobble the dishes with the most cheese or chocolate. Because there is so much available the freeloader sees no harm in grabbing a plate and helping himself. If this person continues to slip under the wire, let it go. He is a cheapskate with diminished social skills.
DEAR STEEL ADVICE: I am so sick and tired of people who take advantage of the Internet. I use it only to inform friends of special happenings and hear about their events, etc. Facebook is mostly used as a way for me to see my grandchildren and special events. I wonder if anyone else has this problem or is it just me? Several of the people I consider friends have totally taken over my email, [sending] as many as 15 or more email and Facebook [posts] almost every day! What should I do? Don't want to lose them as friends. I am so sick of it, I just delete delete delete! Can they see that I have deleted them?
— TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF
DEAR FACEBOOK GRANDMA: Adjust the settings on your Facebook page and move any unwanted email senders to junk mail. Use advanced privacy controls to eliminate some of the annoying data you receive. Streamline your timeline, newsfeeds and contact lists. This is not difficult but it can be overwhelming if you are not Internet savvy. Friends cannot see that you have deleted their messages, however if you block the friend, you will not be able to see what they have posted. Today’s social media experts are teens. So the best advice is to ask a teen to help bring you up to speed so you are not overwhelmed with information that does not interest you.