DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My husband and I run an on-line business that personalizes glassware. This is, as you can guess, our busiest time of the year.
We hire extra help from late September through early January. When we bring in the temporary staff, we make it very clear that when you work for us during the holiday season, you are expected to be available at least 40 hours a week, and that those hours can happen evenings and weekends.
This year we have two new kids who work hard when they’re here, but who make snide and snarky comments they think we can’t hear about us. They call us “Grinches” and “Scrooges” and a lot even less flattering names. They also make it clear they feel they’re doing us a favor by doing their jobs. We pay these kids well, better than they would earn working at Target or Walmart, yet they seem so ungrateful.
Do you think we should say something to them, or just let it go and not hire them ever again? --- NOT A SCROOGE
DEAR NOT A SCROOGE: There’s nothing new to the perception that adults over a certain age are hopelessly out of it. Add to that a generation that’s grown up in the age of on-line anonymity and social media-ruled lives, and it’s a small wonder that there are many kids (and adults) who demonstrate a serious lack of commonsense social filters.
What I would do in your situation is to let them know you aren’t so old that you can’t hear them. That may shame them into a little more discretion, but I wouldn’t guarantee it. The one lesson they may learn from — although I doubt they’d ever admit it — is to let them know that because of their attitude, they won’t be welcomed back to work for you and your husband in the future.
Those who can’t learn from their mistakes are bound to repeat them. Hopefully they’ll learn from theirs.