DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband has been working from home, like many others, so I have heard many work conversations. He is the oldest in his office of 20 or so people. Most of the others are young enough to be his kids, and he calls them “kiddo.”
This irritates me, and I’m guessing it does the workers, as well, but they don’t say anything. Would you please explain why this is not a good idea?
Ditto for eating while on the phone and clicking his pen. Everything is amplified on a phone!
GENTLE READER: So is the extent to which it can get on someone’s nerves to be monitored and critiqued while trying to work.
That is not to say that spouses cannot deliver advice. But if you want to discuss the etiquette of working remotely with others, Miss Manners suggests you pick a time when you are both at leisure, and approach it as a challenge that many now share and are testing out.
Whether this group was used to eating at their desks would be a factor in how they felt about snacking during virtual meetings. And whether your husband’s young colleagues are amused or annoyed by his mode of address, Miss Manners cannot say. She remembers a prominent editor who called the young staff “kid,” which seemed to inspire the hope of rising to be considered his equal.
A polite discussion of what works best might be useful. Hovering over someone who is trying to work is not.