DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a hostess at a restaurant. I am 25. I work very close to a 50-and-over community that does not allow children. Many of the women complain to me about the temperature in the restaurant. Occasionally, they will admit that they are going through menopause, and other times they will skirt around the topic. I receive many complaints about the heat of the restaurant. It'll be too hot, too cold, and then too hot again. The women from this community are, quite frankly, snobs, and they expect everyone to accommodate them. These complaints about temperature have gotten so common that my manager tells me not to bring them to him.
I don't want to lie to customers by saying I'll ask to get the temperature changed, but I also don't want to constantly bother my boss. This is a good job and gives me a great amount of spending money. I don't want to get fired, but I need to find a way to please everyone. -- You're Hot and You're Cold, Boston
DEAR YOU'RE HOT AND YOU'RE COLD: You have many years before you have to face the physical and emotional changes that menopause brings, and this can make these women's situations difficult to understand. Your customers may be snobs, but there is a good chance that they are actually just really uncomfortable. Since they believe that this restaurant caters to them and is part of their community, they feel entitled to speak up about the temperature.
Furthermore, there's a good chance they don't realize that it is their body temperatures that are fluctuating rather than that of the restaurant. I highly recommend that you speak to them in comforting terms, tell them you will check the temperature and adjust moderately. Ask your boss only when tempers escalate.