Sense & Sensitivity

Reader Upset at Having to Wash Sheets

DEAR HARRIETTE: Do you think it’s right for me to have to wash the sheets of the bed of a colleague who stayed in a room that I now have to stay in for a work trip? He spent a week in this room. Now that he's gone, my boss told me that the cleaning lady won’t be back for a week. If I want clean sheets, I need to make that happen.

I am outraged. We aren’t staying in a hotel; we are in a house that is overcrowded. I feel like my colleague should have washed his own sheets. Since he didn’t, it is left to me, even as my boss’s assistant is here and her job is to handle administrative duties. I am one of the highest-ranking members of our team. I just don’t think it’s right. At the same time, I don’t want to be seen as a prima donna or as difficult. What should I do? -- Dirty Sheets, Sag Harbor, New York

DEAR DIRTY SHEETS: Since you have to sleep in the bed, you should wash the sheets just to ensure that they are clean when you lie down. You can also speak to your boss privately to make it known that you don’t think it was fair for this task to be left to you. If no cleaning person was available, the staffer who used the sheets should have prepared them for the next person in line to use that room.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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