Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Employee Questions Company Values

DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in a conservative environment, and I’m pretty sure most of the employees, especially the higher-ups, are Republican. I am a Democrat with strong views about everything. My sense is that my co-workers have equally strong opinions that are exactly the opposite of my own. Since we don’t share political views, I tend to keep my personal ideas to myself when I’m at work. But I wonder if I should even stay working there. If I don’t have the same values, am I being a hypocrite to continue to work with people who have opposing views? -- On the Fence, Dallas

DEAR ON THE FENCE: It is wise for everyone in a work environment to believe that more than one political viewpoint is present. Part of the beauty of being in America is that we are allowed our personal, religious and political freedoms everywhere, including at work. To ensure that all can coexist, especially when many do not share the same views, remain mindful of yourself and others. You can consider the variety of perspectives that may be at play with any of the hot-button issues of the day. You may choose to talk about them at work or keep your ideas to yourself and discuss them privately after work with your friends and family rather than at work.

It is generally not necessary to leave a job just because co-workers don’t share your political views. An exception might be if decisions at work rely on one’s political perspective. Similarly, if your boss or co-workers try to get you to co-sign ideas that do not match your values, you should stand up for yourself. That friction could lead to discomfort that may encourage you to leave. Just know that you have legal grounds to keep your job even if your co-workers do not agree with your political perspective. It should be about the work that you do. One other point is that you should be mindful of your social media. Do not write incendiary thoughts about politics or political leaders. Anything you say or write can be used to discredit you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband likes to walk around the house naked. This was fine before we had children, but I think it is inappropriate now. Our daughter is about to turn 3. While she is too young to really know what she’s seeing, I don’t want her to have his private parts in her line of sight at all. If we have a son eventually, my husband may want to be naked around him on occasion so that our boy can see how a man’s body develops, but I draw the line with him being so open around a girl. How do I get him to put his clothes back on? -- Streaking Dad, Cleveland

DEAR STREAKING DAD: Remind your husband that when you two decided to have a family, you knew that certain things would naturally change. One of them needs to be how he dresses at home. Point out that you do not want your daughter to see his naked body because you don’t think it is appropriate. He can wear boxer shorts or some other comfortable clothing, but put your foot down about nudity. Suggest that both of you teach your daughter about modesty, which includes covering your private parts. You can add that if he has a son, there may come times when they share this moment in a locker room or elsewhere, but it should be different for him and his daughter.

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