Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Busy Work Traveler Doesn't Have Time to Connect

DEAR HARRIETTE: I travel a lot for my work, but the schedule is so tight that it rarely works out for me to catch up with friends or family when I am in a particular city. Because of this, I rarely even let people know I am going to be in their town -- it just makes them mad if they know I’m there but I don’t have time to call or see them.

On my last trip, I had a moment when I was eating and noticed how beautiful it looked outside, so I took a photo and posted it on social media. Well, that wasn’t a good idea. Next thing you know, my friends and family who live in that area blew me up on Facebook and on my voicemail saying how hurt they were that I didn’t call. I’m sorry that my schedule is so crazy, but I feel like I deserve to have a few moments when I can share highlights of my life. Otherwise, I will feel like a total recluse even though I am seeing the world. How can I handle these people’s expectations? -- Out of Touch

DEAR OUT OF TOUCH: I’m sorry that your schedule is so tight that you have no time for loved ones, but I understand that some jobs are that taxing on their staffs.

One solution for this situation is the next time you post on social media, add a caption that acknowledges that you are in a place where people you love live, you are sorry you don’t have time to see them, but you are thinking of them and wanted to share this moment that you captured as you were heading to your destination. If you can include them, even if it is through cyberspace, this may help ease their longing to connect with you.

Read more in: Work & School | Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics | Friends & Neighbors