DEAR HARRIETTE: Recently, a guy I haven’t talked to in years recommended me for a job. Out of the blue, it seemed, he called me and told me about this opportunity. A few months went by before things came together. Well, I got the job, but in the flurry of everything, I forgot to contact the guy to tell him I got it. I’m embarrassed that so much time has passed, but I feel like I should still let him know. How can I do it so I don’t seem like an ingrate? -- Closing the Loop
DEAR CLOSING THE LOOP: It is not too late to say thank you. Gather your thoughts. When you contact your friend -- either by phone or in an email -- you want to say thank you for the referral and give highlights about the job so that this man can see how it’s working out for you. You can tell him you are happy to report that the job is a good fit for you in a few particular ways. Rather than apologizing for the delay in reaching out to him, give him a full report that illustrates why his referral was valuable and how grateful you are that this is manifesting right now.
DEAR HARRIETTE: Since I have been making my own money, I have become so greedy. Every time my family asks for money, I give them a generous amount. I never give more than they ask, though, since I want to save some for me. I have no problem lending people money if they desperately need it, but lately, money seems to be decreasing in my bank account. I have gotten to the point where, if someone asks me for money, I start to whine.
Money has made me act foolishly and childishly. I don’t want money to make me into a different person. Lately, it has been hard due to transportation fares and groceries, but I also want to help out my family. How do I tackle this? -- Greed
DEAR GREED: The fact that you have a job does not give anyone license to share your money -- including your family. You may want to make your parents the exception, as they have sacrificed so much to raise you. But truly, you need to step back and realize that the reason you have money is because you work hard for it. You should create a plan for your life that includes an outline of how much money you need to have.
It is perfectly normal for you to use your money for your basic needs, a bit of extracurricular fun and savings. Giving to charity can also be on your list -- at a small percentage for now. If you choose to make your family members your charity cases, so be it, but know that enabling them only encourages them to demand more from you. Instead, you should suggest that they go to work, too, so that they can pay for their own lives.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)