DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a co-worker who is slick as all get-out, and I’m sick of her. We work closely together. Whenever we have brainstorming meetings, which is part of our job, in the next staff meeting she pipes up and offers my ideas to the group as if they were her own. It is so annoying and rude. I have tried to hold back my ideas in our smaller group settings, but then I am accused of not being a team player. I am often the one who thinks outside the box and who comes up with pretty cool concepts. It is frustrating to see her glom onto them and then present them as her own week after week. How can I gain control of my ideas in the group setting? -- Stolen Concepts
DEAR STOLEN CONCEPTS: You may want to start with having regular meetings with your boss where you talk about ideas. Try to get in with your boss before the big meeting so that she knows what’s on your mind. Get a sense of whether your boss likes your ideas, and talk about how they might be implemented. In this way, you have planted a seed, and you may find that your boss becomes your ally in the next meeting.
You can even share that you find it hard to get your thoughts out to the group before your co-worker blurts them out. Ask your boss for input on how to be more proactive in the meetings.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I agree with your advice to “Back to Church” regarding avoiding a situation with no social distancing. However, I suggest that you add the fact that depending on God means using the brain and common sense He gave us. We are not commanded to follow blindly. To include those thoughts might give the reader more comfort in disagreeing with her pastor. -- Also Back to Church
DEAR ALSO BACK TO CHURCH: As more cities and states open up, more houses of worship will be open for parishioners. Your recommendation is key right now. Having faith does NOT mean turning your common sense over to a higher power or even to your pastor, rabbi or priest. You have to use your brain. Evaluate the risks versus the rewards. If you are a person with a compromised immune system, you need to beware of going into crowded spaces.
I spoke to a front-line medical doctor who said that we are going to have to figure out how to live in this time of COVID-19 because it will be months if not longer before we will have a vaccine -- the only thing that can give us some protection from it. His point was that we have to practice all safety precautions and learn to go about our daily lives. This calls for conscious awareness of our steps. Faith is essential, too. Just don’t stop thinking for yourself.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)