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ASK EMMA

 

Petty colleague
Dear Emma,
I work in a relatively small office and as one of the few western women there I find I have become the target of a petty and small minded campaign by one of the men working there. He is not Thai but a fellow countryman. His petty sniping and snide comments hidden as “being helpful” are getting to me. I know that blowing up is not the answer but I am getting tired of his childish behavior. I am at a loss as to how to deal with this as I do love my job and my other co-workers and want to stay. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this? I feel like his behavior is undermining me with my co-workers and my boss, so it really must stop.
Signed,
Help!

Dear Help,
Some people feel threatened by a newcomer and if you are getting along well with others, are in a position of authority or are excelling at your job then most likely he just feels threatened. Additionally, there are a few, usually older but not always, men who don’t know how to handle women succeeding at their jobs. My suggestion, ignore his pettiness, rise above it. His behavior will become clear to your co-workers and in the end, will only make him look bad.
Your best reaction to his petty behavior is a smile and ignore it. Best of luck and remember that you do not have to stoop to his level.
Yours,
Emma

Barking dogs next door
Dear Emma,
I live in a mooban and the house next door has several dogs that go crazy any time someone walks by the house. The dog owner doesn’t seem to ever try to teach them to stop and frankly, it is driving me crazy. Is there some way I can teach these dogs to stop barking even though they are not my own or should I just move somewhere else?
Signed,
Fed up with the dogs

Dear Fed Up,
It is annoying when dogs bark but it is important to remember that they are doing what they consider to be their job, that is protecting their home and that it is the fault of the owner for never teaching his or her dogs how to behave. However, this does not solve this particular problem.
One thing before considering moving is that anywhere you live will have drawbacks. People who think they are escaping noise by moving out to the country still get neighbor noise unless they live in the middle of a huge property. So, you need to determine if life is better with the devil you know rather than the one you do not know.
Finally, make friends with the dogs next door if possible. You can encourage them to not bark at everyone but also bear in mind that they are warning about strangers. Something you may come to appreciate some day.
Yours,
Emma


Facebook friends
Dear Emma,
I have a dilemma. A dear friend of mine does use Facebook but constantly posts memes, those photos with sayings on them. And while occasionally one or two is alright, she posts nothing but. Every great once in a while there might be a post of interest but usually her wall is a stream of memes I have no interest in. I don’t want to unfriend her but I really don’t want to see unending memes. Do I tell her? Should I hide her? Or should I just put up with it in the hopes that every once in a while she will post something I want to read?
Signed
Memed out

Dear Memed,
Post a meme about how you hate memes and hope she sees it. Or hide her. But there is no reason to put up with something that you have no interest in.
Can Emma add that in addition to those who post meme after meme that her pet peeve is people who post hashtags in all their posts. I do not particularly feel like having to wade through a series of hashtags to figure out what you are trying to say and I have hidden people who do this. Perhaps I should find a meme about hashtags?
Yours,
Emma


Noisy neighbor
Dear Emma,
Like many, I live in a condo and I have an elderly neighbor who doesn’t seem to realize that his television is very loud. He must be hard of hearing and turns up the volume on everything. The walls are pretty thick and I cannot hear the neighbors on the other side of my condo but I can hear this man’s television, his radio. I can even hear the bing of the instant messenger on his computer!
One morning when he had the TV on particularly loud quite early in the morning I slipped a note under his door asking him to turn it down. He knocked on my door a while later and first denied that his TV was on, but finally admitted it was but said it wasn’t loud and that it wasn’t against the adjoining wall.
How do you deal with someone who won’t even admit it is loud? How do I explain to him that he is hard of hearing and that it is quite loud sometimes? I have gone out into the hall to make sure it is coming out of his apartment and I can hear it out in the hall as well. He has no other neighbor than me so there is no one else to verify or complain.
I really don’t want to make trouble for this man but the noise sometimes is really annoying.
Signed,
Woken up

Dear Woken,
I would suggest recording it and then playing it for him. If that does not work, play it for the condo management, assuming he is a renter as well. If he is not and owns his own unit then you may want to consider finding somewhere else to live or learn to live with the noise and sleep with earplugs. Perhaps make your own noise to drown out his and if he complains you can smile and say, “Oh it is not that loud”.
Yours,
Emma