It’s Tuesday, time for the anonymous mailbag.
I’m working on three hours sleep today so if there are more typos than usual, cut me some slack. I was at the Colts-Titans game last night and am still celebrating the amazing double digit win by the Titans to break an 11 game losing streak. Do you know how hard it is to lose 11 straight games in the NFL when neither team is that great? It’s virtually impossible since every game is a touchdown or less spread and in several of these games the Titans were actually favored.
Plus, the blood bank guarantee cashed in a big way. (Although we had it covered even before the Derrick Henry touchdown run since I told you guys to buy the Titans down to -6.5 on the show.)
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All fall long The Home Loan Expert is going around to hang with SEC tailgaters. Here’s the crew with Florida Gator fans.
Okay, here we go with the anonymous mailbag.
“We have new neighbors. They moved in less than two months ago.
I did not know until recently that they had a cat. A cat that they just let roam the neighborhood. I found out recently when I got home from work. I pulled in the driveway, opened the garage door and out it walked. It was in our garage a good 12 hours. Until then, I hadn’t seen the cat before.
Fast forward two days, my wife comes home from work. She said she met the new neighbors and the cat that was in our garage was theirs. She tried to drop a hint about taking better care of their cat, the fact that we have dogs, many of the neighbors have dogs and it might not be safe for the cat to just run around. He seemed rather uninterested.
Fast forward a week. I get home from work. Say hi to the dogs. Let them out and head to change clothes. A couple of minutes later, I come out and hear the dogs going crazy in our backyard. I walk out and see our largest dog holding the cat in his mouth. It’s dead as a doorknob.
Not knowing what to do, I triple-bagged it in some garbage bags and put it in the garbage can. The trash has now taken the cat away.
It’s been almost a week. They have now posted signs everywhere in our neighborhood looking for the cat. They spent good money too – color printouts. I’ve told no one about this, not even my wife.
So this is my question: Should I tell the neighbors what happened to their cat?
PS. My wife doesn’t have a stop sign between her ears and mouth, so telling her is like telling my neighbors.”
I don’t think you can ever tell now.
Once you triple bagged the cat and allowed the garbage to take it away, you are basically sworn to take this story to your death bed. You didn’t kill the cat, but you definitely covered up the crime.
Given that your wife can’t keep a secret I don’t think you can tell her either. So I think this is your story to keep to yourself — and the tens of thousands of mailbag readers — for the rest of your life.
What are you going to say now? “Hey, I didn’t realize it until I saw the pictures up in the neighborhood, but my dogs killed your cat and I put him in the trash can. My bad.”
That’s why you have to say silent.
One bit of info I’d like to know, is it normal for dogs to kill a cat like this? That seems like pretty violent behavior for dogs. Am I wrong in this? If, for instance, it had been a kid in your backyard would the kid have been in danger? That’s the thing I’d be most concerned about, honestly.
Good luck with your lifetime of silence.
“Okay Clay. Need your wisdom here. I am VP of a company with about 100 employees and also the commissioner of our office fantasy football league. It is mostly just for fun, but we do charge $25 to play and the winner gets the money.
Here is the dilemma – one of our employees, who is also in our fantasy football league, is about to be fired. He is an acquaintance not a friend. Honestly he is kind of a prick, but he is tolerated for the most part. The question, as you may have figured out by now, is when he is fired do I immediately delete his fantasy football team from the league or allow him to continue in the league even though he is no longer employed with our company?
If I delete his team do I give him his $25 back? A little more info to help with the decision. It will not be a cordial termination. Security will watch him pack his boxes, retrieve ID badge and escort him off the premises. He will be pissed. Should I wait until after fantasy football season is over to fire him to avoid the situation altogether?”
I’d probably let him finish the fantasy football season, but if you think he’s going to become verbally abusive on the message board then I’d cut him from the league and give him his $25 back. So this is basically your call on how well behaved this guy is going to be in the league.
Is it crazy that I also wonder how good his team is? It seems like added punishment in addition to being fired if he’s in first place to kick him out of the league, but it doesn’t seem as unkind if his team is no good and he’s already going to lose anyway to just refund his money.
Additional thought, wouldn’t your average guy who got fired in a contentious manner by his company also not continue to play in the company’s league? Or is this like a player getting traded and you burn with a furious passion to win the league to show everyone how wrong their decision was?
Finally, if you can wait until after the football season to fire him, why wouldn’t you go ahead and wait until the first of the year? Then the fantasy football season issue is avoided and you actually get some karma on your side because you allow this guy to remain employed through the holidays.
He may be a total asshole, but it sucks to be unemployed during the holidays, have to talk about that fact with friends and family members all holiday season, and it puts a real damper on your ability to just kick back and chill during the vacation days.
So I’d wait until after the first of the year if I were you.
“My fiancée’s mom is in town this week to finish up our house decorations. I’ve gone to a few stores with them and if they ask my opinion on something that they like, but I tell them I don’t like it they seem pissed at my response. Why ask my opinion if it isn’t going to matter anyways? We aren’t living together yet so I still have some say I would think? After all, it is my house…or is it? What are your thoughts?”
Women don’t actually ask your opinion about household decor to get your actual opinion, they want you to reinforce the opinion they already have. This is an important lesson to learn — they don’t really want your actual opinion.
Furthermore, if you wanted to make decisions about household decor, you should have never gotten married. So, no, it is not really your house once you get married.
The only way most men are involved in household furniture is when it comes to cost. And even then your wife will probably ask you what you can afford to spend and then spend twice whatever you tell her.
Take it from me, most of remaining married is about avoiding unnecessary battles. Any fight over household decor is not worth having. Just let her do whatever she wants and tell her she made a great decision.
Also, and this is probably the most shocking expense that I had no idea existed until I got married, prepare yourself but window treatments are the most overpriced objects in America today. I felt like I had to take out a second mortgage when we got plantation shutters in our first house.
Just be aware that cost is coming and several weeks of your salary are going to just vanish overnight.
“My boss constantly bitches about Trump in front of our team and makes it known that she voted for Hillary.
Yesterday we had a team lunch at Red Lobster. God I hate that place, but those cheddar bay biscuits are incredible. We are entering our building and pass a TV with CNN reporting on Trump’s most recent Puerto Rico tweets. My boss starts firing up, throwing insults left and right. As we are walking down the hallway, she turns around and looks me in the face and asks if I voted for Trump. I was perplexed because I know what her stance is. However, I’m not a pussy, so I straight up said yes. She was surprised and I think she even put her hand on my shoulder. I’m feeling pretty weird at this moment. Then she says “do you still stand by that?” Now I’m thinking, what in the actual fuck is going on.
I go on to say that he’s obviously had a lot of issues with his tweeting and then go on to say that I sure as hell didn’t want Hillary to assume the office of the POTUS.
Overnight I contemplated what to do. I reached out to a few mentors about what action, if any, I should take. A couple people said to report her to HR. One told me to let it go and don’t be a pussy. Another said to sit down and talk to her about it.
So here I am, not getting any work done today because I need to decide how I feel about this situation. Clay, what do I do?”
Immediately draft an email to yourself with the full details of your conversation, witnesses, everything you can possibly think of that could be pertinent about this issue and email it to yourself immediately.
Then save that email.
This way if anyone tries to fire you at any point in the near future you can claim you are being fired because your boss demanded to know if you voted for Donald Trump or not and because you told her that you did. And you’ll have a date-stamped contemporary bit of evidence to support your story.
This is honestly great advice for anyone dealing with a difficult job situation, make contemporaneous notes and email them to yourself to provide exact evidence of what happened at your place of work. Back when I used to do sexual harassment investigations and train workers in sexual harassment seminars — yes, I really did these — this was the advice I would give to anyone who felt she was being sexually harassed and was worried that the company or investigators wouldn’t believe them if they complained to the company. (I never had any man claim he was being sexually harassed, but the advice would be the same).
That way instead of just having a he said/she said dispute — in my investigations no man ever admitted to sexually harassing any woman — you have some evidence to support your side of the story.
As for what you should do in your current situation, I wouldn’t go to HR, but I think sitting down and talking with your boss about this probably makes sense. You can just tell her you voted for Trump — like half the country — but you really don’t understand why that needs to be talked about at work. Tell her you respect the motivations behind her voting decision and you hope she respects yours too, but that regardless you don’t plan on talking politics at work in the future, but that you enjoy working with her. (You can lie here to make her feel less threatened) Then email yourself details of this conversation as well.
Your boss was in the wrong to ask you about this in front of all the other workers, but I’m not sure she was in the wrong enough to be fired. (Especially if she’s otherwise good at her job). So if you go to HR you may just create a powerful enemy and not actually change anything. That’s why the emails to yourself provide the best possible defense.
This way if she goes to HR you have also protected yourself.
Send your emails to email@example.com, anonymity guaranteed.