The number of advice podcasts ...is 0?

Hey guys! I thought I heard early December on this, but my apologies if there's been an update and I missed it. Is there a forum thread to start asking questions (if not, can I start)? I have an advice question and 2 short etiquette questions.

I'm travelling on business with a co-worker in a few weeks. We're friendly, but not necessarily friends (he indirectly reports to me). Is there any obligation to 'hang out' or take meals together outside of working hours, either with him or with co-workers at the other site? I'm a bit of an introvert and would be happy crashing back at the hotel room by myself and getting room service after a hard day's work, but I don't want to give the impression I don't want to socialize with coworkers (particularly ones who work at a different site and whom I wouldn't get other opportunities to interact with in person)? I'm a back office support guy (not sales), so it's not imperative that I build business relationships this way, on the other hand I don't want to come off as uninterested or disconnected. Any advice?

I have 2 public bathroom etiquette questions: 1. Is it appropriate to 'bless' a stranger in an adjacent stall of a public restroom who sneezes?  It's flu and cold season here in Boston and I've been 'blessed' twice this way this week. It feels both polite and awkward at the same time. Should I be doing this? Should I be saying thank you, or should I just ignore and pretend nothing happened?

2. When, if ever, is it appropriate to use a handicapped stall if you're not handicapped? I work in a department with no one who would legitimately use it (and we're unlikely to have visitor/clients who would). Is it never to be used then? I don't want to use it and have people think I'm insensitive, but I don't want to stand around waiting if all the other stalls are full and there's a perfectly good stall ready?
Frakkin T

Comments

  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline
    Hi Max! I'm in Boston too. Your question about work travel is precisely why I've turned down any opportunity I've had to travel with my company. (Not like Denver or Portland Maine are great destinations anyway) I'd say that it's always your right to keep to yourself as much as possible. Be friendly and open when you're on the job, make the connections you need to make, but at the end of the day just head back to the hotel. If anyone asks, you're tired or you have to call your wife (or kids or mom, whatever.) 

    The bathroom questions, though--who says "bless you" when the guy in the next stall sneezes? That's fucking weird and you don't have to reply. Also use the handicapped stall; as long as you don't have someone in the office that uses it for a legit reason there's no reason you shouldn't.
    TravisFlukesMichellemaxdemian
  • I agree with Frakkin on all counts. I will further echo in regards to the handicapped stall, I use ours because there is no one in our office who would need it. I've never really seen a problem with it, personally. Totally different situation if someone who is actually handicapped is in the building, but why leave the best stall perpetually vacant if no one has the right to/technical need for it.
    Michellemaxdemian
  • russkellyrusskelly Indianapolis
    No cross stall talk. That is most certainly weird. I say don't use the accessible stall if you don't have too. I'm speaking from a personal place so take it with a grain of salt. I am a convert to the church of never use accessible facilities if you don't have to. My wife and my son use wheel chairs. Everybody thinks, eh no one with a wheel chair is around. It's cool. Well, persons in wheel chairs live in a world where everybody thinks that and it is a struggle. God bless you for even pondering this dilemma. :) And yeah, just chill at the hotel. It's cool.
    DeemaxdemianTravis
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    There’s a couple of people in my office who don’t “look” disabled, but have medical conditions that necessitate the use of the disabled toilet, so I’d say unless you’re in a small office and you are 100% sure no one you work with actually needs it, don’t use it. 
    russkellymaxdemianTravismajjam0770
  • I only use a handicapped restroom stall if all others are taken and there is no one waiting for it. And especially if I really have to go!  I worked in a place where the office bathrooms only had two stalls - one regular and one handicapped.  Everyone pretty much used the handicapped one there as the other stall was often occupied and break time was limited.  I guess my thought is be considerate but also reasonable.   

    The bless you thing - yeah I wouldn't worry about saying it.  It is more polite in my opinion to pretend you can't hear any noises in a shared bathroom situation.

    I have been in the work travel socialization situation before.   I try to go out and socialize but minimize it.  Maybe just keep it to a dinner or two depending on how long the travel is. But I don't think you are obligated to or that you should feel guilty if you don't.  

    There is a podcast called Ask A Manager that gives advice on uncomfortable workplace situations.  I just started listening to it occasionally but some of these topics may have been addressed.  You can write or call in with a question too.  Sort of like a Dear Abby structure.  


    maxdemianTravis
  • russkelly said:
    Everybody thinks, eh no one with a wheel chair is around. It's cool. Well, persons in wheel chairs live in a world where everybody thinks that and it is a struggle. 
    This is a fair point. It is easy to take these things for granted. I am going to take it to heart moving forward.
    russkellymajjam0770
  • maxdemian said:
    I'm travelling on business with a co-worker in a few weeks. We're friendly, but not necessarily friends (he indirectly reports to me). Is there any obligation to 'hang out' or take meals together outside of working hours, either with him or with co-workers at the other site? I'm a bit of an introvert and would be happy crashing back at the hotel room by myself and getting room service after a hard day's work, but I don't want to give the impression I don't want to socialize with coworkers (particularly ones who work at a different site and whom I wouldn't get other opportunities to interact with in person)? I'm a back office support guy (not sales), so it's not imperative that I build business relationships this way, on the other hand I don't want to come off as uninterested or disconnected. Any advice?
    There could be an argument that if he reports to you in any way its more awkward to have social time together. I'd say socialize as much as you can take at say, sessions or lunch, then maybe make your way back to your hotel for the evening yourself. You can be friendly without being friends and you can be social without spending all the time together.
    maxdemian said:
    I have 2 public bathroom etiquette questions: 1. Is it appropriate to 'bless' a stranger in an adjacent stall of a public restroom who sneezes?  It's flu and cold season here in Boston and I've been 'blessed' twice this way this week. It feels both polite and awkward at the same time. Should I be doing this? Should I be saying thank you, or should I just ignore and pretend nothing happened?
    Just say "thank you" in a much deeper voice to make it less weird
    maxdemian said:
    2. When, if ever, is it appropriate to use a handicapped stall if you're not handicapped? I work in a department with no one who would legitimately use it (and we're unlikely to have visitor/clients who would). Is it never to be used then? I don't want to use it and have people think I'm insensitive, but I don't want to stand around waiting if all the other stalls are full and there's a perfectly good stall ready?
     Use the bathroom only if the others are taken, and you cannot wait... and don't have a 20 minute dropping of deuces
  • edited December 2018
    As a fellow introvert, you guys must be way more introverted than me. I usually try to socialize on work trips, at the least getting lunch together. I will often invite people to meet for dinner. Obviously it also depends on the person and how well you get along with them. I've never been offended when people want to just do thier own thing. You get the hint pretty quickly about those who would rather go off on thier own. 

    Some people are more fun to travel with and hang out with than others, but I absolutely don't think there is any expectation that you have to socialize outside of the work. At least not in my field. I will say I've made some good friends and work contacts from people who were willing to hang out on a work trip. Usually people I would have never gotten to know otherwise. 




    majjam0770
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