DEAR HARRIETTE: I had a dream the other day that my assistant was about to resign.
Harriette Cole: Why should my boss care that I’m bad at parties?
Harriette Cole: I’ll never be OK with my former colleague dating my daughter
Harriette Cole: Should I tell her she’s not burly enough to come on the road trip?
Harriette Cole: She’s ignoring the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy, and I want to say something
Harriette Cole: I hate to think it, but maybe I’m a helicopter mom
For the next few days, every time I talked to her, I halfway held my breath knowing that the next thing she was going to say to me was goodbye. And yet it wasn’t. She did ask to speak to me about several sensitive matters. They all turned out to be various business dealings that we were handling — until she wanted to talk about something else.
A week after having that premonition, my assistant told me she had “bittersweet news.” I knew what was next. She had, in fact, found a new job. She handled sharing the news with me well, and, of course, I wasn’t surprised.
It’s so weird. I really did know before she said a word. People have called me clairvoyant. I don’t know about that. I do know that my assistant and I are in alignment, and I knew what was going to happen.
Because we work so well together, I’m wondering if I should try to get her to stay. What do I do with this uncanny awareness that I have?
DEAR CLAIRVOYANT: It probably took a lot for your assistant to share her news. Don’t try to keep her from her next opportunity. Instead, thank her for her time with you.
You can tell her you had a sense that this was coming. Ask her to help you find an adequate replacement. Plan together for what needs to happen before she leaves.
As far as your sixth sense, use it to help guide your steps, not to stop others from living their lives.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I took the train home the other day. At one of the stops on this three-hour journey, a young man sat next to me in his assigned seat. We were seated at a table for four, and the other seats were occupied. As he sat down, all I could smell was weed.
I was so disappointed to see this young Black man who appeared to be an upstanding individual contaminating the whole area with the smell of marijuana smoke. It doesn’t matter whether it’s legal — it is unprofessional to reek of weed when you board a business train to sit among other people.
As a Black professional woman, I wanted to pull his coattails, but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to embarrass him in front of the white people who were sitting across from him.
He pulled out a laptop and actively worked on it during the trip. He had good manners. His only issue was the smell that infiltrated our area for the whole ride.
I thought I might say something if he deboarded when I did, but the moment didn’t happen. Do you think it would have been OK to say something if I had found the moment?
— Cloud of Smoke
DEAR CLOUD OF SMOKE: Yes! This is especially true, given the fact that this young man seemed to be on a professional track otherwise.
He may not know how much the smell had stuck to his clothes when he smoked. There’s a good chance he had no idea that he had contaminated the area with this scent. Pulling his coattails to let him know that it’s not wise to smoke weed right before entering an enclosed space could be helpful information for him. The key would be to say it without judgment, just as a fact.
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.
Miss Manners: At what age should one start picking up the tab?
Dear Abby: After this awkward encounter, my neighbor posted notes about me in the building
Jill On Money: Student loan repayment begins anew
Ask Amy: I want to date a woman who understands ‘The Wizard of Oz’
Dear Abby: I believed my dad’s version of why he got fired. Then I was blindsided by the truth.