August 8, 2022

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I was so embarrassed! I said I’d call him back, and he said, “Oh, I...

I was so embarrassed! I said I’d call him back, and he said, “Oh, I just have a couple of quick questions.” But I replied, “This is inappropriate,” and he ended the call brusquely. Twenty minutes later, I called him back and we had a civil conversation. Was I wrong?

Not wanting to conduct business while you are … well … conducting business is certainly not wrong. But using the word “inappropriate” might have come off a bit brusque to your boss.

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If the relationship has returned to being civil, however, Miss Manners would leave it alone — or make a joke at some point about reinforcing boundaries with your daughter. The insinuation that you also must do so with him will no doubt be implicit.

Dear Miss Manners: A friend of mine from high school, whom I have seen a few times in the intervening 50 years, came to my home with his wife. They suggested they would like a tour of our home, but I deflected this request.

Our home is relatively comfortable and well-kept, but not exceptional. I am a very private person and do not care to invite acquaintances, strangers or even friends to gawk at my personal space or paw through my belongings.

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When we entered our home, my friend’s wife began to wander freely throughout while I talked to her husband. From across an open area I saw her pick up items in my workspace or pull them aside to see what was beneath. I was so stunned by her rudeness that I said nothing at the time.

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Can you please offer a polite rejoinder for such occasions? It seems inhospitable to call out, “As I implied earlier, I do not care to give you a tour of our home. Can you please join us, Megan?”

Loading the medicine cabinet with marbles is tempting, but installation and clean up would be very time-consuming.

Such a request from an acquaintance and a stranger who have arrived for a brief visit seems wildly inappropriate, but perhaps I am missing something here? Are requests for home tours now considered a polite means to express interest in others?

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Unwitting guests who have been forcibly taken on such tours may now think so — and suddenly feel required to ask.

A polite response to the inquiry might be, “Oh we don’t want to bore you with that; there’s really not much to see.” And then Miss Manners suggests that you tell Megan that she will not want to miss appetizers in the living room — and politely decline all requests for help in the kitchen.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

 

Miss Manners: A work from home bathroom incident rattles a reader appeared first on maserietv.com.