Miss Manners: I didn’t accept my colleague’s gift and now she’s angry

Dear Miss Manners: I work in a professional office and I felt contempt from other women in my office. I am an avid skier, snowboarder, mountain biker, and hiker, and my boyfriend, daughter, and I prioritize these activities in our free time. It’s very clear that my hobbies are quite different from those of other working women — a fact that doesn’t bother me, but seems to bother them.

One of these colleagues had offered me a pass for a local ski resort which is not very technical, nor difficult to ski. She told me it was a pass she won and asked if I would use it, which I just won’t. I buy annual passes for another local ski resort – one that matches our skill level – and have had it for years.

So I politely declined the gift. Was it rude of me to refuse a gift that I will never use? In my mind, it was more honest to tell him that we already have passes for the more technical ski hill, allowing him to find someone else to use it. I think I even offered him that suggestion.

This co-worker got downright rude to me following this interaction. Being someone who thinks honesty is extremely important, as well as someone who doesn’t understand expending energy to hurt others passive-aggressively, I just came to work and did my job – without paying attention to the women scowling at me as I walked to my office.

I don’t seem to understand the drama in the office. Maybe it’s because I spend my time in the forests and on the slopes? Or am I on another kind of slope of being unintentionally rude?

But you if Try to avoid hitting the trees when enjoying your forests and slopes, right?

Because Miss Manners thinks you deliberately, albeit metaphorically, entered the landscape with your colleague. She offered you both a gift and, asking if you could use it, an opportunity to politely decline. All you had to do was thank her and tell her you can’t use it because you have subscriptions for another station.

Instead, you devalued it when you complained about the station – and, coincidentally, bragged about your own prowess. Miss Manners would not have thought that swerving to avoid obstacles would compromise her honesty.

Dear Miss Manners: My guest’s departure was delayed due to bad weather for three days. The deadline will probably be extended again. What should I expect from her? Can I ask him to move into a hotel?

Disadvantage though Not tossing guests into the nearest puddle when the weather turns bad may be one of a host’s oldest duties. The amenities available in said puddle are beside the point.

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

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