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Ask Lisi: My job is depressing, but I need the work

If your work environment is bringing you down, and it’s not even close to the perfect fit, why force yourself to stay?

Dear Lisi: I work in a company where people have worked for decades. This is their whole life. They think of any job they had before this as a stepping stone to where they are now, and don’t even consider making a change unless it “requires a headstone.”

I am in my mid-20s and consider this my stepping stone. It’s not really my industry of choice but I know the skills and work experience I acquire here will only help me in pursuing my dream.

But I don’t know how long I can hang in with people literally counting down the days until retirement. It’s depressing.

Young and vibrant

Love your positive attitude! But if this environment is bringing you down, and it’s not even close to the perfect fit, why force yourself to stay? Look for a similar position that has learning potential and an atmosphere more conducive to your energy. It doesn’t have to be your landing pad, but it sounds like this place isn’t healthy for you.

Get out before it gets you down.

Dear Lisi: A new guy started working at my office recently. He’s very good-looking and wears great clothes. He comes across as very confident and friendly. English is not his first language, but he seems to speak it well enough to get a job here and do the work.

I should say that I’m a guy in my mid-20s, and I’m very attracted to this guy. Being gay can still be tricky sometimes because you never know how people will react. So, I’m trying to get to know him a bit better in the office before I make a move.

The problem is that I’m not sure of the best way to approach him. Whenever he’s on his phone, or walking to get a coffee or lunch, he’s talking in his language. I don’t even know what it is, and I definitely don’t speak it.

What are my next moves here?

Office Attraction

You can start by saying hi. And then you can casually ask what language he’s speaking when he’s not speaking English. And then you can ask more about him based on his answer. For example, if he’s speaking Portuguese, you can ask, “Are you originally from Portugal or Brazil? I know they speak Portuguese in both those countries.”

It’s a shame that you have to tread so lightly, but I believe you’re right that there’s still an imbalance. Meaning, you don’t hear about a gay man feeling offended if hit on by a woman. But if a hetero man was hit on by another man, his reaction could run the gamut.

So, protect yourself, and your work environment. Start an in-office friendship first. You’ll know whether or not you can take it further when the time is right, if the time is right.

FEEDBACK regarding the woman who can’t stop itching (Feb. 15):

Reader 1 – “Could be liver cancer.”

Reader 2 – “One of the side effects of kidney disease is chronic itching, and the itching becomes worse at night, causing insomnia.”

Reader 3 – “My friend has this syndrome. It is called Hell’s Itch. My friend has had it come and go for decades. The affected area is a patch on both her feet. She has tried everything orally and topically and nothing works. It eventually subsides after two days. Sleeping is super difficult as your letter writer shared.

“But she has figured out the trigger. It is a rare but extreme reaction to sun exposure and sun burn. My friend will experience Hell’s Itch at the beginning of the summer and when she vacations in a sunny destination. If you are vigilant about preventing sun exposure you have the best chance of avoiding the reaction.”

Lisi – I posted these three responses for two reasons. First, in hopes that the husband sees and asks the doctor if any of these are possibilities. Second, the woman’s itch is as much cancer as it is kidney disease, poison ivy or an allergic reaction to something in her laundry detergent. I don’t know. The reader doesn’t know. Only a doctor treating the woman can know.

FEEDBACK regarding the young man whose mother isn’t interested in him or his career (Feb. 14):

Reader – “The heartbreak of Shamed Son really got under my skin! Your answer to him is spot-on, but being rejected by his mother could be less about the fact that he is gay, and more about professional jealousy. Perhaps his mom finds it galling that her son is better at home decorating than she is!

“I hope “Shamed Son” has a brilliant career ahead of him!”

Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: [email protected] or [email protected]