I want my coworkers to stop venting to me

A reader writes:

I work at a large university. Professors here wield a lot of influence in academic and administrative decisions. Although I don’t always agree, I accept this is the way things get approved and done. I have two coworkers who must get permission for much of their work from professors. I hear about this frustration because they will come to my office to tell me what their latest roadblock or hold-up is. I am sympathetic and truly wish that processes were easier for all of us.

However, I am seeing a pattern where their venting to me is becoming more frequent, and despite my response that I have no authority to help them out (I am a middle manager), they are asking if I can somehow streamline the approvals process for their work. There is no way my modest position can overrule tenured academics. I am also uncomfortable that these venting sessions are getting kind of emotional (on their end) and I worry about their mental health and well being. How can I support them but at the same time look after my own priorities and my own work?

I answer this question — and four others — over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

Other questions I’m answering there today include:

  • I’m in training with a much slower coworker
  • Should I ask for a lower salary?
  • I’m a bookkeeper for a company that doesn’t pay its bills on time
  • When’s the right time to start bringing in personal belongings to a new job?

{ 85 comments… read them below }

  1. Bobbin Ufgood*

    #1 really hits home for me – I also work in academia and (I think I seem very approachable?) — One of the things that was really rough on me at my last job was how much venting I got and how much co-workers seemed to think I could help/fix things that are (in my opinion) due to the clunkiness/bureaucracy that is academia (and, in any case, are DEFINITELY not in my control). Now it’s starting to happen at my new job, and — even worse — I get pressure from above (administration) to problem-solve things that I don’t have power over. This is on top of the typical venting/asking for help from direct colleagues and people who are lower than me in the pecking order. I appreciate Allison’s suggestions (be more firm and redirect), but I’d take anything anyone else has to suggest as well

    1. TardyTardis*

      If management is telling you to fix things that you can’t, then it’s time to start looking–because when things don’t get fixed, you’re being set up as the fall guy for that failure by that management. Been there, done that…

      1. Bobbin Ufgood*

        Shoot! just changed jobs two years ago and personal stuff is sticking me where I’m at pretty good — changing jobs would be an out of state move, which, while not impossible, would be HARD and very BAD for spouse

        1. Michaela Westen*

          Maybe look in a different industry? Surely your skills can be transferred, and the peace of mind of *not* being set up as a scapegoat is worth the trouble!

      2. WS*

        I disagree in the very specific and weird case of academia. It’s very rare that non-academic staff, even very senior non-academic staff, are scapegoated for anything. The downside of that is that they also tend to have much less institutional power than someone in a similar position outside academia (though probably extensive and specialised institutional knowledge). Even people running multi-million dollar projects are considered a cog in the wheel compared to the lowliest tenured academic.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      “Bobbin is so competent and on top of things! Bobbin must know the secret to getting management to not annoy them so much, like maybe putting a special code in invisible ink and so the professors have to say yes. Maybe Bobbin will share with me if I ask enough.”

      … I think is some of the underlying reasoning.

      1. Alli525*

        Especially because academia IS full of random loopholes and shortcuts that only a few people know due to institutional memory and lack of documentation. (And endless acronyms, but that’s another post for another day.)

    3. anonymous IT PM*

      Over 10 years in academia now.
      – Firm and direct is the way to go.
      – Find people to laugh with. And cut off the venting when it stops being helpful/productive– time to talk about what everyone’s reading/watching, their pets, whatever not work thing for a minute.
      – A boss (or others in power– a project sponsor, etc) who will back you on not being able to solve the problem without a real business process or without faculty buy-in is the best ally you can have, especially when the administration is expecting you to work magic.
      – Document your/your department’s wins. Again, this is where your boss ideally helps by publicizing your wins appropriately. (“Jane really streamlined the new Teapot Reimbursement process and the faculty are actually submitting their forms on time!”).

      1. Blue*

        10 years in higher ed as well, and my job is literally to problem solve things I don’t have authority over. I strongly second the first and third points here and recommend establishing good relationships with departmental administrators.

        My colleague struggles with depts a lot more than I do because he’s not comfortable giving them direction. Yes, the faculty are the ultimate decision-makers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t simplify the process for them by making clear which solution is best or most logical. I strive to do that without sounding like I’m dictating what they should do, and I’m much more likely to get the response I want and a faster turnaround since all they have to do is say, “Yes, let’s go with what you recommended.” He does complain a lot, so I stopped giving engaging answers (“Yep, they do that every time.”) and he eventually gave up on venting about the predictable things!

    4. Anon for now*

      Sometimes a good game of hot potato is called for. When someone asks for help on something that you have no authority over/is not your job, tell them who to talk to. If it is your department but out of your control, tell them to talk to your boss or your boss’s boss or that it is something they should talk to their boss about. They want an easy fix. Being told that if they want that to change they need to take it up with the provost makes it clear that it is way above your pay grade.

    5. Catwoman*

      I work in academia as well. As far as the higher administration asking you to problem-solve things that are above your pay grade, let them know in very specific terms how it’s above your pay grade.

      “I would love to put your new class on the schedule for next spring, but we are waiting for course approval from the state before we can allow students to enroll. This approval should come next millennium, so we’ll tentatively pencil it in for Spring 3001, but unfortunately I can’t do anything official until then.”

      So many times, upper admin doesn’t realize how many hoops lower admin has to jump through for certain processes, so it really helps to spell it out instead of just saying “oh, I don’t have the authority to do that”.

      1. anonymous IT PM*

        +1 to what Catwoman says. Also, this theoretically gives your upper admin a path to their goal, should they choose to expend their energy there.

    6. Specialk9*

      The magic answer is to speak truth, but kindly and with genuine warmth. “I’m happy to explain how things work, but I’m afraid I’m not up for venting or complaining, that’s too much of a downer when it builds up. Of course I’m always up for good news or pictures of kids or pets!”

    7. Clorinda*

      Can you respond very very clearly, in writing and with copies to whomever needs to know, that you are not able to groom the llamas because you have no access to the llama pens, and if they want you to do that, here are the things that will have to change? Because your situation sounds terrible.

  2. Bobbin Ufgood*

    I was actually going to ask this question in the open thread, but it’s so relevant here

  3. Decimus*

    #3 seems like Advanced Evil Management 202 – gaslight your staff constantly about how they don’t deserve their pay so when your bad management results in layoffs, instead of realizing it was due to bad management they blame themselves for being ‘overpaid’.

    Good companies realize more experienced people get paid more for a reason.

    1. loslothluin*

      My boss is a master of the “we’ll give you a raise but you haven’t earned it” speech.

      1. henrietta*

        Mine has the ‘the compensation committee has approved raises, but you’d better prove your worth to deserve it’ market cornered.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      Yes. OP2, you are trying to find the one thing you must have been doing wrong that made them lay you off, and there probably wasn’t anything. Being paid what was agreed on wasn’t it. You didn’t need to forego raises, barring an overall salary freeze at the company. Don’t let this drag you down in your new job.

    3. AnonOnFridays*

      A variation I got: “I really had to argue with Partner to start you at X, because you are pure overhead – nothing you do is billable.”

      Hmm, so it is just a coincidence that X is the threshhold for the now-on-hold new federal exempt/nonexempt standards that were supposed to go into effect 3 months after you hired me?

      And I may be pure overhead, but yiur clients are now paying you within 45 days (most in less than 30), with less than $3k older than 60 days, compared to the $20+k that was older than 60 days when I got here.

      But I got the message – be quiet and do not expect a raise.

      1. Massmatt*

        …but there’s the bigger message, which is that your workplace doesn’t value you, and move to someplace that does, ASAP!

  4. loslothluin*

    I never knew anything personal on my desk. It makes it easier if I get laid off or, as I keep daydreaming, quitting. I’ve been at my job 11 years and don’t even keep so much as a mug in the office.

    1. sharon g*

      I’m the same way. I’ve seen too many people have management stand over them while they emptied their desk. Every job I’ve ever had I’ve pretty much had nothing personal on my desk. If I quit/get fired, all I have to get is my purse.

      1. Sloan Kittering*

        I think it’s nice to have a few small things (that you wouldn’t mind if you lost) – not more than what fits in a box. Having nothing at all in your cube or office can make it seem like you’re not invested in being there.

        1. Jennifer Thneed*

          This. If nothing else, I have a solid coffee mug, because I don’t want to drink out of the disposable cups in the break room.

          But a lot of what I do in my workspace is bits of paper pinned to the walls, if any. Some of it is work-related and some of it is nice images, but all of it is stuff that came off the printer and I can easily walk away from.

          (I was at one place for 18 months as a contractor and I had a corner of my desk where I grew spider plants and gave them away as they got big enough. I put a big image of a sun shining down on that corner because it amused me. And – because it amused me – it was the sun-baby from Teletubbies. When I left that place, I distributed the plants to colleagues.)

        2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          I have a few family photos pinned to the walls, a mug, a calendar, a few more things that can all fit into a large grocery bag. I also have the large grocery bag. If I need to pack my stuff, it will be packed in 5-10 minutes.

        3. Amber Rose*

          I have a small stuffed animal that hangs off my file holder, and I was gifted a couple extra small stuffed animals that hang around on shelves.

          I don’t keep anything that can’t hang off something else because my desk doesn’t even have a square inch of space left on it. Not invested in being here? More like I can’t find my desk top anymore. It’s just bottles and cases and boxes and files and pen holders and sticky notes absolutely everywhere.

        4. loslothluin*

          I’ve been here 11 years, and I’m seriously not invested. One of the attorneys did as the other paralegal why she didn’t have stuff, and she point blank said that she didn’t want to stop to collect anything if she quit.

      2. Oilpress*

        How often do you quit or get fired though? 99.9% of my work days are ordinary days, and I’d rather set myself up to enjoy those ordinary days than the 0.1% of days that will be extraordinary. It’s not like having nothing to pack up will make getting fired an enjoyable experience anyway.

        1. loslothluin*

          I’ve had 4 jobs in the 22 years since I got my first job in high school. First job, fired because boss wanted to hire his girlfriend. Second job, I did quit, but it was because my manager called my mom in her job and then tried to slap my mom. Third job, I was laid off. The current job is slowly crushing my soul while I look for another job. I daydream about leaving at luyand not coming back.

      1. Taggett Strange*

        Looking in my co-worker’s office is like peeking down a Hobby Lobby aisle. I mean, when you have to bring friends to help you “move” into your office, you’re going too far.

        1. turquoises*

          does that mean your coworker is decorating with stolen ancient artifacts? that must be quite a look :p

    2. West Coast Reader*

      I don’t really bring anything into my area either! I’m just not a decorator, except for stickers on my laptop (I’m a developer). It really makes no difference to me, so I don’t bother. It seemed strange to some of my coworkers though.

    3. PurplePenGirl*

      On the flip side, I have a co-worker who has practically brought her entire house to work, and keeps bringing multiple grocery bags of Goodwill “finds” on a daily basis. Current office items include a fish tank (no fish, she just likes the bubbles), a lamp, fake flower arrangements, canvas paintings on the walls and several desktop shelving units.

      1. loslothluin*

        I snorted at the bubbles. That reminds me of the yellow fish in “Finding Nemo” and the “BUBBLES! BUBBLES! MY BUBBLES!”

    4. Taggett Strange*

      Yeah, I have like a dollar in change in my drawer. Everything else is the company’s or my bosses’ (like the lovely print of Titanic on my office wall that I snagged from a file room.)

      1. London Calling*

        If I were your manager I’d wonder what you are trying to say with that print ;).

        Our desks are so small that there isn’t room for much personal stuff (no drawers), so we have lockers. Mine doesn’t have much barring office supplies I don’t want to lose – and which I would lose if they were out on my desk – and my desk has a small plastic box with handcream, aspirin, vitamins, Lemsip and staples. I can be out in five minutes if disaster strikes.

  5. MCL*

    I work at a large state university and the Byzantine bureaucratic structures here are a daily joy. I used to vent a whole lot more about things in my earlier years here (my 9th year here is fast approaching!). However, I finally wised up that at best I wasn’t being helpful and at worst was actually stressing out people more. Now I commiserate if someone needs it, because sometimes you just gotta laugh. The admins on my team, who bear the brunt of the daily slog of trying to get things done in our inefficient systems, are empathetic but are pretty firm that a lot of things are really out of their control. They help smooth the ways where they can (which is why having an admin with good relationships with various other Getting Stuff Processed offices is sooooo important). So, in short, I like Allison’s advice here. Sympathetic fist bump.

  6. spock*

    The answer for number 2 starts with “also”, is there a missing paragraph by any chance?

      1. Jennifer Thneed*

        Okay, I just read it, and it was fine. And when I went just now to look at it again, it’s weird. Screenshot coming up. I guess I”ll email it to you?

    1. Marthooh*

      Question #2 is now missing completely, and question #3 looks like it’s all backstory with no actual question attached. Great answers, though!

        1. Anonymous Ampersand*

          I’m still seeing lots of sections missing. Only just read this today and cleared my cache but Deffo not there. I’ll email screengrabs.

  7. echidna*

    For LW1, powerless venting is toxic, even trying and failing to make change is better.
    I always assume that the higher-ups want a well-run organisation, and would welcome constructive suggestions that are doable. It’s not always true, but this approach has got me some good results on occasion.
    I can’t promise this will work, but what I would try is to pick the one of the worst, but potentially fixable, processes, and describe the current process in terms of how it is meant to work – this documentation may already exist. An accompanying flow-chart or diagram might help.
    Then, identify the part (or parts) of the process that is breaking down in very neutral language, but so clear it seems brutal. No soft language, no exaggeration, nothing emotive (disclosure: this approach comes from an engineering background, but I’ve used this in softer educational environments too). Turn this into a very short report, describing the problem, the situation, and suggesting potential remedies. Better still is to make creating this report a collaborative effort by the people who are currently venting.
    The trick now is to champion getting this report to the people who can do something about it.

  8. miyeritari*

    #5… unless you work at a video game company. The sooner you get the framed Battlestar Galactica portrait up at your desk, the better.

    1. Falling Diphthong*

      I can see the little side aisle at the industry trade show. Guys in trenchcoats hissing “Hey buddy, wanna buy a genuine signed Battlestar Galactica portrait? We’ll put your name on it for an extra 20.”

      1. Restiva*

        Hahaha if somebody new decked their desk out in BSG stuff I would immediately go up and introduce myself!!

  9. Prof-Elsie*

    The thing about state college and university settings is that the bureacracy is often set up in the state capital by legislative decisions, and many of those bureaucratic procedures are designed for traditional state agencies rather than colleges and universities, but we all have to follow the same rules. In my experience, the campus offices may interpret rules and regulations more strictly, but the people in those roles are trying to protect themselves from audits by following the book to the letter, especially if you’re dealing with HR, procurement, or payroll. Middle managers have very little power over bureaucratic procedures that are designed to satisfy state or federal auditors. There may be a few things that can be done to streamline local processes, but sadly, not very many.

    1. Dr. Speakeasy*

      So much this. Although having to wait on tenured profs for approval for something sounds like a nightmare – administrative stuff is usually at the bottom of the workflow.

    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      It’s so true. I often tell colleagues who come from private systems that it’s like living with the bureaucracy of Stalinist Russia. The best you can do is hire excellent people, learn as much as you can about the system (and how to thwart it), and let go of frustration about processes that won’t change.

  10. Delta Delta*

    When I worked in a soul-sucking bureaucratic situation I similarly was the recipient of venting/complaints. I got tired of it and one Monday put up a sign declaring that week was “Positivity Week” and that I was going to try not to complain. If others complained to me, I’d point to the sign and say it was all positive all the time that week and that I was not making or entertaining complaints. At first it was light-hearted. Then I turned away so many complaints that by Wednesday afternoon people were conditioned not to vent to me. The following week I kept the sign up and said I liked it so much hat I was going to try again. Tbh, it helped. There were some legit complaints/discussions, but it did cut down on the negativity in my workspace.

    1. Queen of the File*

      I like this. I did not realize in a previous (toxic) workplace that all our expert-level venting was making us feel worse, not better. Having someone else put their foot down about the complaining really helped me stop going down that negativity rabbit-hole, and I’m grateful.

  11. Cordoba*

    For #3 – if they agreed to your salary when you hired on they had no standing to gripe about it afterwards. I’d ignore this company as a bad outlier and not change your salary requests in the future as a result of this one experience.

    I especially don’t care whether other people in the company make less than I do. The fact that management is underpaying *them* sure doesn’t justify underpaying *me*.

    This was a real conversation from the interview process that led to my current job:
    Boss: “We are pleased to offer you $X”
    Me: “Thanks, but it’s not worth the hassle to switch jobs unless you can pay me $Y”
    Boss: “Hmmm, that will mean you are the highest paid engineer in the whole organization.”
    Me: “Yeah, that sounds about right to me. Let me know what you can do.”

    Somewhat to my amazement, they called a few days later with an offer of $Y+5%.

    1. wheeeee*

      Me: “Yeah, that sounds about right to me. Let me know what you can do.”

      BAD. ASS. I love it.

  12. wheeeee*

    “There is no way my modest position can overrule tenured academics.”

    You said it! I have been there. Sympathies to you.

  13. blink14*

    I’ve been at a large, private university for almost 4 years, and this isn’t uncommon. Academia is notoriously slow in making changes and making staff choices along political lines.

    I’ve been secretly hoping (with some legitimate reason for the hope) for over a year that a finance person for my division will get replaced or at least be assigned an assistant, as they hold up work for months at a time. No such luck so far, but after complaining with no fix to the problem, I just learned to work around this person as best as possible. Our university has explained too fast without the means to support a lot of administrative positions in central departments, so we’ve ended up with a ton of directors with no direct support. This doesn’t really effect me on a day to day basis, but it clearly effects the entire university day to day, and we all hope eventually there will be funding changes to expand central services.

    My advice is to tell your coworkers that the best thing they can do is use any contacts and relationships they’ve built to get their work done, and remember that the confines placed on them come from above. If they are late with an assignment because their professor is late in responding, that fault is on the professor. You have to learn to work within the pattern, or move on, but change does not come to academia quickly or easily. In my experience, a lot of professors are babied by their institutions, and are totally incapable of meeting deadlines, showing up to meetings prepared and on time, etc. It may take some bottom up management to deal with their faculty better.

    I would also suggest, if either of these co-workers is having a particularly rough time, that they contact a mediator or ombudsman (sounds like your university is large enough to have something like that). Just venting to a neutral party may help, and a mediator may be able to provide mechanisms to deal with their work, or if it’s an extreme case, reach out to the professor/boss/manager involved.

    1. WillowSnap*

      “If they are late with an assignment because their professor is late in responding, that fault is on the professor.”

      Unfortunately in these situations the fault won’t be placed on the professors (because who’s going to call them out?) but on the person trying to get the work done. That’s what makes being in the entire situation so frustrating.

      I’m in the same situation lately, except “insert large corporate department” for professors. It’s a bad combination of bureaucracy and power, and it tends to lead to high employee turnover. Either person gets fired for not getting x amount of work done or they leave due to personal frustration and stagnation.

      1. blink14*

        I agree to an extent, but in dealing with it, that’s mentality that’s needed. If you can’t get permission to do something from Professor A on time, and Professor B’s admin follows up on it, say I sent Professor A this request on this date, reminded them on this date, and that’s where we are at. Professor B may want to follow up on it. This both builds a relationship with Professor B’s admin but also gives Professor B a head’s up that Professor A is not great at deadlines or whatever the issue is. Given that a lot of professors have huge egos, they don’t want others on “their level” to look at them in a poor light. Most will try to hurry and do something if prompted by another faculty member they are working with.

        It’s not a great solution, but a lot about working in administrative positions in academia is knowing how to get around the faculty to get things done or push things through. Or simply accepting the inadequate process in place and going with it (I see this mainly with long time employees who just go with the flow at this point).

    2. Clorinda*

      I call shenanigans on the professorial deadline issue. Please. Those people manage however many students and they expect their students to turn in work on time. They came up through academia and were excellent students themselves, which means they’ve been trained since the age of 4 to turn in work on time. That’s not a can’t, it’s a won’t, and shame on them.

      1. DArcy*

        More specifically, it’s that they feel *entitled* not to bother complying with deadlines because they believe that the time/effort of “mere” staff and students is of no importance compared to theirs.

  14. azvlr*

    #1 If you are up for it, give them some concrete ideas for getting the approvals from folks who are higher up than them. I always put “Action Required” in the subject line and in the body of my email, give them explicit directions for what to do and by what date/time. They should keep the time relatively short. Then if they don’t meet the deadline, your colleague has just a bit more leverage to take it over there head. This approach may go against the grain at first, but if they keep doing it, it will be come standard practice.
    Then, if all they do is continue to vent, you have no further obligation to listen/try to help.

  15. TootsNYC*

    When I was in elementary school, and junior high and high school, I tended to pick things up very quickly. So there I was, waiting for other people to work through the lesson.

    I found that when I listened to them learning, I learned things about learning. And teaching. How to tell where someone is not quite understanding it, what’s the hitch? How to approach an explanation from an alternative point of view (came in handy when I backed up the algebra teacher/basketball coach; I think I nearly taught that whole class). How to tell when someone has just lost the thread of something complicated.

    It taught me how to put together documentation that’s easy to use. And how to tell what sorts of logic fails people are prone to, so that I don’t hire someone who has those same snags for a job that needs that logic.

    So there is something to be said to paying attention while she’s struggling.

  16. Geneva*

    OP#4 Not a book keeper, but I sympathize. I used to work at a small agency that went through FIVE book keepers in two years because the owner would react angrily to anyone seeking payment, including the book keepers themselves! THIS IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM OP. Please get out as soon as you can. You could maybe even bring up this experience in interviews as an example of your ethics.

    1. Bea*

      WUT. I hope each of the bookkeepers walked the hell out. I’ll walk from anywhere putting me in a situation to stiff accounts or play dumb.

      Real life story, Job 1 was for a company with one giant customer. Who decided to crush us. And these dillweeds also factored their already lowballed invoices. So at 19 I was dealing with shuffling numbers and asking for a little more time because “we should have money next week.” but the bills weren’t slowing down of course.

      I’m grizzled and my level of ef’s to give is in the negatives. My sympathy is very limited with business to business debtors. It’s why I have crushed collections to an all time low in my positions.

      I saw a boss lose 20k when a dickhead claimed bankruptcy but then kept the business open. Then he was still interested in buying our products. Mofo never got a day of credit again. Then he sold it and the new owners were shocked we wouldn’t trust them because they’re new. No. You have zero credit and you bought a failing business *farting noises*

  17. Bea*

    Dear fellow bookkeepers everywhere, do not work for slimeballs with perpetual cashflow issues, you’ll look like the asshole every time despite it being the owner’s fault. Seriously. I’ve got stories coming out both ears about being the vendor who’s not getting paid and how much I hate these clients, their accounting staff and restricting payment terms.

    I never get mean. I’ll just yank terms and worse case never sell to you again. The collection agency I’ll give the account to will do their thing.

  18. Mrs. Smith*

    I have a small business and almost all of my clients pay invoices for parts and labor on on orders immediately, except one. She will go weeks or months on an invoice I was really counting on to feed my kids or pay a bill – I’ve almost fired her as a client once or twice. Only she or her bookkeeper can write a check, but she is conveniently out of the office, “forgets” I was coming, or, I have heard, directs the bookkeeper to ignore the invoice. OP, you are better than this. Get outta there and work for a company where you don’t have to duck vendors asking for what is rightfully theirs, rudely or politely.

    1. Bea*

      FIRE HER. She is causing you more on stress than her business is worth.

      I lost my mind when someone had the audacity to tell me they weren’t able to pay because a grant hadn’t come in yet. My response was “you put in a PO 4 months ago. We filled it within 5 days. Your PO stated net30 not net-when-the-grant-comes-in” I refused to do any further business until that was paid. It’s amazing how they suddenly have money when they need something else a few months later. They cripple the hard working small business who takes care to never get into that cash flow, cash poor situation. I’ve dealt with too many people willing to piggyback on the companies who give them leeway

      Except if they don’t pay their electricity, it’s cut off. No whining or bill shuffling is going to fix it. But we understanding vendors who are also tiny with bills to pay get these people taking advantage of the wiggleroom without being grateful at all.

      I’m happy with payment plans or good faith efforts at least. But I know within three months of taking care of any set of books the customers who will always pay in 90-120 days (for real up to six months). It’s outrageous.

      I’ve had these small shops close and file bankruptcy. We got stuck with these people’s freight bills of upwards of 1,000. They brokered the truck to pick up at our location. Then six months later since the trucker couldn’t get the deadbeat to pay up, due to federal laws, the shipper is liable for the costs. That’s how scumbags and flybynight corporations screw other small businesses after we give them so much wiggle room on their debts.

  19. Traffic_Spiral*

    Practice this magic technique.

    Step 1: “That’s gotta suck.”

    Step 2: “Uh-huh.”

    Step 3 “So what are you going to do about it?”

    Them: complain.
    You: “That’s gotta suck.”
    Them: Complain More
    Them: Complain More
    You:”So what are you going to do about it?”

    Repeat as necessary.

Comments are closed.