Harriette Cole: Slighted employee didn’t know why a text was called inappropriate

DEAR HARRIETTE: Letter-writer “Clear the Air” sent a text about work contributions being overlooked and was upset that the boss thought such communication was inappropriate.

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You suggested that Clear the Air try again, sending the leader an emotion-free text.

In business situations, email is still the preferred method of communication. Perhaps that was what the boss was trying to indicate without actually stating that fact.

If you’re stuck in traffic and will be late to work, a text (instead of an email) may be appropriate. By sending an email about work-related situations, though, you have a record of your communication that you can always go back to, especially if you need to escalate the problem to your human resources department.

— A Seasoned Employee

DEAR A SEASONED EMPLOYEE: I co-sign your clarification about email, and I will add that a face-to-face conversation between the employee and the boss could also prove to be effective.

While it isn’t documented, talking to each other can often help to clear the air and build a tighter bond with someone.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m currently studying abroad in Spain, and I’ve been fortunate to connect with amazing people through the Bumble BFF app.

The issue is that my new friends are scattered across Europe, and when I approach the end of my time in Spain, I’m concerned about maintaining these friendships once I return to the United States.

While I value these connections deeply, I’ve always struggled to stay in touch with distant acquaintances. I want to ensure that the bonds I’ve formed during my time abroad remain strong and meaningful, even when we’re not in the same city.

Could you provide some guidance on how to navigate and sustain long-distance friendships effectively?

— Staying Connected

DEAR STAYING CONNECTED: Think about how you are connecting now. You say your new friends are scattered all over Europe, which means you aren’t seeing them every day. Technology is assisting you in building these new friendships. Don’t give up on that when you cross the ocean.

You can continue to talk via the Bumble BFF app, use WhatsApp, text, etc. While you may not stay close to every person you are enjoying during this study abroad experience, there will be some standout people who will be worth keeping. This will happen naturally.

For now, be in the moment. Enjoy every day. Pay attention to how you are engaging each other and who naturally gravitates to you. Choose to spend more time with the people who share your interests and values. Allow your relationships to unfold naturally.

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When it comes time to leave, make plans to see each other again. Perhaps someone from Europe will come to visit you in the United States. The door does not have to close.

During the time when you are thousands of miles apart, consider organizing video chat gatherings periodically where you all sign in, eat your favorite foods and swap stories about your lives. That can be lots of fun.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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