Ask Mindy: Under Pressure

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Readers, welcome back to the world of Mindy Morals, the silver-tongued sage from Altoona, Pennsylvania. Every week, Mindy fries up a little bit of advice, cajun-style. It might get a little spicy, but she promises that your taste buds will be better for it. This week, she answers questions about obligation and pressure.


Hi Mindy,

I’m having trouble at work. My bosses have asked me to lie for them, which wouldn’t be that big a deal, except that I’m in a front-facing role.

Recently, I slipped up. I’d been trying to spout the company line, even as it became less believable to me, but finally, I snapped. I went on television (I occupy a very public position) and said how I really felt. I trashed my boss and my job. In fact, I did it a number of times, on a number of different programs, saying more outlandish things each time. Needless to say, I wasn’t entirely in my right mind—as some of my peers correctly noted, there was alcohol on my breath.

But here’s the crazy thing, Mindy: it felt good. Good to speak my mind, good to finally let it all out. I’m not going to get drunk in public again—that’s for sure—but I don’t want to stop being honest with people.

How do I do that without losing my job?



Execute the Office


Dear Execute,

Yowee! I’ve had some tough jobs in my day. When I was in college, I worked as a sommelier at a very cheap seafood restaurant. We only served one kind of wine—an $8-a-bottle Moscato that our owner had marked up to $18-per-glass. As the sommelier, I had to make up excuses for why this Moscato paired with dishes like the bleu cheese Crab Rangoon. It was a hard job, and like yours, it required me to lie a lot. In retrospect, I don’t even know why they had a sommelier at that restaurant, especially since my salary was higher than it would have cost to just stock better wines. But that’s neither here nor there.

So reading your question, Execute, I was reminded of deception’s heavy toll. It’s hard to spend your time trying to earn the trust of others, knowing that you don’t deserve it. You say that you felt good after being honest with others. If you feel that you can’t do that in your current position, I think you might try looking at your other options. Instead of saying “How do I keep my job?” why not ask yourself whether your current workplace is right for you at all?


Dear Mindy,

Well, it’s official. I suck at relationships! That’s right, Mindy—unlucky in love me has reached her breaking point. After years of bad dates with losers, I’m finally hanging up the towel. The flag of the SS Mr. Right is being flown at half mast. You’re cordially invited to a funeral, Mindy…for my love life!

But it’s not all bad. Instead, I’ve decided to devote myself to myself. I’ve reignited a few old love affairs—not with a steamy partner, but with seam-y yarn work. I’ve decided to spend my time thinking about my hobbies—not finding a hubby! I’ve started reading again, I’ve gotten back into macramé, and I’ve even made a couple pots! (When I was a little girl, I was the state champion in ceramics, and while I’m not quite as good now as I once was, I’m finding a level of fulfillment I never had as a desperate singleton.)

I know what you’re thinking, Mindy: what’s the problem? Well, the problem is my mother. Every year, when I come home for the holidays, it’s grandchildren this, biological clock that. I’m an only child, and my mom has always hoped that I’d give her some tow-headed moppets to dandle. I know she won’t take it well when I tell her I’ve sworn of romance for arts and crafts. But I’m living my best life, and I want her to understand.

So help me, Mindy. You’re my only hope!



Solo, So Good


Dear Solo,

Are you…are you me? Because I could swear I said the same thing back when I was your age. In times of romantic dissatisfaction, it’s always a good idea to focus on what makes you you. I know you’ll get back out there in time, but you’re doing the right thing for now. Contrary to what Hollywood tells us, it’s never too late for love, and there’s nothing wrong with a little self-reflection.

Unfortunately, there are some people who will never understand that, hard as you may try to convince them, and it sounds like your mother may be one of them. Don’t let her pressure you into life experiences that aren’t right for you at this moment, or let her make you feel bad for not living up to her expectations. You might try telling her what you’ve told me here, although I expect she won’t agree. Or, you might try saying, “Mom, I love you, but you need to respect my choices. I am doing what’s right for me, and that’s final.” Sometimes—especially with family—certain conversations just need to be declared off-limits. Happy crafting!


Hi Mindy,

It’s crunch time over here at headquarters! The big report—my big report—is due, and things are looking dire. Old man Crawford stopped by my desk the other day. “McGilicuddy,” he said, “there’s a mighty rain coming to this office, and soon. If I were you, I’d be very careful.”

Crawford’s words put the fear of god in me all right, but it’s not him I’m worried about. I’m worried about the big Kahuna himself, Jimson Boggs. Yes, that’s right, as in Tarragon, McClatchey and Boggs. When I ran into Mr. Boggs in the elevator, he said, “so you’re McGilicuddy, huh?” I told him I was. “I heard they put you on the big account. Just know one thing,”  and here he leaned in close, “If that big report isn’t to my liking, you’re toast.”

I’m scared, Mindy. I want to succeed, and make Mr. Boggs—and Mr. D’Nealian, and Mr. Courtwright, and Mr. Zebrowski—happy. But I don’t know how to do it, not when I have all this pressure hanging over me!



Burns McGilicuddy


Dear Burns,

Believe it or not, your humble advice-giver has done her share of office work. Day in, day out, 9 to 5, another day, another dollar, working hard or hardly working?—before I became a therapist, I used to eat up these clichés. So I know how the stresses of a job can feel overwhelming.

But don’t forget, Burns—you’re only as stressed as you let yourself be. So take a deep breath, remember that work is just one part of your life, and crank out that report. I think you’ll be surprised by how well it turns out.


That’s it for this week, but Mindy is always taking questions. Need help solving your dilemma? Just email mindy@manhattanmedia.com. You just might read your answer in next week’s column.



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