DEAR AMY: I'm a senior college student on a medical leave of absence from school. I'm living at home until I recover. I very much had to uproot my life, and lost much of my independence, due to this sudden ailment, and living with my parents has always been a source of conflict. My boyfriend is coming to visit me and we are willing to be respectful and understanding of my parents' house and their rules: e.g. no alcohol, no shared room and not being alone together. My concern is whether it is appropriate or necessary for my significant other and me to have a chaperone every time we leave the house. My parents are not comfortable with us sharing a hotel room, and are uneasy about him in general. Should I just let them have their way, or should I stand my ground on not needing a babysitter on dates?
Living at Home
DEAR LIVING: You understand that you must respect your folks' rules regarding your (and your boyfriend's) conduct while under their roof. You are also forced to respect their rules (and whatever consequences they assign) regarding curfews, etc. while you are living with them.
Did your parents accompany you to college in order to chaperone you throughout your time there? (I assume they did not.) And this is the rational explanation you should provide to them regarding you and your boyfriend going outside of the house together during his visit. Their need to chaperone you seems very silly.
For now, instead of focusing on your parents' forced limitations, you and your boyfriend should demonstrate to them that you can be trusted — to their standard — as much as possible. Outside the home, if you have privacy, you two should also respect your own freedom, and simply make good and healthy choices.
You don't describe the nature of your medical situation, but take it as a given that your folks are worried about you. One way to assist in your own healing is to reduce stress and learn to mediate your anger about this. Breathe, communicate and calmly ask your folks to trust and compromise. Once you are well, graduated, and out of the house — you will champion your own destiny.
DEAR AMY: I am currently looking for a job in a large metropolitan area. While I do my due diligence to look up the companies before I apply, I feel I am being hoodwinked pretty frequently by their location. Many companies say they are located in or near the metropolitan area, when in reality the company has a small office in the metro area, with the majority of their jobs out in the suburbs. I usually do not find out about these alternative locations until I am called for an interview. How do I politely deal with this?
DEAR JOB SEEKER: Job searching has changed radically in the past 10 years. For instance, the process often starts with companies using bots (not people) to search through resumes for keywords.
During the recruiting/interviewing process, some companies seem to communicate mainly through third-party conduits, making it challenging to contact them directly and hence discover exactly who they are, what they do and where they are physically located.
Sometimes vital information about the company is withheld until you are contacted for a phone, Skype or in-person interview (and sometimes even interviewing doesn't seem to illuminate matters).
You could use LinkedIn or other social media to connect with other company workers before getting too far along in the process. When setting up an interview, ask specifically where the office space is located, and where your interviewer who is currently speaking to you is physically located.
The internet has widely broadened the capacity to search for — and find — a job. But personal connection — through family, former colleagues, friends-of-friends or through professional networking events — remains (in my opinion) the optimal way to find your next job.
DEAR AMY: "Trying to do the Right Thing" outlined a scenario where her brother was pressuring their mother to give him "his share" of her inheritance early. I appreciated the fact that — if they don't know how long their mother will live and what her needs and expenses will be — they should be cautious. However, I wish you had also commented on the emotional toll this sort of pressure can take.
DEAR BEEN THERE: Absolutely. Elderly parents are oftentimes very vulnerable to pressure. It can be harmful to them, as well as to other family relationships.