Housecleaner sometimes needs extra funds
You could also help by recommending her high-quality cleaning service to others. Income from an additional client might give her the cushion she needs.
You are doing the right thing to help. Many hardworking people are, as you note, one car repair (or trip to the doctor) away from disaster.
Dear Amy: I recently had a difficult anniversary of a loved one's death, and was under a lot of pressure at work.
I ended up treating my intern badly (I was hypercritical and micromanaging).
She switched supervisors and badmouthed me to my colleagues (she tended to badmouth people, so I should've seen that coming). The intern has now completed her internship and is now working elsewhere.
I feel so ashamed of how I treated her, and frankly am shocked at myself, because that's not how I normally behave. I am now having a hard time forgiving myself because I know there's no excuse for treating someone badly, no matter the stress I was under.
How do I begin to move on from this?
-- Sad Supervisor
Dear Sad: The path toward forgiving yourself starts with acknowledging your behavior to the person you have wronged. You should also ask that person to forgive you.
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Contact the former intern through email or a Facebook private message. Write: "I feel very guilty for how I treated you. I was going through a very stressful and rough patch in my own life, which is not an excuse, but an explanation for my behavior, which was unprofessional and unkind. You deserved better from me, and I regret that I didn't take the opportunity to apologize to you in person. I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me. I wish you all the very best in your career."
Understand that if this person could copy and paste and share your apology with others, depending on her motivation and maturity level. Regardless of where your apology lands, you will have demonstrated an important attitude of acknowledgment.
Then, you should make an effort to turn the page, understanding that like all of us, you occasionally make very human mistakes in your professional life.
Dear Amy: "Perplexed in NY" was judgmental about a family member (who was hurting financially) who never brought gifts to celebrations. Thank you for noting that receiving gifts is NOT the purpose of hosting a celebration.
-- Not Perplexed
Dear Not: Exactly. This attitude is why some people are accused of "gift grabbing."
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: email@example.com. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)