Leaving My Job
Dear Annie: I'm in my mid-60s and have worked for the same hotel chain for almost five years now. I have worn every hat imaginable there and have rarely missed a day of work. When the pandemic first started, a lot of co-workers just stopped coming in, so a few of us picked up the slack. I pulled any and all shifts just to keep the hotel up and running. I am a salaried employee, so I didn't get overtime for the extra hours that I was putting in.
In October 2019, my fiance was admitted to the hospital due to illness. He ended up staying there for months and contracted COVID-19, which he eventually died of in March 2020. While he was sick in the hospital, I visited him every night but never missed a day of work.
I ended up getting COVID-19 myself a few weeks ago. Fortunately, I've recovered and the doctors gave me my release letter, stating that it's safe for me to return to work. My problem is that I don't want to get sucked into the same routine as before -- working 12- or 14-hour days. I have high blood pressure, prediabetes and spinal stenosis. Also, I have another job offer that could provide health insurance and other benefits that this hotel job doesn't offer. How should I tell my bosses that I've had enough? -- Overworked and Over It
Dear Overworked: I'm so sorry for the loss of your fiance. As for your work situation: I have a feeling you're the type to silently shoulder the world and never mention when your back is getting tired. Well, Atlas, it's time to speak up.
If you want to stay with the hotel, then tell management you will only be doing the standard eight-hour days from here on out. If they give you trouble, you can look into employment law in your state. In some states, even salaried exempt employees are entitled to overtime compensation.
On the other hand, if you've already made up your mind to take this new job, then congratulations! Type up a dated letter of resignation addressed to your supervisor, noting your final day. And when you start your new job, be careful not to work yourself too hard. It sounds as though you might be your own worst boss.
Dear Annie: Why do so many restaurant servers use the same cloth to wipe off tables and chairs and even spills on the floor? It happens in fast-food restaurants and in fine dining establishments. I would feel much better if one cloth was used for tables and another color cloth for seats. I know restaurants are stressed right now and I don't want to add more to their plates, but each time I see that cloth go from table to table and seat to table I wonder how many germs went with it. Yuck! -- Grossed Out
Dear Grossed Out: The damp cloth is likely being continuously soaked in a strong sanitizing solution that kills virtually all germs. And for what it's worth, your food should be on a plate and your silverware on a napkin -- not in direct contact with the table. But if it bothers you, I encourage you to bring sanitizing wipes with you so you can run over the table yourself for peace of mind. I think a lot of us will be taking such extra precautions for many years to come.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.