Life Advice



Contract Worker Feels Shut Out After Sharing Feedback

Harriette Cole on

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was hired to work on a short-term project for a company that had hired me previously. It seemed like everything turned out pretty well. I was asked for honest feedback about the project, and I gave it. That included pointing out things that I thought the company could do better to ensure positive results for the particular effort underway. They thanked me, but I never heard from them again. I have followed up to see if everything turned out well -- crickets. It's too soon to expect my check, so I'm not worried about that so much. But it's weird for a client to disappear so abruptly. Is there anything else I can do? -- Cold Shoulder

DEAR COLD SHOULDER: When you do receive payment, write back with a thank-you email expressing your gratitude for working with the company again. State that you hope the project was a success. And let them know that you would be happy to work with them again whenever they need support. That's all you can do.

If you do not receive your payment in a timely manner, reach out to the party that hired you and ask when you can expect payment. If you still get no response, go to the accounts payable department to follow up.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is finishing high school and has expressed that what's most difficult for her is her social life. Her friends seem to constantly be in some kind of conflict. The latest is that one young lady was dating a young man from another school who was abusive. My daughter was so upset when she told me, especially because she didn't know how to help her friend. She was mad at her and called her stupid for getting involved with this guy in the first place -- even though he did seem like a good guy in the beginning.

I had a similar experience when I was in college. I feel like I should tell her about what happened to me. My good guy ended up beating me up. I know now what my role was in this and how he duped me. Should I tell her? Relationships are complicated, and many people get tripped up. Is it bad for me to tell my daughter that I was abused when I was younger? -- Secret

DEAR SECRET: Your daughter is at the right age to learn about what happened to you at about the same time, especially since you have processed your experience and can speak honestly about what happened while also sharing the lessons you have learned. Your goal should be to help your daughter understand that relationships can be hard to navigate. She should not judge her friend. They all should look out for warning signs of abusive tendencies.


As she prepares to go to college and build an independent life, your daughter needs to look with even greater scrutiny at others to see if their values match hers before she allows anyone to get close to her. To learn more about warning signs of an abusive relationship, go to:


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






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