I want my co-worker to stop sending unprofessional texts

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a co-worker who randomly texts me on my personal phone, and the texts have nothing to do with work matters.

I don’t mind chitchat around the proverbial water cooler, or in between meetings, in the elevator, etc., but I think that personal texts — such as “We’re having a barbecue, you should stop by,” “Martini time!” or “You were missed” (when I was out of town) — cross the bounds of professionalism. My husband thinks so, too.

Can you recommend a way to ask him to stop the personal texts without being rude or offensive?

GENTLE READER: Obviously this would not bother you if you sought any kind of friendship with this person outside of work. And while you do not want to presume romantic intentions, you want to make it clear anyway that none are welcome.

Miss Manners therefore suggests something along the lines of, “While I appreciate the invitations, I’m afraid that my time outside of work is filled with family obligations and catching up with my husband. But I will look forward to seeing you back at the office on Monday.”

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