DEAR HARRIETTE: I am having so much trouble keeping up at my job. I am new here with lots of skills that are needed, but what I don’t have is hurting me.
I have limited facility with technology. I find it impossible to keep track of ever-changing passwords and struggle to use certain devices and software. What are simple tasks to some people are torturous to me; my lack in those areas ends up making me late for meetings and turning in presentations.
I am frustrated that some of my colleagues with limited knowledge and work experience flourish because they know how to use these tools that are foreign to me.
I’m afraid I am going to lose my job if I don’t hone these skills, but I hardly have time to do that and get the work done. Should I talk to my boss about this?
Not a Digital Native
DEAR NOT A DIGITAL NATIVE: Take a deep breath and calm down. You can resolve your situation, but you need to keep your wits about you.
Before talking to your boss, do some research. Look online to find a course that can teach you the specific tasks you need to learn, including software, basic computer navigation, app usage, etc. Be proactive to get yourself up to speed with your colleagues.
After you have signed up and begun your classes, speak to your boss and explain your situation. Acknowledge what you don’t know and that you are doing something about it right now. Ask for any support that your company may offer. Perhaps through their technology help desk there are tutorials or personal coaches who can shepherd you through any jams you run into. Your boss will appreciate that you were proactive.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My son received a number of monetary gifts from my friends and some family members for graduating from high school. I recently discovered that he did not send thank-you notes to everyone.
He sent a few the day after his graduation, but as other gifts trickled in, it turns out he did not follow through.
I am so embarrassed. People shared their hard-earned money with him, and he didn’t say a word. It has been two months now.
I still want him to send those notes, but he is dragging his feet. How can I get him to be responsible here?
Closing the Loop
DEAR CLOSING THE LOOP: Have a serious conversation with your son. Tell him what he already knows: It is rude to accept gifts of any kind or amount from people and not to say thank you.
Remind him of the people who shared gifts with him. Point out that even though they came after graduation, they were heartfelt. Those people thought about him enough to send him money. He must close the loop with a note expressing his gratitude and sharing something about his plans.
Offer to sit down with him and help him complete this cycle of giving. You could do it for him, but it is important for him to do this for himself. A part of becoming a responsible adult is completing responsibilities. This is surely one of them.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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