Dear Amy: I recently started a new job at a warehouse that employs thousands of people. Due to this, when the shift ends there’s always a long line of people waiting their turn to punch out.
However, without fail, there are always multiple people who will cut into said line to punch out ahead of the rest.
I’m having a real hard time not getting angry or upset about this, especially after working more than eight hours.
What can I say to myself, or what kind of mentality can I adopt, to get over this?
Dear Bothered: You’ve asked about adopting a new mentality, versus acting out or going to management.
Recently I’ve been studying “equanimity,” which is described as an “evenness of mind,” especially under stress.
Equanimity is a state of not only acting calmly, but of actually feeling calm.
Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron describes ways to practice equanimity, outlining a situation analogous to yours — sitting in heavy traffic, while people cut ahead of you.
This can be seen as an opportunity to practice your calming skills.
After your shift, you can say to yourself: “OK, here they come. Here are my ‘teachers,’ butting in line. Don’t mind me. I’ll be hanging out here, quietly practicing my equanimity and improving my life.”
You can also try to develop compassion toward these people, who might have to race to pick up kids from daycare or have otherwise urgent needs that they believe outweigh yours.
This does not excuse their rudeness — but choosing compassion can help you to cope with it.
Deciding to do so under these sorts of circumstances can also make you smile — because you’re using someone else’s rudeness to actually make your own life better.
Dear Amy: My husband is the executor of his parents’ will.
He is the second of their three children and the oldest boy.
His parents have, at best, a strained relationship with their daughter, “Anne.”
As a result, they have named Anne in their will only to state that she will get nothing when they are gone.
They won’t tell Anne about their choice, but often tell my husband, “You can deal with her!” when the time comes. They say that the look of disappointment on her face will be priceless.
My question is, why can’t they tell her now?
I have asked them, and their answer is that it “…has to be a surprise!”
I really don’t understand why they can’t be the ones who see the look on her face, if that is what is so important to them.
Why do they want to leave the “dirty work” for my husband and destroy his relationship with his sister?
I believe that if she knew now, she would “move on” with her own life, instead of trying to please them before they are gone.
There is no law that states that the contents of a will can’t be revealed prior to death, is there?
I feel that they are putting my husband in a terrible position by making him the bearer of their wishes, and that his sister will try to pressure him to change the terms of the will after their death.
It is all very involved, but I believe they would be doing everybody a favor if they just told her what their decision is now, before they are gone.
What do you think?
— Upset In-law
Dear Upset: I agree with you; your in-laws seem exceedingly and unnecessarily mean-spirited regarding their final wishes. Their glee at disinheriting their daughter seems to leave out the fact that they will not be there to see the look on her face when she learns of their choice.
They are also putting your husband in a terrible position.
Executors should not disclose details of a will without permission of the testator (the person writing the will).
If your husband is inclined, he could choose to renounce his position as executor. There is a fairly simple process by which he could do this.
Imagine the looks on his folks’ faces if he simply declined to be part of their cruel game.
But regardless of what you (or I) think, how he handles this should be up to him.
Dear Amy: In a recent response to “KK,” you suggested that he could ask his date, “Can I hold your hand?”
Amy! Of course he can … but “may” he? That’s the question to ask!
Dear Grammarian: You’re right! Thank you for the correction.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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