Category Archives: Neighbors

Flabbergasted

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

For years we have been friends with former neighbors who moved to
Hawaii. We mourned when they relocated. We have been there twice
in ten years. They have come to visit twice most years and three times
more than once, and early on we were happy to have them. While I
understand Hawaii is considered more desirable than our small town,
having guests is not merely a break in routine but burdensome and
expensive.

 

This time they gave us very little warning before they
arrived, never asked if the dates were convenient, and when we told
them we needed them to leave by Sunday morning latest, laughed and
said, “Oh we planned on Tuesday.” I didn’t want to be rude, but I was
under a massive work deadline. I just said, “I’m on deadline so you’re
on your own for meals,” and stayed in my office. After returning home
the wife sent me an email that said in essence, “This is not turning out
to be the exchange we expected. Please look for alternative
accommodations on your next vacation.” How do I reply?

Flabbergasted

 
Dear Flabbergasted:

Economists have this notion of “sunk costs” which leads to the idea
that it’s not worth throwing good money after bad. What’s past cannot
be changed, but it can provide you with lessons for the future when
dealing with other guests. Common courtesy suggests asking the
hostess if dates are convenient, agreeing on length of stay, amenities,
expectations about food and access to vehicles, and any household
peculiarities such as rising/bedtime quiet, etc. A gift of food, wine, or
something for the house, taking the hosts out to a meal, or another
thank you is common. Any potential guests who doesn’t meet that
standard gets a polite, I don’t think those dates will work for us.

 

In this case, it seems clear that the friendship is both one-sided and
not particularly close anymore. I would reply simply, Our views on
what this exchange has been are very different. I warned you I was
under deadline and was more accommodating than I should have
been. Your note suggests a sense of entitlement that makes it easy to
agree that this exchange is over, and overdue for that. She will take
umbrage no matter what you say, so sit on your email for 24 hours
before sending; if you feel better than worse after rereading, hit send,
or edit accordingly.

Private Gal

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I just made a new friend from my neighborhood association. She came
to visit and check out my deer fencing and we just clicked, even
though we are decades apart in age and I am retired and she is
working mom. She’s asked to visit, but her timing and mine are very
different. I protect my creative time zealously, even from close friends,
because I am a writer who is very involved with a project that I do not
want to distract attention from. Can I convey this nicely without losing
access to someone I would otherwise enjoy?

Private Gal

 
Dear Private:

Friendships that endure require mutual investment of time. That
almost always involves compromise. It’s certainly worth making a new
friend at any age and of any age if you click, though with person
whose life is radically different the constraints of infrequent contact
may inhibit developing a long-term friendship. It’s certainly worth a
try.

 
Start by email contact with a summary of your regular schedules and
when the best times to connect are. Say you’re happy to make her
schedule apriority given that she has children, but caution her that you
have a busy and overly scheduled life too. Perhaps suggest meeting at
a park or somewhere where the children can play while you cat, and
explore whether there is enough there there to keep investing time.
It’s also good to connect on social media and see if you have any
friends in common. That will help you get a handle on what else you
might share. Tell her what you like about your writing, but (as a
writer) my general advice is to keep your project close to your vest
with people you don’t know well and save a lot for a true unveiling
when it is finished.

Typos

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My neighborhood has a FaceBook page. People post everything from
neighborhood alerts re thefts, look for yard help or babysitters, sell big
items, announce garage sales and rentals, etc. I posted a question
recently to try and help a friend’s son find a rental in the
neighborhood. Somehow the spelling got screwed up and one of the
neighbors tore me a new one trying to correct my posting. I thought I
had proofed it but apparently it didn’t happen. (For the record I’m
convinced that auto corrupt–as I call it–is toxic and changes things
after one proofs.) In her response she had misspellings and weird
words too!! LOL. When I pointed out that hers also had misspellings
her answer was “cheap shot!” I have had no prior dealings with her
incur such enmity, and I don’t want a feud in my neighborhood but I
felt cold the pot calling the kettle black was only fair. Did I do wrong?

Typos

 
Dear Typos:

As someone who has only recently, and I suspect belatedly, discovered
the dictation feature on my smart phone, I am empathetic with
attempts to be efficient. Ditto for trying to help a friend’s son. But
sometimes when we are trying to do too much too fast, things can go
kaflooey. And what is efficient for you may impose unforeseen costs on
others.
In my universe, self-righteous people get what they deserve if their
own foibles are exposed to be the same as those they are pointing
fingers at. If she committed exactly the same error that she accused
you of there’s no problem holding a mirror up and pointing it in her
direction. The high road of course would’ve been to let her mistake
stand in public. But I neither blame you nor do I suspect I would’ve
acted differently. I would add a comment that apologizes for the typos
and be exceptionally careful the next few times you post. Most people
have short memories, and unless this neighbor comes at you again
with anger I would consider the incident in your past. But if she does,
send her a message and ask why she seems to be so angry with you.

Boundaries!

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My neighbor has allowed a family of wild foxes to nest under her shed,
which borders my property. I have spoken to her several times about
the vulnerability of neighborhood cats, the dangers posed by their
bringing rodents into the area for their young to practice hunting, and
the possibility that they or their prey are carrying various diseases and
fleas, ticks, etc. My husband says I have tried being reasonable, and
my neighbor blew us and another neighbor off saying we couldn’t tell
him what to do on his property. Ideas?

Boundaries!

 
Dear Boundaries:

Start by talking to the state and county wildlife control agencies. My
guess is that there are very strict laws about what you, or your
neighbor, can and cannot do. So educating yourself is phase one. The
agencies may come out and enforce whatever regulations are in place
so you will be just another citizen adhering to their policies. If they say
the neighbor is within his rights, ask if you have the option of live
trapping and relocating the foxes, and what if any specific procedures
are mandated. My guess is that if they do not take care of the problem
directly, that they will refer you to a qualified professional trapper who
knows far more than a typical urban dweller about how to handle what
may be cute to watch outside a zoo but are in reality wild animals who
do not adhere to boundaries that you or your neighbor might want to
impose. For your health, and the health of local pets, sooner rather
than later seems like the right timing.

Other Side of the Fence

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

We had a terrible storm in my area a few weeks ago. I had
massive debris on my lot. Trees down, some up to 60’ tall. It
is a difficult lot to access and it would have saved me
hundreds and hundreds of dollars to be able to access my
back yard though a neighbor’s drive and orchard so they
could pass brush over our fence instead of hauling it all
around the house. The neighbor said no, and chased off my
helping crew with an actual gun. Now I hear that his mother
has died. Normally I would write a lovely note, drop of a
casserole, and ask what I could do to lighten the family’s
burden. But I am angry as well as annoyed. Can I just slip a
note in his mailbox and be done. Or to I have to be more
neighborly than I feel?

Other Side of the Fence

 
Dear Other Side:

Good fences apparently don’t always make good neighbors.
Ultimately your neighbor has the right to decide that
damage to his orchard outweighs your costs to clean up. It
may be un-neighborly but it is well with both legal and
horticultural boundaries. I’m sure you are annoyed but at
some point letting go of your anger will improve not only
your relationship but your attitude towards life.

 
Losing a parent changes people. Do what you would
otherwise do. Write a personal note with an anecdote or two
about his mother. Perhaps cite some act of generosity,
though not too blatantly in contract to his actions. If you
don’t want to cook for him that’s understandable. Go to the
market and pick up something easy, even a pie, and leave it
on his doorstep with the condolence note. Then go about
your business. Also, start a list, if you don’t already have
one, of atonements to make next Yom Kippur. Put your
neighbor on it. Forgiveness is a much lighter burden to carry
than anger.

Worried Patriot

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My grandparents were immigrants. My grandfather ran a deli in St.
Louis for most of his life (after starting out sweeping up and washing
dishes in one. He served in WW2, which was scary because of what his
family had fled to come to America. The Jewish cemetery where he is
buried was just vandalized in a horrible way that made national news.
Headstones were topped and many defaced with swastikas and
horrible horrible slogans.

 

For a long time I was willing to give our new
President a chance, even though I didn’t vote for him. But now my
eyes have been opened wide in a brutal way. The number of hate
crimes is up, weekly there are rashes of bomb scares called in to
Jewish community centers, and people seem to feel emboldened to act
in anti-Semitic ways with impunity. My friends and neighbors joined
hundred of other volunteers to clean and rectify the cemetery but we
were all left shaken. We were grateful to have other volunteers join us
from different faith communities, both those who are also targeted for
hate crimes and others who would be safe even if the country goes as
badly as the Germany my grandparents fled. I’m too old to run for
office and I doubt I would be very good at it. But how can I help
educate people about how bad things feel like they’re headed?

Worried Patriot

 
Dear Worried Patriot:

You are certainly not alone. Even before the election many progressive
groups were commenting on the rise of the “alt-right” which is to some
at least a fancy name to conceal a very old and dangerous set of social
beliefs, beliefs that have cost many millions of Jews their lives in the
last century alone. Those commentators were dismissed as partisan
politicos at the time, but in the months since November the chorus of
those writing about these issues has grown, and media networks as
politically diverse as The Huffington Post and Fox News have observed
the phenomenon with increasing concern and voice. I agree, this is a
matter that goes far past party or religion.

 
I’m a strong believer in local action. You may be too old to run for
office but your own family’s experience is a story worth telling. It
shouldn’t take you long to identify local groups who are as worried as
you are. If your synagogue has a Tikkun Olam or Social Justice
Committee, start by asking there. Or post something on a social media
site asking about groups in your area where you could attend to talk
over your concerns and learn how to take action. I’m not talking about
armed self-defense. I’m talking about talking, sign making, letter
writing, phone calling, and petitions signing as simple starting places.
There are places to sign up that will send you emails detailing whom to
call about what issues, and will provide phone numbers and info on the
issues. Make sure your synagogue is reaching out to other religious
groups, from mosques to churches, to change local culture and make it
unwelcoming to hate.

 
Retired or working, decide how much time you can devote each week
to making sure your grandchildren aren&'t fighting the same battles, in
America or another country.

Depressed Beyond Reason

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m traumatized to the point of tears by the election results and the aftermath. I
am your basic knee-jerk liberal and had such pride and hope for America for the
past eight years. But the eruption of swastikas from NYC to Oregon, and vile
anti- brown, black, Asian, Hispanic, gay, and Jewish incidents make me feel
unsafe in my own country. There is a difference between electoral politics and
outright oppression. And a campaign that said it would “clean up the mess” is
appointing only bigoted insiders and doing nothing to allay the eruption of hateful
racist bile. And why is no one talking about the Russians? My office place has
many pro-Trump people and many people of color. I don’t know if we will witness
anything like what I am seeing in the news, but how can I speak out when I feel
so unsafe?

Depressed Beyond Reason

 
Dear Depressed:

All the reasons you cite are very legitimate and reasonable responses to the
post-election eruption of ugliness. No one who is a caring compassionate
person–of any religion—would be reacting with anything but horror. I can’t
address the political aspects of your concerns, but I can help a little with the
sense of fear and isolation. I don’t know if you are aware of the safety pin
campaign or not. People who wear a safety pin are showing others they are
willing to stand up if they see racist baiting or bullying going on around them. It’s
an act of affirmation but it also requires that you actually speak up, which could
make you even more afraid and uncomfortable, so don’t wear one unless you are
more secure and ready.

 
There are also support groups springing up everywhere to help people deal both
with grieving and eventually with political organizing to reverse the one-party
control of every branch of government. Support politicians who represent the
values you care about. Do it by donating time, money, and energy as well as
words and tears. Be prepared for a long haul on this process. That’s the good
news as well as the bad. It is especially important that you keep an open
dialogue with all the people you know. Keep your relations at work broad and
sincere. Be kind to the people you fear with be harassed and be brave about
speaking up if you see something happening that is inappropriate. You might
preemptively talk to your human resources folks to learn what is okay and not, so
that you can cite policies if needed. Somehow we are all going to have to learn to
talk to people we disagree with if we are going to re-establish dialogue. But take
the time for tears and grieving first. It will make you stronger and you will need
that strength, as will we all.

Almost Homicidal

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

What’s the etiquette for dealing with a boor? I am an author who attends various
artists and authors’ fairs. Usually it’s sitting on a bad chair for the better part of
the day and schmoozing with interested readers who might also buy my books.
But occasionally, like yesterday, I get tabled with a loud, annoyingly interrupting
boor. He tried to talk my ear off even though I said, “When I’m not with customers
I am trying to write.” Whenever someone approached me, he would interrupt the
conversation and try to snare them (his material was nothing like mine). I asked
the coordinator for a table swap and she rolled her eyes. Apparently other people
had made not being seated next to him a condition of participation. Advice?

Almost Homicidal

 
Dear Almost:

This is the same etiquette advice I would give to a person with a bad airline seat
neighbor, or other randomly assigned seat in which you are temporarily trapped.
Be polite. Be firm. Be clear. That’s when you talk to the boor and to people with
the authority to move you or the boor or to enforce more polite action on his part.
Boors do not train easily. They’re used to commanding attention by their noise or
actions, and surrender airtime and the attention of others only if there appears to
be no other option. Even if you score a victory early, assume the behavior will
continue. If you do ask for help, try to identify if there is any penalty for continued
bad behavior. For example, recently airlines have ejected or banned such people
after inappropriate outbursts.

 
Travelling with noise cancelling headphones is a solution in some situations. But
unless you’re willing to also put a sign on your table that says, Writer at work who
will happily stop to talk to you about her book., they won’t help you attract new
readers. But they will keep you out of court if you crack and injure a boor.

Neighborly

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

For years I have helped out a neighbor who works with errands, from
bringing and returning library books to fetching things at various
stores we frequent. I’m retired and she is not, so if I am going
somewhere I often ask if she needs anything. He husband has recently
retired, but he’s not nearly as clued into her tastes as I am, so she has
continued to ask me. Frankly it seems like the frequency has
escalated. I’ve tried to volunteer less but she is asking more. Should I
say something to her about having her husband become her schlep, or
just keep on when it is convenient for me. For the record, just last
week it realized I’d gone on an hour’s worth of errands for her that I
had no need to have done for myself. There’s gas and time and just
plain aggravation on the line.

Neighborly

 
Dear Neighborly:
Assuming this is a friendship you value, be honest. Say that when it is
convenient, you are happy to keep doing her errands. Also say that
since her husband has more time on his hands now that he’s retired,
you’d prefer if she thought of him as her primary schlep and you as his
backup. Be clear that if you offer to help, by calling or texting an
upcoming trip to the library or farmer’s market, she’s welcome to add
to your list. But in the absence of an explicit statement that you are
available, she should assume you have enough to keep you busy.
As for training the husband, suggest that she make a list or even a set
of photos of brand names she prefers for various items, stores that
she goes to for X or Y, and that she make appointments with the
husband for him to be on call for her. Most wives with newly retired
spouses are happy to get them out of the house on a regular basis, so
you’re probably helping them with the transition as well as yourself.

Had It!!

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Our neighbors are addicted to power tools. Specifically weed whackers
and drills, both of which they operate at unreasonable hours,
especially on weekends. My husband and I both work, so sleeping in
on Saturday/Sunday is our only form of luxury, and on a weekend
evening our preference is to sit in the yard with a cold gin and tonic,
preferably acconmpied by silence. Is there a polite way to ask them to
keep things down during our rest periods? For the record, they’re
retired and could make a racket anytime. But they seem to want to
bother us, even though they smile and are cordial when we interact.

Had It!!

 
Dear Had It:

Before you talk to them, equip yourself with knowledge of local
ordinances. Sadly they may not be sufficiently stringent for you to get
your way. But at least you’ll know what the prevailing community
standard is. The next time your neighbors are making noise, go visit.
You could soften the message with a plate of cookies, but go together,
and ask if they can talk, two and two. Explain clearly and simply what
you want. Be prepared for them to give you all the reasons it’s not
possible. Under no circumstances lose your temper. Just quietly repeat
what you are asking for, that they work with their power tools during
weekday working hours, and respect that working folks need
weekends to rest up.

 
Most people would cease and desist, at least a little, for a while. If
they do not, try to enlist other neighbors to make the same visits. It
may take a few tries, but the message will penetrate. As long as
everyone is smiling while they talk, even if it’s fake, there’s still hope
for peace as well as quiet. I’ve seen these noise wars escalate, and
they can get ugly as well as noisy. Avoid that at all costs.

Home Alone

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I live in a very desirable neighborhood. Because it’s near the
university, there are a surprising number of rentals, though no
fraternities or loud parties, because the neighborhood association
enforces such standards vigorously. The place next door is owned by
an older woman who has always consulted me on her choice of
renters. The previous family, charming and self-contained, returned to
Korea; the new tenant is a nurse whom I helped recruit. All I want is a
quiet, respectful neighbor. This woman appears at my door at least
three nights a week looking for company. Sometimes she brings dinner
and a DVD as though we’d made plans to spend the evening together.
I’m not looking for trouble but I’m also not looking for a new best
friend. My life is full enough. Is there a polite way to discourage
anything more than respectful neighborliness? PS I’m definitely not
looking to exchange keys, which she said she would like to do.

Home Alone

 
Dear Home Alone:

I’ve always been a fan of the flag system. It doesn’t have to be a
literal flag, though it could be, but identify some easily visible
ornament that she can see from her house with which to decorate your
front porch. When the ornament is out (or in, your choice), that means
she can call or text to see if you’re up for company. Note that’s not the
same as appearing at your door. If the ornament is not in the “maybe
I want visitors” position, she’s to assume you are happy on your own.
If she does text, you have the option of saying yes or no, or not
replying, though she sounds like the type to come knocking if there’s
not an explicit No. You might also tell her about your “big project” that
you need lots of peace and quiet to devote to finishing. If she asks
questions, say your publisher has told you not to discuss it with
anyone, but say you’ll give her a copy down the road as a thank you
for helping you focus your time.

 

As for the key, say you have that relationship with a different neighbor
but that she should hide one somewhere on her property so that in
case of an emergency she could tell someone where to find it. Say you
don’t want the responsibility of that kind of access to her home. As a
side note, pushy people are harder than sap to get off you. Not getting
close is a good preventive strategy.

Out of !!!!s

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My former best friend is royally angry with me and I think she is very
in the wrong. We’ve been neighbors for 20 plus years. Our husbands
used to work together. Our sons grew up like brothers; both are
getting married this summer to wonderful young women. But she and
her husband have decided to move to where their son/daughter-in- law
will live. In the year since she made this decision our relationship has
deteriorated, in part because her attention is focused two hours north,
and in part because she’s started to treat me like chopped liver, as the
old saying goes. She assumes I am on tap for whatever she needs,
and has never once asked if I needed anything because she is so
preoccupied with her transition. She’s putting her house on the market
(for sale by owner) soon and asked if I would stand in for her. Why?
Because she and hubby are going to be out of town attending their
son’s Frisbee tournament! If it were the Olympics, I would stretch but
it is &*%^ frisbee and I work 60 hours a week plus care for my
own family. I told her “Sorry. No can do. Not enough time.” Now she is
accusing me of not being supportive of their move.

Out of !!!!s

 
Dear Out of:

Twenty years is plenty long enough for big asks, and I put hostessing
an open house in that category. But her request reflects a lack of
understanding of the status of your friendship. It’s not the same as,
say, Can I list your address for a package delivery? Or Can you fill in
for me when the cable guy comes in case I can’t make it home in
time? Selling a house requires not just a warm body to open the door
but being “on” socially with prospective buyers, and also being
knowledgeable enough about the home to be able to answer questions
that potential new owners might ask. No was a thoroughly legitimate
answer. She should reschedule the open house or pass on the Frisbee
trip.

 

I understand that your No came not only from not having much
discretionary time for yourself but also from your sadness about the
changes in the friendship. That seems like a worthwhile conversation
to have before she moves away.

Overwhelmed With Worry

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

What can I do to help a friend who has just been diagnosed with ALS?
Her health has been declining for the past two years. She has gone
from a vibrant public figure to a woman who needs a walker to get
from her recliner into her wheelchair. Her husband is overloaded
already caring for his 98-year- old mother. She has no biological
children, but does have adopted grandchildren (long story). I am her
friend and neighbor and usually run quick errands for her like library
books (my office is a block away) and specialty items from a favorite
store. But now she needs more and more help every day, and I’m
concerned the people who have been bringing her meals etc during the
most recent spate of testing and treatment may fad away with this
news. She is very appreciative for help but also very frightened, and
there is so very much to do around the house and in the bigger
picture.

Overwhelmed With Worry

 
Dear Overwhelmed:

There are two levels of support people who have received a terminal
diagnosis need. And be clear, even if it is a slowly progressing form of
ALS, there is no cure at this time. That doesn’t mean that any one of
her friend or family might not go first, but the prognosis is of
progressive decline until death. So the emotional level of support,
among family and the inner circle of closest friends needs to be
addressed first. Because the disease is not linear or predictable, it is
useful to first establish big criteria of needs: assists with meal
preparation or companionship in the house in the earlier stages,
compared to assists with bathing, eating, etc in later stages.

 
Fortunately there are many websites set up to support exactly this
kind of situation. One I know best is caringbridge.org, though I am
sure others are also good. It allows people to identify specific tasks
(e.g. a gluten free vegetarian dinner for two on a specific date, of two
hours of housecleaning) and friends to sign up to provide them. These
sits also allow the patient to give medical updates to people who care
about her welfare. Ask your friend if she wants help setting that up,
and perhaps offer to be her site manager (or recruit one). You are
right that a long haul will wear folks down. But it takes a village to
support us all in hard times.

No Fence

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

The house next-door has been a rental for decades. It has finally been
sold to a couple, and as they were moving in and talking abut what
they planned to do to the house and garden I realized that I’m not
used to having a relationship with neighbors that’s based on equality.
With the tenants, I always had some degree of authority, because I
was friendly with the person who owned the property, and acted as
sort of a watchdog to be sure the renters didn’t do anything stupid. So
the tenants were somewhat deferential, and I could be nice in ways it
was easy to be, like giving them a quart of soup every so often, and
never had to worry about them doing things that were seriously
disruptive to my life. The new folks seem okay, if a little chatty, and
interested in gardening the median strip together, which sounds great.
How else do I get things off on the right foot?

No Fence

 
Dear No Fence:

The strongest message to ensure your privacy would be to build a
fence. But I don’t think that’s what you really want and ironically I
don’t think that it sends the message you want to give the new
owners. I would give them time to settle in, and make the house their
home. Bringing them soup or perhaps your extra zucchini and
tomatoes would be a welcome gesture of friendship.

 
Decades implies you’ve lived in your house, and developed it nicely, in
a way that might intimidate new owners. Don’t rush to invite them
over in the flurry of excess friendship. Write them a lovely note of
welcome, and let them settle in quietly without a lot of fuss. Then
when the time is right, agree on the boundaries that work for you both
regarding noise, shared phone numbers and/or keys, and so on, and
then make plans for the garden next spring, when you feel like
comfortable equals. Personally I’d hold back on the keys until you
know them better. Good neighbors are a wonderful thing. Take your
time making it happen.

Ticked Off

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My neighbor and I have shared hourly yard workers for years. No
matter who finds them among students, clients, employees, children of
relatives and friends, etc, we have agreed on what hourly rate to pay
and cooperated on schedules. The last regular gal we had was
amazing, but finally got a teaching job so we both fell behind during
fall and winter. My neighbor found someone new who is not as good
but needs the work and money. I had her scheduled to come on
Sunday, but my neighbor slid in ahead of me for two hours of heavy
lifting of rocks and soil, so by the time the gal got to my place she was
tired, dehydrated, and hungry. I fed her and she worked a paltry 1.5
hours, which barely made a dent in the mess. I’m frustrated with both
of them, especially because it’s my birthday week and I am
entertaining. What should I say to whom?

Ticked Off

 
Dear Ticked Off:

You should speak to both of them simply and clearly.
To the yard worker you should be very clear: I made a plan with you. I
was clear about how much work I had. If you had extra time you
should have called me to see if I wanted you to start earlier or work
longer before you made other commitments. I still want you to work
for me, but I want us on the same page about what you are saying yes
to and what I can count on. I’m past being angry but I do want to
know we agree.

 
To your neighbor: I know you found [worker name] so you probably
feel you have a proprietary interest in her and maybe even the rights
to first place in line. But I’d made a plan for Sunday and what you did
made it difficult for me to even make a dent in my weeds. I need at
least xyz hours of her time in the next few weeks. Can you wait to hire
her again, or at least consult with me before you do? [Pause to listen
to excuses.] Thanks for letting me know before she comes back to
your place.