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Karma Cleanser 

Will it come back to bite you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

A while back, I wrote you about my noisy neighbors upstairs. You never answered my letter. That's fine. I know it was a weird question I was asking.

Here's an update on what has happened since I wrote. The people in the apartment upstairs from me had an annoying habit. They left their cell phone sitting on the floor at night. Even though it's a carpeted apartment, every time the phone would vibrate, it made my ceiling shake.

I told one of the girls in the apartment about her cell phone. She apologized and said she would stop leaving it on the floor. But nothing changed. Eventually, those girls moved out. Now I have a married couple living above me. They don't leave their phones on the floor, but when they walk, they sound like a herd of elephants. I've left a note asking if they can keep it down. They did not respond.

One day the noise was so bad, I went upstairs and was going to knock on their door. But when I got there, I could hear voices inside, and it sounded like there was a very old person visiting -- maybe somebody's grandparents. I decided to leave them be.

Tell me I deserve some good karma points for letting their family visit go by without an interruption.

---- Cranky, Part Two

We dug through our vast archives and couldn't locate your original letter -- perhaps amid all the noise and confusion, you forgot to send it? Sounds like this whole living situation has become a test of your endurance, and a lesson in limits. Yes, you deserve props for not being a dick while Aunt Fanny was in town, but don't be a door mat the other 364 days of the year.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I work with a guy who is sweet, very gentle and also slowly driving me crazy. He just started a few months ago and it took him a while to pick up our systems. Now he is getting the hang of it. But I have figured out that he's just an impossibly slow worker. The work gets done, sure, just don't expect it yesterday.

This person does not report to me and I'm not in a position where I can complain to his boss. Things that he's working on slow down my job duties.

Last week he came down with a cold -- which he promptly spread to the rest of the office. So Thursday night, I had to stay late, sick as a skunk, and having to wait on the new guy to give me the report that was due days before. Not to sound like a whiner, but what did I do to deserve this?

---- Type A Torture

Sick as a skunk? Is that really a saying? Anyway, your difficult co-worker deserves a break. He's obviously a frail, timid creature not used to the demands of your cutthroat workplace. No need to complain to his boss about his speed: Take the problem straight to him. Slow and steady may get the job done, but nobody likes working late when they've got pneumonia.

Been bad?

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