His chattering is driving me crazy
I am a regular reader of your column. I work in a private firm in Saudi Arabia. I read your column on the net and love the way you solve people’s problems. Guru, I have been facing a problem since the past many months and now I need your expert advice. The problem is related to an annoying colleague of mine. We work on the same floor and he sits behind me. He is mostly on phone and speaks to his wife loudly. His constant chattering disturbs my work and it is really difficult for me to concentrate. I have been very patient with him since he is also a Pakistani but now, I am losing my patience. I am so sick and tired of this nonsense. If I complain, then he may lose his job and I don’t want to do it. Guru, I don’t know how to deal with this situation. Please help.
Man in a Foreign Land
Dear Man in a Foreign Land
You are lucky if you have good and friendly colleagues who let you work in peace but sometimes you have to deal with irksome colleagues too. I can very well understand your problem as it is really hard to concentrate on your work in a noisy environment. Having said that, have you ever tried to talk to your colleague on this subject? Maybe he is totally clueless of the fact that he is giving you trouble. I suggest you to talk to him about your issue in a friendly manner and explain it to him how hard it is for you to continue working in peace. I am sure he will mend his ways and will lower his voice when on the phone next time. However, if he refuses to listen to you, then you can lodge a formal complaint against him as it is your right to work in a conducive and peaceful environment. Good luck.
I need a place of my own
I am a 23-year-old married woman. I have been married for two years now. I belong to a middle-class family. We are five sisters and I am the eldest. So, as soon as my first proposal came, my parents married me off. My husband H is a nice guy and he is also very loving but he does not earn much and I am compelled to live in a joint-family. Guru, trust me, it’s not easy to live in a joint-family. There is no life of your own. My mother-in-law is very dominating and she controls everything and everyone in the house. I cannot do anything on my own which is very frustrating for me. I am a graduate and I want to earn but my mother-in-law is very old fashioned and I am not allowed to do a job. Guru, I really feel ashamed when I have to take money from my parents to meet my expenses. I haven’t told my parents about my troubled life as they will get upset. They have four more daughters to marry off. Guru, I am really upset. At this stage, my hubby cannot afford to get me a separate house and am so sick and tired of living in a joint-family. I badly need a place of my own. What should I do?
Dear Agitated Wife,
Early years of marriage are always troublesome dear, but you need to be patient. One needs to make a lot of compromises in order to adjust to one’s new surroundings. I think you were not mentally prepared when you got married. Usually, girls think that their life will be all dreamy and rosy once they get married, well, real life is different. Your in-laws seem like typical in-laws. In joint families usually mothers-in-law are the in-charge of domestic affairs. Try to look at the positive side of your in-laws. Now, they are your family whether you like it or not. Try to be a little diplomatic. There is no harm in it. In that way you can win their confidence. And then slowly and gradually you can also persuade your mom-in-law to allow you to do a job so that you can meet your expenses. Exclude the option of living separately at this moment as your husband does not earn enough money. Sometimes it also happens that despite having all material comforts wives are devoid of their husbands’ love which is very depressing for them. At least you are fortunate to have a loving partner. I am sure with a positive frame of mind and with consistent efforts you will be able to overcome your troubles. Have a happy married life ahead!
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