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Far Too Much Flaunting
I work for a nonprofit that helps to alleviate conditions of poverty. My boss and another more senior colleague are fortunate to have been born into wealth and do not need to work. As remote work has grown over the last year, so too has their frequent sharing of stories and photos from luxurious vacations, renovations on multiple homes, and extravagant parties, which I feel expected to respond to. Like many of my colleagues, I struggle to provide for my family and the pandemic has deepened those challenges. I don’t begrudge anyone their blessings, but find my colleagues’ push to flaunt personal wealth lacking empathy and disconcerting in the context of our work. I’m not sure if there is an appropriate way to broach this subject with my teammates, or if I should just let it go. What do you advise?
— Anonymous, New York City
It is in poor taste for your senior colleagues to flaunt their wealth while running a nonprofit that helps alleviate conditions of poverty. Talk about cognitive dissonance. And the implied obligation of your positive reactions to their lifestyle is an added frustration. As for how you should proceed, it depends on the temperament of your senior colleagues and the professional consequences of voicing your concerns. Would they be open to constructive feedback? If so, tactfully mention your concerns about the optics of their personal sharing given the organization’s mission. You might remind them that for far too many people, perception
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