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AGREE TO DISAGREE

Dear Miss Manners: It's another political year and I work in a small office with an extremely opinionated person. For two years now, I have listened to her opinion on everything that the present administration has said or done. These political diatribes will come out of nowhere on any given day and are always directed toward me.

As you can guess, our opinions are as different as night and day. Out of respect for our office setting and what I thought was a nice office friendship, I have tried to change the subject or make a joke of the situation. So far, I have been very proud of myself and have not lost my temper.

However, it is a long way until Election Day, and it is getting harder and harder to let these hateful remarks pass. In honesty, I am about ready to blow. Please help me with a correct and polite response that will get across my point that our views are vastly opposite and she should please keep hers to herself.

Gentle Reader: There is a particularly irritating - but perfectly polite - phrase you must learn to repeat with a smile: "Well, we agree to disagree."

Miss Manners realizes that your office mate has entered into no such agreement, and she will at first be stirred to further efforts rather than acknowledge that nothing she says will change your mind. You will therefore have to keep claiming it over and over. But it is better than open warfare and plastering warring stickers over your respective desks.

Address your etiquette questions to Miss Manners, in care of The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240. The quill shortage prevents Miss Manners from answering questions except through this column.

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