Dear Alma,

I have worked for a large cleaning company for the past 17 years. Our supervisor recently retired and I was promoted to that job. Once I was promoted, we hired a new guy to join our team who has been doing an outstanding job. He is one of the best employees and cleaners I’ve worked with for a long time. He is a man of few words and shows up every day to get the job done. Every year we pick one person to receive a bonus for a job well done. The supervisor is the person who picks the winner. Without a doubt I thought this guy deserved the bonus. When the others heard he got the award they were mad and whispering behind my back that it was unfair for him to get it. Two of our employees have started acting resentful towards me because they said they’ve worked with me longer. I keep hearing the gossip and I want to explain why I picked the new guy but my husband says I don’t owe them an explanation. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want our crew to be divided or for them not to like me. Do you think I should call a meeting and tell them why I picked him over the others?

Ahhhhh no, Boss Lady! It was your decision and you made it. Believe and trust in yourself. There was a reason you were promoted; stand tall in the new opportunity you’ve been appointed.

You’ve got to pay the cost to be the boss, and it ain’t no walk in a delightfully scrumptious designer kitchen. Most want to be on top but can’t handle the pressure. When it comes time to make the hard decisions, continue to trust your gut. You know who’s doing what, how and when. That’s why you were able to hands down, pick the winner. Don’t second-guess your abilities because of a few rotten apples filling up your fancy fruit basket.

Like the old folks use to say, always judge what you hear by who said it. Seasoned adults understand sometimes they’ll be overlooked for a particular position or won’t get the praise they think they deserve, so is life. We all must continue to be our best and believe that one day our diligence and superb efforts be rewarded.

Complaining is draining and employees who sit around cantankerous, moaning and grumbling all day, can’t be doing a good job. Like I said before, do not explain yourself to the staff. The announcement was made and the bonus was presented. That’s it, game over. To anyone who feels slighter, tough tootsie roll. Close the chapter on this my darling.

You can call a meeting, but don’t mention the award. What you can do is, push and promote teamwork and continue to focus on performance. That’s about all you can control. Don’t allow yourself to be a pushover, I can tell you’re a little softhearted. Put on your big girl bloomers, grab your scrub brush and handle your business. Congratulation on your promotion. Your loyalty with this company has served you well.

— Alma

Dating my ex-husband’s ‘twin’

Dear Alma,

I am new to your page. I am 50 years old, all my kids are grown and out of the house. I have been divorced over three years, and now I’ve been seeing someone for the past 7 months. For real, it’s like he is my ex’s twin brother, and yes I love him. But my ex calls me once a week. We’ve even talked about getting back together. But now I am in love with two men. Is that wrong? Let me be clear, I don’t want my ex back.

They both are 42 years old. My ex’s birthday is 4/26/72 my boyfriend 9/24/72, they both are dark skin and bald headed. They both are around 5’6” and have the same build. Neither likes to drink or smoke. They both love to go to movies and out to dinner. I’m telling you, he likes the same thing my ex does. So it’s kind of hard for me to get my ex out my system. When my new boyfriend, reminds me of my ex, and I do mean in every way, even the love making, the caressing, it’s like my ex sent him to me to replace him. So I am just at a lost right now. Even though we are divorced, and I still love him, and he has moved on.

— Confused

Dear Confused,

Although you say, you don’t want your ex-husband back, you talk to him regularly and you’re openly discussing the possibility of a reconciliation. Hmmm, what is that about Mz. Lady? Couples divorce because what’s broken can’t be fixed and they’ve exhausted all their options.

My advice to you is to leave those broken pieces on the floor and start anew. Step away from your conjugal comfort zone, where you’re still snug, as a bug in a rug with your ex. Let him go and pay attention to the man who’s standing in front of you before he becomes a distant memory. Can you imagine how he’d feel if he knew you were comparing him to your ex? That’s so totally disrespectful on your part. I mean really, let’s flip this wig for a minute – if your new Boo described you as a “carbon copy cutie” from his past, you’d be livid!

In your descriptions, you didn’t touch on the character of either man, just the physical and visual similarities. That could just be defined as your type, liking or preference, not the reincarnation of another man’s twin. Frankly my dear, when you make comparisons, you allow yourself to give life to your insecurities.

Stop seeking comfort in your ex-husbands ConFunkShun. It’s time for you to exit his “Love Train.” Like you said, he’s moved on, it’s been three years, now so should you. By now at our age, we’ve learned, “not everybody that you love will love you back.” And let’s take it one step further, “not everybody you love deserves to be loved by you.” Can I get ah amen!

Let him go sweetie, don’t be afraid. Release what’s behind you and embrace what’s in front of you. Just because you don’t know what’s around the corner of life, doesn’t mean it isn’t something that’s good for you. Cuddle up to 50 with aplomb, live to embrace what’s unfamiliar. It builds character and makes you sexy, self-assured and resilient.

Ex-husbands are ex’s for a reason; forgive him, but don’t forget why he’s no longer your husband. When you’re experiencing real love, no one else matters but that person. Sharing that part of your heart, the value, the respect and the admiration can only be directed towards one person. Real, authentic, mature love exists between two people. It becomes a union that is so intertwined, there’s no space or time for a side piece.

— Alma

Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: alwaysaskalma@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and Twitter @almaaskalma.

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