The shirkers in our midst


Puppet masters. Shirkers.  Schemers. You know who Auntie is talking about—those dear souls who manage to get so very much done simply by being clever, controlling manipulators. We all know a few. Most of the time they are quite good at sitting back and letting someone else do their work.

No, Auntie is not talking about the expert boss who knows how to delegate tasks or those who actually involve others in the process of creating commerce or art. We are talking about the sneaky ones who somehow overpower us. They are no more talented or smart than you or I—except in that one area—but that one area is mighty important.

Auntie has some advice to assist, guide, and navigate when you are forced to be around those annoying types—here’s Helpful Hint #:692

If someone slyly shirks their duties by uttering the phrase, “you’re better at that,” Auntie suggests you respond by saying, “of course I am—I’m better at everything.” Watch out for these shrewd ones—you don’t have to be a Mensa member to know how to take out the trash—but you do need to use your giant brain to halt these lazy manipulators before they eat away even more of your well-earned freedoms.

Why not think of overcoming their abuse of power as part of a 12-Step program for polite, non-manipulative types. Because, you know, polite is no longer respected as it once was and still should be. If only there was some sort of class in pulling other people’s strings—think of the invaluable service that teacher would be providing. The insights! The drama! The evil! I’m sure there would be a long waiting list of sweet souls who would want to learn some of these techniques. Maybe we should call up a local community college and suggest they open a continuing education class, “Manipulation 101: How to take credit when none is due.”

It seems to Auntie that the simplest answer to this problem is the judicious use of the word, “No.” or “No thank you,” or perhaps “No” again. Now go practice saying “No” in the mirror, and remember–standing up to them by saying “No” is really saying “Yes” to your sweet and gentle soul.

Have a question for Auntie Jodi? Post it here—or in a personal message on twitter@JodiAdler or just for fun, you can find hundreds more of her hints at Amazon in Auntie Jodi’s Helpful Hints.