How To Handle Awkward Lockout Situations

Dear Miss Football Manners,

Let's say that I encouraged my co-workers to sue our company. At the same time, my foundation applied for a grant with my company. Now, the lawsuit is moving forward, I'm locked out of my job, but the kicker is that my company still awarded the foundation money.

Do I accept the money?



Dear Rashiedonije,

What an interesting name you have! Take the money. The grant has nothing to do with you, your company, your legal problems or the lockout. The grant is about helping the children who you have set out to help. They are the reason you set up your foundation, so you and your company can swallow your pride for long enough to help them.

Dear Miss Football Manners,

My boss and I are supposed to judge at the same slam-dunk contest. The problem is that I'm involved in a labor squabble with the owners of my company. "Dovie" has nothing to do with the labor problems, but because of the rules put forth by our company through the lockout, I can't talk to him, and he can't talk to me. We've always had a good relationship in the past, and I don't want this to affect my playing time ... I mean, standing with the company. "Dovie" has said that he expects a big year out of me, but what if he gets mad when I don't say hello? Not to mention, I just feel rude ignoring the man.


G-Reg from Lake Forest

Dear G-Reg,

Rest assured, "Dovie" is probably worried about the same thing. After all, the rules apply to both of you, and if he is a sane man, he won't expect you to say hello.

But that doesn't make the day any less awkward. I recommend using one of the following communication tactics:

1. The "what's up" glance: Keep your eyes out for Dovie. When you see him, try your best to make eye contact. When you do, give a quick nod of the head. He'll return the nod, saying, "Don't worry, you will still have plenty of chances to not catch balls in the end zone this fall."

2. The silent bro hug: When your company says no contact, does that mean no physical contact? Because the bro hug is a time-tested way for men to show affection. When you see Dovie, smile and reach out your hand. He'll take it, and that's when you pull him and slap him on the back. If you feel bold, whisper, "Get me the ball." It's dangerous, because it could constitute inappropriate contact, but if no one reports you, you'll be fine. For more guidance, see what Anthony Adams did.

3. The passed note: This might be the most dangerous maneuver of all, unless you destroy the evidence. After holding up a "10" for one of the slam dunk contestants, write a note on the back of the placard saying, "Hi Dovie," or "Any routes you'd like me to practice in the off-season?" Nonchalantly slide it over to him.

In all things, play it cool.

Confidential to Red-Headed Roger in New York: Give the players what they want, and I bet your plans to summer in the Hamptons won't get ruined!

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