Q: My 24-year-old daughter works for a small nonprofit. She has recently started to see a therapist one day a week, so she arrives an hour later than normal and stays an extra hour that day. She puts her arrival time into the organization’s calendar, which is the protocol if you have a doctor’s appointment, but since this is a weekly appointment, she wasn’t sure if she needs to explain where she is to the executive director. My initial response is that her therapy appointments are none of the director’s business, but now I wonder if I am just being old-fashioned. What do you recommend for her? — Amherst, Massachusetts
A: I’d recommend that she draw sharper boundaries with her mom. Asking family members for advice is entirely reasonable, but your outsourcing the question crosses the line into helicopter parenting. A 24-year-old is more than capable of navigating her own office politics.
It sounds as if her boss has already agreed to her schedule change one day a week, so I don’t see a need for any further discussion about why. If arriving an hour late isn’t causing any problems, she can just keep filling out the calendar. She absolutely shouldn’t feel any shame for going to therapy — everyone should try it! — but she doesn’t need to go out of her way to make sure everyone knows, either.
Work Friend is a cheeky New York Times advice column to help with careers, money and the sometimes grim, sometimes hilarious maze that is the contemporary office, from a rotating cast of advice-givers. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.