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Ask Anthea

Friday 6 September 2013, 10:51

Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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Ask Anthea Ask Anthea

Super-temp Anthea Jennings has certainly made her mark at Lilian’s company Amside Property Services. With her no-nonsense, methodical approach, she’s been solving problems left, right and centre.

So who better to give advice to some of Borsetshire’s more troubled residents in this, the first of an occasional series?

 

Dear Anthea,

I have a friend – well, more of an acquaintance – who has fallen on hard times. Recently, he has even resorted to sleeping rough. As a Christian, I’ve tried to help him as best I can but he is a proud man and it is difficult to get him to accept our good-intentioned offers of assistance. What can I do?

Stablegirl

Dear Stablegirl,

I think you need to take a hard look at yourself and decide why you want to interfere in this man’s life. Are you trying to impress an authority figure, or perhaps compensate for a recent change in family circumstances? In my experience, well-meaning amateurs can often do more harm than good. Unfortunates like this are usually best left to the proper authorities. To get involved with them can often spread the misery, not reduce it. Leave well alone.


Dear Anthea,

I used to be very happy in my job, but my new boss constantly finds fault with what I do. It’s got to the stage where I am doubting my abilities and dreading going to work each day. How can I break out of this cycle of bullying?

Less-Than-Perky

Dear Less-Than-Perky,

Are you sure that you are in fact as capable as you thought you were? Perhaps your new boss is right to question your abilities. In my extensive working experience, I have encountered many mediocre performers, who often have an inflated option of their own capabilities. You may be one of them. Hope that helps!


Dear Anthea,

I am in a relationship with the most wonderful man in the world. He’s kind, thoughtful, incredibly handsome, successful in his career and, er, bedroom relations are the best I’ve ever had. There’s just one tiny snag and that’s that he’s married – although they are living apart and he only sees her occasionally. How can I get him to commit to me fully? We are deeply in love, and he is even fond of my little boy.

Lovestruck

Dear Lovestruck,

They always go back to their wives. Get out now.

 

Anthea was giving dictation to Archers scriptwriter and web producer Keri Davies

 

 

 

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Comments

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 1.

    Dear Anthea, I have fallen for a woman in a the village where I am working. She has a child and a rather awkward family. The trouble is I am married and my wife is in our lovely country home in Hampshire. I am torn as to what to do. This woman whom I shall call H is quite nice but has different values to mine. We are always 'at it' and have fun but the relationship is our secret.Do you think it could work? Regards R. T.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    Dear R.T

    They always go back to their test tubes. Get out while you can

    Anthea

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    dear Anthea, I normally don't ask advice as I am usually right about everything. However, my boss is on holiday in Italy for a month and has appointed a very unsatisfactory temporary manager, a most improbable choice for a country house hotel, indeed, he would be more suited to a holiday camp. Do you think I should contact my boss on holiday or simply stage a coup before she returns? Doing nothing is not an option!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    Dear Anthea, My mum's ex partner is getting married and he has asked me to organise the stag do. He is like a father to me, so do you think I should treat him like a mate and dress him up in drag and tie him to a lamp post or should we just go bowling? J. Lumberjack.

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 5.

    Not a fan of Kathy's, let's face it, she is a bit wet, but trivialising bullying just isn't funny in my opinion. Anthea's answer illustrates the very tactic used by bullies to get their victims to doubt themselves and their competency.

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 6.

    Hilarious. Not.

  • rate this
    -11

    Comment number 7.

    Personally, I find Anthea's answers hilarious; they're exactly what she WOULD say! The joke is partly that Anthea would be a lousy agony aunt as she doesn't exactly have the gift of empathy.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 8.

    "…she doesn't exactly have the gift of empathy."

    A trait clearly shared by the SWs' self-appointed apologists.

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 9.

    Funny how unamusing I find this sort of silliness when it makes light of really nasty behaviour by a workplace bully.

    I don't think that Anthea would be the sort of stupid person who thought it deserved that someone she didn't know was "dreading going to work each day".

    I think less of the people responsible for this blog than I did before it was published.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 10.

    I've encountered several "Martyns" in real life, and on that basis, I think it's an error of judgement by the BBC to treat this as a joke.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 11.

    Workplace bullying is not funny and should not be treated as such. The SWs have missed an opportunity to inform and educate on the steps which can, should and would be taken in such cases. It is especially disappointing after the sensitive treatment of Kathy's rape storyline and the support she got then. Almost as if the SWs have blanked it out.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 12.

    I just want to add my name to those who object to the trivialisation of workplace bullying. Are you intending to respond to any of the negative comments, or do you just, sponge-like, soak it all up?

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 13.

    It seems that several here cannot cope with "Black Humour".

    Their loss.

    I think the ghastly Kathee deserves a bit of torment, though I would prefer to hear her put over someone's knee for a good spanking.

    Anyway; I am sure the unrealistically awful Martyn will get his comeuppance. Kathee moves to GG Health Spa job? (Do I correctly recall it was he former job too?)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 14.

    I'm sorry if you didn't like the way in which the subject of workplace bullying was reflected here. But I would point to the actual on-air story, which is portraying the issue to a very wide audience and showing the misery it can cause for the victim. As it happens, I was the scriptwriter who devised this particular story.

    I have a lot of sympathy for people who are on the receiving end of this sort of treatment but Anthea's column is just a bit of fun. I think there's room for both approaches.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 15.

    >dear Anthea, I normally don't ask advice as I am usually right about everything. However, my boss is on holiday in Italy for a month and has appointed a very unsatisfactory temporary manager, a most improbable choice for a country house hotel, indeed, he would be more suited to a holiday camp. Do you think I should contact my boss on holiday or simply stage a coup before she returns? Doing nothing is not an option!

    Dear Correspondent,
    Stage a coup? You obviously think you could do the job better than the temporary stand-in, which makes me think that you may well have been passed over for this position. You need to examine your motives and attitudes before taking any radical actions.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 16.

    >Dear Anthea, My mum's ex partner is getting married and he has asked me to organise the stag do. He is like a father to me, so do you think I should treat him like a mate and dress him up in drag and tie him to a lamp post or should we just go bowling? J. Lumberjack.

    Dear Mr Lumberjack,

    Ugh. Just seeing the words 'stag do' fills me with horror. One can't go out in Felpersham of a Saturday evening any more because of the herds of drunken youngsters, with their obscene chanting and unfunny matching T-shirts. And the men are even worse.

    This man who has been like a father to you sounds like a level-headed, mature sort of fellow, so why not organise a convivial home-cooked meal, followed by a game of Cluedo? I'm sure it would be just his sort of thing.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 17.

    On the issue of 'trivializing workplace bullying', I must be listening to The Archers from a different planet. Yes, Martyn could be seen as a bully, (although my description would be anal-retentive humdrum bore) but I've heard Kathy standing up to him rather well, not to mention laughing at him behind his back, re. his toupee etc. And I'm sure his comeuppance is on the way!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 18.

    Dear Anthea,

    My daughter has recently gone to Yorkshire to work for a year. Even though she is entirely ghastly and annoying she at least provided some talking points at home. Now she has flown the nest I fear all I and my earnest but dull husband will have to talk about are cows' uteruses (uteri?) and our son's rapidly expanding chicken empire. What shall I do?
    RA

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 19.

    Dear RA

    I think you are taking your enterprising children and hard working husband rather for granted. Not everyone is as lucky as you - some (not I, necessarily) would die for an earnest but dull husband.

    Perhaps you should take more interest in others working on the farm, if you find your interest is not captivated by your family - perhaps one of your co-workers/cow workers?

    Anthea

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 20.

    Martyn's bar bill will be the deciding factor when Kathy asks the BL board to intervene.

 

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