See our responses to some advice column submissions below. Submit your own request for advice here!
I joined a consulting club semesters ago and now I am one of the head officers on the core team. Unfortunately, I am utterly disgusted by my co-leader on the team on every level: she lacks professionalism and is excessively incompetent in her work, she is an emotionally unstable social irritant who regularly lashes out at everyone, and she is a total liability to have near any substances. But even though all of this is so miserable, I don’t want to leave the firm simply because I was assigned a terrible partner. I get that I should talk to the president but I don’t want to kick somebody out who’s been in the club just as long as me just because of spite. What should I do?
Your situation, sadly enough, reflects a core tenet of a fast-paced industry like consulting: Two high-powered, accomplished individuals can never work successfully together, and any attempt to do so will inevitably end in destruction. As both of you are used to being in positions of great power and responsibility, you will pick at and gnaw on each other’s flaws until all that is left is bone and dust. While your assessment has reflected this quite clearly, it is wrong on one count: talking to the president of your organization would be folly. Given that the dynamic between you and your co-leader is destined to implode, a passive solution will not achieve your ends. No, there appears to be only one way for you to end up on top:
Challenge your co-leader to trial by combat. She will be bound by the Ancient Codes of Consulting to accept your challenge, lest she forsake her honor. When in the ring, assert your dominance and show no mercy. It may seem brutal, but remember that only one of you can stay. Your president will respect you, and your club members will respond positively to your show of strength.
My roommate sleeps on an air mattress on the floor and constantly complains about how he is unable to go to sleep. His tossing and turning really keep me up at night, but he refuses to get a real mattress. What can I do?
Having been roommates of air mattress users ourselves, we greatly empathize with your plight. However, we urge you to have tolerance. Given your roommate’s sensitivity to bedding, it is possible that they have royal heritage. There is just one way to know for sure: The Fall 1722 catalog from Andersen & Marshall contains mattresses with a variety of hay counts, bedbug species, and hidden vegetables. We suggest you gift one to your roommate. If he continues to face discomfort, we advise you to simply put up with a sleepless semester to reap the benefits of sharing accommodations with a member of the Danish monarchy.
In spring 2021, I bike-locked my neck to Crossroads because Cal Dining was refusing to cut ties with Tyson Foods, a company that tortures animals, pollutes the environment, and abuses workers. After this protest, Chancellor Christ agreed to meet with me and invited Christopher Henning, the Executive Director of Cal Dining. In this meeting, he lied to my face, saying that Tyson does not use factory farms and only uses small family farms. But Tyson is the largest meat producer in the world—they literally supply McDonald’s! After calling him out, I flew across the country and investigated a Tyson farm. It was indeed a factory farm and the conditions of the animals were terrible. Anyway, now he refuses to talk to me, and Cal Dining and Chancellor Christ are continuing to stand by this terrible company. How can I get them to change their policies?
This is a tricky one. While we are unsurprised by the forthright dishonesty displayed by campus administration, we would’ve expected them to deny you a meeting altogether. This suggests that they do not take you seriously enough to understand that you cannot be mollified with attention and platitudes; their attitude definitely inhibits your cause. Thus, we propose two methods for really demonstrating that you will not budge:
- Bike-lock yourself to Christopher Henning. Do not cut ties with him until he cuts ties with Tyson. Be the weight of his sins. Also, pack water, snacks, and warm clothes. Maybe bring a book? There’s no telling how long you’ll be attached to Henning so please take care of yourself!
- Work with Taylor Swift to splice together footage from your visit to Tyson with campus administration’s high school senior portraits, creating a music video for “Vigilante Shit.” This must be done in strict confidence until it gets released, wherein you must dress for revenge in a chicken suit and blast the song on Sproul.
I live in a 1-bedroom apartment with two roommates. They are best friends who sleep in the very large living room (I avoid using the kitchen as much as possible so I don’t bother them) and split their half of the rent between themselves. Last year, my two ex-roommates tried to drag me through the mud, destroy my sense of self-esteem, and manipulate me into believing I’m a terrible person. Now I have major trust issues. My gut is quite good at reading people’s intentions, and it doesn’t like something about my new roommates. But with Berkeley housing being Berkeley housing, my approach right now is to avoid interacting with them too much. Do my roommates think the space arrangement is unfair and hate me for it? Will they take advantage of me someday, and if so, how can I prevent this?
Well, if your roommates hate you for your collective living situation, we’d be happy to take their place. Your apartment setup and general conscientiousness sound like a dream compared to the rat-infested $18,000/month 1-bedroom that our staff share. Seriously, shoot us a message if you plan to replace your roommates. They would be better off elsewhere if they decide to hate you for your arrangement. Point being, they’re probably already taking advantage of you being a good roommate, so the best move is to boot them out and let us move in. We promise we’re clean!