2016-09-16 / Entertainment

Reader questions run-down office space

Sense & Sensitivity

DEAR HARRIETTE: After almost a decade of working through the state, I have decided it is time to open my first private practice. I scoped out locations in my town, and I think I found the right office for my budget. The problem is, the office looks a little rundown. I don’t have the funds to completely renovate the space, but I think I would drive away clients if I were to open my practice this way. I need the money, though. Do you think I should open with the promise of renovating soon? I don’t see another way right now. – Fixer Upper, Upper Marlboro, Maryland

DEAR FIXER UPPER: Is there any way you can stay on the job long enough to save the requisite funds to complete the basics of the renovation? By your own account, you say the new office in its current state will drive away clients. Unless you can come up with an incentive that will promote your business and allow for the space to be imperfect, you should stay in your job. But give that some thought. What can you come up with to attract clients to your business despite the shabby environs? If you can make it worth the wait for a spruced-up space, go for it. Otherwise, wait and get everything in proper order.

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DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I are older parents to one child. Our daughter has just become a teenager, and while she does enjoy spending time with us, it can be torturous for her to go to adults-only parties that last for hours with no friends. Knowing this, whenever I can manage it, I find her something else to do.

Recently, my husband ran into an old friend from college and was excited to show off his family to the guy and his friends. My husband’s friend invited us to a dinner party, but I cannot go because I have been under the weather. My husband insists that my daughter go anyway. While I imagine it will be nice for our daughter to meet these people, I’m certain she will be bored. Given that she could stay at home with me and chill and be more comfortable, what can I do to make it possible for her to stay home? How can I convince him to go have fun and let the teenager stay home with me? – Compassion for the Teen, Milwaukee

DEAR COMPASSION FOR THE TEEN: If you can capture your husband’s attention, remind him of how painful being the only teen in a room can be. Acknowledge that for him it would be great to show off your daughter, but what about her? Get him to think about her for a few minutes, and see if that helps him to reconsider. Remind your husband that your daughter will probably want to come home before he does. Ask him to at least split the difference for the curfew for their evening.

— Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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