Ask Clare: The guy running my office’s March Madness brackets is a jerk

Welcome to Ask Clare, our advice column.  Have a question, dilemma, or quandary?  Send it to Clare in an email or on her Facebook page.


My office is doing a March Madness betting scheme. The guy in the cubicle next to me is organized it. He asked me if I wanted in. I said no. I like sports but I am not a big basketball fan. Now, whenever anyone comes by to talk to him about it, he loudly mentions ‘the cheapskates in the office who didn’t enter because they are afraid to lose.’ I let it go the first and second time. What can I say to get him to stop talking trash? – Basketball blows

Basketball blows,

Talk trash back or let it go. Your management may prefer the latter. In terms of what to say, keep it above the belt. You could also take your own bets. Instead of basketball teams, bet on the next person to get fired (perhaps for wasting time on sports betting at work). – Clare



All of my family lives in the valley and I graduate with a Bachelor’s from UCR this June. I want to live in the valley but I feel like my degree didn’t prepare me for the ‘real world.’ I am thinking about what to do with my life and am wondering what the best career options are. I want to make good money but I don’t want to work 60 hours a week. I don’t want to go crazy in debt for more schooling. How should I figure out what to do with my life? – Big picture

Big picture,

Many people never figure it out. Hopefully, you won’t be one of them. The valley has its deficits economically (and otherwise). Hospitality is our largest sector but often calls for long hours and lower wages, especially at first. Government jobs in our area pay well compared to the cost of living. Do a lot of internships. Talk to people who have their sh*t together personally and professionally. Get all the advice you can from them. – Clare



A guy I am seeing has super bad breath. Otherwise he’s a total catch. He’s a great kisser, handsome and funny. Is there a tactful way to tell him to freshen up? – Doublemint stat

Doublemint stat,

Have you tried offering your beau a stick of gum or a mint before you kiss him? Next time he uses gum or a mint, give him your best kiss (perhaps bite his lip a bit) and tell him you like him minty fresh. – Clare