Money expert Caroline Cakebread answers readers’ most pressing questions.
Dear Caroline, I have a co-worker who just came back from vacation looking like a totally different person. We’ve all noticed that her face is much fuller and her chin is totally different. We’re pretty sure she’s had plastic surgery. In fact, I hardly recognized her when she walked in on Monday. This co-worker and I are friends at the office and now I feel awkward. Should I say something? I feel really weird pretending not to notice that something has changed.
Dina from Calgary
A: Given that cosmetic surgery is a huge trend right now, I think we all need to get used to seeing people who’ve had a nip and tuck here and there, whether it’s at work or in social situations. So it’s no big surprise that you might have a co-worker who’s decided to go the cosmetic surgery route to alter her appearance.
But I do have an issue with your reaction to your co-worker’s change in appearance. You say she is a “friend” at work – so why are you gossiping about her behind her back? Not only does gossip like that creates a toxic environment at the office, it’s also really mean.
Second, remember that this is a co-worker. Should you ask her outright if she’s had anything “done”? Absolutely not. You might feel weird about her change in appearance, but you are at work. That means it is totally inappropriate to ask your co-worker questions about whether or not she has had plastic surgery. After all, how would you feel if someone at work started asking you super personal questions about your medical history? Enough said.
Bottom line: If you think she looks great, then just say, “You look great.” Otherwise, keep the prying questions and judgey gossip under wraps and wish your co-worker and friend the best.
Do you have a money or career question you’d like answered? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.