Dear Ms. Demeanor,
We are renovating the apartment next door and, while blissfully separated from the dust and most of the noise, I also feel like I am not making enough of an effort to get to know the workmen or offer them food and drinks like I would if they were in my living space.
What is the proper etiquette for this situation?
Thanking you in advance,
Dear Renovation Rena,
Renovating an entire apartment takes money, time, patience, and often nerves of steel. Making the workplace as pleasant as possible need not cost you much more. I would introduce myself to all of the workers and acknowledge their contributions with smiles and compliments. Small, thoughtful gestures like donuts or bagels once a week, coffee if you are getting some for yourself, the occasional pizza party, and popsicles on a hot day are lovely.
You can also ask your contractor (or decorator if you are using one) for guidance. He or she may know best what is expected and appreciated.
Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.