2004_04_askwork.jpgI have a co-worker who I’m interested in getting a little more friendly with. The interest seems mutual, especially since he periodically invites me out to do things with him. Unfortunately, every time he’s asked me out somewhere, I’ve already had other plans! I’ve turned him down four or five times now, not because I’m not interested, just because I’ve coincidentally been busy on the nights he asks. Now he’s stopped asking me all together. How do I tell him that I really would like to go out sometime, that I’m not rejecting him?
Panicked girl, Hoboken

Ah, the life of a New Yorker; there is always something going on!

You could turn the tables. If you genuinely want to spend time with this guy outside of work, why not ask him to something? Invite him out for a drink after work or to a concert or dinner or whatever. You should also just tell him the truth; you aren’t rejecting him, you’ve just always had other obligations on nights when he’s asked you somewhere before. If your schedules are just truly incompatible, buy him lunch during the workday one day or make some time in your busy schedule.