Q: It was my boss's 40th birthday recently. We made a fuss of her, but perhaps the humour about her getting old went a bit too far. She has had a face like thunder for the past week and she's making our lives hell. What should we do?
A: Let time pass. Under no circumstances dredge it all up and try to make amends; you'll simply keep the issue alive for longer. Age milestones affect people in fairly predictable ways. As they approach, they loom larger and larger. They're at their most potent on the day itself. But once a milestone has come and gone, its significance diminishes with every other day that passes. Until, that is, the next one looms - but that should give you all a good nine years. And next time you'll know what not to do.