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Dear Wow: Deflecting Clingy Co-workers

Dear Wow,
I just started a new job, which I love. A woman in my department has invited me out for drinks a few times and made it clear she'd like to become friends. She's perfectly nice, but to be honest, I don't find her all that fun, and I'm not interested in hanging out. How do I deflect?

Dear Sydney,
Ah, the new job--a veritable landmine of awkward social situations. It's great that Friendly Franny has already pegged you as an ally, but it's unfortunate that you don't enjoy her company as much as she does yours. The bad news: You need to make her think you're friends. The good news: You don't have to hang out all the time. Just employ the age-old-white-lie tactic--"I'd love to but I've got spelunking lessons." "Oh no, that's the same night as my ear candeling appointment." Then follow up with a work-related compliment--"How are your expense templates always so organized? You'll have to show me your tricks!” Eventually, she'll get the point.

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