Dear Abby: My co-worker takes advantage of our employer’s generous sick leave policy and calls in sick frequently. She will return the next day with no outward sign of illness and has, on several occasions, returned with a fresh haircut and manicure. When she’s at work, she frequently steps away from her desk for personal calls.
I finally said something to our supervisor because I feel taken advantage of. Having worked in this office for more than 10 years, I know the work inside and out, so I can do my work — and hers — with ease. I actually like my co-worker, but I feel she’s taking me for granted. Our supervisor had a talk with her, but it didn’t help. Would it be unreasonable for me to have a frank discussion with her directly? I foresee that it may cause a cool reception, but I’m losing patience.
— Co-Worker in Conundrum
Dear Co-Worker: It’s not unreasonable to speak with this co-worker, but what have you to gain by confronting her and what do you have to lose? If it will cause a frostier work environment, don’t do it. A better solution would be to STOP DOING HER WORK FOR HER. Having to face the consequences of slacking may give her an incentive to change her ways.
Dear Abby: My husband of many years is lovely and sweet every morning, but after drinking, which he does every day starting at 4 or 5 o’clock, his personality changes. I have to be extremely careful of every word I say or I will be the recipient of his sarcasm and/or anger, so I’m anxious and worried every evening until he goes to sleep, which, fortunately, is very early.
In the morning he expects me to be happy and cheerful as if nothing went on the night before. I have tried to discuss this with him, but it doesn’t help. After years of this, I have become depressed and would really appreciate your advice.
— At Wit’s End in Florida
Dear At Wit’s End: You are married to an alcoholic. Marriage to a verbally abusive alcoholic would make anybody depressed! I can only wonder why you have chosen to tolerate this for so long.
The path toward a solution to your problem would start with locating the nearest Al-Anon meeting and attending some of them. If you do, you will find the support and help you are looking for. You can find a nearby meeting by visiting al-anon.org/info.
Dear Abby: I have a handyman doing work on my home. I noticed that when he uses the bathroom, he is in there a while and going number two. My anxiety levels are through the roof. Do I tell him anything, and what should I say?
— Nervous Lady in California
Dear Lady: May I share a truism? When we gotta go, we gotta go. If your handyman leaves the bathroom in the same condition when he exits as when he goes in there, you have nothing to be “anxious” about. Be gracious, and when you need a handyman there will always be someone willing to help you.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com.