DEAR ABBY: After reading "Invaded's" description of gossipy "Thelma," I was disgusted. That woman should be reported to personnel. And the card to the woman who'd had a miscarriage may have been extremely hurtful if she didn't want anyone to know.
- Disgusted in Fort Collins, Colo.
DEAR DISGUSTED: A number of people weighed in on "Invaded's" letter. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: "Thelma" has exposed herself and her employer to fines upward of $25,000. "Invaded" should contact the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, Office for Civil Rights. Her "gossip" is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. To file a complaint, go to www.hhs.gov/ocr/
- Joe in Atlanta
DEAR ABBY: A woman in our office always asked the most inappropriately personal questions and made everyone around her uncomfortable - until one of my friends suggested the following. All of us made a list of the 100 worst questions you could ever be asked. Whenever "our Thelma" came around, we picked one to sincerely and innocently ask her. After trying to hem and haw her way out of questions about her sex life, her hair dye and other things, she finally started avoiding us.
- Terry T., St. Joseph, Mo.
DEAR ABBY: I also live in New Bern, N.C., and gossip in this town is not limited to her law firm - it's pervasive. If you're not a close friend or relative providing emotional support, you should not be discussing the person's personal life. Period. *