DEAR ABBY: I recently landed a new job and was excited about doing work that would be directly in line with my education and background. I left a job of more than a decade to pursue this field. My problem is, I’m being asked to carry luggage, make coffee, run errands, etc. This was not in my job description, nor was it what I was hired for.

Abby, I have worked many intern positions. I do not believe I am too good for any job, but I have worked my way up and have abilities that could contribute greatly to this company. What they have me doing now is not beneficial for me or them.

If you believe I should say something, what should it be? I’m afraid they can easily find a substitute who may perform these tasks, as they aren’t every day, but it’s often enough to make me uncomfortable. It’s a small company, and my pay is good, so I don’t want to leave. Please advise me, Abby.


DEAR SCARED: I see nothing wrong with having a discussion with your employer. However, because you are so new to the job, it should be done delicately. Tell the person you feel you could be contributing more to the company than you are currently doing, but do not complain about the menial tasks. It often falls to the newest member of the team to do these things, and the last thing you want is to be perceived as someone who is not a team player. In time you will see if this job is the right fit for you.

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DEAR ABBY: My dad died of cancer a couple of months ago. While we were a bit estranged, I did love him, and his loss was painful. Despite this, I have accepted things and moved on.

The issue is that anytime I talk to my friends about it, they assume I’m really in shock. My friends are older, so I suspect they think it’s because I’m only 22, but it’s frustrating that they disregard my personal growth and the way I’ve dealt with his death.

I realize I have moved on fairly quickly, but the way I see it, death is a part of life, and what’s done is done. How can I explain to them that while I’m sad, I have accepted what happened without sounding like I didn’t care about my dad?


DEAR MOVED ON: Point out to your well-meaning friends that your relationship with your father may not have been like the ones they had with their fathers. That you were “a bit estranged” may have made his death less traumatic than if he had been a major part of your life. It should not be necessary to put on a display of sackcloth and ashes. Everyone grieves differently, so remind them of that.