My son is a police officer in the same town where I work (population 6,000). Over the last five years, I have been confronted by co-workers who have been cited by him. I have tried many responses, but the hits keep coming.
I have told them that when he does his job, it has nothing to do with me. I have tried reminding them that he has a boss they can file a complaint with. I have tried joking, and I have gotten upset.
Last week, things got worse. My supervisor was pulled over by another officer from the same department. She was cited for multiple infractions and her vehicle was towed. She proceeded to call me at home and tell me to deliver a message to my son that all the officers in that department are "#! !" Of all people, she knows how hard it has been for me. Abby, I was shocked.
I have to work with this woman in the same classroom every day. (Yes, she's a teacher.) Please tell me how to handle this.
- Trapped in Northern California
DEAR TRAPPED: If she's treating you differently in the classroom, you will have to have a talk with her about it because it could affect your career. And I am sure she'd prefer that you not be forced to take this matter to the principal of the school.
Your supervisor's car may have been towed because she was so smashed she couldn't make it safely home. When people have overindulged, they often become overly emotional and show poor judgment - which is the condition the woman appears to have been in when she called you. It is entirely possible that she no longer remembers anything about that conversation.
It appears your son and his cohorts are doing their job conscientiously and effectively. Please don't allow those they have ticketed to intimidate you. They have no one to blame but themselves for their predicament.
DEAR ABBY: It's snowbird time again in the Sunbelt. After a long hot summer, our family looks forward to these mild winter days. That is, except for the inevitable arrival of the "Snowbirds." I'm avoiding the temptation to use their real names.
These two "birds" don't fly in with just a suitcase and a few things on hangers. They arrive complete with a 40-foot motor home and an excitable cocker spaniel with a serious incontinence problem.
These people know my husband and I have full-time jobs and four children who are all involved in after-school activities. We have neither the time, the legal parking space nor the desire to have them here.
This is especially hard for me to swallow because while I was growing up, these relatives never once sent me a birthday or Christmas card, never came to any of my recitals or my high school graduation, nor did they respond to the invitation to my wedding.
What can I do with these people? (Please don't suggest murder - we've considered it.) But we think our chances of getting a jury of 12 snowbird hosts are slim.
- Annually Agitated in Arizona
DEAR AGITATED: I have an easier solution. When the Snowbirds call to tell you they're coming, inform them that you won't be hosting them this year - and pass along the address of the nearest RV park. You are under no obligation to host anyone who isn't welcome, and you have already been taken advantage of enough. *
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable - and most frequently requested - poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby - Keepers Booklet, Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)