DEAR ABBY: A woman here at work constantly asks to borrow money. The first time she did it, she caught me off guard and I gave her $20. The second time she sent me an email asking for a loan, I replied that I only had a few dollars.
I'm not the only person she asks. To be fair, she did return the $20 I loaned her, but isn't this akin to a hostile work environment?
We all avoid her, but we also have to work with her every day. Times are tough for everyone, and it's irritating that she thinks she's the only one with money problems.
Is there anything we can do short of ganging up on her and telling her to leave us all alone?
- Also Feeling the Pinch in Utah
DEAR ALSO FEELING THE PINCH: The next time the woman asks for a loan, tell her you're not in the loan business, and that you're not the only one who feels put upon. Suggest that unless she wants to become an outcast she will stop asking for money. If she persists after that, report what she's doing to HR as a group.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend who was raised Catholic. I'm not Catholic, and every time I attend a wedding or funeral for one of her family members I feel uncomfortable and awkward.
The Catholic Church offers beautiful, unique customs that I am simply ignorant about - like when to sit, kneel, recite, take bread, etc. I feel if I don't comply with customs at these events, I might come off as rude or disrespectful. On the other hand, if I do try, my ignorance may appear just as rude and disrespectful.
What is the right thing to do in situations like these?
- Mannerly in Indiana
DEAR MANNERLY: No rule of etiquette demands that you participate in the rituals of another person's religion. If you feel uncomfortable sitting while others kneel or stand, then follow their lead. Or, continue to sit quietly at the back of the church, which is perfectly acceptable. However, only members of the congregation in good standing should take communion.