DEAR ABBY: I'm a career woman, working for a family-owned business. Last year was difficult because there have been a number of layoffs and no raises. When I had my annual review, I received an outstanding evaluation but was again told no raise would be forthcoming because business is slow.
I could understand this because of the current economy if the owners of the company weren't taking expensive vacations and buying new luxury cars.
I have a hard time accepting there's no money for raises when they spend so extravagantly. I understand it's not my business how they spend their money, but it's difficult to swallow when I feel so taken advantage of. I'm not the only one here feeling the way I do, and it's beginning to create a hostile environment. Am I wrong to feel this way? -- BITTER IN THE NORTHEAST
DEAR BITTER: If your employers are claiming poverty while indulging in conspicuous consumption, your feelings are understandable. And as soon as the job market improves, I'm sure you will be only a part of the stampede of fellow employees seeking another job. With your outstanding reviews it shouldn't be too difficult to find one. Bide your time ...
DEAR ABBY: My daughter is being married in the fall and she has asked me to be her matron of honor. She has been through a lot, and I have supported her all the way. She says I am the only one who had faith in her, encouraged her and loved her no matter what.
Are moms supposed to be in their daughters' weddings? She doesn't want her dad in the wedding, so this makes it difficult. I am honored that she wants me to be her matron of honor. If her dad isn't in the wedding, should I be in it? I don't want any hard feelings from the other family members, but my daughter is determined to have me as her matron of honor. -- DONNA IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR DONNA: If what your daughter said is true, and you were the only one who had faith in her and loved her unconditionally, then you should accept her offer to stand with her at the altar. And yes, it has been done before.
DEAR ABBY: I am a freelance writer who works from home. I have flexibility when it comes to my work hours, but I decide that on my own terms. I have lost count of the number of times friends and family have asked me to baby-sit, have lunch or go out shopping with them because, according to them, writing isn't "real work" and working from home means having no fixed hours.
Last week my husband called me from his office and asked me to bring him some documents he had forgotten at home. When I realized it wasn't urgent, I told him no and that he had interrupted my train of thought. He has been sulking for days. Was I wrong?
In this digital age, with more people working from home, it still means adhering to a schedule. Oh, and one more thing -- please remind your readers that writing is very much a REAL job. -- FREELANCE WRITER IN TENNESSEE
DEAR FREELANCE WRITER: Consider it done. Writing requires concentration, and it IS a very real job. However, you may be bringing some of your problems on yourself by not informing your friends and family that you write between certain hours every day. And an effective way to isolate yourself and ensure you won't be interrupted by annoying phone calls would be to turn your phone off during the hours that you're writing.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)