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by Abigail Van Buren

Devoted Son Finds a Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

DEAR ABBY: About the husband who phoned his wife's boss to say she would not be in that day due to a death in the family: When asked who died, he stammered, and it was obvious he didn't know. I can beat that.

The New York City Department of Corrections gives its officers three days of paid "bereavement" time. Since no one checks up, and the policy is so generous, relatives drop like flies. (Always during the holidays or when beautiful weather is forecast.)

One guy I work with has had the worst luck imaginable. This spring his mother died for the fourth time in seven years. I'm not kidding. -- C.O. IN STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.

DEAR C.O.: My condolences to the officer who lost his mother -- again. But someone should warn this guy that by the time her ninth life is over, the personnel department may have learned to add. The Department of Corrections should be using only the most efficient time-management techniques, at least for those uniformed men and women on the right side of the bars.