DEAR ABBY: I am a 16-year-old girl and have a part-time job after school. From the look of things, I seem like a perfectly normal, happy teen-ager with everything going for me. My grades are honor roll. I have a loving family and caring friends.
However, things are not as they appear to be. My boss, a married man with three kids, is hugging, kissing and touching me in places he shouldn't be. I feel really uncomfortable at work and very intimidated. He does it in such a smooth way there is no way of stopping him. (It's hard to explain.) I don't want it to continue, and I'd like to quit this job.
The problem is, my family thinks this is the "dream job." I'm allowed to bring my homework and do it there. I work for only a few hours, and the work is easy. His family is nice to me, and his wife loves me like a sister.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. It has been a big burden keeping these feelings bottled up inside. I feel really frustrated, confused and used. Please help. -- INTIMIDATED IN TORONTO
DEAR INTIMIDATED: I don't blame you for feeling frustrated and confused. Your feelings are valid: You are being used. It makes me wonder how many of his other female employees are being subjected to his unwanted advances.
This man knows exactly what he's doing; he's taking advantage of your youth and inexperience. The name for it is sexual harassment. Do not help him by remaining passive and silent. Your parents should be told immediately. If you want to quit this job, you have my permission. But your parents should be told exactly why you chose to quit.
DEAR ABBY: We live next door to a military man and his wife. We like them both very much, and help each other with little things. His wife is older than he and has health problems.
My husband and I know positively that he's having an affair with a married woman he met several months ago when he was going through some additional training.
Knowing about his affair makes it difficult to be in their company. We certainly do not condone his behavior. We are very uncomfortable when certain things are said. We feel caught in the middle because we learned about his affair accidentally.
We would never butt into their business, but they are both friendly with us. We purposely avoid them at times. We know the affair is continuing, and that he's thinking of leaving his wife, but he doesn't want to be ruined financially.
If we suddenly distance ourselves from them, they'll wonder why. We feel trapped in our home because they always talk to us when we are in the yard.
Have you any suggestions about how to handle this situation? We're old enough to be his parents. -- MARY IN BREMERTON
DEAR MARY: A good neighbor is there to help, not judge. The way to handle this situation is to mind your own business. You are "trapped" in your home only if you choose to be. Unless they seek your advice, stay on your own side of the fence.
Everybody has a problem. What's yours? Get it off your chest by writing to Dear Abby, P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069. For a personal reply, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
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