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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am absolutely outraged. I am a young woman of 23 who was brought up by parents who knew my whereabouts every minute of the day until I was married. Now, as the manager of a suburban fast-food restaurant, I am the supervisor and confidante to a number of fine teen-agers.

These kids come from well-to-do homes, but their parents are totally irresponsible. My current pique stems from a robbery 10 days ago. I and two workers, both 17-year-old girls, were closing up late Friday night when we were confronted by several armed men. The rules are strict: Don't resist. We didn't. The three of us were taken into the back room, bound hand and foot with duct tape, gagged and left hog-tied on the floor. When the men left, we struggled but it was evident that we wouldn't be able to break loose or go for help.

My husband was working night shift and would not miss me -- but surely, I thought, the girls' parents would come looking for them. As we huddled together, unable to do much more than mumble through the tape on our mouths, I listened for the sound of cars and the girls' worried parents. I figured it would be an hour at worst. Abby, THEY NEVER CAME! The phone never even rang. Workers arriving at 6 a.m. found us still bound and huddling. We had spent the entire night tied up on the floor, and the girls were apparently not missed.

At this point, I actually feel more anger toward the parents of these girls than for the men who robbed us. We were not hurt, and I can understand why it was necessary to tie us up. But what kind of parents are unaware when their teen-aged daughters are gone all night? I am ... BOUND AND BOILING IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR BOUND AND BOILING: You have written a letter that is sure to generate comments, and I don't blame you for being outraged. As long as children live under their parents' roof, they are the responsibility of the parent. Because children come from well-to-do homes does not automatically guarantee that they have caring, involved, concerned parents. In this case, I would say that the parents weren't doing an adequate job -- and that everyone concerned is fortunate this episode didn't end in a tragedy.

DEAR ABBY: Thank you for your recent acknowledgment of jurors. I, too, have been called for jury duty, and I griped and grumbled during the process. I will never gripe again.

Last year my father was murdered. The perpetrator was tried in April. The jury did an incredible job of deliberating for 14 hours after a three-day trial. They are to be commended for doing one of the hardest things a human being has to do -- to sit in judgment of another person.

I would like to thank the men and women who are willing to go through such an ordeal. -- ELIZABETH IN WINTER PARK, FLA.

DEAR ELIZABETH: I would like to thank them, too. As your traumatic experience illustrates, it's vital that our juries be composed of dedicated and conscientious citizens who are willing to make the sacrifice and do their duty.

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