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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am the executive secretary for the president of a large national company. My office overlooks the entrance to the building, so I see everyone who enters or leaves. A few months ago, while standing at my window talking to a male staff member, I saw a woman I'll call "Lois" leave the building, get into a car and leave with the driver. I commented to the staffer, "Isn't that nice? There's Lois leaving for lunch with her husband." The man replied, "That's not her husband; that's her latest boyfriend."

Abby, I have seen Lois leave and return in that car at least twice a week for months. I assumed it was her husband because she has kissed this man goodbye right outside my office window on many occasions.

The staffer then told me about the affair he'd had with Lois that nearly ended his marriage -- and I believe it, because a few days ago I spotted her leaving with the man again and followed them. I now regret it because I was appalled at what I saw when they parked in a remote area. She began undressing in the car!

Most people think Lois is a loving wife and mother. She is liked by her manager and co-workers. Should I go to human resources and report this? What if they don't believe me? How will this reflect on me? I see her in-laws in church every Sunday and at church functions. Should I just sit back and not mention the immorality?

My heart tells me to act one way; my head tells me it could affect my job in the long term. Please advise, but don't reveal my name or location. -- BETWIXT AND BETWEEN IN CORPORATE AMERICA

DEAR B AND B: Listen to your head. Lois is doing her job and has the respect of her supervisor and co-workers. For you to have followed her on her lunch hour was a mistake. You are not the local representative of the ministry of virtue and vice. If you report this woman's marital infidelity, you will earn the reputation of company busybody.

Sooner or later, Lois' affair will come to light. However, her private life is none of your business -- and if you are wise, you will not make it so. If you feel morally obligated, the person you should talk to is Lois.

Your letter brought to mind another one that appeared in the column years ago:

DEAR ABBY: We work in a large office. Our office manager -- I'll call him "Marvin" -- is a middle-aged family man. The boss's secretary, "Sissy," is a shapely young divorcee. Since Sissy came to work here, she and Marvin have been spending a lot of time together in the file room with the door locked. What they do in there is their business, but we're tired of covering for them when the boss comes looking for Sissy. What do you suggest? -- THE OFFICE GANG

DEAR GANG: Next time the boss comes looking for Sissy, tell him to look in the file room under "Marvin."

DEAR ABBY: I am going to a fund-raising party held in a park in San Francisco. The invitation says the dress is "casual sheik." Do you have any idea what that means? -- LOST IN S.F.

DEAR LOST: Unless the theme is Middle Eastern, the word should be "chic." In this case that means the dress should be "dressy casual."

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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