DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are in our mid-40s and reside in a mobile home community. Most of our neighbors are seniors, and we live a quiet life. I have fibromyalgia, which limits my activities.
Our 73-year-old next-door neighbor, "Pearl," is driving me nuts. She's constantly finding things for me to do for her.
I used to help Pearl when she asked, or take her to the store -- but no more. She's a loudmouth who has embarrassed me in public. I used to take her to doctor appointments -- no more. She's addicted to prescription drugs and has stolen from me. Three doctors in six months dropped her. I've learned not to mention medications I'm taking or she'll hit me up for some.
Pearl talks horribly about our neighbors. She also lies. But the icing on the cake came when she bad-mouthed my own mother to my face.
Abby, my life is no longer my own. I can't go outside without Pearl hollering at me to come over. I used to have a special place in my garden where I could sit peacefully and write in my journal, but I haven't been out there in weeks because of her.
I've spoken to Pearl's daughter, but she says to "just ignore her." I'm at my wit's end. What should I do? -- TAMMY IN OHIO
DEAR TAMMY: Talk to her daughter again. Pearl's problems are so numerous they cannot be ignored. She needs a medical and psychological evaluation. Assure the daughter that she is not alone with this problem -- there are programs in place for seniors that can be accessed by contacting one's local office on aging. Please don't wait.
DEAR ABBY: I'm employed as a legal assistant in a law office with two other people: my boss, "Jerry," and my co-worker, "Evelyn." Before reading further, please understand they are not having an affair.
My problem is that Jerry shows extreme favoritism to Evelyn. Some examples:
(1) Jerry threw an elaborate party for Evelyn on her birthday and did nothing for mine, even though he was aware of the date.
(2) He purchased an "employee incentive" package from an airline to reward "deserving employees" with air miles. Within six months, he awarded all of them to Evelyn.
(3) He ordered business cards for my co-worker and none for me, even though we are both his assistants with the same title.
(4) I suspect Jerry gives bonuses to Evelyn and not to me -- that are based upon the "good work" that both she and I do for the firm.
(5) He's flying Evelyn and her boyfriend first-class to Cancun to attend a seminar with him.
(6) Evelyn and I both exceeded our allotted vacation time last year. Jerry made me pay back the extra vacation days I took, but didn't make the same request of her.
I realize that Evelyn has been a legal assistant for many more years than I have. However, it's obvious that our boss out-and-out favors her. What should I do about it, Abby? -- TREATED UNFAIRLY IN DENTON, TEXAS
DEAR TREATED UNFAIRLY: Take the hint and start looking for a job elsewhere. You are in a no-win situation.
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