DEAR ABBY: I have a serious problem with my supervisor at work. I'll call her Lydia. I began working for Lydia last year after being laid off for four months from another company. Since then, I've been picked on and harassed unmercifully. I find myself "walking on eggshells" and feeling anxious every day. Lydia is constantly looking for something about me to criticize. She does not treat anyone else this way, and I cannot figure out the best way to deal with her.
Please don't tell me to complain to the human resources department because I have already tried that. I was told to fill out a grievance report and submit it to Lydia's boss -- who I have heard say: "Lydia makes all the decisions. I trust her judgment and I support her to the end."
I have been documenting Lydia's treatment of me since last spring. I cannot afford to lose my job; however, I don't know if I have the emotional strength to tolerate the abuse much longer. -- TIRED OF GETTING YELLED AT IN DAYTON, OHIO
DEAR TIRED: Make sure you're doing a good job and are punctual about attendance. Continue documenting Lydia's treatment. Since "complaining" has not helped, present copies of your documentation to the human resources director. That should get the director's attention. If the situation doesn't improve, start looking for another job -- and send a copy of your documentation to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), along with a letter of complaint.
DEAR ABBY: My 35-year-old daughter, "Linda," moved back home to live with my husband and me. She recently attempted suicide and is now going to counseling for substance abuse and depression. I have tried hard to avoid bringing up old issues that have created problems between us in the past. One issue that keeps recurring, however, is the embarrassing way Linda dresses. The clothes she wears make her look cheap and available.
Should we bite our tongues and keep our mouths shut? -- SILENTLY HURTING IN GEORGIA
DEAR SILENTLY HURTING: Refrain from saying anything critical that could be blown out of proportion at this sensitive time. Your daughter is dealing with far more serious issues than fashion faux pas right now. When it's appropriate, her counselor will probably address the issue of how she is packaging herself. So be patient. In situations like this, timing is everything.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Dan," and I divorced six years ago when our daughter, "Jessica," was 3 months old. Jessica and her father are very close and visit each other often. The problem is, Dan and his father had an argument several years ago and haven't talked since. Jessica has not seen her grandfather for several years, and she asks me what happened to him.
Would it be OK for me to contact Dan's father? I don't want to overstep my bounds or do anything to strain the friendly relationship I have with Dan. I don't see why Jessica can't visit her grandfather even though the "grown-ups" can't get along. Please advise. -- CONFUSED IN NORTHRIDGE, CALIF.
DEAR CONFUSED: Before making any phone calls to Grandpa, first discuss it with Dan. Tell him that Jessica has been asking about her grandfather. It's possible that your daughter's request will cause some fences to be mended, so think positive.
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