DEAR ABBY: At my office, many employees participate in fund-raisers for church groups or schools. These fund-raisers involve buying items such as wrapping paper, chocolate bars, etc. I usually buy "whatever" because it's for a good cause.
One of my co-workers, "Robin," frequently asks the rest of us to chip in to raise money for her daughter's school. However, Robin recently admitted to me privately that the money she's collecting is actually for herself. She justified her actions by saying the funds are for a "worthy cause" -- HER TRIP TO PARIS.
Should I tell my co-workers about Robin's scam, or report her to the companies providing the products she's selling for "charity"? I am disgusted by her deceit and her inability to see anything wrong with what she's doing. -- SICK ABOUT IT IN ST. LOUIS
DEAR SICK ABOUT IT: By all means, speak up and tell your co-workers about her scheme. Robin's lack of ethics is appalling -- and may even be criminal. To remain silent makes you an accessory, so don't wait. Do it now.
DEAR ABBY: Two months ago, I told a boy at school I'll call Aaron that I've been infatuated with him. We are both 13. Aaron and I have been dating ever since my "confession," and I've been very happy with him until recently.
Lately, I can't stand him -- and I don't know why. I dread his phone calls, and I'm always trying to think up excuses not to see him.
Aaron has told me that I'm his whole world and he would kill himself if he ever "lost" me. This is my first relationship with a boy, and I don't know what to do.
Abby, please help. I want to end this thing with him, but I'm afraid of what he might do. -- SCARED AND WORRIED SICK IN KANSAS CITY
DEAR SCARED AND WORRIED: What Aaron is doing is emotional blackmail. On some level, he senses that you are losing interest and he is trying to make you responsible for his welfare.
Now is the time to tell your parents or another trusted adult exactly what is going on. Aaron's family should be informed about his self-destructive threats. Please don't delay.
In the future, don't be so quick to tie yourself to one person. Now is the time you should be enjoying activities with groups of friends.
DEAR ABBY: I was recently hired at a company that seems to be way out of my league. When I walked in, I saw young, beautiful, thin, well-bred, middle-class folks everywhere. I am none of those things. (Well, I am young.)
How does a person from one class work with another class without being noticed? By that I mean, how do I hide the fact that I don't fit in? -- FEELS LIKE A FRAUD IN FLORIDA
DEAR FEELS LIKE A FRAUD: Stop putting yourself down and anticipating problems that may never happen. If someone didn't think you'd fit in, you would not have been hired by your employer. Do your job well and you will be respected. Be friendly and reach out and you will make friends.
It's not what you look like or where you are from, it's what you have to offer that makes you a valued employee.
To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600