Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Creepy Colleague Makes Young Woman Ill at Ease

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 25-year-old recent college graduate who just started a new job. I love it here because I'm doing something I care about and earn decent money. I like all of my co-workers with the exception of one. This person, "Jim," interrupts my work a lot, says things like "Hey, beautiful!" and calls me things like "baby girl." The other day he said, "It's too hot outside." I replied cheerfully, "Sorry, I had nothing to do with it," and he said in a creepy manner, "You have a lot to do with it."

This is bothersome because I think Jim is a nice person, but he makes me uncomfortable. He has worked here a lot longer than I have. I don't want to say anything to the boss because I'm the new girl. I have been here only a few weeks, and I don't want to make trouble.

At the same time, I'm tired of Jim walking into my office, sitting down, talking for long periods and making off-color remarks. If I close my door, I'll appear anti-social, but I'm tired of being badgered because he's bored or because I'm the only young female in the office. I don't want to get anyone in trouble -- I just want it to stop. What should I do? -- TRAPPED IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR TRAPPED: You are entitled to be comfortable in the workplace and free from unwanted conduct. State and federal laws guarantee you the right to be free of unwelcome talk based on gender. Ideally, you should tell this man that he is making you uncomfortable. However, if you cannot bring yourself to do it, I urge you to document what is going on and bring your concerns to the attention of your boss or the person who handles human resources at your company.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 26-year-old female in the Navy. I have been divorced for two years and have two beautiful little boys.

Last February, I met a man and I have fallen head over heels. He's great with my boys and wonderful to me. He has expressed that although he loves my kids, he also wants children of his own. My problem: I had a tubal ligation after my youngest was born, and now I regret it. I think this is the only thing that is preventing us from going to the next level. What should I do? -- HELPLESS IN WASHINGTON

DEAR HELPLESS: Call your ob-gyn and ask if the tubal ligation can be reversed. It is sometimes possible to reverse the procedure. (The same is true of a vasectomy.) If it is not possible, consult an infertility specialist. These days, there is more than one way to skin a cat or become a mother.

DEAR ABBY: Our son is married to a sweet girl whom we love. My only problem with her is that she has no pictures of us in her house. She has wedding pictures on display, and some of her family and friends -- but none of my husband and me.

They have a new baby, and I go there and take care of him one day a week. She has a baby book with photos, and there are no pictures of us in there, either.

We haven't said anything to her or our son, but each time we go there it bugs me. I came home upset the other day, and my husband said to let it go. I'm afraid if I speak up, my son will say I'm overreacting. What should I do? -- SAD IN AKRON

DEAR SAD: Have a nice photograph taken of yourself and your husband, autograph and frame it, and give it to your son and daughter-in-law for Christmas.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600