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by Abigail Van Buren

Tale of Teen Hanky Panky Should Be Told to Parents

DEAR ABBY: I work in the mailroom of a large company. Every day we deliver the mail that is sent to the people who work here. On some occasions, I deliver mail to people who have private offices. Sometimes, these people are having a meeting in their office and do not shut the door. When this happens, should I just give them their mail, or wait until they are finished talking to that person? I'm asking because sometimes I get dirty looks from those people while I'm giving them their mail -- like, "How dare you come into my office while someone is in here!"

Abby, I don't talk to them and I try to stay out of their way, because I know that someone walking in can be distracting. What is the correct mailroom etiquette? -- CONFUSED DELIVERER

DEAR CONFUSED: The universal signal for "Do Not Disturb" is a closed door. If the door is open, then you should be free to enter. However, since you are being given dirty looks for making deliveries while there is a conversation in progress, the next time the person is alone, ask what he or she would prefer under those circumstances. Another suggestion would be to stand quietly in the doorway for a few seconds and wait for the person to acknowledge you and motion you in.