DEAR ABBY: How do I tell my boss that her incessant talking keeps me from getting my job done? I am currently a week behind because I was out sick for several days last week, and my boss won't stop talking and let me catch up.
She isn't married and doesn't have many friends, so I know her need for friendship carries over to work -- but it's starting to make me very stressed. Then again, she's my boss. How do I deal with this? -- FALLING BEHIND IN ALABAMA
DEAR FALLING BEHIND: Your boss may not be aware the extent to which you have fallen behind in your work, so tell her -- especially if you are doing something that might be time-sensitive. Explain that you are conscientious and don't want to let her down -- and if she wants to talk, suggest you do it over lunch. Then cross your fingers and hope she takes you up on it.