DEAR ABBY: I work in a large, open office with five other people. We all collaborate on the same projects. When our office was recarpeted, we rearranged our desks. I now sit next to a woman I'll call Ginger, who has one of the worst work ethics I have ever seen.
Ginger spends much of the day on personal e-mail, playing computer solitaire, taking frequent smoke breaks, sometimes even paying her bills and answering personal correspondence on company time. Our new supervisor is clueless about it.
On top of that, I recently heard Ginger lie to the supervisor about how she had so much work she couldn't complete an assignment.
Should I tell our supervisor about Ginger's work habits? Should I say something to Ginger? Thanks for your help, Abby -- it's been an awful burden. -- OLD-FASHIONED IN BOULDER
DEAR OLD-FASHIONED: Talk to the supervisor privately and tell him or her what you have told me. Say nothing to Ginger, because that's the supervisor's job -- and it will only cause resentment if you do. Many companies, as a matter of policy, check what their workers are doing online -- so your story can be verified. When one member of a team is a slacker, it places an unfair burden on co-workers.
DEAR ABBY: When my 11-year-old daughter takes her bath, my husband sits on the toilet and eats his dinner in the bathroom with her. I find his behavior questionable and have asked him repeatedly to allow her some privacy. Nonetheless, he continues to "assist her" in bathing by adding bath oil to the water, etc. Neither my husband nor my daughter thinks anything is wrong with this behavior -- so what can I do?
He also strokes her backside to lull her to sleep at night, although she is now in sixth grade.
Please advise quickly before this gets out of hand. --UNEASY ABOUT MY DAUGHTER(S)
P.S. I have another daughter who is younger.
DEAR UNEASY: Your husband's behavior is inappropriate. Your daughter is old enough to bathe without supervision and should do so. You didn't mention how physically developed she is, but she will soon be a young woman. Your husband's method of "lulling" her to sleep is also too stimulating for both of them.
Discuss this with your daughter's pediatrician. Since your husband refuses to listen to you, he should hear it from an expert in child health and development. If he still refuses, the doctor can -- and should -- report his behavior to the proper authorities.
DEAR ABBY: I have three children. My oldest child is only 10. My parents remember leaving me home alone at that age, but that was 24 years ago. I feel things are too dangerous these days.
Is there an age when I can leave them home alone and know that all is OK? -- CAUTIOUS MOM IN KANSAS
DEAR CAUTIOUS MOM: I'm sad to say that times have changed, and 10 is still too young. No child should be left alone unless he or she is big enough and sophisticated enough to fight off or elude an intruder, or handle other emergencies that might arise. If the children must be left, someone -- a teenage baby sitter, for instance -- should supervise.
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