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DEAR ABBY: I have owned a business for 13 years. Recently one of my employees forged a customer's check in the amount of $1,000.

I have tried to talk to him and ask why, and I have threatened to go to the police. We have more than just a working relationship. We did a lot of things together outside of work, but never had a sexual relationship.

This man worked for me for more than two years and, other than this crime, was a perfect employee. He insists that he didn't "forge" the check that he had cashed at the customer's bank and tries to justify it by saying he felt he "deserved" the "extra" money. I always paid him on time and gave him many extra perks. Please help me. -- LOST BIG-TIME IN ILLINOIS

DEAR LOST BIG-TIME: Wake up! Your "perfect employee" is a thief, a forger and a sociopath. He may be a charmer -- aren't they all! -- but that's what has enabled him to reach the point he has. For your own emotional well-being and for the sake of your business, please tell the police what you have learned. If you don't, the next person to be burned will be YOU. Bank on it!

DEAR ABBY: A couple invited my date and me to an expensive restaurant for dinner. We were to meet in the lobby of the restaurant at 7 p.m. We arrived a couple of minutes before the appointed time.

Checking with the hostess, we found that a table for four had been reserved, and she offered to seat us even though our friends had not yet arrived.

My date said we should have been seated so we could wait for our friends, who were 10 minutes late. I disagreed, pointing out that for us to be seated would have been a breach of etiquette because it emphasized that our friends were late. Who's right? -- TOM IN TENNESSEE

DEAR TOM: It appears you were more concerned about the comfort of your hosts than the comfort of your date. As hosts, the couple who invited you should have been on hand to greet you. How long did you intend to stand around? After all, you had no idea if they'd be held up for 10 minutes or for 30 minutes -- and your date was probably standing there in high heels.

To have taken the hostess up on her kind offer would not have been a breach of etiquette; it would have shown consideration for your date.

DEAR ABBY: My fiance, "Thornton," and I are being married in two months. This is a second (and final) marriage for both of us. We dated for several years and went to counseling so that this marriage would last and our love would stay strong. We both have children from our first marriages who are excited about the wedding.

Thornton and I are in disagreement, however, about whether or not to invite our ex-spouses -- although we remain friendly with them. Please tell me the appropriate thing to do. -- ABOUT TO BE WED IN HOUSTON

DEAR ABOUT TO BE WED: Generally speaking, if the relationship between the ex-spouses is cordial -- and emotionally disconnected enough -- I see nothing wrong with inviting them to the wedding. However, in your case, because there is disagreement on the subject, it would be the better part of wisdom to set sail on the sea of matrimony without the exes standing on the dock.

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