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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom's Candor With Kids Makes Her Friends Uneasy

DEAR ABBY: I work in an office with more than 30 employees. Two weeks ago an envelope was sent around seeking our mandatory contributions to give gifts to the partners of the office "to show our appreciation."

I was always taught one never "gifts up" the chain of command. I show my appreciation each day by being a good employee. Am I wrong? -- BLACKMAILED IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR BLACKMAILED: I don't think so. It appears you and your fellow employees are being ordered to pony up in order to keep your job. And by the way, "mandatory contribution" is an oxymoron.