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by Abigail Van Buren

Boss and His Assistant Differ on Who Deserves a Thank You

DEAR ABBY: I work as an administrative assistant for a company in Louisville. Each year we invite several "high-level" customers to attend the Kentucky Derby. We spare no expense on this event, paying for hotels, track tickets, food, drinks, limos, etc. for three full days.

Last year, my boss told me he was "disappointed" that I had not thought of sending thank-you notes to our guests after the event. He felt we should thank them for taking time away from their personal lives to visit us.

I say that after three days of running myself silly behind the scenes, the thank-you notes should come from them. Your opinion, please. -- WHO THANKS WHO IN KENTUCKY

DEAR WHO THANKS WHO: I understand your frustration because no one wants to be taken for granted, but you are confusing business etiquette with social etiquette. Your boss isn't entertaining those people because he likes them. He is doing it so they will return the favor by doing business with his company.

So please do what he says and start writing. A form letter, individually prepared for each client, should do the trick. Each one should be a signed original expressing the sentiments your boss would like to have conveyed.