DEAR ABBY: I share a small office space with a co-worker, "Tammy," who is going through a nasty divorce. At first I tried to be supportive and listen to her problems, but now I think it was a mistake. I now dread going to work because I know I'll have to 1isten to a litany of complaints as soon as I walk through the door.
I have tried to encourage Tammy to talk to a priest or a psychologist, but she refuses because she's embarrassed. Is it time to inform our manager? I don't want to get Tammy in trouble, but I feel I'm incapable of giving her the kind of support she seems to need. I'm not sure how much longer I can take this. Please help. -- WELL-INTENTIONED IN MINNEAPOLIS
DEAR WELL-INTENTIONED: Summon up the courage to tell Tammy that although you care about her, you can no longer listen to her problems because it's distracting you from your responsibilities at work. Explain again that these are issues she should be sharing with a trained professional. If she persists in bringing her personal problems to you, then ask your manager to put a stop to it.