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by Abigail Van Buren

Set Boundaries For Lunch Break

DEAR ABBY: I recently began a new job, and although I love what I do, I have only one problem. My boss, "Harold," does not like eating lunch by himself. Every day, he asks me what I'm doing for lunch. If I say I brought my lunch, he wants me to eat it in his office with him. If I tell him I'm going out, he wants us to go out together.

I don't think he's attracted to me; I just think he hates being alone. He's entirely too clingy, and I feel my lunch break is supposed to be a time to do whatever I want to do.

I don't believe the last lady who worked for him had a problem with this, but I do. How do I tell him "no" without offending him or hurting his feelings? -- LUNCH BUDDY IN SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR LUNCH BUDDY: Tell your boss politely but firmly that you need your lunch hour to perform personal tasks -- go shopping, make personal phone calls or catch up on some reading. You are entitled to that break time, and that is what it should be used for.

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