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Employees Expected To Cater Boss's Party

DEAR ABBY: I have received several invitations to parties recently in which I was asked to do part of the work or participate in some of the expenses.

The one that really took the cake was to a party hosted by my boss. She had decided to celebrate her birthday at her house, and when I and my co-workers RSVP'd, we were asked what type of dish we planned to bring. We also discovered that only invited employees were asked to bring food. Her "real friends" weren't asked to bring anything. Needless to say, all but one employee remembered they had a "conflict."

If someone doesn't have the time or money to host a party, there are plenty of inexpensive foods, disposable tableware, etc., that can be used in a pleasant, cost-effective event without burdening -- financially or otherwise -- invited guests. What matters is getting together to celebrate and socialize and have a good time with friends and family. Abby, your thoughts? -- UNHAPPY "GUEST" IN MISSOURI

DEAR "GUEST": I'm glad you asked. I agree with your sentiments. Your boss should be ashamed of herself for trying to use you and the other employees in the guise of having you as guests at her birthday party. How tacky!

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