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Boss's Nephew Seeks Respect From Co-Workers

DEAR ABBY: I'm in an awkward position. I started working for my uncle's plumbing business four months ago. I'm a laborer, not an apprentice or mechanic, so I don't know a lot about the trade. I'm not qualified to do a lot of the basic tasks like welding or pipe fitting, but I work hard. I come in early and stay late. I'm respectful and try to have a positive attitude.

The problem is most of the guys here regard me as the arrogant, spoiled nephew (which I'm not). They think I'm incapable and only got the job through my family ties.

How do I prove myself to them? I want to earn their respect. If I ask my uncle to talk to them, they won't trust me and it will make me look bad. Help me, please. -- UNDERESTIMATED IN VIRGINIA

DEAR UNDERESTIMATED: I know it's difficult, but if you want to earn their respect, keep doing exactly what you are doing. Come in early, stay late and learn all you can about the business. In time, your efforts will be recognized. What you are experiencing is something that happens to anyone who enters a family business.

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