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by Abigail Van Buren

Co-Worker's Tale Of Woe Becomes A Broken Record

DEAR ABBY: I have a colleague who's a drama queen. Perhaps I'm a little bit guilty, too, but "Sharon" talks excessively about her personal life. There's the boyfriend who doesn't support her and their 2-year-old child financially or emotionally, her mom who suffers from many medical conditions, and her neighbor whose daughter was murdered some months ago. Sharon's life seems to be a magnet for drama.

My colleagues and I have lent our ears and our shoulders to cry on. I have also tried to advise her (like you do) to no avail. I have now reached my limit. Is there a tactful way to deal with her? We work in proximity at least half the time, so total avoidance is not possible. -- INUNDATED IN HAWAII

DEAR INUNDATED: If Sharon asks you for advice, tell her you don't have any more to offer. And if she starts dumping on you, handle it by saying kindly, but firmly, that you need to work and don't have time to listen. If you say it often enough, Sharon will find someone else to listen. Trust me.

Read more in: Work & School