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by Abigail Van Buren

No Room At The Lunch Table For Supervisor Of Retired Co-Workers

DEAR ABBY: We are a group of 10 friends, all retirees from the same large organization. We meet for lunch every few weeks and enjoy talking amongst ourselves about people we knew and situations that took place in our old jobs.

A supervisor many of us had work issues with is about to retire. We are concerned that it's only a matter of time until she approaches us and wants to join our lunch group. We have thought about saying it's "loose-knit" and "we have no formal time or place," but that's not exactly true, and we're sure she wouldn't be deterred by that.

I wish I had the nerve to tell her the group is for us rank-and-file employees -- no supervisors allowed. Because we may run into her from time to time once she is retired, we want to be gracious but assertive about our refusal to have her join us. Advice? -- GROUP MEMBER IN THE SOUTH

DEAR GROUP MEMBER: If the woman approaches you (keep in mind that your worries may not materialize and you may not be asked), remember she's no longer your supervisor and can no longer affect your life in any way. If she asks if she can join you, you should tell her no. And if she asks why, explain it to her exactly as you explained it to me. It's the truth. (As we sow, so shall we reap.)

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