DEAR ABBY: I have a co-worker I work closely with. Almost every day I hear her throwing up in the bathroom. It happens like clockwork. It's gotten to the point where I'm extremely concerned. Although it has been going on for years, it seems to have gotten worse.
I don't feel comfortable enough to bring this up to her, but something has to happen. I'm afraid I'll embarrass her, make her quit, etc., but her life is more important than that. We are both in management positions, but I am not her superior (in case that changes your advice about what to do or who to tell). Do I mention this to HR? Our boss runs his mouth a lot, and I don't know if I can say anything without it getting around. -- WORRIED FOR HER
DEAR WORRIED: I wonder if anyone else you work with has noticed what you have. Talk to someone in HR and explain that you're concerned that a fellow employee (unnamed) may suffer from a life-threatening illness and need help. Point out the time the person goes into the bathroom "like clockwork," and let HR try to get her the medical intervention she so desperately appears to need. Throwing up repeatedly can result in damage to the digestive tract.
DEAR ABBY: I am a young teenage dancer. My friends in dance class are wonderful except for one thing. Four of them hide in our dressing rooms, bathroom and anywhere else they won't be seen to smoke e-cigarettes.
My one close friend asked me once if I wanted to try it. When I said no, she knew better than to press further. Other friends keep telling me it's fun. I know if I did it and my parents found out, they would kill me. Plus, I don't want to get caught up in that deadly cycle.
What should I do? Tell my teacher and risk losing friends or leave it alone? After all, it's only hurting them, right? -- BAFFLED AT BALLET
DEAR BAFFLED: You are an intelligent young lady to recognize that "sampling" tobacco products can lead to addiction. Good for you!
When the government, in its wisdom, finally clamped down on the tobacco companies in an attempt to prevent yet another generation from becoming addicted, I thought that would be the end of it. Imagine my consternation when they came out with flavored vaping fluids to seduce more young people. It's shameless!
Rather than tell the teacher, talk to your parents about what's going on so they can quietly mention it to the parents of the other girls.
DEAR ABBY: Why has the word "veggies" replaced "vegetables"? When people say "veggies," to me it sounds like they are talking to a child. -- GROWNUP EATER IN GEORGIA
DEAR EATER: It's probably because "vegetables" has at least three syllables and people have a tendency to shorten words that have more than one syllable. It may also be because parents think it's a way of making them appear more palatable to small children.
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