DEAR ABBY: I have reached a crossroads with my career. I used to love my job. I play an important role at my company, and I'm good at what I do. Long term, it provides job security. However, the pay is subpar, and my recent request for a raise was denied. I haven't received a raise in several years. I couldn't get a straight answer about the denial. I was told it wasn't my work performance.
I have started looking elsewhere, and I have several interviews scheduled. All of them will give me a $15,000-per-year salary increase over what I currently make for doing what I do. I wasn't asking that much for a raise, not even close.
But what makes this difficult is my co-workers. They are devastated at the thought of me leaving. One of them, someone I'm fairly close to, was so angry he went to our boss himself without my knowledge. I don't know what he said, but he got me a raise, albeit a very small one.
However, my heart is set on leaving. While I appreciate his going out on a limb for me, I now feel "obligated" to stay. Abby, I'm having a hard time with this. Can you help? -- MOVING ON IN THE EAST
DEAR MOVING ON: Have a private conversation with the friend who went to bat for you. Tell him you appreciate what he did, but when your boss refused the raise you asked for -- after several years of no increase at all -- you realized you were no longer valued by the company. Explain that when you went job-hunting you were offered far more than you have been earning, and this will be a step up for you. It doesn't have to mean the end of your relationship with him or the others who care about you. It might stimulate him to go job-hunting, too.
DEAR ABBY: Years ago I was sexually assaulted by a friend of a friend. I'll call the man Pete and the friend Katie. I immediately told Katie about it, and we didn't hang out with Pete much after that. Life went on, and I forgot about it.
I recently learned that Katie is engaged to Pete now. They are living in another state, and she asked for my address so she can send me an invitation to their wedding. I'm not planning on attending, but how should I tell her I'm not coming? We haven't been close in years, but she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. Should I just send the RSVP card back with a "no," or should I let her know upfront? -- CAUGHT OFF GUARD IN VIRGINIA
DEAR CAUGHT: I assume that after Katie marries the "friend" who sexually assaulted you, your relationship will be over. While you may have repressed the memory until now, I find it hard to believe that all three of you had an attack of amnesia. There's no need to contact her at this point to remind her of what her fiance is capable of. Just say no. If she contacts you to ask why, explain it to her then.
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