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by Abigail Van Buren

Affair That Led to a Long Marriage Remains a Secret

DEAR ABBY: I work in a branch of a large company that puts out a candy dish for our customers. A woman from another building (different company not related to us) often cuts through our office to get to the main street and other businesses. When she comes through, she ransacks our candy dishes, looking for a couple of specific types of candy. It happens on a daily basis! We even gave her a "Christmas gift" hoping to satisfy her candy cravings. She brought the gift container back to us (empty) for next Christmas! How do we stop this behavior without being rude? -- SWEET TOOTH IN THE EAST

DEAR SWEET TOOTH: It is not rude to draw the line when someone crosses it. The next time the woman raids the candy dish, the person nearest to it should tell her plainly it is intended for customers only! As for that candy container she returned, toss it. Giving her a present for "stealing" was a mistake, so don't perpetuate it.