DEAR ABBY: I am the manager of a five-person office. The office hours are supposed to be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an hour (from noon to 1 p.m.) for lunch.
Three of the staff members are older than I am, so it's uncomfortable for me to correct them. The problem is that two of them always come in late. One of them (I'll call her Betty) comes in from 20 to 40 minutes late almost daily, but she leaves at the stroke of 5, regardless. The other (I'll call her Sue) adjusts her hours and stays late to make up the time.
I have a different kind of problem with "Jan." She refuses to listen when I ask her not to drink or eat near the computer. She becomes defensive when I remind her.
Abby, please help me to resolve these sticky situations. Is there a tactful way to get Betty and Sue to arrive on time, and to get Jan to confine her eating to the lunchroom? -- IGNORED IN ATLANTA
DEAR IGNORED: Ask your boss to put the office policies in writing, which may make them easier for you to enforce. Keep in mind that you were made the office manager for a reason, and that these are business relationships -- not friendships. Then, with a clear conscience, do the job you were hired to do.