DEAR ABBY: I moved to town not long before the pandemic and don't have many close friends here. One of my best friends is a co-worker, "Ronna," whom I love dearly.
Ronna has had an extremely rough past, including an extensive history of parental abuse that has left her thin-skinned and suspicious of authority figures. Because of this, she's constantly butting heads with our management team and confronting them about perceived slights.
While some of the points she makes are reasonable, many are taken too personally or blown way out of proportion, and she tends to act very dramatic/livid about it. I'm looking to move up in the company, and I'm torn between loyalty to my friend and the need to remain on good terms with our higher-ups. I'm also worried that my friendliness with management will lead to Ronna resenting or distrusting me. How can I safely navigate? -- IN THE MIDDLE IN COLORADO
DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: Do not involve yourself in Ronna's problems on the job. If you do, they will spill over onto you. Maintain your personal relationship with her away from the office, while networking and trying to widen your circle of friends.
From what you have written, I doubt that Ronna will be working for your employer much longer. Workers who react in a "very dramatic/livid" manner are usually laid off because their behavior is unprofessional and disruptive.