DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I take the car to work and my desk companion at work takes her bicycle -- all year long. Not rain, nor sleet, nor snow will even get her on a (bleeping) bus. She thinks this makes her better than I am, and she is constantly going on about her carbon footprint as compared to mine. I'd like to take her tiny carbon footprint and ram it down her throat. How do I get her to shut up about it? -- Car Owner, Tuxedo
Dear Car Owner: I have a script for you. Say this directly and evenly, no phony smiling: "I'm going to have to ask you to stop harping on this carbon footprint topic with me, as it is making me angry and it is getting hard to work efficiently near you. If I have to go to management and ask to be moved, so I can get my work done in peace, it doesn't look good for either of us. So, in the interest of a decent working relationship, let's make this the last time we speak of this footprint issue. From now on, it's pleasant topics where we can agree enough to work happily beside one another."
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I disagree with the advice you gave "Getting the Shuffle." I agree she should not quit and let her kids starve over her mistake (the fling with her boss, the email and sexy photos she sent him that his wife found). However she definitely should NOT quit her present job because he has found a new position for her at his friend's firm. It's over and done with. If the wife has an issue with their working together, then she should make her husband quit the job. He's trying to bully the woman who wrote you into quitting so that he can avoid quitting himself, and avoid a major human-resources nightmare.
If he tries to force her out, she should say she'll file a human resources/labour board complaint. And anyway, even if she does take the other job, who's to say that his buddy won't fire her? She'd be new and he can make up whatever reason he wants ("Oh she just couldn't catch on quick enough!"). By the way, it does not take two people to betray a wife -- it takes one: the husband. The husband made the vow to be faithful, not the other woman. -- Don't Be Bullied, Winnipeg.
Dear Don't Be Bullied: It's highly likely this boss owns the small company. How else could the wife "do a little work for him" and snoop through a computer tower under a desk? That bit of "work-sharing" in his personal office takes a personal relationship, familiarity with the office, time and opportunity to be there alone. So, the man is probably not able to quit for another job, no matter what. And what wife is going to stop screaming until the "other woman" is gone? Your idea that the boss's friend, who has agreed to hire the lady who admits she caused the trouble, may find a way to fire her quickly has merit. But your philosophy that 100 per cent responsibility goes to the married person having an affair, and a single woman has no responsibility to protect another woman's family, is a cold way to think and operate.
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