If I try to talk to my wife about this issue, she gets defensive and accuses me of picking on her. Advice? -- THE NORTH 40 IN VIRGINIA
DEAR NORTH 40: It would be interesting to know if your wife’s problem is an inability to comprehend English well, a hearing problem or a social anxiety disorder. Of course, we’ll never know unless you’re able to have an honest conversation with her about it and explain how it affects you. If there is a solution, your wife will have to want to find it.
As to functions having to do with business, if she’s uncomfortable in that environment, then you should attend without her.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a secretary who happens to make really good coffee. An employee who works in the building likes my coffee and has made himself comfortable at my desk in the morning before he starts work and afterward, before his second job.
I am not comfortable with this. He plants himself at my desk, and I find myself having to work around him. He has become a fixture in my office and I need it to stop. How can I go about this without hurting his feelings? — NOT HIS BARISTA
DEAR NOT: From where I sit, it looks like the man may have a crush on you. Because you want less of his company, tell him you need to get to work -- or get your work finished -- and that his presence at your desk is distracting. Tell him you’re flattered that he likes your coffee and he’s welcome to a cup, but he needs to drink it elsewhere. If you say it pleasantly, his feelings shouldn’t be hurt.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.