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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Female workers prefer to maintain professionalism

by Abigail Van Buren | October 28, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: My co-workers and I want to know how to handle customers who ask us out. We are an all-female staff at a liquor store, and our job is kind of like being a bartender without pouring drinks. Our customers are happy to see us after a long day at work and sometimes misinterpret our excellent customer service skills as flirting and ask us out.

We are paid to be kind and don’t know how to say no without causing a loss of business for our company or possibly putting ourselves in a dangerous situation. Can you give us some guidance on how to delicately handle these moments? — On The Job In Missouri

Dear On The Job: A polite turndown to the invitation would be, “Thank you for the compliment, but I never date a customer. It’s against the rules.”

Dear Abby: I have a longtime friend who is an amazing person. He has almost every positive attribute anyone could want: smart, hardworking, successful, strong and athletic, fit and attractive, generous, witty, etc.

His only flaw is a big one. He lacks empathy and is sometimes very insensitive. Over the years, on a number of occasions, he has said or done things that left me feeling humiliated. He doesn’t seem to understand that it isn’t how generous you were to them, people remember how you make them feel.

He has few real friends who can tolerate him, and some have walked out of his life. I’m on the verge of doing the same. How can I get him to change his behavior? (We are both older men.) — Humiliated In Albuquerque

Dear Humiliated: Point out to this person that, more than once, he has said or done things that made you feel humiliated. While you’re at it, mention that this unpleasant trait is what has caused others to walk out of his life. Then tell him you no longer intend to allow it to happen.

Dear Abby: I am looking for advice about whether I’m violating any ethics while walking my dogs. I walk my two dogs almost every day so the dogs can perform their business. I always pick up what they leave behind. During these walks, I pass trash containers on the street that belong to my neighbors. Sometimes I place my dog’s business in their trash containers. Since my walks are long. Is this wrong? — Doggy Business

Dear Doggy: What you are doing is a big no-no. Many homeowners feel as territorial about their trash receptacles as you do your lawn. Readers, do you agree with me? One of my staff members feels that if the container is on the curb awaiting pickup, there is no harm.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles,CA 90069 or visit


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