DEAR ABBY: I work in a small office with five other people. Due to the nature of our business, we work various shifts throughout the day.
I am the oldest employee, and when it comes to our schedule, I feel discriminated against. I usually get four night shifts and one day shift a week. Everyone else gets one night shift and the rest daytime shifts.
The lead technician is the one who arranges our schedule. If I ask her about it, she tells me she has no one else or some similar excuse when I know she easily can change things to make it more fair. I am not one of her “buddies,” probably because I’m at least 20 years older than the rest.
I just get very frustrated every time I see my new schedule. Even the part-time people get better hours than I do. Is this discrimination? – WONDERING IN IOWA
DEAR WONDERING: Did you fill out a form listing your availability as open or flexible? If so, modify it. If you truly feel you are being discriminated against because of your age, talk to your supervisor’s boss about it. And if things are not made more equitable, consider reporting it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
DEAR ABBY: I am asking for advice about our daughters-in-law. We have two sons whose wives want to spend every holiday with their parents, period. No alternating holidays. This means my husband and I spend the holidays alone, then “get” to have a get-together at a date and time convenient for them.
I know our sons are partly at fault, but they are trying to keep peace in their lives. Any suggestions would be appreciated. One daughter-in-law used the excuse that her grandfather is 99 and may not be around forever, to which I replied that I’m 70 and NONE of us know how long we have.
We raised our daughter to respect her in-laws as well as us, and she alternates holidays. Please help with this, Abby. – MISSING OUT IN TEXAS
DEAR MISSING OUT: This happens in many families. I wish I could wave a magic wand and turn your daughters-in-law into less-insensitive, more-caring people, but I can’t.
Your sons are more than “partly” at fault for not insisting on fairness. Because they’re not assertive, the most pragmatic suggestion I can offer is that you make plans of your own for the holidays that don’t include them – the nicest your budget allows.
DEAR ABBY: Please do not reveal my location if you print this. I live in a small town and am part of a club that meets monthly. We are less than a dozen gals who discuss a book or politics. I know they all socialize with each other. With one exception, I have never been invited.
That said, we have different interests outside the club. They are smart, fun, loving women. However, I have felt that on more than one occasion, a comment was directed at me that I am not welcomed. I have been told, “Don’t take it personally.” Should I? How do I address this? – HURT IN THE WEST
DEAR HURT: This book club should not be your only social activity. Surely you have other interests, as these women do.
If you felt a comment was made that caused you to feel unwelcome, the appropriate response would have been to say, “Would you please clarify that comment?” Or even, “My feelings are hurt. Why would you say that?”