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My boss demands that I be his driver and doesn’t pay for gas

DEAR ABBY: My boss, who recently separated from her husband and is going through a divorce, has moved within walking distance of work. The problem is that she can’t drive and we have to take her daughter to and from school. I offered to help her with her daughter, but now she asks me to take her wherever she needs to go.

I have been accommodating and have done this for a couple of months, but she has never offered me money for gas for my car even though she always brags about all the things she has ordered online. I never offered to be her driver.

I work third shift, which is pretty hard, and I have to take care of my own son during the day. How can I tell him this has to stop without hurting his feelings? I’m about to lose control and scold her. Everyone I know advises me to stop and she is just using me. — USED ​​IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR USED: Explain (politely) to your boss that you were happy to help “temporarily” by making sure your child had transportation to and from school, but that you have responsibilities outside of work that prevent you from continuing to serve as your child’s driver.

Then tell her that if you are going to continue taking her child, she must be reimbursed for the fuel she spends doing so, something she seems to have forgotten. Talking is not rude or hurtful; It’s called being assertive.

DEAR ABBY: Should I be angry because my grandchildren have a stepfather who has no children of his own and is always giving my grandchildren money and other gifts? I bought my 18 year old grandson a used car with the understanding that he would pay me back in installments when he started working. He did exactly that and then took a hit on the fender, so I helped him partially repair it. I made the same deal with him as before. I paid for the repairs; He again he paid me in installments.

Well, one of the doors has a big dent and won’t open. Now he has convinced her grandfather to buy another car! My grandson doesn’t want to fix the door because it’s easier for his grandfather to buy him another car. Should I get angry about this? What should I tell his stepfather? — FRUSTRATED GRANDFATHER

DEAR GRANDFATHER: I can see why you would be worried. He has been trying not only to help his grandson but also to teach her responsibility. His well-meaning stepfather is interfering with that. Of course, she talks to him because Grandpa is being manipulated. If he really wants to help his grandson, he should consider inviting him for driving lessons.

DEAR ABBY: Isn’t it considered rude to comment on someone’s time in the bathroom? Several times when I’ve been out with people at a restaurant or bar, someone has commented, “That was fast!” when I returned to the table. I want to tell you that the comment is inappropriate. Any suggestions for an appropriate response that isn’t too sarcastic would be appreciated. – PRIVATE LADY IN GEORGIA

DEAR PRIVATE: Try this: Smile at the person and say, “I didn’t know you were timing my action!” (It’s better than saying, “That’s because I didn’t take the time to wash my hands. Do you want me to pass you the bread?”)

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 or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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