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Publication: Dear Abby
Delivering Bad News Is Hard For Some Employers To Handle

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            DEAR ABBY - December 1, 2006   

          GopherCentral's Question of the Week

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ABBY: What has happened to professional courtesy in the 
workplace? I am a high school teacher, and recently a 
colleague learned that he was being replaced by another 
teacher when he read it in the school board minutes! The 
principal did not even extend the courtesy of telling him 
in person -- although his room and her office are only yards 
apart. Abby, that teacher could have been applying for other 

Another example: My daughter works in the television industry 
and is quite successful. Months ago, she was contacted by a 
major network asking if she was interested in applying for 
an opening with them. They interviewed her twice, then flew 
her cross-country at their expense for a final interview, at 
which time she was told she would hear from them the following 
week. That was two months ago. Is it that difficult for a 
prospective employer to call and say, "We offered the position 
to someone else," or "We haven't decided yet"?

Finally, my son, a college student, was told he would hear in 
one week when he was to start a new job. That was five weeks 
ago. Couldn't the employer have been honest up front and told 
him that perhaps they wouldn't need him right then? My son 
could have accepted another job and have been earning money 
instead of waiting.

Employers: Prospective employees have lives and obligations. 
Put yourselves in their shoes. How would you like to put your 
life on hold while someone dangles a carrot in front of you? 
Please show some professional courtesy! 

DISAPPOINTED: Sometimes people have an aversion to giving 
others bad news, so they say nothing, figuring the message 
will get out -- eventually. Obviously, the principal wimped 
out rather than face the teacher and tell him his contract 
would not be renewed.

As for your daughter's experience, "show biz" is notorious 
for its lack of empathy -- and even honesty -- when it comes 
to telling someone things aren't working out. I hope she 
lands a higher-paying job at another network.

Your son's experience this summer could provide a valuable 
lesson for him. In the future, if someone tells him he'll 
get word in seven days and it doesn't happen, he should 
resume his job search on day No. 8. Period.


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ABBY: I am 11 years old and I have a problem. When I call 
some of my "friends," they don't return my calls. But the 
thing is, they said they'd return my calls. Well, guess what 
-- they haven't!

The only friend I feel I actually have is my boyfriend, but 
I need a friend who's a girl. My mom and dad say, "Wait for 
them to come to you," but I have been doing it for five 
years. I have a little brother, but he's annoying! I feel 
lonely, but also like a "nudge." What should I do? 

LONELY: I'm sure that, at one time or another, everyone has
promised to call someone and it has slipped his or her mind. 
However, when it happens consistently, then the promise-
breakers are sending a message -- and the message is they 
are not "friends."

Five years is more than enough time to "wait" for people 
to respond to offers of friendship. Please tell your parents 
that the time has come to help you get involved in activities 
outside this circle of acquaintances -- possibly 
extracurricular activities and/or religious-based youth 
activities so you can meet girls who will be more inclusive. 
Boyfriends may be great, but girlfriends usually last longer.

ABBY is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as    
Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline    
Phillips. Write ABBY at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box    
69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.   

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