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Publication: Dear Abby
Personnel Officer Warns New Hires Against Overexposure

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        DEAR ABBY - June 20, 2008 
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PERSONNEL OFFICER WARNS NEW HIRES AGAINST OVEREXPOSURE

ABBY: I work in the personnel office of a municipality. We 
will soon be hiring new staff for the school system, and 
each year I am amazed by some of the behavior I see. Allow 
me to offer a few tips for new hires in ANY business.

(1) Please dress appropriately. I'm sure you did for the 
interview, so do it again when you stop by personnel. Before 
you leave your home, bend over in front of a mirror as if 
you were at a desk or counter. And check both the front and 
back views. I have seen parts of the anatomy that should be 
viewed only by your doctor or spouse. Also, that floral 
tattoo on your abdomen may be cute in a bikini, but it's 
inappropriate for an office.

(2) Please leave your children at home. You must have hired 
a sitter for your interview. Please do it again for your 
visit to personnel. While we try to explain your health 
insurance and other benefits to you, you should not be 
chasing a 2-year-old around the office or down the hall.

(3) Please turn off your cell phone. This is not an 
appropriate time to discuss a luncheon date with your 
neighbor. Also, if your family can't survive 20 minutes 
without speaking to you, perhaps you should not be in our 
office. 
-- SEEN IT ALL IN CENTRAL MAINE

SEEN IT ALL (and I'm sure you have): Thank you for your 
commonsense suggestions. Different offices hold employees 
to different standards of dress and behavior. Until a new 
employee is certain of what those standards are, the 
sensible thing to do is to err on the side of conservatism 
in both manner and dress. A word to the wise ...

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ABBY: Summer begins tomorrow, and many parents are 
wondering how to keep their children entertained. I have 
a simple no-cost answer to that dilemma: Visit your local 
library.

Most libraries offer summer programs for kids that not 
only encourage them to read, but also provide access to 
wonderful educational opportunities. Libraries offer adult 
programs as well, which allow us parents a chance to enjoy 
a few good books while demonstrating to our kids how much 
fun it is to read.

My children are excited to be a part of the summer program, 
and I am thrilled that they have something to look forward 
to. 
-- BOOK MOM IN TEXAS

BOOK MOM: Great suggestion. There are exciting new worlds 
to be explored by both children and adults between the 
covers of books. Although it can vary by region, some 
libraries offer programs for children that include reading 
clubs, puppet shows, story time, and sometimes more. Parents 
should check to see what's available, because learning what 
a valuable resource the public library is an important 
lesson in itself.



ABBY: I have two children under the age of 4. When they 
address adults -- including baby sitters -- I have taught 
them to preface it with "Ms." or "Mr." and the person's 
first name. We consider it a form of respect, and although 
I realize that each parent has her (or his) own take on 
this, it has begun to bother me when their children address 
us by our first names. Am I making a big deal out of nothing? 
-- WONDERING IN LIVONIA, MICH.

WONDERING: As you point out, different families have 
different standards. Because you prefer to be called 
"Ms.," bring it not only to the attention of the child, 
but also to the child's parent, and your wishes should be 
respected.




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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