Posted: Monday, December 15, 2008 10:56 pm
Dear Annie: I have been the bookkeeper for a small company for six months. The previous bookkeeper was embezzling money, and I now have to deal with a lot of micromanaging due to the office manager’s trust issues. I do my job well and have proved myself trustworthy.
Due to my position, I am aware of how much money the embezzler was making and I am making significantly less. The owner also owns another company and recently fired the bookkeeper there for embezzling, as well. I was asked to help out until they hired someone else, and while going through the books, I discovered that she, too, was making significantly more money than I am.
I accepted a lower-than-normal wage when I began working here, with the understanding that I would be making more once I put in my time. I am coming up for my review and was looking forward to getting a raise. I have discovered through the grapevine, however, that the raise they plan to offer me is less than I was led to believe and much less than that of the bookkeepers who were embezzling. I should be worth at least as much as they were. I have more responsibility, rarely take a day off, do my work well and, most importantly, I’m not stealing from the company.
I realize it’s the owner’s prerogative to pay what he feels is right, but am I justified in — Feeling Stiffed?
Dear Feeling Stiffed: While you are honest and doing a good job, the owner isn’t going to pay you the same amount after six months as someone else earned after, say, six years. If, however, your length of employment is similar, you have a legitimate beef. When your raise comes up, let the boss know what you think is fair.
Dear Annie: I am an elderly widow with a debilitating lung disease and a recent breast cancer diagnosis. I live alone in my own home.
My neighbors and I share a backyard fence. They have a row of evergreen trees that drop needles all over. Yesterday I observed my neighbor using his leaf blower to scatter those needles into my yard. They kill my grass.
I am in no condition to rake up these needles or blow them back into his yard. Any suggestions as to what I should do? — Tired and Upset
Dear Tired: Talk to your neighbor. He may not realize that his evergreen needles destroy your grass, or that you’ve noticed. If that doesn’t help, contact your local homeowners or neighborhood association, or ask another neighbor to intercede on your behalf. You can, of course, call the police if he doesn’t stop, but first we’d give him the opportunity to do the right thing.
Dear Annie: You told “Seoul, South Korea,” the woman who enjoyed wearing perfume, to quit wearing it to work and save it for special occasions. So that means people like me now have to gag through concerts and shows?
Tell her if she enjoys wearing perfume to do so at home in the evenings and on the weekends. Chances are she’s so immune to the scent, she has to wear more and more to notice it, making it even stronger for the rest of us. — M.G.
Dear M.G.: Perfume, in very small drops, can be lovely to wear, and many people enjoy catching a whiff. While it is never a good idea to wear it in enclosed spaces such as a work environment, a dab when going out for the evening should not cause anyone to gag.
The world is full of people who are sensitive to one thing or another, and it is not possible to accommodate every person’s preferences or potential reactions. We will qualify that, however, by saying that a small drop means just that. Any more is offensive to everyone.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 12.15.08