Disruptive at the office

Dear Annie: I am 55 years old and have worked at my job for 25 years. A couple of years ago, the company hired a 26-year-old guy. I have been patient, but I am reaching the end of my rope.

”Justin” cannot remember what was said the minute he hangs up the telephone. He doesn’t pay attention to what he is doing. He lies all the time, and we all know it. He takes on no new responsibilities, which drives the rest of us crazy. He just does his work and then plays on the Internet. It seems that he’s simply along for the ride.

Justin is married, and if his wife has even an iota of an issue, he falls apart, texting her every three minutes. I have asked him to do some tasks, thinking that he’d catch on, but he’s not grabbing the carrot. He makes the same mistakes over and over, and mind you, he deals with other people’s money. We don’t think he cares one bit about anyone except himself.

I cannot think of a way to address this without being hurtful. Justin does not take criticism well and sulks when confronted. Even the boss is afraid to speak to Justin, because he’ll fall apart. What can we do?

— Wish He’d Look for Another Job

Dear Wish: If the boss is unwilling to deal with Justin, knowing that he isn’t competent, there’s not much you can do. Criticism will not be helpful. Instead, please try to mentor Justin. Teach him, carefully and consistently, even though it requires constant repetition. Even 3-year-olds can learn, given enough instruction and practice. It’s certainly better than banging your head against the wall in frustration.


Dear Annie: I am 16 years old and have a twin sister. We both make excellent grades and are popular with teachers and friends. But we constantly fight. I am controlling and demanding around her. She doesn’t respond to me, listen to me or respect me. I’m sure that’s why I am so controlling.

The past few months have been miserable for me. I absolutely cannot wait to go off to college and be away from my sister. I realize that I am part of the problem because I do cause some drama. But she makes me feel bad about myself, and as a result, I hate being around her. Life is her way or the highway.

She will demand that I help her with school, so I do. But if the help isn’t up to her standards, she screams at me, hits me and gets me in trouble. If I don’t help her, my parents punish me. Yet if I ask to borrow a textbook, she refuses.

I’m contemplating staying with my grandparents on the weekends and have also thought about cutting off communication with my sister. I can’t continue to deal with this. It is affecting my health. How do we resolve these issues?

— Brother

Dear Brother: Your sister has managed to get your undivided attention at all times. We suggest you work on your response to her. Learn to ignore her sweetly. We also suggest you steer clear of her as much as possible. Study at a friend’s house. Go to your grandparents’ for the weekend. Explain to your parents that the house will be quieter if you and Sis spend less time in each other’s company. You also could discuss this with your school counselor.


Dear Annie: You were right to tell “Not a Cheater” that one possible reason why her husband is constantly accusing her of having affairs is that he is the one who is cheating.

After 41 years of my suspicious husband wrongly accusing me, I found out he had been having affairs for 30 years. He had been covering up his own guilt by accusing me. He is now my ex.

— Better Off


Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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.

— Creators Syndicate Inc.

Special to The Enterprise

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