Dear Annie: I have a 40-year-old daughter who is lazy. When she injures herself, has surgery or is sick, I wait on her like she’s a baby. But I recently needed surgery myself, and she has no interest in helping me at all.
A while back, I hired someone to clean her bedroom. It took two days. It was absolutely disgusting. Now that I can’t pick up after her, it’s getting bad again. If I say anything to her, she throws a tantrum. I’m getting too old for this.
— Can’t Take the Arguments
Dear Can’t: You’re too old? Your daughter is 40 and still lives at home and expects her mother to clean her room. We do not understand parents who tacitly encourage their children to behave like babies and treat parents like servants and then complain when they do. Unless your daughter is incapable of holding a job and living independently, tell her it’s time she found a place of her own. At the very least, insist that she pay you rent. Do not clean her room. Close the door and let her deal with her own mess.
Dear Annie: My husband is an account executive for a large company. He earns a good salary and travels frequently on business. He has to pay all of his expenses out of his own pocket and then submit expense reports for reimbursement. He is supposed to submit the forms at the end of each month for payment at the end of the following month. It’s tight for us, but tolerable.
Here’s the problem. For whatever reason, the expense checks are often not given out on time. Sometimes my husband has to wait three or four months before being reimbursed. These are not $40 lunches. We are talking about hundreds of dollars of airline and hotel expenses, plus entertaining and feeding clients. Over four months, that can turn into thousands of dollars.
Please don’t misunderstand. I realize we’re lucky to make a good living. But we are not super-wealthy. We have two kids in college and medical bills for my mother, and frankly, we’re not in the position to loan my husband’s company all of this money with no interest.
My husband is always quick to defend the company, saying they didn’t get the information on time or the person writing the checks was on vacation. I think he’s afraid of rocking the boat. Is there anything I can do?
— Not the Company’s Bank
Dear Bank: Are you certain your husband is submitting his expenses on time? He could be telling you it’s the company’s fault to cover his own tardiness. It is also possible the company is having its own cash-flow problems and the late checks are only the tip of the iceberg. Nonetheless, it is your husband’s responsibility to handle this. Surely, he cannot be the only one who is having this particular problem. Perhaps he and other co-workers in the same situation could approach the boss together and find out what is going on.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Not a Lawyer,” who questioned why attorneys seem unwilling to give free legal advice.
I come from a family of lawyers and doctors. I learned that none would give free professional advice. The reason is twofold: First, the majority of questions can only be answered by “it depends on the situation.” Second is the possibility of being sued for malpractice. You have no idea how many confused people have misunderstood a professional’s opinion, especially when given in a casual setting with little or no case history.
I have yet to hear of a chef being sued for malpractice because he advised how to prepare a steak.
— Been There, Won’t Do It
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.
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