Dear Annie: My husband works at a private college. His male boss had an affair with one of the female directors under him. My husband and his assistant found out about it and, after much deliberation, brought it to the attention of the human resources department. The president of the college was informed, but he only put the two guilty parties on suspension for two weeks.
My husband and his assistant still have to work for this man. He constantly undermines them, and it is obvious that there is no future for my husband at this college. The affair is still going on, and my husband has told no one else. The spouses are in the dark, too.
My husband has only worked for this college for a few years. Until this affair, he loved his job and did it well. Our daughter graduates high school next year, and we were hoping she could attend this school tuition-free. Instead, we may have to move, losing whatever benefits we may have accrued.
Should my husband ask for compensation when he leaves, such as some kind of tuition benefit? The president is about to retire and has no interest in moving my husband to a different department. How do we handle this?
— In a Bind
Dear Bind: How does your husband feel about the situation? If his daughter were guaranteed a tuition-free education at this college, would he be able to stick it out for another year or two until she is established? Is the president of the college the only one who can transfer your husband to another department? Would it do any good for him to go back to the human resources department? Please discuss his options, and then let him do whatever he feels is best. We know you have a vested interest in the outcome, but it is his job, and he should make the final decision.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have eight grown children between us and an ever-increasing number of grandchildren. We make a good living, but when several of them come home for the weekends, the grocery bills get very high, especially when I have to buy for those with food allergies and unusual preferences.
Now that some of our kids have good salaries, what’s the best way to say it would be nice if everyone chipped in when we have weekends together? I find it difficult to ask, and some of them get a little annoyed that we would even think they should help. They’ve been known to send requests for the meals they want.
I’ve thought about sending out an email with the anticipated menus and asking them to let me know whether they would like to bring or prepare any of it. Is that fair?
— Too Good of a Cook
Dear Cook: This is your family, and they are staying the weekend. They should be pitching in at every meal, and you should not be afraid to tell them so. Since they refuse to offer graciously, it’s fine to send a group email and assign a type of dish (starch, vegetable) to each child. Be upbeat and excited about their contribution to the weekend, and say you can’t wait to taste their cooking. They can swap assignments or ask to prepare something else, but if they bring nothing, please do not compensate by cooking it yourself. Simply say you’re sorry there will be less to eat.
Dear Annie: I read the response from “Frank” about guests who track snow into the house. His suggestion is for the hostess to let people know in advance that they will have to take off their shoes.
Nobody wants snow tracked into their home. If there is snow on the ground, why don’t you already know that you’ll have to remove your shoes at the door?
— Glass Half Full
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