Insulting co-worker never gets reprimanded

Posted: May 08, 2013

D EAR ABBY: I work in a skilled-care facility. I am also preparing for law school. Today one of my co-workers humiliated me in the presence of others by asking if I have been gaining weight. I giggled and said, "Probably."

She proceeded to say that I have gained "a lot" of weight in my "fat face" and told me to get on the scale so she could see how much. I told her it's none of her business.

She has done this to me and other co-workers before. Our supervisor likes her and doesn't reprimand her. How should I handle this?

- Getting Impatient in Illinois

DEAR GETTING IMPATIENT: Handle it by ignoring this unpleasant person and avoiding her whenever possible. So should any other co-worker she has offended. Any time she attempts to embarrass any of you, it should be reported to your supervisor's supervisor - individually or en masse - because the failure to act on your concerns is allowing a hostile work environment to exist.

DEAR ABBY: I wrote you a short time ago about my marital problems, but I have to share this with you! My husband, who walked out on me, went to a counselor for a session. Then we went together, and he learned a few things about me and himself.

He is coming back, and we are going to work harder at our marriage. We both recognize there were places where we needed to work together more, that he doesn't need to be afraid to talk to me and I can be pretty understanding.

Thank you so much for being there, Abby. I know you always recommend talking to a counselor before doing anything rash, and you are so right. It made all the difference.

- Grateful Wife in Arizona

DEAR GRATEFUL: I'm pleased that counseling helped to open the clogged lines of communication between you and your husband. While it may seem expensive, it's far cheaper than a divorce can be, both emotionally and financially.

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