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Not Gonna Do It, Whatever It Is Dear Annie: Is there any end to it? I am 68 and have been married for 44 years. My husband and I both have some health issues, but he still needs sex, or he becomes depressed and can't seem to function. My husband is also addicted to pornography and …Read more. Girl from the Gym Gone Wild Dear Annie: I've been seeing (and sleeping with) "Jordan"' for eight months. We met at the gym, and I asked him out because I had an amazing feeling about him. Since then, I've become totally infatuated. He is one of the kindest men I've ever met. I …Read more. 'Cause Breaking Up Is Hard To Do Dear Annie: I am 17 years old and still in high school. I recently became "Jake's" girlfriend. We've been dating for about a week. I've known Jake as a friend for a year, and we hang out with the same group. I never had feelings for him until I …Read more. Who Pays These Days? Dear Annie: I recently dated a woman who never offered to pay for a meal, a movie or so much as an ice cream cone. We went out several times. We're both in our late 50s and earn good incomes. She says she won't pay for things until she is in a …Read more.
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Hating on Haters


Dear Annie: I work in an office with 35 women, and it seems as though someone is always hating someone else. Right now, I am the target of two women.

One of these women used to be my friend, and I have no idea why she isn't any longer. I once asked her about it, but her reply surprised me. She said I took advantage of her by switching shifts so I could leave early while she worked late. I double-checked and discovered that, of the many times we switched, I ended up working late shifts more often than she did. She also said I spoke poorly about her ex-husband, who cheated on her for years while she cried on my shoulder. She claims she never once spoke against my ex, but the truth is, her constant negative comments were instrumental in my final decision to leave him.

I don't understand why she is angry enough to end a decades-long friendship, although she has done this with other people in her life. She now works with a woman who used to be friendly but no longer speaks to me except to insult me.

I have done nothing to deserve this treatment. I still am friendly toward them because I don't want to lower myself to their childish level. But it bothers me, especially because it is so obvious. Is there any way to make this better, or do I simply have to live with it? — Upset at Work

Dear Upset: Your ex-friend and her co-worker enjoy the negative vibes because it makes them feel powerful and in control. Because they feed off of each other, it prevents either one from listening to others' opinions or working out their issues.

It's not uncommon for co-workers to behave as though they never left high school.

Stop trying to befriend either of these women, and ignore their negativity. Do your job, act professionally and neutrally toward them, and try to make friends with others. These sad women aren't worth one second of your time.

Dear Annie: I am a communication skills consultant. I disagree with your response to "Beaucoup Baffled," who received an invitation to an overseas wedding and wanted to know whether she could bring a friend.

You suggested a rather cryptic response ("I'm not sure I'm up to making such a long journey by myself") in the hope that the future bride would understand the hidden meaning. Why not just ask a simple question, such as "Would it be OK if I brought my boyfriend?" — Blainville, Quebec

Dear Quebec: We understand your objection, but it is wrong to put the bride in a position where she could feel obligated to invite an extra person. She may not have the room or the budget to do so. She even may have intended to introduce her traveling friend to a nice French guy. By saying that one is not up to making the trip alone, it gives the bride the option of including the extra person without backing her into a corner or forcing her to be unkind.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at 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



17 Comments | Post Comment
LW2: Make it short and state, in essence, that you regret that you will be unable to attend the wedding.

LW1: I understand your situation. The best you can do is what the Annie's stated: Do your work, don't engage in the same behavior and present yourself as the professional. If morale is that low at your workplace, perhaps they will make the first move to find employment elsewhere.

A climate that has backstabbing and that much negativity is not a good place to work.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sun May 24, 2015 3:03 AM
Really? ANOTHER letter about people feeling taken advantage of after they WILLINGLY trade shifts with someone? Wow, I did not realize this was such a problem.
LW1, I'm trying to figure out where you would work where there's 35 women (no men at all?) in one office and you all work shifts. I assume it must be some kind of telemarketing thing, except telemarketers don't usually stay on the job for years at a time. Regardless, what does this have to do with the other 33 women, anyway? You have a friend who's acting like a jerk and another person you barely know acting like a jerk. So just ignore them. It's pretty hard to get any group of 35 people who all like each other all the time when they spend 8 hours a day together. This has nothing to do with being women, and I can't see how this is a work issue, either. It's the same in every workplace. Let it go.
What you REALLY need to worry about is how you're puzzling why a person would end a decades-long friendship because of negative statements you made about her ex, while you ended your MARRIAGE due to negative statements from a third party about your HUSBAND. Sounds like you participate in far too much malicious and dramatic gossip behind people's backs, so your protestations of innocence and that you are always a nicey-nice person just don't ring true.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Jane
Sun May 24, 2015 5:29 AM
And also, how can you possibly say you have "no idea" why this woman isn't your friend anymore, and yet in the very next sentence you describe how you ASKED her why and she gave you a very detailed response. Do you think she is lying or something?
Comment: #3
Posted by: Jane
Sun May 24, 2015 5:31 AM
Comment: #4
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sun May 24, 2015 6:04 AM
Re: Jane
Frankly, now that you don't have to choose between siding with a man or siding with a woman, I would have expected you to be a little more fair-minded, but no, you side with the bully.

The LW says she has "no idea" because the answer she got when she asked didn't make a lick of sense. I can,t blame the LW for being baffled - the woman is not being reasonable and she's being extremely vindictive about it, attracting supporters with her shenanigans.

And yeah, it has PLENTY to do with them being women, and whether they are all women or not changes nothing. I once worked in a place where it was 50/50. The men were normal (at least the lower echelons) and the women were a hornet's nest of catty b!tches conducting a cabal against this one and this other, all for petty reasons.

Comment: #5
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sun May 24, 2015 6:14 AM
LW1 -
It would appear that your ex-BFF is one of those people who project a lot, accusing others of what they thenselves do, who demand emotional support and then blame you for it, and want you to do and do and do for them, but God forbid that you should need reciprocation, because then it becomes "taking advantage of them". Right.

Mean girls in high school unfortunately often become mean girls at the office. Do you job, mind your own business, keep a record of everything you do because you may end up needing it, remain polite with the bullies, make sure you're never alone with either of them, and start looking for another job before she manages to turn half the office against you.

Mind you, you'll find this problem everywhere, but some places are worse than others. The fact that you have a history with the woman who turned on you doesn't help.

Comment: #6
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sun May 24, 2015 6:28 AM
LW1--Frankly, I don't have time for office drama and neither do you. You're at work to do a job for which you are paid. While having a pleasant relationship with co-workers makes working a bit easier, it isn't a requirement. Take the Annies' advice. Go to work, do your job exceedingly well and when you encounter negative vibes from your coworkers, be cordial and always professional but don't give these women another thought. It's not personal, it's business.

LW2--I suggested the exact same thing. Why beat around the bush? The Annies prefer to pretend that everyone is a mind reader and don't want to hurt anyone wittle fweelings so they are sticking to their cryptic nonsense. Taking an overseas trip for a wedding is an expensive and time consuming undertaking and if the bride feels "put on the spot" to make room for someone's traveling companion after he or she spent a small fortune and their vacation time to get there then the bride is a selfish moron!
Comment: #7
Posted by: Chris
Sun May 24, 2015 6:58 AM
Wow, Lise, sometimes you are so far out to lunch I can't even read the menu. Exactly WHERE did I side with the bully? When I called her a JERK? When I said to IGNORE her? Or when I did not say one, single positive thing about the person whom I referred to as a jerk? Yeah, that's really taking her side, all right! Because calling someone a jerk is a real compliment. LOL!
And then you actually imply I'm gender-biased because I didn't think it was right to generalize this as "female behavior" since it also happens in ALL work environments, regardless of gender, and then you even say yes, this is happening because they're women. You are quite the little sexist kettle.
Once again Lise, you sadly are only able to see black and white, only two dimensions, at any given time. I wish you would expand your mind. Just because I pointed out the LW did not seem completely innocent herself does NOT mean I am must therefore be taking the bully's side. Believe it or not, sometimes BOTH sides are wrong, sometimes they're both right, sometimes it's a little of each, and sometimes a person can be 100% in the wrong but the LW can have bigger problems they're not even recognizing.
We've had this conversation many times before and nothing changes, so please, continue to live in your two-colored world where if you say one side is wrong then that HAS to mean you think the other side is right. But i live in a more multi-dimensional world where there are more than two sides to every story. Sorry.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Jane
Sun May 24, 2015 7:12 AM
LW1 - Some women are just drama queens who think high school hasn't ended yet. When I was reading your letter, I was thinking, "I knew someone like that," and "Yep, I knew someone like that, too." Women like your catty co-workers give us sane gals a bad name.

Go to work, do your job, stay professional with who you have to talk to and go home. Hopefully after some time, the "catties" will realize that you're not playing their game and they'll just go to someone else.

I currently work with a screaming banshee of a drama queen. I stopped engaging with her a long time ago. Most people stopped engaging with her, too. Sure, she tried to "get me" after I stopped (she realized I stopped) but after some time, she realized I wasn't going to budge so she picked on someone else.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Michelle
Sun May 24, 2015 7:17 AM
LW1: Sounds like you're in the middle of a good old-fashioned cat fight. Meow!

And really, Lise - whenever a man writes in, you frequently comment that there's more to the story than he's telling ("My wife just decided to stop having sex for no reason at all!"). Why shouldn't Jane do the same?
Comment: #10
Posted by: Meow Mix
Sun May 24, 2015 7:44 AM
LW1: This is what one of my good friend's is going through right now. The best days are when the MISS NASTY takes the day off, better when it is a few vacation days. This is a 2 person state office, occ. an extra is sent to this office to help with backload....and that person cannot understand why MISS NASTY has not been fired. She has been warned.

MISS NASTY is known around the community. And you stay out of her way. She has 3 sisters with the same mind set, they don't get along with each other or any one else. They have 1 sister who is not of the same genetic make up. Their parents were "cut of very nice cloth", community wise.

Evil sits in every situtation. If you feed into their evilness, you are also smeared with the stink.
Yes, my friend has been looking for another job, but to be close to retirement, and to have to work with this behavior....Miss Nasty, 6 feet away, takes a phone call for my friend. BEEPS the intercom to tell her the phone call. Not PHONE CALL FOR YOU.
How can people hate others AND themselves so bad that they set out to destroy all around them. What kind of legacy do they think they are leaving? What happened within the genetic make up that makes these sisters so hateful.

So to the letter writer, sign them off your WERE MY FRIENDS LIST and apply them to work related people. This is worse than drama queens. They are alone in their own minds of poison and will feed on it till they die. Their end of their world stops their behavior, so nothing you do can change who they are or have become.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Sun May 24, 2015 8:33 AM
LW2: We are in the middle of the planning of a wedding of my son. They are crunching the numbers, wished they could add all their friends and family to the list. How do you keep uninvited from crashing the wedding? Each person invited has been figured into the budget. Each person who comes uninvited has to be covered for in the final check.

That being said, the caterer said to plan for 25% of who said YES not to show up. SO you take that 25% out.

If you are invited, want to bring your friend, your friend needs to do things on their own while you are busy at the parties/wedding. Rude.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Sun May 24, 2015 8:39 AM
LW1 - I recommend the LW, or anyone else in this situation, buy a book called "Take the Bully by the Horns" by Sam Horn. This book gives you real-life things you can say or do to stop bullies like these chicky-poos. And it works well!

LW2 - Is there any reason why the original LW couldn't travel overseas with the BF, and go to the wedding herself? Surely the BF would be happier with going out to a fun pub or some other activity rather than sitting there at a boring wedding where he probably doesn't know anyone anyway? Why on earth do people have to be so joined at the hip? I have to agree that hinting for the bride to invite the BF is ridiculous. She should say outright that the BF is coming with her, but isn't going to attend the wedding/reception, that he's going zip-lining or drinking with the locals.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Barbara B.
Sun May 24, 2015 9:09 AM
LW1: We just read the letter from Girl From The Gym Gone Wild who leapt to absolutely insane conclusions when she learned that her boyfriend still had her in his cell phone under "Girl From the Gym" instead of under her name. It's highly possible that the LW's enemies have a similar mentality and have found a completely petty or unfair reason to hate her. She has to keep her distance as far as possible, be polite but brief in her interactions, and focus on her job and the people she gets along with. If she is lucky, they aren't under the same manager and so won't take this to the extreme of backstabbing her until she has to leave her job. If she starts seeing that happening, she has a choice. She can talk to her manager in the hopes that he/she has observed or heard from others that these two are backstabbing others (maybe she isn't the only victim), but she's at a disadvantage. Determined backstabbers can do more harm than she can possibly defend herself against because they will not modulate their behavior. She are apparently too nice to do the same to them. That makes her relatively weaker. Even if she did go after them, her manager and coworkers would only see it as a cat fight. They just don't get along and it's a two-way street. The blowback will hit her right in the face. The fact that they are the ones who started and perpetuated this, and she is merely trying to defend herself, will not come across. She can try a heart to heart with the manager, but be careful that she has specific examples that don't make it sound like you she is overreacting. She should tolerate it as politely as she can while she looks for another job.
Comment: #14
Posted by: LouisaFinnell
Sun May 24, 2015 9:20 AM
LW2: Sometimes the Annie's "reasoning" is beyond bizarre. If the woman simply asked the bride to be "does your invitation include my boyfriend?" there's no obligation. The bride simply answers the question.

The Annie's statement that "I'm not up to making such a long journey" besets the bride with questions... "is my friend ok?" "does she have some dread disease?" "Has she suffered a mental breakdown and needs a guardian with her?". The last thing she would think of is "oh, my friend wants to bring her boyfriend". And even if she does think of that, then the bride is STILL in the position of perhaps adding another guest! gah!
Comment: #15
Posted by: dave
Sun May 24, 2015 10:03 AM
Dave, I agree, the Annies are goofballs sometimes. And have you ever, in all of these years, heard them admit that they're wrong, even when they're blatantly off base, as in their answer to the letter LW2 is responding to? There's no test you have to pass to be an advice columnist; anyone can give advice and defend it, even when it's bonkers. I think they consult a "magic 8 ball" sometimes in formulating their answers.
Comment: #16
Posted by: sarah morrow
Sun May 24, 2015 12:00 PM
LW1: if you're an unmarried guy, start sleeping around with them. That'll give them something REAL to "hate" about. :-D :-D :-D
Comment: #17
Posted by: Howard Shubs
Sun May 24, 2015 12:16 PM
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