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Rude Clerk Concerning Food Stamps
DR. WALLACE: I live with my mom and three younger sisters. Our father left the home five years ago, and we don't know where he is or if he is still alive. Because of our economic situation, we receive federal food stamps to help feed our family. My mom does have a pretty good part-time job.
Yesterday, I went to the grocery store and bought 5 pounds of hamburger meat and 2 pounds of tomatoes and paid for the food with food stamps. The tomatoes were over a dollar a pound, which is expensive, but all the kids like tomatoes on our hamburgers. When I was checking out, the store lady who took my stamps told me that she wasn't earning enough money to afford tomatoes and asked how our family could. I didn't say anything, but I was very embarrassed.
My momma said that I should have told her to mind her own business. What should I do if she embarrasses me again? I'm 16 years old. — Tonya, Chicago
TONYA: How your family spends your food stamps is none of the clerk's business, but telling her that would not solve the problem. If it happens again, say nothing to this clerk, but before you leave the store, ask a different clerk if you can speak to the store manager, tell the boss what the clerk has been saying to you, and let the manager know that if it happens again, your family will shop where the employees are courteous.
MY BOYFRIEND IS PRESSURING ME FOR SEX
DR. WALLACE: I am now going through what most girls go through when they date one guy steadily — the pressure to have sex. When I continue to say no, he lays a guilt trip on me by saying that, "All lovers love." He keeps saying that I'm cold and distant, and he would like me to be warm and sensitive.
Dr. Wallace, I really like Chris, and he is a super neat guy, except for his sexual demands. What should I do? — Nameless, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.
NAMELESS: It's time to get his mind off sex, or tell him goodbye and wish him well. Unless you are serious about ending his constant pressure to have sex, he will continue to encourage you to be his sexual partner. Tell him to stop pressuring you for sex, and if he continues, dump him for good — immediately — and don't look back.
BEWARE OF SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING ADVERTISING
TEENS: Money is scarce, and college fees are expensive, so it is important to be aware of available scholarship funding. According to Careers and Colleges magazine, however, it's important not to fall for the advertisements from bogus "scholarship search" companies that promise to lead you to hidden sources of money to finance your college education.
Fees for their so-called services can cost up to $500. At best, what you get for your money is the same information you can get free at your local library or from your guidance counselor at school. Some outfits take your money and send you nothing at all.
Finally, responding to a ton of complaints from victims of this chicanery, the U.S. Postal Service and state law officials around the country are now taking action to put these companies out of business. BEWARE!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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