DR. WALLACE: I have had a best girlfriend now for over 12 years. We are both 20. My friend is engaged, and she and her fiance are planning to get married next February. One day, the three of us were hanging out together after work and school when her mom called and needed a ride somewhere. She invited each of us to go with her. I said no, as I had to go home myself, anyhow; her boyfriend said no because he had some homework to do for one of his college classes. Well, right after my friend drove off, her guy started to get aggressive with me! I was really shocked and stunned. He put his arm around my waist and tried to kiss me. I pulled away and asked him what was wrong with him. He told me I turned him on. I was disgusted and left the house immediately, got in my car and drove home.
At this moment, I'm truly troubled. My girlfriend is a wonderful girl, and I love her as a sister. Should I keep quiet about what happened, or should I break her heart and tell her what her man did? Personally, I think he's a loser, but I have never said anything to her about this thought in the past. Now, I'm also worried that she might not believe me and I could cause us to end our friendship if I tell her and she doesn't want to hear it. What should I do? — In a Tight Spot, Springfield, Illinois
TIGHT SPOT: This guy has put you in a terrible predicament. You have no choice but to tell your girlfriend what happened. Unfortunately, she may, as you fear, not want to hear what you have to say and respond with anger instead of gratitude. Hopefully she will listen and know that you are only telling her this for her own good. Be calm, direct and unwavering when you break this news to her. She most definitely deserves to know this information. Right now, she's engaged to a louse, but it would be far worse if, someday, she married one!
TATTOO TABOO FOR SOME JOBS
DR. WALLACE: I read in a recent column about a teen who was unable to get a job until she got rid of a tattoo. I am one of many employers who will not hire someone with a visible tattoo. Not only does it make us uneasy, but we worry that it makes customers uneasy as well, and that affects our business. People need to consider this before they get a tattoo if they wish to have access to all potential jobs out there on the market these days. Although it might be the "cool thing to do," is it worth it to be unemployable for certain jobs? For some, it surely is worth it. For others, however, they may be surprised to find that it could limit their job opportunities, depending on the industry and specific job function. I do understand that society has changed quite a bit and that in some other jobs, having a tattoo is no problem at all.
Teens, I also want you to know there are a few other taboos for some jobs. These could, at times, include pierced eyebrows, noses, lips and tongues, and pants that hang down on the butt and look like they're falling down. Most employers won't tell you that they are turning you down for these reasons: They just don't hire you. I sure like to give everyone a chance and evaluate them on their job skills and personality in dealing with the public, but for certain jobs, appearances are indeed a legitimate factor in the hiring process. — Employer, Lake Forest, Illinois
EMPLOYER: Thanks for sharing your explanation of the requirements for hiring in your specific industry and location. Some employers do indeed hire qualified applicants regardless of the applicant's appearance, but I believe some qualified potential employees lose out because of their chosen appearances. That's also an element of the beauty in our society, as each individual can choose how to present him or herself to the public as they wish. Employers also have the freedom to select the appearance of applicants who fit the specific job function and professional image that is required for each type of job. To each their own.
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. Email him at [email protected] 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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