DEAR ABBY: How do I deal with an assistant who keeps calling me a "brownnoser"? She did it again yesterday at a staff meeting in front of my boss and another assistant. It was the third time she has said it. She is gruff and rude, and several people have complained to me about her attitude.
Should I address her comments during her next employee evaluation, or would it be better to speak to her privately?
- The Boss in Lakeland, Fla.
DEAR BOSS: Talk to her privately and tell her what she said is insulting, not funny and you don't want it to be repeated. Then, put a note about her disrespectful attitude and poor judgment in her personnel file. And by all means revisit the subject at her next evaluation. She should also be made aware that people have complained about her rudeness.
DEAR ABBY: I would like to ask your readers - especially women - what is the one thing they feel is "make or break" in a relationship. A few months ago I divorced a man who was so disrespectful I don't think anyone in the world can match him.
As it turns out, I did myself a huge favor. Everything else - trust, compromise and honesty - is important in a relationship, but if there is no respect, it falls apart. That is what happened to me.
Abby, am I correct about respect being the most important aspect of a partnership?
- Deserving in Salt Lake City
DEAR DESERVING: I think so, and I'm sure most readers will agree. When people respect each other, it follows that there will be honesty, trust and a willingness to compromise. Without these components, relationships usually don't last - or they shouldn't.