Work assignment abroad makes waves back home

DEAR ABBY: I took an assignment with my company that posted me to Hong Kong for two years. My adult children, ages 21, 26 and 29, were supportive, although my youngest was not especially happy about it. We video chat with our kids, trying to stay involved as much as possible. We have also visited multiple times. It's not always ideal, but we try. We have also offered to pay for them to visit us as often as they would like.

My company has asked me to stay one more year because I haven't completely finished what I was sent here to do. I'm inclined to do it. My youngest child, however, is so angry at me for even considering it that she won't talk to me. Am I choosing my job over my children?

- Professional Woman

From Michigan

DEAR PROFESSIONAL WOMAN: Yes, you are, but there's a practical reason for it. Also, your adult "children" aren't children anymore, even though your youngest is acting like one. As a career woman, if you feel you should stay in Hong Kong to complete your assignment, that is what you need to do.

It's called shoplifting

DEAR ABBY: I am responding to the letter from "Unsure in the West" (Oct. 9). You advised that you "see nothing wrong with what she did" in opening a box in a grocery store and eating some of the contents before paying at the checkout. You should know that legally, eating or using the contents of an unpaid item in the aisle is considered "shoplifting." The perpetrator can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

I am a certified protection professional. While the intent may not be to "steal," retailers - whose industry loses billions of dollars to theft each year - require that items in their stores be paid for before they can be used or eaten.

- Allan in Yonkers

DEAR ALLAN: I apologize for saying otherwise and thank you for your letter. Other readers also responded to that column citing firsthand experiences working in the retail field.