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Dear Abby: Use earphones to tune out annoying coworker

Jeanne Phillips

Published: Sunday, Nov. 4 2012 8:18 p.m. MST

Dear Abby: I work in a cubicle in close proximity to my coworkers. I can't help but hear everything. A coworker who sits next to me is driving me crazy. She spells her name wrong to customers every day, 20 times a day. She also moans during the day. I almost want to peek over the cubicle to see what she's doing.

When I have mentioned to her that perhaps she must spell her name so often to customers because she's spelling it wrong in the first place, her retort is, "No, I don't!" Everyone in the office can hear her, too. They think it's funny.

Abby, she's making me crazy. Should I record her for a few hours and play it back? Unless I do, she won't believe she does it. By the end of the week, I can hardly speak to her. Please help.

— Tortured in Orange, Calif.

Dear Tortured: Although your coworker may seem to spell her name wrong to you, there are variations on the spelling of many names (i.e., Jeannie-Jeanne, Shari-Sherry-Cheri, Brian-Bryan, Steven-Stephen). The spelling of someone's name is usually determined by one's parents — so lighten up.

Your coworker may be unaware that she makes these sounds. Instead of criticizing her, perhaps you should mention this to her. I don't think you need to make any recordings. If the noise is distracting others in the office, a group of you should approach a supervisor about it. If not, then I'd recommend earphones for you.

Dear Abby: I'm sure I speak for hairstylists all over the country who style hair for our dearly departed. It is the last time their family will see them, so it is very important that it looks "just right." Please bring us a picture of your loved one that was taken within the last few years, not one from 20 or 30 years ago. (Yes, Abby, it happens all the time.)

Also, please describe how the deceased wore their hair if the picture has a pompadour and the person has a short bob. It's really frustrating! If you would take snapshots of your loved ones occasionally, I wouldn't have to wonder what Mom looked like.

— Sandy the Hairstylist

Dear Sandy: Thank you for the heads-up.

Dear Abby: Can a man be too good to a woman? I dated this fantastic lady for four years. We made a commitment to be true to each other. She broke up with me. Her reason? She said I treated her too well. How can a person be too good to the one he loves?

— Begging for Answersin North Carolina

Dear Begging: If a woman is used to abusive relationships, she may find being treated well not "exciting" enough. Others can't resist a "challenge" and find stress-free relationships boring.

I'm sorry you are hurting, but please understand that you may have dodged a bullet. Once you accept it, you can move on.

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