Dear Annie: I am at my wits' end with a co-worker. Six of us work together as top aides to the head of our organization. For the past nine years, we have all sat in our office for lunch.

A new director joined our organization this past year and for some reason feels entitled to drop in whenever he pleases. Whether we're in a conversation, on the phone or eating lunch, there he is. He drops in unannounced and always commands our attention. He's there at 8 a.m. when we walk in the door, not even giving us time to get settled in, and will chat to whoever will listen. Every day when we sit down to lunch, in he comes and tries to join our conversation. I even put files on my spare chair, but he sat on the floor to talk to me!

It's a busy office, and this is our time to relax for a few minutes and grab a bite. I think it is incredibly rude and presumptuous on his part to think we're interested in spending this quiet time listening to him. A lot of times, we're discussing our personal lives, and I don't feel comfortable sharing that with him.

I've tried ignoring this man, but it only seems to encourage him to try harder to gain our attention. Our boss is a kind person and does not say anything about the frequent interruptions, so the rest of us have to suffer through it. I've begun eating lunch at my desk to avoid him because he irritates me so much.

Without being rude, how do we let him know this is our break time and we'd like to be left alone? Today he dropped by eight times. It's exhausting to have to give him so much attention. I feel like a prisoner in my own office. Any advice? — Frustrated and Hungry

Dear Frustrated: You see an intrusive executive. We see a guy who's trying desperately to make friends with his new co-workers. He'd be a lot less annoying if you welcomed him into your conversations. If that simply is not possible, tell your boss that you appreciate the new director's efforts to be chummy, but he's a little overbearing and should back off before he alienates the staff.

Dear Annie: My nephew is getting married soon. To date, I have not received an invitation, although most all other family members have. As the wedding draws near, I fear I could be the only one left out, although the groom's mother (my sister) assures me that an invite is on the way.

I realize she does not control the guest list and I know they are trying to keep the number down, but how can you invite all the aunts except one? I am very hurt.

Do you think I'm justified, or should I simply make other plans for that day and refuse to be on the "D" list? — Forgotten Aunt

Dear Aunt: Of course it is rude to invite all the aunts except one. However, we urge you not to take this as an intentional snub. More likely, the bride's family is withholding some of the invitations and your sister felt you would be the most understanding of her relatives. So we hope you will be. If she says there is an invitation coming, please assume there is.


Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. © Creators Syndicate Inc.