Dear Annie: A woman I used to work with is getting on my nerves. “Tallie” and I would take our coffee breaks together. She is legally blind, and I would help her get her beverage and water for her service dog. That’s it.
When I left my job, Tallie wanted to keep in touch, so we exchanged phone numbers. I thought it would be nice to hear from her occasionally, and for a while, it was fine. That all changed when Tallie, a newlywed, found out she was pregnant.
Tallie is becoming overly attached to me. She goes to the hospital every week, complaining about some ache or pain, dehydration, lost weight, etc., and then calls me afterward to describe the examination in great detail. I don’t want to hear these graphic recitals and suggested she discuss such private matters with her husband, but she won’t stop. I know she is crying out for attention, but I am not a trained medical person. She has a husband and close family members to take care of her.
Last night, Tallie did it again, and I told her flat-out that I find hearing such personal information offensive. She replied, “I’m only trying to keep my best friend updated. You never ask how I’m doing.” I don’t want to be Tallie’s best friend. She was simply a co-worker, and I’ve discovered I don’t particularly like her. I can’t change my phone number, since it belongs to a relative and I don’t pay the bill. I try to screen the calls, but one will inevitably come through.
How can I nicely avoid her? – Non-Friend
Dear Non-Friend: You need to extricate yourself from being held hostage by this emotionally needy woman. Look into the cost of adding your own phone line with a separate number. Otherwise, when Tallie calls, say, “Sorry, but I have to run. Bye.” Then hang up immediately. After a dozen “conversations” like that, she will move on to a more sympathetic listener.
Dear Annie: I’d like to say “right on” to the letter from “Redding, Calif.,” who said stores should provide seating for those who have trouble walking. For the last two years, I have been plagued with chronic fatigue and peripheral neuropathy (an extremely painful nerve disorder of the feet). I have asked the managers in my favorite department stores to provide seating, to no avail.
I find it hard to believe I’m the only one who requires this courtesy. How much could it possibly cost to throw a few folding chairs out on each floor? I’m considering giving my money to the TV shopping networks. Then I won’t have to endure the sour look on the faces of the sales staff when I ask for a chair so I can rest for a moment. – Kara in California
Dear Kara: This is another reason why shopping online is so popular. Here’s one more:
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Redding” and would like to add a point. It isn’t just extra chairs in shopping malls.
I frequently take my 81-year-old mother out to dinner. As she is on a walker, it’s obvious that moving is difficult for her. Yet, time and again, we are seated at the back of the restaurant. I always ask if there isn’t something closer, but for some reason, I’m always told “no.”
A good restaurant manager would use those closer tables for the physically handicapped. Thanks for letting me air my grievance. – T.G., Simi Valley, Calif.
Dear Simi Valley: We are afraid to speculate on why a restaurant manager might not want the physically handicapped seated where they are most visible to arriving customers. No one using a walker should be forced to march the length of the restaurant unless the place is packed. Tell the manager why you don’t intend to patronize the place again.
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