Dear Annie: I work in an area where we are allowed to listen to the radio during work hours. This is great, as I enjoy the music. The problem is, one of our co-workers feels the need to loudly sing along to the songs. It is extremely annoying and also distracting.
I am hoping this letter will be an eye-opener to all of those people who act like they are auditioning for a talent show at work. This is not the place. If you feel the need to sing, go to a karaoke bar. Even my earplugs can’t drown out her voice. Any suggestions? – Not Taylor Swift
Dear Not: Have you spoken to your co-worker about not singing? Or at least singing more quietly? You don’t need to disparage her talent. Simply say that you find the singing rather distracting and could she please tone it down so you can concentrate on your work. Be nice. Be friendly. You’d be surprised how cooperative people can be when you approach them kindly. You also can ask your supervisor to speak to this co-worker, explaining that her vocalizations make it difficult for some people to get their jobs done efficiently. And you might want to invest in a set of good quality noise-canceling headphones that will put her on mute whenever possible.
Dear Annie: For the last 25 years, my brother’s wife, “Ruby,” has been stealing my pain pills and whatever else she thinks she needs or can sell to her friends. At first, I was unaware of this. I thought I was miscounting my pills or dropping them on the floor. But one day, I picked up a new pill bottle and noticed that half of them were missing. I had just come home from knee surgery and needed that medication.
After that incident, I developed more devious and secure ways to protect my medications. Someone (Ruby swears it wasn’t her) used a pry bar on two small bathroom safes and again stole the pills. Worse, she replaced a few with identical-looking pills that I didn’t notice right away. I had a terrible reaction. I’m lucky the pills she substituted didn’t kill me.
I finally bought a small safe that connects to the wall. Then my mother’s jewelry started disappearing. So we put all of the house valuables in the safe. This worked well until Ruby lifted the spare key from sister’s purse.
I was under so much stress, that my therapist recommended I move out, but I am disabled and my funds just don’t stretch that far. Fortunately, my sister sold her condo. We plan to rent a house together and move my mom in.
I know that Ruby will never admit that she’s the thief. She thinks this is a victimless crime. But if I don’t get my pain meds, I can barely get out of bed in the morning and my whole day is shot. – Need My Prescriptions
Dear Need: If someone is stealing, but you cannot prove it, your best recourse is to lock up your valuables where no one has access but you. If your sister has a spare key, she should not keep it in her unlocked purse. We’re glad you are moving to a more secure location. And thanks for the warning about taking the wrong medications. That can be lethal.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.