Karma Cleanser 

Dear Karma Cleanser: My friend Libby has started hanging out with a guy I met last year. I don't really know the guy well, having only talked to him three or four times. But I happen to know from other friends that he is a habitual liar. I've heard stories about the lies he's told that continue to shock and amaze me. Trying to be a good friend, I let Libby know the things that I'd heard about her new pal. She told me thank you and said she would keep her eyes open. But later, I mentioned to my boyfriend that I had done this, and he became upset with me. He said I should not have told Libby anything I didn't know from firsthand experience. I was trying to keep my karma clear by helping a friend out, but now I worry that I've messed things up more. What should I have done?
-- Truth Serum

Your boyfriend's right in saying you should tread carefully when relating dirt on folks that you didn't experience firsthand. Your interaction with the alleged liar has been limited, you admit, so your knowledge of his knack for hyperbole comes only from secondary sources, which may be susceptible to exaggeration themselves. Yes, you tried to do Libby a favor by warning her of possible shadiness ahead. But the Karma Cleanser believes we're usually better off letting people learn lessons for themselves.

Dear Karma Cleanser:
The person who sits in the cubicle next to me has started to get on my nerves. She has what may be the most annoying ring tone on her cell phone, which goes off four or five times a day. She always takes the call, then spends 20 or 30 minutes talking very loudly, which disrupts my concentration. I've mentioned to her that her conversations can be heard throughout the office and suggested she take them outside. Nothing changed. I've also told our boss that the noise level in my cubicle makes it hard for me to get my work done. He suggested I buy a pair of headphones. This morning I was walking past her cube and saw the cell phone sitting out on her desk. No one was around, and I could just barely resist grabbing the thing and throwing it into the reflecting pond in front of our office.-- Jail Cell

Poor cell phone. You can't blame technology on its obnoxious users. What you can do is reiterate to Chatty Kathy that you need some quiet to get your work done. If that fails, maybe you should follow your boss' advice. What's so bad about headphones?

Been bad? karma@creativeloafing.com.


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