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Karma Cleanser 

Should I pull seniority at work for my co-worker boyfriend?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I am in an unusual situation. I'm a 32-year-old woman in the health-care professionals industry. I have been divorced for several years and have not put myself into the dating pool for some time. I have recently begun seeing a man who is several years younger than me. He is 23 and he works in my office.

We have to keep the relationship secret because it is against company policy for people to date in our office. Nobody else knows what is going on with us.

Recently, my supervisor asked all of us to go ahead and submit our requests for holiday vacation time. It's very competitive around here to see who can take vacation time for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have been with the company for five years, so I have seniority. The person I am seeing is new here, so he will not have it so easy. This is bad news, because I want him to go home with me to Utah during the week of Thanksgiving.

I want to pull seniority and ask my supervisor to do me a favor and give us both the entire week off for Thanksgiving, but in doing so I would have to admit that we are dating. To do that might get us both in trouble.

The other option is for him to lie and say that he absolutely can't work that week. He doesn't want to do that because he says dishonesty will hurt him in this career. How should we proceed?

– Turkey or Chicken

Exactly how long have you two been together? It sounds like you're rushing into something you might later regret. Dating a co-worker is a minefield already; dating younger, doubly so. Try a more prudent approach this Turkey Day and leave the new beau at home. He doesn't seem to be itching to visit Utah anyway, and it's better that you let the new relationship ripen some before you expose it to either your colleagues or your kinfolk.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

In response to "All About the Jacksons," the person who wrote about passing two fake $20 bills onto his customers: I normally agree with your answers, even the off-the-wall ones. But this time I felt that you glossed over a very crucial part of the problem. If this person followed your advice and hosted a "free cupcake day," wouldn't his employer still be the one who ultimately paid for it? You should have stipulated that the person pay for the "cupcakes" or any other freebies out of his own pocket.

– Missed the Point?

We can see how you'd be confused. We edited the original letter down slightly and in doing so inadvertently lost the information that the writer was also the owner of the booth where he works. Therefore, any freebies would already come from his own pocket. Thanks for the careful reading, though.

Been bad?

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