SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 17, 2013

Dear Abby: RVs on highways this summer will need extra room to roam

Dear Abby
The Salem News

---- — :Dear Abby: It’s vacation time again, time to hit the road in the RV. Please make your readers aware that people driving motorhomes, towing fifth-wheel trailers and travel trailers CANNOT stop as quickly as a small car or truck.

When people cut in front of an RV or a large truck and slam on their brakes, it puts many people’s lives in danger. There is a reason we leave that large space between our RV and the vehicle in front of us. It provides us room to stop as well as the ability to see what’s happening in the traffic ahead.

Your readers should also know that even though we RV-ers have mirrors and possibly rear video cameras, there are many blind spots — especially if the car behind us is following too close or weaving in and out of lanes.

The bottom line is: Be safe. Be courteous. Drive like your life and the lives of others are in your control because it is literally true.

:Happy Camper, Pasco, Wash.

Dear Happy Camper: I’m glad you wrote because I have received several letters recently, asking me to alert my readers about the risk of driving too close to RVs and fifth-wheel vehicles. Too many motorists don’t realize that it’s impossible to stop suddenly while pulling a load that weighs several tons. A word to the wise ...

:Dear Abby: A woman here at work constantly asks to borrow money. The first time she did it, she caught me off guard and I gave her $20. The second time she sent me an email asking for a loan, I replied that I only had a few dollars.

I’m not the only person she asks. Five other people in our department have told me she has hit them up too. One of them reported her to our HR manager, but it hasn’t stopped her. To be fair, she did return the $20 I loaned her, but isn’t this akin to a hostile work environment?

We all avoid her because we know she’ll ask for money, but we also have to work with her every day. Times are tough for everyone, and it’s irritating that she thinks she’s the only one with money problems.

Is there anything we can do short of ganging up on her and telling her to leave us all alone?

:Also Feeling The Pinch In Utah

Dear Also Feeling The Pinch: The next time the woman asks for a loan, tell her you’re not in the loan business, and that you’re not the only one who feels put upon. Suggest that unless she wants to become an outcast she will stop asking for money because it has made everyone uncomfortable. If she persists after that, report what she’s doing to HR as a group.

:Dear Abby: I have a friend who was raised Catholic. I’m not Catholic, and every time I attend a wedding or funeral for one of her family members I feel uncomfortable and awkward. I often sit in the very back pew to go unnoticed.

The Catholic Church offers beautiful, unique customs that I am simply ignorant about — like when to sit, kneel, recite, take bread, etc. I feel if I don’t comply with customs at these events, I might come off as rude or disrespectful. On the other hand, if I do try, my ignorance may appear just as rude and disrespectful.

What is the right thing to do in situations like these? I want to be respectful of any religion.

:Mannerly In Indiana

Dear Mannerly: No rule of etiquette demands that you participate in the rituals of another person’s religion. If you feel uncomfortable sitting while others kneel or stand, then follow their lead. Or, continue to sit quietly at the back of the church as you are doing, which is perfectly acceptable. However, only members of the congregation in good standing should take communion.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.