Dear Annie: I am the mother of a sex offender. When people think of sex offenders, they assume it involves little children, which isn’t always the case.
At the age of 21, my son became involved with a 15-year-old girl who looked 20 and lied about her age. They had sex and she became pregnant.
After the baby was born, she and my son moved in together. Her parents would not give consent for her to marry.
When the girl applied for welfare, the authorities charged my son with statutory rape. He went to prison and, when paroled, had to register as a sex offender.
We are now paying his rent because no one will hire a sex offender. They don’t ask what happened.
By the way, my son’s baby was put up for adoption, and he has no contact with his child.
This is a warning to all young men to use birth control, and if you’re not sure of the girl’s age, ask to see her birth certificate. – Sad Mom
Dear Sad: Your son has paid a harsh price for his misjudgment. We urge him to be upfront with prospective employers and tell them that he has a criminal record and why. It can’t hurt, and you’d be surprised what such honesty can accomplish.
Dear Annie: I am a single mom with a full-time job. I make decent money, and the health benefits are exceptional. There is no chance I could be laid off no matter how bad the economy gets.
What is the problem? I hate my job. The work itself is quite enjoyable, but my bosses are the most condescending micromanagers you could possibly imagine. They belittle me almost daily. I get a knot in my stomach every morning at the thought of having to face these people. I spend the day with nagging nausea and heartburn, for which I’ve had to start taking medication.
I am not the only one who is treated poorly, nor am I singled out. But the toxic atmosphere is affecting my health. I’m having trouble eating, I’ve lost too much weight, and I’m sometimes short-tempered with my sons. I think I’m depressed.
I know I should be thankful to have a job that pays the bills, but is it worth it? Should I look for another job that pays less and leaves me open to being fired, or do I stay where I am and put up with it? – Lucky and Unlucky
Dear Lucky: A job that makes you nauseated is not going to work out in the long run unless you can find a better way to deal with your micromanaging bosses.
Do they have supervisors? Can the human resources department help you? Some bosses need to be taught how to treat employees, and if you are valuable to your company, the higher-ups should make it clear that bullying is damaging to job performance. You also can work on your response to their behavior, which has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their insecurity, and insist that they treat you more professionally.
If it is not possible to change the atmosphere, start submitting your resume and see what else is out there.
Dear Annie: I am compelled to write in response to “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” the recovering alcoholic whose co-workers want him to go to a bar after work.
As a member of Narcotics Anonymous, I will say that there is a reason these fellowships use the word “Anonymous.” I have many wonderful, close friends through NA, but still don’t know their last names or where they work.
He should not go to the bar. Why jeopardize his sobriety and possibly his job? After a while, his co-workers may figure it out, and by the time they do, he will have shown them he deserves respect, not condemnation. – 20 Years Clean in Redding, Calif.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com.