DEAR AMY: I have had a job at a local bar for more than a year. One of my good friends had been trying to get a job with us for several months. An opportunity finally came up and I got her a job. She was so excited and was pumped to do a good job.
The only problem is, she sleeps around. A lot. I asked her to not mess around with any of the bouncers. She broke this one rule ... twice!
Now I am totally insulted and feel betrayed by her; I told the boss that she was a good person and would do a really good job. She keeps apologizing and has been asking me what's wrong almost hourly.
How do I go about voicing my hurt with her?
Neither of the guys she was with knew about the other until I told them, and now we all feel betrayed.
DEAR BETRAYED: It is not clear which rule your friend broke — a friendship rule, laid down by you, or a rule of the establishment where you both work.
I'm assuming that there is no actual rule stating that workers cannot be sexually involved with one another but that you wanted your friend to respect boundaries established by you.
Now you need to be as honest as you were before — and tell her how foolish you think she is and how betrayed you feel.
Even though you recommended your friend for this job, you are not responsible for her behavior or reputation while she is on the job. Nor can you protect her from the fallout (personal and professional) from her own choices.
DEAR AMY: I am 11 years old. Recently I had a fight with my best friend, and then she started gossiping about me to everyone at my table. When I found out, I got pretty mad. There has been a lot of rumor-spreading at our school lately.
I don't like it that she has the power to make me cry if we're in a fight.
She can be a great friend and took me under her wing when I was new in town, but now I'm wondering if we can be friends any more. I am fuming.
I see her everywhere and so I can't really stop being her friend without causing a lot of drama. She's usually very nice, but if she is fighting with someone she gets very nasty.
What should I do, Amy?
— Confused Friend
DEAR CONFUSED: At your age, gossiping is a fairly common mode of what adults call "power playing," until the person doing the bad mouthing learns the hard lesson that no one trusts a gossip. Sooner or later, the gossip will find herself sitting alone at the lunch table because no one wants to be around her.
The best way to deal with this behavior is to be honest and say, "I don't like that. Gossiping is wrong and it hurts people's feelings, so I don't want to be around you if you're going to do that."
You can take your power back by defending yourself and other kids against this rude and destructive behavior.
DEAR AMY: I am responding to the letter from "Unsure." This teenager was transporting a baby without a car seat. You suggested car seats "are readily available second hand..."
I work for AAA and am certified as a child seat safety technician by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Second-hand car seats are never something we suggest using for a number of reasons, most importantly because people don't know the history of the seats.
Car seats that have been involved in a car crash, for example, aren't usable anymore, and one wouldn't know that if they bought it second hand. Car seats also "expire" after about six years' use.
There are many, many places that will provide new, donated seats if one can't afford to purchase one, but using a second-hand seat isn't a recommended option.
We certainly appreciate you strongly noting that this young person needs to use a car seat, but it must be safe.
— Beth Mosher, AAA, Chicago
DEAR BETH: Many readers echoed your advice. Thank you all.
Send questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy Dickinson's memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.