Colleague refuses payment for help above and beyond

Published 8:14 am Thursday, January 21, 2021

DEAR ABBY: My colleagues and I were recently notified that our company is closing next month. My work partner and I have collaborated closely for four years, and he’s an expert at the software I need to know to get a job in my field. When I asked if he would give me a couple of lessons via Zoom, I was thinking it’d be about a three-hour commitment for him. But he was enthusiastic and designed a 20-plus-hour curriculum for me.
He keeps saying he doesn’t want me to pay him, but I want to find an appropriate way to express my gratitude. What would be an appropriate amount to compensate him without getting too steep (which is why I didn’t do the full-price software training in the first place. It was $2K)? Thanks for any advice. — THANKFUL IN ILLINOIS

DEAR THANKFUL: If you know of any interests, hobbies, a sport, etc. your partner has outside the workplace, consider going online to see if you can find something connected to that activity he would enjoy that’s within your budget.
DEAR ABBY: Every year on Facebook’s “National Daughter’s Day,” my daughter’s mother-in-law professes her love, respect and admiration for her own daughter, but never acknowledges her daughter-in-law (my daughter). Yet on “National Son’s Day,” she posts glowing tributes not only to her sons, but also to her son-in-law.
We all live within miles of each other, and this recurring slight makes it difficult to act like everything is fine when, in truth, this is hurtful to my daughter and to our family. Should I address this issue with the mother-in-law or continue to bite my tongue? — DISMISSED IN TEXAS

DEAR DISMISSED: If you are smart, rather than address the issue with your daughter’s mother-in-law, who either has the emotional intelligence of an oyster or really doesn’t care for your daughter, mention it to your son-in-law and point out to him that being slighted is hurtful. There may be a better result if HE brings it up to his mother.
DEAR ABBY: I battle with a double chin, and I loathe it. My chin hides itself only if I am under 126 pounds. Anything over that and it’s there. I’m not overweight, but my double chin makes me feel that way.
I have read that dermal fillers in the chin can discreetly get rid of this issue. The problem? My husband. He’s against any type of plastic surgery. He doesn’t like my double chin either, but he wants me to only get rid of it “naturally.” Normally I would agree. I have been exercising (running four times a week) without success. I don’t feel comfortable looking this way.
I think I deserve this shortcut. Should I get the filler without my husband’s blessing, or should I continue this struggle? — TAKING IT ON THE CHIN

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DEAR TAKING IT: You are an adult, and it’s your body. You do not need permission to do something that will help you feel better about yourself. If your husband is against any type of plastic surgery (and by the way, fillers do not qualify as plastic surgery), HE should forgo having it when his frown lines begin to look like tractor furrows and he develops a wattle.
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