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Dear Abby: Business owner struck dumb by customer's bigoted rant
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Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Business owner struck dumb by customer's bigoted rant

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DEAR ABBY: I am a small business owner. My store has local (repeat) and one-time customers. The other day, while checking out, one of my local customers spewed out a verbal and extremely bigoted rant. I was stunned speechless. I felt I should do something, but I wasn't sure what it should be. I have started losing sleep over it. If it happens again, should I remain silent and keep the peace, or stand up for all Americans and lose this customer and probably more? -- FREAKED OUT IN FLORIDA

DEAR FREAKED OUT: To paraphrase a well-known saying, "All that's necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to ignore it and say nothing." If the rant your bigoted customer spewed was aimed at another shopper, you had a responsibility to protect the victim of the onslaught. In the future, it would not be out of line to state firmly that you don't want that kind of talk in your establishment. While doing that may (or may not) lose you a few customers, you would at least be able to sleep better than you're sleeping now.

P.S. It may also GAIN you some customers once word gets around.

DEAR ABBY: I have been with the same doctor for 15 years, only requiring an annual checkup. The problem is, the office is about a 40-minute drive, longer if I hit a rush hour. I have stayed with the provider because the care is so good. However, I recently found a doctor who is 10 minutes away and provides the same quality of care. Do I call the original doctor to let them know I am leaving the practice? Write a note? Leave it alone? What is the proper protocol? -- GOOD PATIENT IN MICHIGAN

DEAR PATIENT: Contact your longtime doctor's office and ask either that your medical records be sent to your new doctor's office, or they be readied for you to pick up so you can deliver them yourself. In light of the fact that you have had a 15-year relationship with "Longtime Doctor," it would be nice if you wrote a letter thanking him/her for taking such good care of you all these years and explain that the commute has become more than you can now handle, which is why you are leaving.

DEAR ABBY: I was sitting around bored with nothing to do and started thinking about my classmates from 1960. I hadn't seen or heard from some of them in more than 55 years, so I decided to call them and found all but two. Boy, was it ever worth it!

Most of the conversations lasted 30 minutes or more. I enjoyed hearing their voices and reminiscing about old times. I couldn't believe how quickly the day went by. It made me feel great, and I hope it did the same for them.

When I told them why I was calling, some of them thought it was such a good idea they were going to do it too. Maybe others will want to consider this. Try it. It's worth it. -- CATCHING UP IN WISCONSIN

DEAR CATCHING UP: What you did was wonderful. Many people have been using this quarantine period to reconnect with long-lost friends, and I highly recommend it. There's no surer cure for the blues -- or boredom -- than reaching out to others. Thank you for an upper of a letter.

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DEAR ABBY: About 40 years ago, I did someone an injustice, and I have felt guilty ever since. I worked for a consulting firm in Washington, D.C., that fired an accounting clerk who was in my small office. I didn't know why she was fired, and I never heard a cross word exchanged between her and her supervisor. She seemed to be capable and friendly.

DEAR ABBY: My 14-year-old daughter recently came out of the closet, and it has made my husband and me quite upset. She says she is "bicurious, pansexual and polyamorous." She now insists everyone call her by a gender-neutral name, gave herself a side shave and dyed her hair pink after we repeatedly told her not to. She wants us to refer to her as "they" and not "she."

DEAR ABBY: I found out a year ago that my wife of eight years had an affair for three years with my best friend. Two months ago I realized she is still contacting him. I found out because I went through her cell records. She said she was just texting him about how he ruined our life. Now I have no access to them, and I suspect she's using a text app so I won't know. She keeps her phone with her all the time.

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DEAR ABBY: A casual friend sent me a video of a comic doing a very lewd and vulgar routine. I was offended by it and forwarded it to my girlfriend to find out what she thought about it. She got very upset and told me I was being disrespectful to her by even passing it on to her. I should add that we met online and have been talking on the phone with each other for only a month during this shelter-in-place time.

DEAR ABBY: About 40 years ago, I did someone an injustice, and I have felt guilty ever since. I worked for a consulting firm in Washington, D.C., that fired an accounting clerk who was in my small office. I didn't know why she was fired, and I never heard a cross word exchanged between her and her supervisor. She seemed to be capable and friendly.

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