Covert use of speak­er­phone makes caller want to clam up

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK -

DEAR ABBY >> When I call my brother or sis­ter, I ex­pect my call to be pri­vate, just be­tween the two of us. How­ever, half­way through the call, other peo­ple in the house­hold join the con­ver­sa­tion or I’ll hear pots and pans rat­tling. I con­sider this to be very rude.

I re­al­ize in this era of tech­nol­ogy a speak­er­phone is a con­ve­nience, but I feel the caller should be told up­front that he or she is on speak­er­phone rather than re­al­ize dur­ing the call that oth­ers have been lis­ten­ing. Am I overly sen­si­tive, or do you think the caller should be told they’re on speaker and who will be lis­ten­ing in? Just a lit­tle pri­vacy, please? — Kathy in South Car­olina

DEAR KATHY >> You are not overly sen­si­tive. How­ever, be­cause you know your sib­lings are in the habit of do­ing this, you should ask at the be­gin­ning of the phone call if you are be­ing put on speaker. If the an­swer is yes, you can then sug­gest the per­son call you back when you can talk pri­vately.

DEAR ABBY >> I re­tired two years ago at 71. Prior to re­tire­ment, I gave money to fam­ily mem­bers from ev­ery pay­check. I didn’t save a dime.

I am now los­ing my home and in worse shape than they were when I gave them my money. I learned my les­son too late. Per­haps my predica­ment will help oth­ers.

Since re­tire­ment, I have had two surg­eries with min­i­mal help from any­one I helped. Doc­tor bills are pil­ing up. If I had just saved as much as I gave away, I’d have enough to save my home. Take care of your­self first. — Money mat­ters

DEAR MONEY MAT­TERS >> I am sorry your gen­eros­ity has landed you in so much trou­ble. I am print­ing your let­ter be­cause it proves the truth of the adage “char­ity be­gins at home.” Ev­ery­one should be­gin putting aside money to­ward re­tire­ment as soon as they get their first job, and con­tinue for as long as they are work­ing. What­ever monies are left af­ter pay­ing ex­penses and sav­ing for re­tire­ment are con­sid­ered dis­cre­tionary, to be spent as the saver wishes.

DEAR ABBY >> My son has an older neigh­bor who of­ten looks af­ter his daugh­ter, who is 8 months old. This neigh­bor has no chil­dren or grand­chil­dren of her own. She buys my grand­daugh­ter clothes, shoes, toys and, most re­cently, a high chair.

The prob­lem is, she keeps all of these things at her house and doesn’t share these gifts with my son and his wife. They don’t have a lot of clothes for the baby or a high chair. Do you think this is ap­pro­pri­ate, or am I out of line to think it isn’t? — Un­sure in Ken­tucky

DEAR UN­SURE >> If some­one buys clothes and shoes for a tod­dler, com­mon sense dic­tates they should be kept where the child is dressed in the morn­ing — pre­sum­ably at home. (A sup­ply of di­a­pers and wipes should be on hand wher­ever the lit­tle one is.) How­ever, be­cause lug­ging a high chair and toys back and forth could cre­ate a prob­lem, I see no rea­son why they shouldn’t re­main at the care­giver’s house. Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and get­ting along with peers and par­ents is in “What Ev­ery Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

Dear Abby

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