Dear Amy: Our town has a free senior exercise group that meets five mornings a week. Recently, because of painting in the building, we had to meet in a different room in the basement — not a favorite spot.
Unfortunately, a few of the seniors commented unfavorably on this within earshot of the director.
She came down and yelled at the group, threatening to close the center. Her lack of respect for her guests/seniors is causing resentment and anger, yet we would hate to go to her boss about this. We know she needs the job and does very well (other than her tirades).
On another tirade occasion, a doctor connected with a foot clinic who held regular clinics at our center told her he would no longer come if this continued.
Do her actions constitute verbal elder abuse? Any suggestions for how to handle this?
I don't think it's appropriate to use the term "elder abuse" when what you are dealing with is garden variety unprofessional (and inexcusable) behavior. And while I agree that on one level it is abusive, you dilute the meaning of elder abuse if you make this claim.
You should, however, take action. Behaving poorly — aside from tirades — is still unacceptable from someone whose job is to deal with (and serve) the public.
If the director of this center truly needs this job, then she will have to figure out how to adjust her behavior. You (and your senior posse) should definitely go to a higher-up to report this issue.
Dear Amy: You said that if a spouse agrees to it, then cheating isn't really cheating. I disagree.
Each advice columnist who approves of an affair, each couple who lives together before marriage, each financial "expert" that suggests a pre-nup for engaged couples is cheating faithful couples because it cheapens the commitment of marriage.
I don't see how other people's choices — social, financial or otherwise — are cheating you or other faithful married couples out of anything.
I interpret "cheating" as being sexually and/or emotionally intimate with another person without the knowledge or permission of your partner.
I do think that being sexually intimate with others (with permission from your spouse) stretches the definition of what we know of as "marriage," but I don't believe this arrangement among all consenting adults is necessarily unethical.
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