Seniors chafe at center director's tirades

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: Our town has a free senior exercise group. Recently, because of painting in the building, we had to meet in a basement room. A few of the seniors commented unfavorably on this within earshot of the director. She yelled at the group, threatening to close the center. Her lack of respect for her guests is causing resentment, 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). A doctor who held clinics at our center told the director he would no longer come if her tirades continued. Do her actions constitute verbal elder abuse? Any suggestions?--Senioritis

DEAR SENIORITIS: 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. You (and your senior posse) should definitely go to a higher-up.

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" who suggests a pre-nup is cheating faithful couples.--Melissa

DEAR MELISSA: I don't see how other people's choices -- social, financial or otherwise -- are cheating faithful married couples out of anything. 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.