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Dear Abby 9/6

Water bottle is no place to store toxic products

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Posted: September 4, 2007 5:04 p.m.
Updated: September 20, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    DEAR ABBY: It happened again! Someone put pesticide in a water bottle. A 6-year-old child got ahold of it and drank about 2 ounces. He is now on a ventilator in a pediatric intensive care unit. Having made it that far, he'll probably be OK. Why do people keep doing this?
    I can't tell you how many sad stories I've seen that start with using a sports bottle, a soft drink can or a milk bottle for temporary pesticide storage. I would like very much never to see another, but my chances are not good. It is my job to track health impacts from pesticide exposure in the state where I live — where state law requires doctors to report such events to local health officers.
    Please remind your readers to keep pesticides — and other toxic products — in their original, carefully labeled containers. Under no circumstances should people use food or drink containers for poisons, even momentarily. Please remind readers, too, not to use more pesticide than the instructions direct. The recommended amounts are effective, and using more just asks for trouble. Thank you, Abby. — CONCERNED HEALTH WORKER IN THE USA
    DEAR CONCERNED: Thank you for the important reminder. The most innocent among us are the most likely victims of irresponsibility in handling toxic substances. A word to the wise!
    DEAR ABBY: I have been working as a clerk for about nine months. I love my job and have made good friends here. I enjoy working with people, and my schedule is flexible enough that I can earn my college degree.
    My boss, "Tom," is a young, handsome and charming man, and I am attracted to him. We have shared each other's personal stories, and he treats me differently than he does the other female employees. He not only engages in intimate conversations about sex, but he's also touchy and very personal. Recently he told me he had cheated on his girlfriend.
    I told another employee, not to pass moral judgment, but to ask what she thought he meant by telling me this. Well, it got back to Tom. He told me he was disappointed in me and he can't trust me. He said I have jeopardized his relationship with his girlfriend. I told a close adult friend. She says he acted inappropriately and he's angry with me because he feels guilty. I'm not sure what to do. I have already apologized, but our relationship is strained.
    I haven't been in the working world very long. Is this level of personal sharing inappropriate? Tom says he's my friend, but I have never been to his home, gone to a movie with him or anything like that. I love my job, and I don't know if I should write him a note and apologize formally or let bygones be bygones. Please help me. — EMPLOYEE ON THE EDGE
    DEAR ON THE EDGE: Tom is not your friend; he is your boss. You have done nothing for which to apologize. Tom stepped over the line when he started treating you differently than the other employees, putting his hands on you, and engaging you in conversation of a personal — and sexual — nature. Tom may be handsome and charming, but he is also an unprofessional rat. Do not write him a letter of apology. Frankly, he owes you one.
    DEAR ABBY: Hola! from Mexico. We have just moved to a new neighborhood where some of our friends live. I would like to invite them for dinner, but I don't know if I should wait for them to do it first. — LUISA IN VERACRUZ, MEXICO
    DEAR LUISA: If you wait to be invited, it could be a long wait. Better to be proactive. Invite your friends over. They may be more likely to reciprocate your hospitality than to entertain you on their own initiative.
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