Dear Abby: I have a good male friend whose company I have enjoyed very much. He’s outgoing and likes many of the same activities I do. Should I ever need anything, I know he would be there for me.
Unfortunately, this same person is very disrespectful to his wife. He’s severely critical of everything she does. I have seen him yell and make disparaging remarks to her, to the extent that I feel it borders on abusive. His wife is a warm, caring, selfless individual who deserves to be loved by someone who appreciates all that she is and does.
Because of the way he treats her, I no longer enjoy being around him. I’d like to remain friends with this couple, but I’m not sure how to. I am very sad about all of this. Please help me.
Anguished in Arizona
Dear Anguished: I don’t blame you for feeling sad about what you have witnessed. While you would like to continue the friendship, please recognize that unless some changes are made, it isn’t going to happen. You would be doing your friend (and his wife) a favor to tell him how bad his verbal abuse makes HIM look and how harmful it is to his wife. And while you’re at it, suggest that if they are having problems — which they obviously are — they try to work them out with a licensed marriage and family therapist.
Dear Abby: I am a 24-year-old college graduate who has been unable to find a full-time teaching job, so I’m working as a teaching assistant. My salary is less than average, and between rent, bills and student loans, I am stretched more than thin.
Recently, a woman has been talking to me about nannying for her child after school. She’d like to hire me and have me meet her child in person, and we agreed on an hourly rate. I was excited about the opportunity and looking forward to starting.
This week she told me she wants to report my work for her on her taxes, which means I’ll have to report as a freelancer and pay estimated quarterly taxes while I work for her.
Abby, this is unheard of in the baby-sitting world! I have been baby-sitting from my preteens all the way through college, and never once have taxes ever been part of the conversation.
My mother says I shouldn’t be upset because the woman is doing what she’s supposed to as far as the IRS is concerned, but I feel shortchanged.
Shouldn’t she have been upfront about her intentions when we discussed my hourly rate? Am I wrong for asking her for more money per hour to make up for some of the taxes?
Dear Nanny: William R. Turner, CPA, says your mother is correct. Your prospective employer is obeying the law. She wants you to meet her child, negotiate an hourly rate and hire you as a NANNY, not as a baby sitter.
Your new employer should have you fill out a form W-4 and pay you as an employee. Because payroll deductions will be taken out of your gross pay by your new employer, you should negotiate your hourly rate with her accordingly.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.