Dear Abby: At new job, can I keep my gastric surgery a secret?

SHARE Dear Abby: At new job, can I keep my gastric surgery a secret?
SHARE Dear Abby: At new job, can I keep my gastric surgery a secret?

DEAR ABBY: I had bariatric surgery (gastric sleeve) five months ago. I left my previous job because the way I was treated by my employer and co-workers changed drastically after my procedure.

I am starting a new job soon and do not want to tell my new employer or co-workers that I have had this operation. People always treat you differently once they know. I don’t know anyone at the new job, and I prefer to keep this part of my life private.

My boyfriend thinks I should tell at least HR, in case any medical issues arise while at work, because then they would be able to inform medical personnel. I don’t think they need to know. What do you think, Abby? — TREATED DIFFERENTLY

DEAR TREATED DIFFERENTLY: Your medical history is your own business. After five months you should have healed from your surgery. I’m not sure what kind of complications your boyfriend is worried about, but if you experience any, the time to report it to HR will be when they occur.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a young woman who, for years, went to my aunt and uncle’s house for Thanksgiving. Every year, my aunt has made the turkey and the sides, and my uncle has done the cleanup. I appreciate their hosting every year, but I’d like to find a way to be able to help.

I have offered to clean, but my uncle insists I enjoy myself. I’ve brought dessert, but my aunt bakes a wonderful cake every year. I’ve tried to help in the kitchen, but she gently tells me to have fun. I’ve brought wine in previous years, but a family member struggles with drinking, so out of respect for him, I won’t continue that.

I have had a lot of health issues over the years and lifelong disabilities, so it has taken me a long time to become independent. I now have my first full-time job. What’s a way I could give to my family? — THANKFUL IN FLORIDA

DEAR THANKFUL: A way to do that would be to bring your hosts a lovely flowering plant when you arrive, or alternatively, send a bouquet afterward with a note of thanks. And of course, you could also offer to take them out for a meal post-holiday.

DEAR ABBY: Our 9-year-old son makes perfect grades in school. His friends all have cellphones, and I believe he should get one also. My husband disagrees and thinks he should be a teenager first and learn more responsibility.

With times changing so quickly and kids getting phones at 6 and 7 years old, am I wrong or is my husband old-fashioned in his approach? — OLD-FASHIONED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR OLD-FASHIONED: Parents teach their children to be responsible by placing some responsibility on their shoulders.

In the current landscape, it’s a good idea for a child to have the ability to communicate with a parent in case of an emergency. You and your husband could give your son a flip phone so he can do that if necessary.

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.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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