Ask Amy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010; 12:00 AM

DEAR AMY: My friend "Judy" likes to cram a lot into her day.

More often than not, when we plan an outing, the day before the event she'll tell me that she will need to leave early to be somewhere else at a certain time.

This usually results in our having to cut short whatever we were doing for her to rush off to her next engagement.

This makes me feel annoyed and put out. It's as if she's saying, "I don't want to be bothered doing what you want to do." What can I say to her that will not jeopardize the friendship entirely? -- Rush Job in Washington

DEAR RUSH: The most obvious solution to your time management issue would be for you to schedule your meetings with your friend at the end of her busy day.

This doesn't answer the question of what's going on with your friendship, however.

The real issue is how your friend can habitually do something you find chronically annoying and yet you feel that expressing your feelings to her would "entirely jeopardize" your friendship.

What gives?

Friends get to tell each other the truth, even if revealing it makes you feel just a little bit needy. And so you say, "I don't know, 'Judy' -- I've noticed that whenever we make plans, you tend to cut short our time together. What's up with that?"

DEAR AMY: I am a secretary at your average middle school.

The other secretary and I have noticed an alarming trend: Children of the cell phone generation do not know how to use a land line phone!

Students are not allowed to use their cell phones during school hours, but they are permitted to use the office phones to call home.

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