Dec 06, 2012, 04:18AM

Make the Attention Stop!

Have problems? Let Dear Katie help.

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The following question was taken from an actual advice column. For the original, click here.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old gay man. In my community, coming out at work isn’t an option. I really like my job and want to keep it. However, a female colleague is not only trying to persuade me that the two of us would make a good pair, but she has gotten all of our co-workers involved. I’m constantly pressured by my supervisor to “just go out with her and give her a chance.” I have already told everyone, including her, that I’m not interested in mixing my personal life with my professional one, and I want to come to work only to work—not upgrade my marital status. However, because of my unwillingness to do what they “recommend,” the pressure from everyone has gotten worse. I dread coming to the office. Would it be unethical to hire a “girlfriend” to stop by the office next week to bring me my lunch? Maybe if I kiss and hug her as I say goodbye, my co-workers will finally back off. If not this, can you recommend something else? —CAN’T COME OUT IN TEXAS

Dear Can’t Come Out in Texas,

It’s rare that someone writes Dear Abby who already has it all figured out, but hiring a woman to play your girlfriend is a perfect solution. Dear Abby may have thought your idea was flawed (“I do not recommend hiring anyone to pose as a girlfriend, or you may have to put her under long-term contract, which could be expensive in more ways than one.”), but you need to ignore that old biddy and start working on your Craigslist ad. To make it as convincing as possible, I recommend you hire someone who is such a distinct type that when you later tell your co-workers that you broke up, they’ll think, “Well, he’s into octogenarians so we might as well quit playing cupid.” This way, everyone wins: you stop getting harassed, your coworker gets let down easy, and—the best part—you’re a job-creator! I’m pretty sure you get tax breaks for that. Good luck!


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