Annie's Mailbox: Mistake could make me lose my job

Dear Annie: I am a good person. I always try to do the right thing. But I did something stupid, and it could cost me my job and the respect I have earned.

For 10 years, I have been the director of a preschool. Every member of the staff has to take 18 hours of learning in-service. One of my staff members was absent during one of the in-service exams, so I took the test for her and signed her name.

I could get fired and probably should be. I am sick about it. I knew it was a mistake as soon as I mailed it in. Please tell me what to do. Should I tell my boss upfront and resign? Or do I live with the stress and pray I don't get caught? I will never do it again, but I doubt anyone will care about that.

- This Is Not Me

Dear Not You: We don't think you will be able to live with the stress. It's already eating you up inside, and you will forever anticipate the truth coming out. Did the absentee woman ask you to take the test for her? If so, she could lose her job, as well. You made a terrible mistake and will have to face the consequences, but there is a possibility that if you are forthcoming and sincerely sorry, you will be given another chance. You might also wish to talk this over with your clergyperson or counselor and ask for guidance.

Dear Annie: Like "Loyal Reader in Florida," I also think it is extremely important for everyone to find out about their extended family's medical history. Alas, I can't even get the most basic information, as I am adopted. I stand a better chance of receiving top secret military information from the Pentagon.

I'm in my 50s, and this incomplete knowledge has had a negative impact on my medical care. May I suggest that medical records be given to adoptive parents and a way established to automatically keep these parents (and the adopted child) informed as to later developments in the biological parents' health? For example, if the father has a heart attack when he's older, or the mother develops breast cancer or Alzheimer's disease decades after giving up the child, or either parent later has a genetically handicapped child, there needs to be a way to get this information to the adoptee. Our health depends upon it.

- Baby Girl Born in 1955

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