Annie's Mailbox for June 21, 2011: Sister can't accept relationship

Dear Annie: I have been in a relationship with "Derek" for two years. I love him dearly and know we will marry someday. The problem is, my sister and her husband will not accept Derek because we started dating when he was still going through a divorce.

Annie, I know we should have waited until the divorce was final, but my sister can't seem to move past it. She refuses to meet Derek and has told me that neither she nor her husband will come to our wedding.

My sister has made mistakes in her marriage, and I was always very accepting and forgiving. Leaving Derek is not an option, but I hate that I don't see my nieces anymore because of this tiff.

How can I convince her Derek is a good guy if she won't make an effort to meet him?

— Miss My Sis

Dear Miss: All choices have consequences, and it helps to be prepared to deal with them. Yes, your sister seems unforgiving and harsh, but you cannot fix that.

She also may believe that her intransigent position will force you to give Derek up. If you plan to stay with this man, you should conduct your lives with dignity and integrity and hope that your sister will someday accept the two of you as a couple.

Dear Annie: I have a friend who has the "call waiting" feature on his phone. If I am talking to him and a second call comes in, he will say, "Oh, I have another call," and either hang up on me, or leave me waiting interminably while he chats with the second caller. Once he kept me holding so long, I finally hung up.

However, if I am the second caller, he will say, "I'm on the other line. Can I call you back?" This seems to indicate that other callers are always more important to him than I am. Unless it is a dire emergency, I feel the first call should take priority. I also think his treatment of me is disrespectful.

My friend also has "Caller ID," so he knows who the second call is from and doesn't need to answer it unless he believes it's urgent. Is there an etiquette rule for this? Am I wrong to feel rudely treated?

— Unimportant Caller

Dear Caller: Etiquette says the person with whom you are already on the phone takes precedence over an incoming call. Your friend should put you on hold just long enough to inform the second caller that he will call back. However, if your conversation has already gone on for quite a while, it makes sense for you to say, "Go ahead and get that. I'll talk to you later." Courtesy works both ways.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Scared Sister," who is worried about her younger sister's night vision and her ability to drive. The sister, "Louise," is a full-time operating-room nurse who is required to rotate being on call at night. You recommended she speak to her supervisor along with several other alternatives. Here's one more: Louise may be able to apply for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. She should speak to her HR department or contact the Americans with Disabilities website to start the process.

This is federal law, and if Louise has a legitimate disability, her employer needs to make a reasonable accommodation for her. If they simply took her off the night shift, the employer would not have to bear any financial burden.

— Ron in Connecticut

Dear Ron: Several readers suggested that Louise find out if she is eligible for accommodation through the Americans with Disabilities Act. For more information, readers can contact the ADA information line at 1-800-514-0301 or check their website at www.ada.gov. Our thanks to all who wrote.

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