Steel Advice: Even with help from ex, keep eye on bridal budget

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DEAR STEEL ADVICE: Recently I wrote concerning my ex-husband paying a share of our daughter's wedding bills. You said not to expect him to come riding a white horse and bearing gifts. Well, he did something better. He came bearing his credit card, and now he is going to pay for half of the wedding.


DEAR NO LONGER STUCK: That's good news. Still, stay within your original wedding budget in case the new plan backfires. It is a good idea for you and your ex-husband to have a clear understanding of your agreement and obligations so there are no surprises. You do not want to take the joy out of a beautiful wedding by constantly talking about money; however, even with the best intentions promises can be misunderstood. Do not overspend or take anything for granted and you will have a perfect day.

DEAR STEEL ADVICE: I was sitting at an upscale car dealership getting my car serviced. The service desk agent came out to give me a quote. His breath smelled of alcohol. It was noon. I did not say anything. Should I have?


DEAR NEEDING SOBER SERVICE: It is so much easier not to say anything. The last thing you want to do is get someone in trouble or, even worse, get them fired. The booze breath could be from medication or from too much partying the night before. An auto service desk is not an operating room. The poor fellow is checking in cars and possibly driving them a short distance to the mechanic's work bay. He is not performing brain surgery or driving a school bus. If you think like this you are behaving like most people.

You know you should say something, but you do not. The dealership's reputation, however, is built on trust. The owners would want to know if a customer is being waited on by an employee who smells of alcohol. The dealership does not want to jeopardize its insurance or its relationship with the public by having impaired employees on the payroll. All logic points to saying something, but most people would not. If your observation is accurate the dealership manager will be in a position to notice it also and be able to give the desk agent the opportunity to defend himself if he is innocent.

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