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Take fired friend's threat seriously and warn police, her former employer

Friday, November 16, 2012 - 9:05 am

Q.: My friend just lost her job, and she is so upset that she says she wants to go back to the job and kill her boss. I'm serious. She is fuming mad and can't seem to control her anger. I have been suggesting that she blow off steam in other ways, including doing the basics like applying for unemployment insurance and even filing a claim against him if she thinks she was wrongly fired. I'm concerned, though. Should I tell the police if she says she's heading down there to hurt him? I don't really want to be involved. – Concerned Friend, Washington, D.C.

A.: I know it's hard to imagine telling on your friend, but if you believe someone is about to commit a crime, you are obligated to speak up. You could do that by alerting security at your friend's workplace. You also could call the police and give the information you have, then step back.

Q.: I received a call the other day from a former colleague. It was out of the blue. The person called because she and her family didn't have power after the hurricane. She asked if we had power, which we did, and then she asked if they could come to shower at our house. I immediately said yes, but my husband didn't like it. They came, and now he's mad at me. What should I have done? – Good Samaritan, New York

A.: You should have taken the time to talk it out with your husband and to explain the need to be good human beings in the face of tragedy. Sometimes tragedy affects people differently. Maybe he was not looking at the big picture.

It's good that you helped your former co-worker. Now talk to your husband about how you did not intend to be disrespectful but did need to help someone in crisis.

Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or C/O Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.