Dear Karma Cleanser:
When I was 17, my parents had gone out of town and I drove my father's truck (with a camper top) without permission. I sideswiped a pole backing into a parking space, breaking the camper's window and damaging the right-hand mirror. I said nothing.
When my mom discovered the damage, she blamed my dad (who had Glaucoma and was going blind), and she wouldn't let him drive anymore. I felt horrible, but kept my mouth shut.
Years later, after dad had passed away, I confessed my crime to my mother. She just hugged me and told me that it was fine, because she'd been trying to get him to stop driving for months to no avail, but thinking he'd damaged his truck without knowing it finally made him realize he couldn't drive anymore.
Even though mom exonerated me, I still feel badly that I never told my father the truth. Should I? Or was I just an instrument of karma to get my father off the road?---- Bad Daughter
Your father knew the truth all along, even if he was wrongfully convicted in the court of Mother Knows Best. You weren't an instrument of karma, but your wayward behavior inadvertently left a legacy of good. That almost never happens, so be thankful.
Dear Karma Cleanser:
There is a love triangle going on in my office and I don't like it one bit. Alex, the legal council, is a shameless flirt. He's got it in for my new admin assistant, Cara. But she has a boyfriend at home -- plus, she's also talking to a guy in sales, Pat. It's a tiny office, with only about 20 employees, so everyone knows everything that's going on. The thing did not affect me except that I am now Cara's boss. I also work with the other two guys, who always want to know what's going on with her. I'm tired of hearing about it!
Because I'm Cara's supervisor, I could intervene and order her not to date either one of these losers. It's technically against company policy to date within the office. But if I do that and inadvertently crush someone's budding true love, isn't my karma screwed?---- Match Breaker
Do you really think the seeds of love's purest rose have been planted in your cube farm, or is that just a cop out to keep you from doing your job? Tell Cara to cool it, because if her dalliances are making you uncomfortable, they're likely affecting other folks in the office as well. No need to be a jerk about it, but a polite conversation behind closed doors might assist your assistant's long-term survival in the corporate meat market.
Been bad? firstname.lastname@example.org.