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Dear Uncle Bert and Auntie Gert


I've been in my new job for a few weeks but I'm beginning to think that they hired me by mistake. My boss keeps making reference to my previous experience and work history but they are those I know to be the experience and work history of another candidate.


It's a kind of rule, isn't it? Date one - no touching, date two a peck on the cheek and maybe a quick snog and date three yippeeeeeee!

So what went wrong?


My mother met a man on an internet dating site and just a few weeks later he travelled from Portugal to come to see her in Birmingham, England. He arrived for the weekend and two years later he's still here. I don't like him and I don't trust him. We aren't rich but he was unemployed in Portugal and he's not worked all the time he's been in the UK.


My husband and I are in our mid 40s with two children. We moved from one country to another for economic reasons and after some years my husband thought it would be better for our children to grow up in a bigger, more diverse country. So I gave up my well paid job and we moved. But neither of us can find work in our new country. Our resources are dwindling. I don't know what to do.


You know what? I think I'll give up. I'm a 40 year old woman with a great job in a large company and I've got here via a career path that included a period being successful in professional practice. You'd think, wouldn't you, that I'd find it easy to meet decent guys both through and at work, even if my social life is a bit rubbish and I refuse to use Tinder. But my latest dismal date is so typical of the kind of nonsense I have to put up with....


OMG!!!! Why do I date such losers? My Valentine's Day date just didn't get it. No roses, no French Champagne, no hand-made chocolate, no oysters and he even turned up in an Uber. An Uber!!!!! WTF? He just doesn't get the point of the holiday. And he's weird. He calls himself a Sevillian.

I'm very happy with my boyfriend. He's nice in every way except one. He complains that I have male friends and, even, that I have male employers, that I, sometimes, have a glass of wine with. He says he trusts me but he doesn't trust my friends and employers. It has become such a frequent complaint that it's beginning to affect my feelings towards him.

Oh, shit. WTF am I going to do now? I mean, I wanted the job, of course I wanted the job. I've spend lots of my own money to make sure I got the job. My rival spent far more money, almost all of it other people's. That's the difference between a conservative and a socialist. But everyone around me, except for the usual yes-men, thought I wouldn't get it. I've no experience, no real contacts, in the field. I need serious guidance.
I have been an obnoxious, dishonest, devious person who has always got what she wants. But today, even though everyone I know told me I was going to get a new job, the recruitment panel rejected me in favour of a person I have insulted and humiliated and even lied about to make sure I beat him. What should I do now?

Dear Bert and Gert

I have been quite successful in my chosen field and so people recognise me and want to associate with me. I'm not famous for being famous, or for starring in a sex tape that a publicist has made sure is circulated widely before we start to sound indignant. I've never been found drugged and unconscious on a lavatory floor nor had strings of spouses and divorces that shore up press coverage as popularity wanes.