DEAR ABBY: Now that you have come to the defense of school bus drivers who complained that, like Rodney Dangerfield, they get no respect, how about doing the same for substitute teachers, who also get no respect?
We are expected to maintain order and promote learning in a different classroom every day with different kids who are accustomed to different rules.But the hardest part of our job is the abuse we have to take from some of the students.
Most kids figure that a substitute teacher is fair game, so they push us as far as they can to see how much they can get away with. If we get fed up with rotten behavior and send the troublemakers to the principal's office, we're considered incompetent because we can't control the kids.
When it comes to getting no respect, a substitute teacher takes first prize. - MOVING TARGET
DEAR TARGET: Obviously, times haven't changed much in the past half-century. When a substitute teacher shows up, there will always be kids who will try to see how much they can get away with.
However, the most competent teachers - and the ones we remember best - are those who demand the best from their students and put up with no nonsense.
DEAR ABBY: I go to a small restaurant and order dinner for two. No drinks or dessert. The check is around $20 and the tip, $3.
The next time I visit the same restaurant, the dinner check is $30 (they have raised their prices). So why should the tip be more, just because I spent more on food? There was no more work involved. - BRUCE IN TEWKSBURY, MASS.
DEAR BRUCE: Because the tip is usually figured as a percentage of the cost of the meal - the bigger the bill, the larger the tip.
DEAR ABBY: I come from a family of seven children - three boys and four girls. Our parents value education highly and have encouraged all of us to go to college. Two are still in college, two have dropped out and three have graduated.
Mom has one wall of our house for pictures of her "college graduates." She thinks it will encourage the other children to finish college and get "on the wall." Instead, it is causing division in the family, since the dropouts are busy working and raising children, and they're not likely to get "on the wall." Also, the sister who graduated from a two-year college doesn't qualify for "wall status."
This leaves me and my sister, who are against being "honored" this way. Mom has insisted that we have our pictures taken professionally for the wall. What should we tell Mom? - AGAINST THE WALL
DEAR AGAINST: Hand Mom this column, and you won't have to tell her anything.
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