Parents want to save daughter from horrible boss

Dear Amy: My daughter, “Cynthia,” just finished her freshman year of college. She secured a summer job at a business high on her wish list.

At first she was treated well — the owner, “Marianne,” mentored her and treated her as if she were a member of the family. But that all ended very suddenly, and without warning, a few weeks in.

The owner, it turns out, is a complete nightmare — screaming, yelling, name-calling.

Marianne hides things and then accuses Cynthia of not doing her job. She routinely performs unethical, if not illegal, business practices. She has warned Cynthia not to tell anyone.

Cynthia takes the blame for things she did not do, and is afraid to defend herself, but refuses to quit for fear of losing out on future summer job offers.

At what point does a parent step in to protect their child?

— Concerned Parents

Dear Parents: If “Cynthia’s” safety is at risk, she should not be working there — no matter what.

Cynthia should leave this job and look for another. At this point in the season, her options will be limited, but she should take whatever job she can get. It doesn’t matter in the slightest if it’s in her “field.” She just started college!

Help your daughter to wake up from her paralysis, and support her efforts as she goes.

Let your daughter know that ultimately, she might learn more from this awful experience than she would from a prestigious job or internship.

Dear Amy: I know a woman in her mid-30s who always introduces herself as “Doctor.”

She has been an instructor at various local universities, has self-published a book and runs a parenting group. She has been interviewed in print and on the radio, always using Dr. before her name. She has a website and a LinkedIn page, both of which say that she received a Ph.D. from a prominent university.

However, I recently learned from someone in her same department that she never completed the doctoral program. Apparently, she has been misrepresenting herself for several years.

I have no desire to challenge her directly, since I scarcely know her, but it does bother me that she is using this title for personal gain and is deceiving others. Is there any way to “unmask” her so that others are not duped? Or should I just keep my head down?

She is not performing surgery or flying an airplane, so no one is harmed directly.

— Fraud Alert

Dear Fraud Alert: First of all, you don’t know if the person who notified you of this “fraud” is correct about this alleged doctor’s bona fides. And rather than gossip to you about it, that person in her department should notify the university.

Students have the right to be taught by educators who don’t inflate or misrepresent their credentials. (And the rest of us have the right to be spared a self-flattering non-doctor.)

Secondly, I realize that this is galling on some level, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with you. If she introduces herself to you as “Dr.,” you can personally challenge her.

Any educational institution seeking to employ her should check and confirm her credentials.

Dear Amy: “Woman, Shamed for Life” wrote to you about a sexual experience she had with an 18-year-old many decades ago, when she was 11.

I can’t believe you were so quick to call this “rape.” There are two sides to every story.

— Disappointed

Dear Disappointed: When an 11-year-old is involved, there are NOT two sides. In addition to her description of this violent assault, she was a child.