Dear Barb – A Winning Move

Dear Barb:

I work in an office with six other people. We’ve worked together for five years and some of us are friends as well as co-workers. We contribute weekly to a lotto fund. Last week one of our tickets won $100,000. The problem is, sometimes I’m late in contributing and unfortunately this week I didn’t get my money in before the draw. Now my co-workers are divided as to whether I should get my share of the winnings. Four said I shouldn’t get my share and two felt I should. I think I know who the four were. I think I should get my share; I almost always get my money in, just a little late sometimes. What do you think? Deanna.

Hi Deanna:

Thanks for your excellent question. Office lottery winnings are an ongoing issue for many co-workers. Ideally you should draw up a contract and have everyone sign just in case of a situation such as this arising. The contract would cover situations such as yours, so there would be no question of what to do. Maclean’s Magazine did an article about office lottery pools that go bad, the article includes a downloadable contract. In your case, I think you are at the mercy of your co-workers, or you could hire a lawyer and hopefully get your portion minus legal fees. In any event, this makes for a very uncomfortable work situation for you. Best of luck with whatever you choose.

Dear Barb:

My husband and I have two children aged five and three. We have been married five years and we have recently decided to separate. Financially neither of us can afford to move out, as all our money is tied up in assets, therefore we have decided to share the house until we can sell it. We are even sleeping in the same bed, but there is no intimacy. It is a little awkward, but we put pillows between us in the bed and manage to keep our distance. I am a little worried about my kids, I know they are young, but to them everything looks normal. I’m not sure how they are going to feel when the house sells and we each go our separate ways. My family and friends are telling me that this situation is not good for the kids since they will be devastated when we separate. I agree to a certain extent, but what are we supposed to do, neither of us can afford to move out. Thanks, Rhonda.

Hey Rhonda:

Well you can only do what you can do. Your children are going to have to deal with the separation eventually, so as long as you are not arguing and fighting, I don’t see what the harm is in maintaining the status quo until your house sells. I assume you have thought this through and been to counselling. Ending a marriage should not be taken casually. Thanks for writing Rhonda.

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Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length and to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.