Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Know when to 'fold 'em'

Q.2 Ten years ago a wonderful boss hired me. He appreciated my skills and my personality and I couldn't wait to go to work every day because it was such a happy, well-run place. He retired three years ago and the office turned into a nuthouse. The woman who replaced him encouraged several people to quit, then brought in her friends to replace them. She runs the office like a club with secrets and private parties after work that we all know about. She plays favorites and I am not one. I do good work, and she knows that, but I'm having nightmares about what goes on in this place because I feel disrespected, disliked and unhappy. I'm not well paid and I have to cover the cost of my own group insurance that I need. Yesterday I learned the insurance cost is rising again and I really can't afford it anymore. Do I look for another job? They are so hard to find now.

Ans. You should have left two years ago when you first realized you were underpaid and under-appreciated. Even though you need insurance, that need should not still serve as golden handcuffs. It should be easier to find a low-paying job doing even menial work that will include some health insurance. You'll do more harm to your health if you stay.

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Don't be 'apple polisher'