Hi, i had the same problems with OOo (roughly) I couldn't save my work at all. Im running suse 8.1, but im guessing the solution i used should work for you too. I asked the same question a while ago, and the post is here
What you need to do is install OOo as root somewhere, say the /usr directory. As root i created a directory called 'programs' in the /usr dir, and then did a full install of OOo to that directory.
Then I logged back in as a user and then installed OOo again, but this time you have to do a workstation install (the install that is about 3.5mb or something). This installs the necessary files to your /home directory. The workstation installation will put all the files you need into your /home directory so that you can use OOo as a user.
Thats how i managed to get OOo to work (and save all my files!). Althought i have to say that the default fonts that come with OOo are a little crap, but i got around that by using my windoze fonts.
This might sound a little confusing, but it should help