Take charge advice for work and play

Dear Idgie,
How do you tell a guy you’ve been seeing for about a month that you don’t want to be his girlfriend, but you’d like to keep having sex with him?
Sincerely,
No Strings Attached

Dear Stringless,
I did a little research on this one. I asked a number of eligible bachelors and got the same answer, “Why do you need to tell him anything?” So, unless he’s naming your future children together over dinner, there’s no need to explicitly say anything about girlfriend status. However, if he is picking out rings or confessing undying love, then you have an obligation not to string him along. Otherwise, screw away without DTR. :)

Love,
Idgie

Dear Idgie,
I am a young professional woman. I work have several bosses, both male and female. One of my male bosses has begun sending me “personal” e-mails — jokes, comments on current events, or random gossip. Initially I just thought he was being friendly. Now the e-mails are so frequent — and so frequently suggestive in overtone — that it is beginning to make me uncomfortable. I could go through my employer and take some “official” action, but I’m pretty sure that will just make it impossible for me to stay working here. How do I get him to go back to his normal friendly self without a big confrontation?
Thanks,
Locked In My Office

Locked–
Unfortunately, this happens way too often in the working world. Based on your letter, I am going to make 2 assumptions to answer this question: 1) That your boss is not crossing the line into creepy and 2) Your level of discomfort is not such that you feel like quitting. If either of these assumptions are wrong, skip the advice and go straight to HR. Otherwise…

You will need to confront him head on. Initiate direct “dude, really?!” conversations and indirect via other bosses “dude, you can’t do/say that”. See if peer pressure can right the ship. Perhaps he doesn’t realize that he’s crossing lines, making you uncomfortable, and abusing his position of power. Maybe he thinks you’re pretty and this is harmless flirting. Some dudes are pretty dumb about this stuff and need to be told explicitly “Here is the line and here is your email. Clearly on the other side of this line. Back off because (its not cool/it makes me uncomfortable/it makes my mate uncomfortable/is not acceptable in the work place/THAT will never happen/HR knows about it and will take action if it doesn’t stop [depending where you are at])”

An easy first conversation is to hide behind your (real or imagined) SO. Pull your boss aside privately and say, “Johnny, I left my email up on the home computer last night when I put the kids to bed and Mr. Locked saw the last email you sent. He was a little upset–he doesn’t get your sense of humor. Would you mind dialing back the personal stuff a notch or two? Oh, I need your opinion on this brief–should I take approach A or approach B?” DOCUMENT this conversation–when, where, what you said, what he said (also, I hope you are saving all of these emails. You’ll need them if it ever gets to official action). Then wait. If things are still uncomfortable in a week, approach a different boss for informal resolution. DOCUMENT that conversation. If this continues without change, talk to HR with all of your documentation for a formal official intervention. Likely you aren’t the first, or last, person that he has made uncomfortable. Brush up your resume in the mean time.

Not to draw an immediate parallel, because this guy is your boss, but I’ve seen situations where a guy friend didn’t see a problem staring at a gal-pal’s chest and making suggestive comments even when she clearly objected. It took a guy pulling him aside to say it wasn’t cool. So, I’ll give your boss the benefit of the doubt that he has no clue that what he’s doing is wrong.

Again, if he’s crossing the creepy line (you know where it is), ignore the rest of advice and CALL HR!

Good luck!
Idgie

Have a question about work or play? Email askidgie@gmail.com

 

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