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My inappropriate boss or My boss wants to grab my ass

Tagged as: Age differences, Flirting, Friends<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (17 December 2016) 7 Answers - (Newest, 22 December 2016)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

Hello everyone! I'm in a bit of a pickle.

Naturally, I'm a very bubbly energetic person. I hate awkwardness so I do my best to make fun of myself and include others.

Especially at work considering, everyone can be so stiff at times. I got quite chummy with my new supervisor (he's also 15+ years older than me) really quickly. Not going to lie, I was instantly attracted to him but I am well aware of boundaries.

Anyways, It's been a few months and he's progressively getting more comfortable with me. To the point where he's very touchy (grabbing my arm, etc.) and overly friendly, even in front of my other co-workers.

The other day was really the last straw for me. He joked about pinching my ass with an object he had in his hand. and I know that this comment isn't that big of a deal but I don't think it's appropriate coming from my boss. In addition, he's also married and I would never ever be with a married man. Regardless of whether he was my boss or not.

Anyways, he's a really nice guy. I don't want him fired or to report him and get him in any trouble. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can handle this situation. I also don't want to make him hate me because he could fire me! Please help.

View related questions: at work, co-worker, married man, my boss

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 December 2016):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hello so just a quick update.

My other boss ended up calling me into her office and asking me if I felt weird around him. Considering a few other female could workers approached her. Which was great. I got to express myselfor and how I felt. I also having been keeping my distance. Thanks for all the great advice. It was a hard pI'll to swallow but you guys are right. I encouraged that behaviour by not shutting it down

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (21 December 2016):

aunt honesty agony auntBest thing to do is have a quiet word with him. It does sound like this is inappropriate on both sides. So remember to try and be more professional and less chummy and ask him to keep his hands to himself.

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A male reader, Danielepew Mexico +, writes (18 December 2016):

Danielepew agony auntAn older married man poking at a girl's behind, who is also his employee, is always wrong. I don't think he doesn't know that.

I would do as Youcannotbeserious says.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (17 December 2016):

[EDIT] "He isn't treating you with disrespect as a woman, or an employee."

Correction: "He isn't treating you with respect as a woman, or an employee."

This is an important point, and I want to express it correctly!

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (17 December 2016):

I agree with Honeypie on this one. The key word is STOP!

Your youth, naiveté, and inexperience has allowed things to go too far. He is a pig, and taking advantage of his position and power. You are just a kid compared to this lech and he is over-stepping boundaries that should get his lecherous-ass fired.

Pull away, stay out of reach, and firmly ask him to stop. I don't care if you're attracted; you're giving him permission by allowing him to do it without any indication you're offended. You should be offended, if you're not. He isn't treating you with disrespect as a woman, or an employee.

You had better learn to place boundaries on men, or they will just objectify and insult you in every demeaning way possible. His actions will also encourage other men to do the same, because they feel it's a free-for-all.

Inform him that you are really uncomfortable with the touching and over-familiarity. Tell him that at first you didn't really know how to handle it, but the more you think about it; the more it bothers you. Also inform him that if it continues you will have to report it, and you really wouldn't have much choice. You want to be respected and treated like a lady, not some plaything. Be very distant and cold from that point with him. Remain respectful, he is still your boss; but not your boyfriend.

If he makes you feel threatened for your job, report it to Human Resources immediately.

Do not dismiss this behavior. It is called sexual harassment. If you are a United States citizen, the laws are in your favor. It must be a small rinky-dink operation, or he would know better. The law is explicit about inappropriate behavior at the workplace. You should have some code of ethics and conduct policy. The law requires it.

Stop playing dumb for this guy. It's not making him like you, and he isn't displaying affection. He's writing you off as cheap and easy. So STOP HIM!!!

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (17 December 2016):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntI suspect that, by allowing this to carry on for so long, you have inadvertently given him the message that you are ok with how he acts towards you. I wouldn't mind betting that you laugh along with him when he does this. Am I right?

You really should have put a stop to it as soon as it started happening if you were not comfortable with it. The earlier this sort of behaviour is nipped in the bud, the easier it tends to be. For instance, as soon as he started touching you, you should have instantly flinched and moved away. At that stage he would have probably picked up the signals and been more careful going forward.

I think you should have a word with him in private and say something along the lines of "Look, you know I admire you as a boss, but you make me feel uncomfortable with all the touchy feely stuff. I am not a touchy feely person (the old "it's not you, it's me" routine to take the sting out of your words) and you doing things like touching me all the time makes me feel really awkward. I don't want things between us to be strained, hence why I thought I would have this conversation with you."

Good luck.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (17 December 2016):

Honeypie agony auntWell, if I were you I'd go into his office ask him if he has a minute, and then proceed to tell him that he made you uncomfortable and that you want him to STOP touching you from this day on. Don't do it in front of others to start with.

Now if he doesn't STOP, tell him to STOP in front of others. And if that doesn't work, GO to HR. They won't fire him, I bet you. But hearing from HR that he is being inappropriate might make him reconsider grabbing your butt.

Yes, he might have meant it in jest and fun, but IF IT IS NOT fun for you, it's NOT OK.

And YOU, on the other hand, NEED to back off and MODERATE your own behavior. This is a workplace NOT a playground. So pull back with the "chummy" behavior and start acting professional.

I'm not saying it's your fault that he is being inappropriate, but if you DO NOT nip this in the bud and keep playing along, you are BASICALLY encouraging this guy.

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