Workplace Affair Over

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an affair with a VP: Two weeks later, I was traveling again and he and I went to dinner, and ended up sleeping together again after wine was involved. After that we exchanged texts and phone calls, but stopped the affair.

On a business trip, both a Vice President and I had been drinking, and we ended up sleeping together. I am married and my husband is also an employee of the company. Two weeks later, we were at a trade show and we were both having a good time, but then I ended up drinking too much and the next day, he came to me and said that “as a VP” he had to reprimand my behavior, although we were not on work time and there were no customers. The very next evening, I did not drink and he proceeded to drink with customers and a colleague and I ended up taking him to his room.

Two weeks later, I was traveling again and he and I went to dinner, and ended up sleeping together again after wine was involved. After that we exchanged texts and phone calls, but stopped the affair. I ended up telling my husband, and no longer drink or put myself in any situations. I have avoided this vice president. However, it has caused my husband undue stress at work and me as well. This happened about two years ago. Last week, my vice president told me that this guy had told him that “she is very difficult to work with” and has told other people the same thing, although we have not worked together for over 18 months. I am not sure if there is any recourse or how to handle this. He also has continued to act out at various company events without any consequence. I’m not sure if there is any recourse here. Thoughts?

Signed, Worried

Dear Worried:

This obviously is a complicated situation and I’m sure you will always feel awkward and hyper-sensitive about anything to do with Mr. VP. If you feel you are being harmed in a tangible way (inability to promote, etc.) you may want to consult an attorney about it, since we do not have that kind of expertise. However, it appears that the main thing that has happened has been his negative comments about working with you. Your own Vice President apparently thinks well enough of you to tell you about it, so it does not appear to be harming you in that way

My thought about it is that as long as nothing embarrassing is being said about your personal relationship and your career is not being harmed, you are probably better off treating this as you would anything else that was said about you by others; leave it alone and simply prove that you are actually a great person to work with. Time is on your side in this case, in that others also know you two don’t work together all the time, so that lessens the value of his comments. And, if he is the kind of person you describe, he has shown his character to others; probably to those who have heard his negative remarks about you.

Also keep in mind that you do not know for sure what he has said, only what you have been told. So, there is a chance it did not sound as bad as was reported to you.Most of us have some enemies at work, or at least some people who are not supporters. As long as you can do your work and are not being harassed or coerced over the events of a few years ago, you can keep building your reputation and influence. Focus instead on your own good work and on continuing to strengthen your marriage. You’re doing the right thing and if your work is good you will have plenty of evidence to overcome anything anyone says, including the comments by Mr. VP.Best wishes to you with this situation.

Tina Lewis Rowe