Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about boss’ personal advice: He told me to make sure she takes a box of condoms with her.
I was talking over assignments coming up with my boss and reminded him I would not be able to work late the next day due to my 17 year-old daughters going to her junior prom. He told me to make sure she takes a box of condoms with her. I told him there would not be any of that; she was a good kid. He said it depends on the person. This has upset me a lot and I don’t know what to do about it. Thanks for your help.
Parenting is no walk in the park. We want the best for our kids and we do all we know to help them make wise decisions, as you undoubtedly have. Your boss probably meant well, realizing that unwanted pregnancy and STDs happen to good kids. Sure it upset you to have him imply that no matter how much you trust your daughter that on such occasions as a prom night she might be persuaded to have sex. This prompts two questions: Was the advice good? And should your boss have given such advice?You don’t have to take his advice.
Get over thinking his advice implies your daughter is bad. He did not say that. You can reject his condom advice without arguing its wisdom. Or you can think it through and weigh if it should be part of sexual education between parent and daughter. Should a boss offer such parenting sexual advice to a subordinate? Your boss might instead have suggested, “Sharon, be sure to tell your daughter to call home for you to pick her up if she sees her date drink. All too often on prom night, our kids are injured or killed because of drinking and driving.” Would you have been upset if he had provided drinking and not driving advice for prom night? Probably you would thank him for such advice.
However, you boss rather offered advice about a more private matter and you say, “This has upset me a lot and I don’t know what to do about it.” Is not advice on sex that could prevent harm to your daughter equally important, as it would be to hear advice that could prevent her death or injury in an automobile accident? It is normal to occasionally chat with coworkers or one’s boss about non-work topics; however, there should be no need to talk about intimate matters at work. From that perspective, your boss’ advice was inappropriate, even if he meant well. Most companies would consider a pattern of such talk out of bounds.What should you do about your being “upset a lot” with your boss’s condom advice? You’ve already responded saying, “there would not be any of that; she was a good kid.” You’ve spoken your mind and the topic should be closed. Don’t bring up the topic again, and should your boss ask, “So how did the prom go?” Simply say, “Fine.” But if your boss dares say, “Did you give her a box of condoms?” You can respond something like, “Dan, or whatever is your boss’ name, I know you might mean well or be joking, but from now on let me take care of my daughter. Sex is not a topic that has anything to do with my job here.”
Does this make sense? Let this pass. Don’t gossip about the prom with your coworkers or about the advice given by your boss. Will you let this topic die? Or will you play it again and again in your head? Since it upset you, it might pop into your thoughts from time to time; but you are an adult and can pop it out by focusing on making your coworkers and your own and workplace more effective; cutting wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted, energy and wasted money. Your upset will pass if each time the annoying thought of your boss’s advice comes to mind, you will put in its place my favorite saying: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.