Crush Leave Me Tortured Where I Work

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being attracted to one’s boss:

Hey so I don’t typically do this but I could really use advice and I hope I won’t be judged for feeling the way I do..

SO.. a couple months ago I started a new job. I am a openly gay male btw. So I was hired and I loved the job ( I’m a restaurant server). I’ve been doing everything that has been asked of me and not to toot my own horn but I’m a GREAT server. So to speed things up My GM at my store is gay as well but more discreet about it. I had my eye on him when I first saw him (my second interview), but assumed he was straight and of course my potential boss so i didn’t think anything more. a couple days later I saw him on jack’d. Once i got the confirmation he was gay. I started crushing on him. Noo.. I didn’t bring it up at work that I saw him or even message him. As I worked with him more though the interest i had in him started to grow.

One day we had actually chatted about non work but of course still appropriate things and i felt like he was opening up to me as a person. I left work so happy and when i got home i realized he had blocked me on Grindr. My heart was shattered. I was soo hurt. I was offended, embarrassed, and just felt so stupid and unwanted. I wanted to ask him why he did it? It’s not like I messaged him or was going to tell people I saw him on there.

At this point I can’t seem to get over the crush I have on him. A part of my mind understands that it wouldn’t be in the best interests to date, and it’s not allowed; but the other part of my mind is telling me he just doesn’t want you, your unattractive to him, and he’s just scared to tell me. That part is winning. I feel like he has been avoiding me. I have thought about transferring to another restaurant but I feel like a sucker doing that, but if these feelings won’t go away I’m going to feel tortured every time I go to work. I need advice. please help.

Signed–Feel Tortured

Dear Feel Tortured:

I’ll make this answer short because it’s important that you keep your mind on  your work and avoid distractions. It’s good to know you love this new job and that you are great at it. It’s not uncommon to be attracted to one’s boss, but as you apparently know a sexual relationship within a workplace, especially between boss and bossed is out of bounds. The apparent avoidance of you by your boss could possibly be because your boss observes that rule.

There are two big reasons for this rule: should coworkers sense that was happening, they could feel almost anything done is playing favorites or boss-bossed sexual relationship sours, what might result is a charge of sexual harassment. No organization wants to have to deal with that.    

I think you have suggested the smart answer to your torture–transferring to another restaurant. Such a move addresses your question in a positive way: it frees you from seeing this person to whom you are attracted and that distracts from what you are hired to do. It also would free you from worrying that this person doesn’t like you in the way you like him. Once you are no longer within the place where he chooses to follow the no sexual contact rule between boss and bossed, if he is interested in you as you are him, he will be freed to initiate that interest. I predict you know this and have written Ask the Workplace Doctors simply seeking support for your own good sense.

Finally, please know we don’t disclose the identity of those who submit questions or their emails, nor do we judge them for feeling the way they do. Our commitment is to help those who write us to cope with and prevent work situations that frustrate and hopefully to enable them to make choices that help them love their work. Incidentally, you might want change your email address to what sounds more professional. It’s wise to use only your name and numbers rather than what might be judged by some employers as more playful nickname.  If you think my advice is worth your time, feel free to update me on what you do and also to invite others to submit questions as have you. Working together with hands, head and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. –William Gorden