Should I Befriend My Boss

Question:

My boss is a lesbian. She makes no secret of this. I joined the company 10 months ago and since the first week, she has been trying to get me to go out for meals with her and her partner and to go over to her house at weekends. She says she only does this with a few selected people from the office. I’m not sure what to do. What keeps going through my mind are 3 question: What happens if the friendship doesnt work out, how will her partner take all this(I’m a single woman whereas the other 2 blokes she sees out of the office are married) and does she wants just friendship or something else? She keeps giving mixed messages on this such as winking at me, snuggling up to me one minute then treating me just as a friend the next. Should I go along with the offers of meals etc or should I just try to keep things on a business footing? Just so you know she’s now said, in a nice way, that I’m trying her patience and has started to withhold information from me which I need to do my job.

Signed,

Befriended???


Answer:

Dear Befriended???:

From the description of events, this is akin to if not is sexual harassment. The dangers of developing “friendships” that border on “relationships” among office workers places those involved at risk. In no special order of importance our suggestions are: 1) Stay away from a personal relationship with your supervisor. To accept her invitations can only fuel the issue. 2) If information is being withheld document what, when, and where. You may need to take this to HR or an attorney. 3) Other employment options might be considered, or after candidly stating to your supervisor that you want to tend to business and only business, you might tell her you will speak to those above about a transfer to another position within your organization.

Be polite, but be assertive. Just saying no in a polite way should not result in retaliation. The Supreme Court, this past week, held that retaliation by an employer for one who complained of discrimination, is a serious crime. Keep your head held high as you make it clear that you are all business and are keeping your distance. Our WEGO signature applies to business not to socializing.

Jack White & Bill Gorden