Facebook share
LinkedIn share
Google plus share
Twitter plus share
Give Advice
Ask For Advice
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: My employee asked me out and now I feel awkward

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    12

    My employee asked me out and now I feel awkward

    I was asked before Christmas to manage a new employee for a few months. Iím 2 positions senior to him and unfortunately donít have a middle person in between. Due to his work falling directly into my area of responsibility, thereís no one else who can do it.

    Before Christmas he asked me a couple of times to go for a lunchtime drink with him and the team he manages as an ďall get to know each otherĒ thing. I declined as I was extremely busy in the office. Then just before new year he suggested a drink in a casual way at lunchtime - by this point he had access to my work calendar so could see I had nothing on. Purely to show willing as a boss I said ok - heís new to our department and doesnít really know many people. I went but stuck to a soft drink, although I thought it was odd he insisted on buying it even though I had my purse out and said I would buy my own.

    He made a comment about hoping I hadnít gone just because I felt sorry for him or something which I ignored. We chatted about Work and social stuff and then I made my excuses and headed back to the office.

    This week I got a text on my work phone from him asking for short-notice leave. I said yes thatís fine and his reply was ďthank you, Iíll have to take you out for a glass of wine after work to thank you for being so helpfulĒ. This immediately rang alarm bells and I replied to the work part and totally ignored the drink bit.

    I now feel really uncomfortable - which I know may sound immature but Iíve never dealt with this from an employee before. Itís different if itís a peer.

    Since then, heís been a bit different. Heís not answered a couple of emails which is out of character, and he also sent an email to me, my boss and her boss too which kind of made me look bad (wonít go into the details). Maybe Iím paranoid but I wonder if itís to do with the drink offer.

    I have to have a meeting with him tomorrow and I just feel quite uncomfortable.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    4,144
    Gender
    Female
    I think it would help you to not ignore the bits that make you uncomfortable. Address them directly. Be clear about your intentions.

    For example, when he says, "I hope you didn't come just because you feel sorry for me," say, "I just wanted to make a friendly gesture, as we will be working together for the next couple of months." When he says, "Iíll have to take you out for a glass of wine after work to thank you for being so helpful," say, "That is not necessary or appropriate. I am just doing my job. It is not a special favor."

    If he persists with this behavior, tell him that he is making you feel uncomfortable and tell him to stop. Do not be shy about this. If he is truly a creep, he will take advantage of any passiveness in you.

    Do not go out for any more friendly drinks with him, and document those things that you feel are amiss.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    14,400
    Nip it in the bud right now and end all "friendly drinks" in the future. Key here is: Do NOT get involved with your colleagues. Keep it professional at all times. Only reply to emails if it directly concerns work matters. Anything personal, ignore. No back and forth.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    12
    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    I think it would help you to not ignore the bits that make you uncomfortable. Address them directly. Be clear about your intentions.

    For example, when he says, "I hope you didn't come just because you feel sorry for me," say, "I just wanted to make a friendly gesture, as we will be working together for the next couple of months." When he says, "Iíll have to take you out for a glass of wine after work to thank you for being so helpful," say, "That is not necessary or appropriate. I am just doing my job. It is not a special favor."

    If he persists with this behavior, tell him that he is making you feel uncomfortable and tell him to stop. Do not be shy about this. If he is truly a creep, he will take advantage of any passiveness in you.

    Do not go out for any more friendly drinks with him, and document those things that you feel are amiss.
    Thanks - youíre right and I need to work on being more assertive. I struggle sometimes when you just think something is meant a certain way but youíre not sure - the fear of being embarrassed if Iíd misinterpreted it I suppose

  5.  

  6. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    7,592
    Yes, you need to be really clear about your professional boundaries, especially is he's starting to act unprofessionally in other ways now.

    Keep a record of all contact with him, and tell him clearly that his responses to you are unwarranted, and that you will not be taking him up on any offers of drinks etc because you both need to keep your work life and private lives separate. Also, alert your boss to his overtures. Sometimes people will push things to see how far they can get, and you need to stop this right now.

    Don't feel uncomfortable; that would be to put yourself in the role of victim. You are not the one who is behaving unprofessionally here - so give the sense of shame right back to the person who deserves it.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    7,592
    Originally Posted by Koala2018
    Thanks - youíre right and I need to work on being more assertive. I struggle sometimes when you just think something is meant a certain way but youíre not sure - the fear of being embarrassed if Iíd misinterpreted it I suppose
    No need to feel embarrassed; you genuinely don't know why he's asking you out for drinks. It could be a romantic/sexual overture, to try and pump you for information about the organisation, or to try and gain favours at work. None of these is appropriate. Guys who make these kind of gestures often claim to be innocent, and will accuse you of misinterpreting their intentions... however, you don't know what his intentions are, do you? Just that he needs to know you will not be extending him any favours or contact which you wouldn't have with any other employee.

    Good luck!

  8. #7
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    9,975
    You're in a position of authority. Act like it.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cloud Nine
    Posts
    31,104
    Gender
    Male
    Yes you need to address this promptly. What he's doing is sexual harassment by definition. He's making unwanted advances he's acting in an undermining way. He sounds like a trouble maker.

    In your meeting with him, simply state that it's routine to go over some basic company policies then start discussing the company's sexual harassment policy and consequences. Spend a lot of time and detail on this particular subject. He may get the hint when you act in a more authoritative and professional manner and when you subtly let him know that you know what's going on and won't tolerate it.

    The beauty of it is you can weave this right into the meeting without making any direct accusations or having to confront him. This meeting is a golden "read my lips" opportunity for you...
    Originally Posted by Koala2018
    his reply was ďthank you, Iíll have to take you out for a glass of wine after work to thank you for being so helpfulĒ. This immediately rang alarm bells and I replied to the work part and totally ignored the drink bit.

    I now feel really uncomfortable

    he also sent an email to me, my boss and her boss too which kind of made me look bad (wonít go into the details).
    I have to have a meeting with him tomorrow and I just feel quite uncomfortable.

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    83
    I would highly advise you to tell this guy that it is not appropriate for any colleagues to go into any dating scenarios, especially if you're in a supervisory role. I personally would never date any coworkers, led alone a subordinate below me. If you get into a relationship with any coworkers, you're bring the relationship in to the workplace as well; which is the place you're at for 40 hours a week. So if things go sour; the relationship goes bad, you two break up, you or him cheats, etc., then it'll be quite awkward for you both to be working around each other knowing there is things behind both of you at work. I would keep your distance from him relationship wise, and leave your dating life out of the workplace.


Give Advice
Ask For Advice

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •