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Sticky Situations With Your Boss

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I am a terrible employee. It's true. Now that doesn't mean I don't work hard. For whatever reason I will do anything for a client but seem to bristle at the mere thought of doing even the smallest task for someone who cuts my pay check. It's awfully lucky for me that for the majority of my working life I've been an entrepreneur and technically self-employed. But the reality is we all wind up having bosses in one way or another, and nowhere are there more opportunities for the stickiest of situations to arise:

Sticky situation #1: Your boss is sexually harassing you:
Okay, forget those videos from 1970 they've made us all watch with bizarre cut and dried scenarios. In the real world, harassment is never as clear as we think. It's usually an offhand remark, a flattering comment, a hard to interpret brushing of the hand or too long of a gaze on your body parts. But the reality is, if you feel sexually harassed and it's impinging on your job performance, then you should say something to the person who is doing it. You don't have to turn it into an episode of Law and Order SVU, but do let the offender know that you are not interested and you feel uncomfortable. While you can keep the tone light, be serious. If the behavior continues, write a letter so the behavior is documented and make sure it goes to HR.

Sticky Situation #2: You're sleeping with your boss
Oh boy. This sort of relationship is a minefield through which you must proceed with extreme caution and discretion. Can't you just befriend your boss and sleep with the cute artist you met? Why do you have to play with fire? Because he or she is super hot? Because you think it's the fastest route to a promotion and/or a pay raise? Because secrecy and being furtively felt up in a staff meeting are the biggest turn-ons you can think of?

Well, don't kid yourself that your amour is a well-kept secret. Chances are everyone knows! And they're gossiping. Relationships between colleagues stir up feelings of anxiety and jealousy between even the most supportive colleagues. Your relationship and your character will take center stage. And if, perchance, your strategy is to work your way up the corporate ladder on your back, get back on your feet and listen to this: In 2005, the California Supreme Court determined that sexual favoritism can, in some cases, create an abusive and hostile working environment that is an actionable statutory offense. Whatever your reason, accept the fact that no matter how the affair ends--in marriage or in flames--your job will never be the same. Things will be strained. Think about quietly distributing your resume, seeking a transfer to another area of your company, or taking other steps to find new work.

Sticky situation #3: You send an email saying something nasty about your boss to your coworkers -- and your boss!!
Ugh. Who hasn't hit the send button too soon, or in a moment of anger? And why the heck isn't there some sort of pop up that asks if you REALLY mean to hit REPLY ALL when you've included something nasty about the person you are replying all to!? Well, while there is no cure all, there are a few potential ways to get you out of these sticky situations.

Both Google and Outlook feature a recall feature so that if the person has not read their email yet the email will be recalled. Unfortunately this won't help you if they are on their smartphone. If, however, you know this is recurring problem for you, sign up for This allows you track when someone has read their mail. While you can't stop yourself from having penned a poison missive, you can at least contact them the moment it's read. In some cases (when the insulting text is buried four emails down in a chain). You may just want to let it go), but if you called your boss a name, particularly to colleagues, and sent it around, fess up. And remember, better never to put anything in print you wouldn't want written on the front page of The Huffington Post.

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