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Advice Please - My Boss Is Having A Workplace Affair!


Blue elephant
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Hi everyone

 

I need some advice on what to do. My supervisor is having an affair with his supervisor.

 

I used to be "best buddies" with this guy, who is 15 years younger than me and go out to lunch all the time with him.

 

Now his supervisor seems to be EXTREMELY jealous and treats me like absolute shit! Seems to have forbidden him to have private meetings with me and a number of other things.

 

I work for the government and there is a code of conduct that says that this is a conflict of interest issue.

 

Have confronted my supervisor a number of times about the affair but he denies it. I know it is happening, because i have seen them together at an hour of the day which can mean only one thing!!

 

What to do? Just get out of the area and leave them to it? doesn't happen as fast as people usually like.

 

Invoke the code of Conduct stuff and cop the usual fate of whistleblowers?

 

other suggestions?

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Are you female?

 

I'm one to let things be and not get involved, but if you think it's truly affecting workplace morale and how things are run, then maybe you should say something about it.

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I used to be "best buddies" with this guy, who is 15 years younger than me and go out to lunch all the time with him.

 

As close as things can seem with a superior....they never are. This man is your boss. At work. You do not have to be friends, and you aren't paid to be pals. This is the workplace. Nuture your Real Life friendships.

Now his supervisor seems to be EXTREMELY jealous and treats me like absolute shit! Seems to have forbidden him to have private meetings with me and a number of other things.

 

So? It's the workplace. You are choosing to take workplace BS personally. It really makes YOU sound jealous actually. Is his relationship affecting his own personal work? Or just his "buddyness" with you? What is really behind this urge to whistleblow? Would you feel differently if his superior didn't have a problem with you at all?

 

I work for the government and there is a code of conduct that says that this is a conflict of interest issue..

Isn't it convienient when workplace rules just happen to justify revenge? Especially when you tell yourself it's not *really* revenge....because they aren't supposed to be doing that anyway? Your feelings have been hurt. You miss his friendship. But do you really think he'll want to be your "friend" if you blow the whistle?

Have confronted my supervisor a number of times about the affair but he denies it. I know it is happening, because i have seen them together at an hour of the day which can mean only one thing!!

 

Uh....unless you walked in on them fucking each other in a motel room.....what does the hour of the day have to do with anything?

 

"I saw them at 11:00 PM walking along the pier together, it can mean only one thing!"

 

What? They had a late dinner discussing work, the pier is across the street from the restaurant, and they both happen to be boat enthusiasts?

 

Unless you have actually seen intimate activity (which you just happened to exclude from your OP by accident), you can really hurt yourself and others by jumping to conclusions.

 

Quit hounding your boss. His life, his business. You have work to do. You aren't his mom. Sure workplace liasons are a SUPER bad idea, but unless you are paid to be the equivalent of 'Miss Manners' or 'Dear Abby' and your actual job is to give people unsolicited advice on their personal lives, just go to work and do your job. Remember, the guy you are confronting and nosying about his personal life? You are his employee. Your being older doesn't make you an honorary "equal".

 

other suggestions?

 

For now, just do your job. Don't be more than just an employee. Mind your own business. Don't be the bosses "buddy". Just work. Don't get personal. Don't "care". Oh...and don't get "drawn in" to office gossip.

 

His supervisor should feel less "threatened" by you if they are having a relationship. And she will leave you alone. Because if that is what is really going on, then they both know you know, or at least suspect...and if that policy really is on the books, would it make sense for them to ultimately treat you in a way that could potentially encourage you to expose them?

 

See what happens. Give it a month. Then give us an update.

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this is a situation that i wish you weren't apart of. personally, i would stay as far away from them too as possible. try not to confront your supervisor so much, because in confrontations there can be only one winner.

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I was in a similar spot several years ago and I wish I could be in it again.

 

Of course... my reaction was a hell of a lot different than yours.

 

I was out to a bar one Saturday night trying to meet women and to my surprise there was my boss and coworker on the other side of the room. I looked over and waved and they back and I left it at that.

 

However, to my fortune, my boss was divorcing at the time and didn’t want his estranged wife or other coworkers to find out so he called me into his office the next Monday and told a bit of a lie about why he and she were there and asked me not to mention it to anyone. I saw this as an opportunity to gain his favor and told him, “no problem” and that I didn’t care what he did on his own time.

 

Somehow I don’t imagine you approached your boss and said with a coy voice… “Heh, John, I was walking out by the pier last night. <pause> It was really quite a romantic evening.” Now an approach like this says, “I have information but I’m probably not a threat but I’d still like a little consideration for keeping my mouth shut”.

 

Reality to me is this… these two people are going to do the nasty regardless of what you do. You can choose to be their enemy, their friend or you can be neutral.

 

I see absolutely no reason for me to endure consequences because of another person’s poor judgement (you have implied this but not demonstrated their poor judgement – unless one or both are married, I see nothing wrong… at this time).

 

I’d be concerned that the higher boss has identified you as “unfriendly” personnel. If I were in your shoes, I’d be inclined to finesse a communication that says, “Relax, there is no need to think of me as a threat”

 

But… there is still an angle that is unexplored.

 

Private meetings between you and your boss would **only** be a threat if the upper boss thought you were a threat **sexually**. It’s really the only explanation that makes sense. I can only imagine that you must be some stinkin’ Hot hot hot to be 15 years older and a threat to the upper boss. Kudos! Seriously! An older seductress par chance???.

 

In that light… I think I’d definitely stay away from your boss (and stop flirting???) and if an appropriate opportunity comes to let the upper boss know (subtly and indirectly) that you are not interested in your boss anymore and have moved on… then I’d do that.

 

In a nutshell… identify why you are thought of as a threat and proceed to assuage their fears.

 

Mongo (a long time employee because I know who not to piss off)

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Private meetings between you and your boss would **only** be a threat if the upper boss thought you were a threat **sexually**.

 

OR....and I just thought of this possibility this A.M....maybe the upper boss thinks BE is walking all over her supervisor and not respecting his authoritah (I'd need to know more details...what has BE specifically seen to make her suspect an affair?). The upper supervisor may be harsh towards BE, feeling a mistaken need to be the authority that her direct supervisor is slacking on (from the POV of the upper supervisor), and the upper may even be coaching BE's supervisor to be more manager, and less "buddy".

 

Another reason the private meetings may be a concern. Is it possible that BE's friendship with her manager is cause for concern? BE suspects an affair....but what if office gossip, or observation from the upper manager has raised suspicion about her OWN conduct with her "buddy"?

 

BE, please give us more specifics about what you've observed to make you suspect an affair.

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For the sake of brevity in my original post, I didn't put a lot of detail in.

 

 

 

The issue is being treated inappropriately in the workplace. My boss will often quietly whisper to me during the day to wait until 4.30 pm when she goes home and then he (J) will show me something i need to know on the computer. When we do get together and have a meeting he will take me to another part of the building and then if I point out that she has walked across a bridge thatis visible to us, he will ask nervously "Has she seen me?" All sorts of crap going on!! When I make an error on some software, I get berated along the lines of "wtf have you been doign all day?". When he makes an almost identical, or even much more serious error, it is "Now here is how we do it in XXX software package" with a BIG smile!

 

The issue of "boss" is even somewhat mute. obviously "the boss is the boss" BUT...I have just returned to the workplace after having children and doing post graduate study. Before that I was the same level as she ® was and acted at an even higher level. I have more qualifications and more experience at being "the boss" than the boss. I currently earn 92% of my immediate supervisors salary. I was recently interviewed for a position at her level and was rated as "suitable" but other applicants were ranked higher. Now this could be threatening to a young woman in her late twenties who likes to think she is top dog???

 

The way we used to work was to divide tasks down the middle (eg if we had a 2000 row spreadsheet to examine and make decisions on, one started at the top and the other started at the bottom and we met somewhere near the middle). Or, we would determine which of us needed to do the task to gain experience. A working relationship based on each of us giving 110% cooperation and respect. Couldn't wish fr more in the workplace. This has gone by the board now

 

I don't think i am a threat to their relationship. I am 51, happily married with two teenage children. Seriously fat and ugly too!!! He knows my husband quite well (has driven to another city 3 hours away with him) and she has met my husband as well. All of my work buddies know my husband in fact. I am not short of friends by any means.

 

There is no way my workmates would think i was having an affair with this man!!

 

As for work getting done - I am the one coming back after the Christmas party to do more work etc etc.

 

At this stage i think my approach will be to talk to the manager above all of them, not about the affair, but about career prospects and the need for getting some recent higher level experience onto my CV - in order to get a promotion and GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!!

 

Thanks very much for the messages of support guys. Backing off seems to be the right thing to do. It is just so annoying when there is a lack of justice.

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Ick.

 

Lot of toxic juvenile personalities it sounds like. What a bunch of crap. An affair between the managers is the least of your worries. If you can get transferred, do it.

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Thanks White Raven

 

It is coming up to New Year and the time of New Years resolutions.

 

My New Years resolution is to get myself back up to the level I was before I left work to look after the children.

 

In the meantime, there is just the issue of how to deal with the day to day crap.

 

I'm thinking that working long hours and taking on extra work will get me seen as an exemplary staff member and above reproach, which is all very good when it comes to seeking promotion.

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Thanks White Raven

 

It is coming up to New Year and the time of New Years resolutions.

 

My New Years resolution is to get myself back up to the level I was before I left work to look after the children.

 

In the meantime, there is just the issue of how to deal with the day to day crap.

 

I'm thinking that working long hours and taking on extra work will get me seen as an exemplary staff member and above reproach, which is all very good when it comes to seeking promotion.

 

thanks for the clarification.

 

Sounds like you have a plan. Go for it!

 

Mongo

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Sounds like you have an excellent plan. How to deal with the daily crap...whoever has the answer to that one will probably not be looking for promotions. All I can suggest is to do what you have to do to get the job done. If you have to spend time cleaning up other people's messes and get called on it, inform the powers the be that recently your supervisor has been busy elsewhere, which leaves you with more work than in the past.

 

If they insist to know exactly what he is busy with, direct them to him. Be clear and firm that you are not qualified to speak for him. That should cover your own bases without getting involved. I have a hunch you know all this and just needed a place to vent.

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Hi RubySera

 

Just "getting on with the job" is very much my style. It is often very hard to separate out what the three of us do. We will work on the one project and each do a little bit, then hand it over to the other.

 

The issue as been very much this woman treating me nastily when there was no real reason to do so.

 

There are a number of reasons why the whole thing will blow over, but maybe not for 6 months or so. This woman is from overseas on a temporary work visa, but these situations can change. My (male) supervisor has a history of getting bored with his girlfriends - but that would create even worse crap!!! they may decide to go public - if they have any common sense - which i doubt!

 

In the meantime, i will be asking for some extra project work from someone higher up as well as reviving an old scheme of mine for getting a bit of organisation going around the place.

 

Over here it is high summer as well as school holidays, so I will have ample excuse to absent myself from the workplace if it all gets too irritating.

 

Venting is sometimes good and this forum is great because of all the understanding people.

 

thanks guys!

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