THE DIRTY ARMY: Hi Nik, I have recently just started getting in to reading your site. I think it is hilarious and I am totally hooked. I have already read your book and loved that too. I am planning to start listening to your podcasts next. I have a tricky situation going on and need advice. My boss at work is creeping me out and I am not sure how to handle it. He and I have worked together for about 4 years. He is a nice guy and his wife works for the same company but from a different office. I speak to her many times a day and would consider her a work friend. So in the past year I decided I was going to stop partying and get into a healthy lifestyle. I had dropped 60 lbs and 6 sizes. While I always complained to my boss about creepy old men chatting my ear off and trying to flirt with me I never thought he would do the same. Just to clarify, I do not work in a strip club or a bar or anything like that. He recently told me he is not attracted to his wife, grossed out by her large body and doesn’t know how to tell her she needs to do something about it.
I sympathized and agreed that is a tough situation. The more I thought about his past behavior towards me it all began to click. He often rubs my shoulders, squeezes my leg above the knee, a poke here or there, tries to tickle me and stuff like that. Stuff that could seem innocent if HR were involved. He sometimes lets comments slip out like “Why can’t you be my wife?” or “My wife could never wear that, but you should!” On more than one occasion he took his shirt off in front of me to change or show off a tattoo to one of the other guys. I always make an HR joke and leave the room. A few months ago my BF & I nearly broke up, I had to miss work one day because I was a mess and couldn’t be at the office. I felt obligated to tell my boss what was going on and that was when I thought he was a friend and not a creep. My boss was very determined to make sure I stayed in the city even though I told him I would want to transfer. None of this dawned on me until untold he told me he found his wife unattactive. Now I feel like he is always watching me and it is making me uncomfortable. I dread going to work. I am starting to gain weight back like I am subconsciously trying to make myself less attractive to him. It is really messing with my head.
I don’t know what to do! I don’t want to tell my BF because he will go down there and cause a scene. Even though other employees (all men) have seen it happen the wont go against him because they are afraid his retaliation. I know my boss will play it off like I am making a big deal out of nothing if I tell anyone or say anything to HR. I don’t want him to lose his job but I don’t want him to think this flirting going to get him any where either. Is it just harmless flirting? Am I making something out of nothing? Any advice is helpful at this point.
You need to start looking for a new job or something worse will happen with your boss. Also, stop egging your boss on… it’s almost like you encourage the compliments he gives you because your BF is a heartless asshole. If you don’t engage in the behavior with your boss he will get the hint. Don’t be fooled by his employment power. Saying “No” or “Please don’t talk/touch me in that way” will wake him the f*ck up. But if I were you I would be looking for a career change and lifestyle change. Move the f*ck out of Philly. Stop living in fear and find the sun light.- nik