Work­place af­fair af­fect­ing morale

The Morning Call - - GO GUIDE -

Dear Amy: I am con­vinced that my (mar­ried) boss is hav­ing an af­fair with a co-worker, and it is driv­ing me mad. All lit­er­a­ture I have read says to leave it alone, but it is so de­mor­al­iz­ing for me in my role at work that I feel com­pletely stuck. I am sales man­ager and he is di­rec­tor of sales. She is an ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant and has no role in sales. They go on “sales calls” for hours and hours ev­ery few days. Not once have they brought back a lead. When I go on a sales call, I am man­dated to file a re­port and do fol­low-up.

When they are out, they don’t an­swer phone calls. They have spent hours “buy­ing of­fice sup­plies” at the lo­cal sup­ply store. They gig­gle and flirt end­lessly, in­clud­ing go­ing into quiet places in the of­fice where they then whis­per to one an­other. She knows de­tails about the com­pany and its di­rec­tion that no other staff mem­ber knows.

I once got in early and al­most caught them in the act (I think), but I have no proof. I try and ig­nore it, but on a pro­fes­sional level I feel like there are dif­fer­ent rules for her and the rest of the staff. She has had three raises in five months, and no one else has.

Mean­while, I feel un­ap­pre­ci­ated and feel I am car­ry­ing the weight of the com­pany. I find it hard to be mo­ti­vated. My boss is never here! I have started ap­ply­ing for any job I can grab, just to get out! Please tell me I am over­re­act­ing and should just en­joy my work and take the salary.

— Sus­pi­cious

Dear Sus­pi­cious: It would be easy for me to tell you to mind your own busi­ness, but dur­ing a pre­vi­ous life I dealt with a sim­i­lar dy­namic at work, and the “pri­vate” be­hav­ior of two peo­ple in se­nior po­si­tions, while not af­fect­ing me per­son­ally, had a tremen­dous im­pact on the of­fice over­all. Time spent away from the of­fice, time spent in the of­fice with the door closed, and the over­all se­crecy, dis­trac­tion and drama of the re­la­tion­ship over­whelmed the staff.

When peo­ple at work en­gage in il­licit re­la­tion­ships, whether they re­al­ize it or not, they in­volve the en­tire of­fice sys­tem in their be­hav­ior. The bur­den should not be on you to de­ter­mine whether th­ese two are hav­ing an af­fair (I as­sume you would rather not know, any­way).

If you have an HR de­part­ment, you should re­port your con­cerns — in­clude specifics re­gard­ing the ex­ten­sive time away from the of­fice when your boss is un­reach­able. Even if you can bring this to HR’s at­ten­tion, you should not as­sume any res­o­lu­tion mak­ing things eas­ier for you at work. Un­less you can re­al­is­ti­cally en­vi­sion wait­ing out this af­fair to its in­evitable (liti­gious) con­clu­sion, you should buff up your re­sume and look for work else­where.

Copy­right 2019 by Amy Dick­in­son Dis­trib­uted by Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

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