toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

October 31, 2014

Sexual Harassment from Boss Leads to Job Insecurity

Imogen is 25 and works in a large corporation as a personal assistant to a manager with whom she socializes in a group but refuses to date one on one.

"I don't believe in workplace relationships," explains Imogen. "I think they are very dangerous and especially one that crosses the divide between staff and management."

"If I accepted a date from my boss I would ultimately lose my job for no other reason than he would want me out of sight when he got tired of me."

"He's very attractive and I can't deny that I dream of him at night," laughs Imogen, "but he should know better than to compromise me and flout company rules."

"Our company has clear guidelines forbidding dating between co-workers - and especially between bosses and subordinates," says Imogen, "but my boss says that Nature cannot differentiate between a boss and a subordinate - we are all the same in the big scheme of things, and no company can contract for employees not to fall in love. It just happens."

"He says he's fallen for me," laughs Imogen, "but I guess he says that to all the girls and because he is so focused on romance and sex I guess he is incapable of making rational decisions."

"I don't feel too happy about taking responsibility for this situation," confides Imogen. "I agree that it's probably silly for companies to ban workplace relationships. Sex is, after all, a basic human function and attraction cannot be easily turned on and off at will."

"However, from what I've seen and heard about workplace relationships they are very disruptive and their ultimate demise can wreak havoc," sighs Imogen.

"I've seen girls get fired for rejecting a boss's advances -especially when the boss is a lecherous old man - and also for having a workplace relationship with a boss," confides Imogen.

"And I'm pretty sure that most of the transfers to different departments or to out-of-town branches are related to management wanting to separate two people - whether it's a boss and subordinate relationship or between equals."

"Mostly though," sighs Imogen, "it's usually the women who get fired or who are forced to make the painful decision to quit as being the only realistic way to move on from a workplace romance. I don't want to end up like that."

"The old double standard is really blatant in the workplace," confides Imogen. "A man like my boss is more or less expected to conquer, get bored and move on. If a woman behaves in that manner not only is her moral virtue questioned but also her professional standing."

"It’s interesting that a lot of the sexual harassment that occurs in workplaces does so as a result of romances souring," observes Imogen. "Having been privy to intimacies with a person, some rejected lovers may continue expecting certain intimacies to continue. In other words, they cannot operate strictly in a professional relationship with their former workplace lover."

"When a man behaves in this manner very few people would call his behavior harassment," says Imogen. "There is still the belief that sexual harassment by a man has to be aggressive in order to be real harassment, and it has to be directed at someone he has not been involved with."

"When a woman behaves in this manner, it’s a different story - she is seen as some sort of Fatal Attraction psycho," laughs Imogen. "The last thing I want to be called is a psycho so I'm not going to allow a crush on my boss to weaken my resolve."

"He can ask me out every day for the rest of my life - I don't mind - but I am going to reject him every time."

"It's possible that after a certain number of rejections he will fire me in any case," muses Imogen, "but that's a risk every working girl faces."

"I suppose I'm lucky in that my boss is an attractive man," laughs Imogen. "I would be in a really awful situation if an ugly, old lecherous boss were trying to get into my knickers!"

"Whatever, it's still sexual harassment and the situation is getting toxic."

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