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Does it seem harmless, or s*xual?

 

The attitude means a lot to me.

 

Personally, I would wait until it happened again and tell him to cut it out. I wouldn't be nasty about it unless the guy didn't get the message.

 

I think a few people here are going a bit far with this. I haven't heard that the guy means any harm -- I'm getting more of an impression that he is clueless, joking around, and wants to seem like a fun, cool guy.

 

I'm not condoning the butt-slapping, but I'm also not ready to say that lawsuits should be filed. If he's basically a nice guy to work for, I wouldn't go too crazy over this. I would let him know I didn't like to be touched, but I wouldn't be threatening physical harm or legal action.

Unwanted touching is assault. and yeah, I'd totally react violently. There's no amt of 'clueless' that covers thinking slapping someone on the ack is ok.

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I get what you are saying, but I think someone like this, given the history with the secretary that is 3 weeks into the job, numerous other women who have worked for him have quit or been let go, etc. I can't imagine he's going to abide by boundaries. And if he senses she's onto his game, I don't think it will end well. Again, total speculation on my part, but that's some pretty bold behavior on his part, and given the history with other employees not lasting long, and him starting in on his secretary of 3 weeks...I just don't think this is the kind of guy who is going to suddenly respect her boundaries. My money would be on him manufacturing some kind of issue, piling on work or making things more difficult for her, finding a way to say she's not doing her job well, etc. so that she'll resign. Or he'll just keep going until she quits. Again, purely speculation, but I don't think a guy like this is going to respect boundaries at all.

 

I don't doubt for a minute that you could be exactly right about this guy. I'm just trying to figure out how she can evade his advances without getting fired, so she will have a chance to look for another job while she still has this one. If the guy ends up being OK, she can stay where she is, but if not, she needs to buy herself a little time, so she can get a new position elsewhere.

 

I would be very interested in hearing what her fellow employees have to say about the guy. In my experience, if a guy is a lecherous pervert, that info gets around the office pretty quickly, and if women have lost their jobs as a result of s*xual misconduct, I would think that Julie would have heard about it by now.

 

I am hoping that the guy isn't the type to take this to the next level, and that maybe he thinks he's just flirting with Julie. That's why I'm hoping she will describe how she has reacted to these incidents. If she's playing along with him to avoid confrontation, he may view that as being accepting or encouraging of the touching.

 

I'm not saying that Julie has done anything wrong. Not at all.

 

I'm just trying to find a way to help her tell the guy to cut it out, without making it into an embarrassing situation for the boss, because if she embarrasses him, he may retaliate by firing her, even if he honestly didn't think he was doing anything wrong. No one likes to be embarrassed.

 

Again, the guy could be a complete pervert with a long history of harassing his female employees... or this could be a big misunderstanding. I remember working for a guy years ago, and he was the "tap on the butt" type, and was always making little innuendoes. Honestly, I thought he was creepy. But the other women in the office told me that he was harmless, and that he was just so clueless that he didn't realize how offensive he was. Apparently, he had been that way for years -- and he never took it past the joking and little taps stage with anyone. In fact, I ended up having to go to a business conference with the guy, and he ended up being the perfect gentleman. So that's why I'm still willing to give Julie's boss an opportunity to redeem himself.

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That's why it is wrong, wrong, wrong no matter what the motive. It is an abuse of power no matter what, and makes the employee vulnerable...that's the nature of an employer/employee relationship. One doesn't have to be a wallflower personality incapable of advocating for oneself to be vulnerable. Standing up to him can put her in danger of being fired or retaliated against, including after she leaves the job (making up reasons with respect to why she was fired, giving a bad reference, etc.). IMO it doesn't matter how strong she is, and it doesn't matter how firm of a message she is capable of sending to him. The nature of the relationship makes it so that she's automatically in a vulnerable position, no matter how she handles it, and that is supremely unfair and wrong.

 

 

THis is why workplace relationships between people on different levels are usually discouraged. But that doesn't mean that a boss or supervisor who approaches his employee is actually trying to be intimidating or take advantage. (Though, in this case, I think it could well be the case). Not everyone is all that emotionally perceptive - they think if they don't mean to be intimidating, they aren't. And telling the individual to bugger off, or saying it is really unwanted, may be all that is required. If it isn't an honest - if stupid - mistake, that will become clear soon enough.

 

It's always a good idea for someone in a situation like that to protect himself by documenting what is going on, documenting the request to desist, and getting some advice about what to do if it becomes a real problem. Being prepared for the worst doesn't always mean assuming the worst.

 

But then, I married my boss, so maybe I am insensitive to such things.:)

 

OP - I would look for another job and leave the one you are in now.

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THis is why workplace relationships between people on different levels are usually discouraged. But that doesn't mean that a boss or supervisor who approaches his employee is actually trying to be intimidating or take advantage. (Though, in this case, I think it could well be the case). Not everyone is all that emotionally perceptive - they think if they don't mean to be intimidating, they aren't. And telling the individual to bugger off, or saying it is really unwanted, may be all that is required. If it isn't an honest - if stupid - mistake, that will become clear soon enough.

 

I agree. It's all about the guy's intentions, and we can't be quite sure of those yet.

 

 

But then, I married my boss, so maybe I am insensitive to such things.:)

 

I dated my bosses on more than one occasion, and if they hadn't flirted with me at work, I never would have known they were interested in me. Dating was never a requirement or anything like that, and there certainly was no intimidation involved.

 

Of course, this was back in the dark ages before people sued each other over an unwelcome wink and a smile. I'm all for stopping s*xual harassment, but I think the pendulum has swung so far out of kilter that people are afraid to even innocently flirt with each other any more, for fear of being sued or fired.

 

(I'm not talking about Julie's boss -- again, we don't know his true intentions yet, even if we all have our suspicions.)

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It would depend on who my boss was and what the context of the conversation was. My current boss and I have a jokey, relaxed relationship. If he slapped my butt I would probably be a little surprised but not angry or upset because I can't really imagine a situation where he would do it for any reason other than comedic effect.

 

Tara

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I agree. It's all about the guy's intentions, and we can't be quite sure of those yet.

 

 

:confused: Someone smacking an employee's butt, lingering there, and commenting on her butt...we don't know his intentions? And he's doing the same to the secretary, so it isn't like he's "just" interested in OP.

 

I think his intentions are clear.

Edited by Momof3littles
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I would need to know more about the context of the theoretical butt smacking, as well as have some info about the relationship between the smackee and the boss. I would also be interested in knowing if this sort of behavior is common in that particular theoretical workplace.

 

Theoretically, I mean. :D

 

I certainly wouldn't want anyone fired over it, unless it was clearly s*xual in nature, and the smackee had repeatedly told the guy to cut it out. If it was just a one-time joking thing, it's entirely different from repeated smarmy actions.

 

Funny story: I was talking to one of the company VPs I did IT work for in the hallway one day. We talked about going to get lunch with one contractors on my team, yadda yadda, and, as we walked in our respective directions, I reached back and smacked him squarely on the behind. Totally mindless, something I would do with my husband or kids, but we each walked a couple paces as it sunk in, stopped, and turned around, horrified. All I could manage was "wow. That was inappropriate, wasn't it?"

 

It was hysterical. And I'm certainly glad he didn't read anything into it, but he did tease me mercilessly for weeks.

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Funny story: I was talking to one of the company VPs I did IT work for in the hallway one day. We talked about going to get lunch with one contractors on my team, yadda yadda, and, as we walked in our respective directions, I reached back and smacked him squarely on the behind. Totally mindless, something I would do with my husband or kids, but we each walked a couple paces as it sunk in, stopped, and turned around, horrified. All I could manage was "wow. That was inappropriate, wasn't it?"

 

It was hysterical. And I'm certainly glad he didn't read anything into it, but he did tease me mercilessly for weeks.

You didn't follow it up with comments about his butt, I assume you didn't linger there, and you didn't do it to another guy in the office that you've only known for 3 weeks, I assume. And this guy wasn't your subordinate.

 

I just think it seems 100 percent obvious that there can't be a positive intent to his behavior :confused:

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If you're not saying no, you might as well be saying yes

 

Ok, I'm a lurker usually, and I almost always agree with you Catwoman, but I think you should really, really, really reconsider any point of view where saying this is part of it. This is excusing so much that is not okay.

 

OP, there is no such thing as that line. He is your boss, he has the advantage over you and he knows it and is using it. First, have 2 email accounts. Document everything that has happened til now so that you have a paper trail. Continue to do so if any other incidents happen. Then, have a verbal conversation with him where you tell him you aren't comfortable with butt-slapping or -patting. Then, if he tries to fire you, get a lawyer and produce your paper trail.

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Ok, I'm a lurker usually, and I almost always agree with you Catwoman, but I think you should really, really, really reconsider any point of view where saying this is part of it. This is excusing so much that is not okay.

 

OP, there is no such thing as that line. He is your boss, he has the advantage over you and he knows it and is using it. First, have 2 email accounts. Document everything that has happened til now so that you have a paper trail. Continue to do so if any other incidents happen. Then, have a verbal conversation with him where you tell him you aren't comfortable with butt-slapping or -patting. Then, if he tries to fire you, get a lawyer and produce your paper trail.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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THis is why workplace relationships between people on different levels are usually discouraged. But that doesn't mean that a boss or supervisor who approaches his employee is actually trying to be intimidating or take advantage. (Though, in this case, I think it could well be the case). Not everyone is all that emotionally perceptive - they think if they don't mean to be intimidating, they aren't. And telling the individual to bugger off, or saying it is really unwanted, may be all that is required. If it isn't an honest - if stupid - mistake, that will become clear soon enough.

 

It's always a good idea for someone in a situation like that to protect himself by documenting what is going on, documenting the request to desist, and getting some advice about what to do if it becomes a real problem. Being prepared for the worst doesn't always mean assuming the worst.

 

But then, I married my boss, so maybe I am insensitive to such things.:)

 

OP - I would look for another job and leave the one you are in now.

Well, a smack on the butt that lingers and is accompanied by comments is not really flirtatious as much as just...totally inappropriate IMO. And he's doing it to multiple women at the same time. Is it okay to test the waters with a few employees in the workplace to see which employees are receptive to his inappropriate behavior? I am kind of shocked at some of the responses. He isn't a boss inviting someone out to dinner; he's smacking the butts of at least two women in the work place, and in one case he's only known the woman 3 weeks. I'm sorry, but I cannot assign a positive intent at all. That IMO is not cluelessness, and that isn't some guy interested in starting a relationship. It is just plain old, straight up, completely inappropriate.

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Ok, I'm a lurker usually, and I almost always agree with you Catwoman, but I think you should really, really, really reconsider any point of view where saying this is part of it. This is excusing so much that is not okay.

 

OP, there is no such thing as that line. He is your boss, he has the advantage over you and he knows it and is using it. First, have 2 email accounts. Document everything that has happened til now so that you have a paper trail. Continue to do so if any other incidents happen. Then, have a verbal conversation with him where you tell him you aren't comfortable with butt-slapping or -patting. Then, if he tries to fire you, get a lawyer and produce your paper trail.

 

Honestly, I'm still shocked at that line.

 

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

 

I don't know how you got the impression that I believed that if Julie wasn't saying no, she was saying yes to the boss, but I'm so sorry if my post wasn't phrased clearly -- and I'm glad you pointed it out so I could clarify what I meant, because it's definitely not the way you're thinking! :eek:

 

What I meant was that, if Julie has been laughing about it when her boss slaps her butt, or if she hasn't specifically asked him to stop doing it, HE may very well believe that she's fine with it, or even that she likes it.

 

I was trying to figure out what he might be thinking, and without knowing exactly how Julie has been responding to his inappropriate behavior, it's hard to completely condemn the guy. She doesn't want to lose her job, so I was wondering if she may have let the guy get away with his actions because she was afraid he might fire her. I can't blame her if she did that, because she needs that job, and even though in her heart, she knows what she should do, it's hard to make the right choice when you have kids to feed.

 

If she's acting like nothing is wrong, he may believe that she is encouraging his advances. Again, I'm not saying that she was doing that, but that he might have gotten that impression. That's why I'm hoping Julie will tell us more about how she has handled the situation thus far.

 

Anyway, I definitely didn't mean that any of this was Julie's fault. The guy shouldn't be doing what he's doing. Period. But if everyone laughs about it and lets him get away with it, they are unintentionally encouraging him to continue the butt slaps. If people have asked him to cut it out and he hasn't stopped, that's a different story, but if everyone acts like he's funny and charming when he does it, how is he supposed to know that anyone is upset and angry about it?

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Anyway, I definitely didn't mean that any of this was Julie's fault. The guy shouldn't be doing what he's doing. Period. But if everyone laughs about it and lets him get away with it, they are unintentionally encouraging him to continue the butt slaps. If people have asked him to cut it out and he hasn't stopped, that's a different story, but if everyone acts like he's funny and charming when he does it, how is he supposed to know that anyone is upset and angry about it?

Common sense?

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butt??? Theoretically. ;)

 

I would wait for a separate time, and then professionally address it to let him know I was serious. I would not instigate any drama over the incident, but I would be very clear and firm-- I would say, "Although I am sure you meant nothing by that gesture, it made me uncomfortable. I need your assurance it will not be repeated."

 

I would shake hands on the way out, thank him for his time, and let him know the matter was closed.

 

Then I would confidentially document everything-- the incident, and the subsequent conversation, including exactly what was said, with dates and times, and keep it somewhere secure (preferably not on the worksite). Just in case.

 

Assuming he took the conversation seriously, I would assume the matter to be closed and not go out of my way to give him the cold shoulder or treat him any differently. Okay, I just went back and read the rest of the thread. This guy does sound creepy. I would still do the above, but I would also be looking for another job in the meantime.

 

I still disagree with the PP who have said they would instantly invoke violence over a butt slap. I teach self defense for women, and that is not a life-threatening situation; escalating the situation would not be in your best interest from a personal safety standpoint, particularly if this guy has a demeaning attitude towards women. Stay professional, and if he does not respond in kind, remove yourself from the situation and document the daylights out of all of it.

Edited by NittanyJen
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I have been in a touchy situation like this, as a young employee in an extremely male dominated, good ol' boy industry, right out of college.

 

I would not address it with a sit down talk. Next time he does it, I would jump dramatically, turn around in the air, and yell, "HEY ! NO TOUCHING ! Sheesh ! " and then walk away like nothing happened. I would not bring it up again in any way unless he does it again, at which point I would tell him point blank to stop, and that I have already been recording incidents and found a lawyer so he better not even think about any future attempts at touching my a&&, or firing me, because neither will be worth the trouble it will bring him.

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I would not address it with a sit down talk. Next time he does it, I would jump dramatically, turn around in the air, and yell, "HEY ! NO TOUCHING ! Sheesh ! " and then walk away like nothing happened. I would not bring it up again in any way unless he does it again, at which point I would tell him point blank to stop, and that I have already been recording incidents and found a lawyer so he better not even think about any future attempts at touching my a&&, or firing me, because neither will be worth the trouble it will bring him.

 

:iagree: Yes, I think this is good. But as I jumped I would scream/yell loudly before saying the "hey, no touching!" More like "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKK!! HEY! NO TOUCHING! Omigosh!"

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OP, I hate, hate, hate that you even need to consider anything other than point blank asserting yourself in this situation. It's been eating at me all afternoon that your boss has put you in this position. You should not have to flirt to keep your job. You shouldn't have to act feminine and coy as you ask him to quit touching your @ss. I mean, you ought not have to ask him at all! You shouldn't have to wait for him to touch you again so thath you can jump and squeal, "Eek! Oh, gosh! Hands off, mister!" No offense to those that suggested that, that's not what I mean.

 

It just really stinks. He is an adult and is 100% accountable for his actions. He is your boss for goodness sakes. He knows better than to grope you every time you walk by. He just doesn't care.

 

I have zero sympathy for the guy. This is not an episode of 'Mad Men'. Ugh. :grouphug:

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! You shouldn't have to wait for him to touch you again so thath you can jump and squeal, "Eek! Oh, gosh! Hands off, mister!" No offense to those that suggested that, that's not what I mean.

 

It just really stinks. He is an adult and is 100% accountable for his actions. He is your boss for goodness sakes. He knows better than to grope you every time you walk by. He just doesn't care.

 

 

I know, :iagree:. It does totally stink.

 

When I was in this situation, I was in an industry in which at that time, if I had gone to HR, they would have hushed it up and gotten rid of me, and if I had gone the legal route, I would have been blacklisted in the industry and truly never been able to work in it again. My actions would have just been seen as proof that I didn't belong there in the first place. And at that time, it was where I most wanted to be. So I had to figure out a way to handle it (no pun intended, really!) myself. This approach did get me the results I wanted. And eventually three women who were union members (I was not and could not be) and had much more protection than I did, brought complaints against the guy, and he was fired. I wanted to be part of that. But at that time, it really would have killed that career. That is deplorable but true.

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OP, I hate, hate, hate that you even need to consider anything other than point blank asserting yourself in this situation. It's been eating at me all afternoon that your boss has put you in this position. You should not have to flirt to keep your job. You shouldn't have to act feminine and coy as you ask him to quit touching your @ss. I mean, you ought not have to ask him at all! You shouldn't have to wait for him to touch you again so thath you can jump and squeal, "Eek! Oh, gosh! Hands off, mister!" No offense to those that suggested that, that's not what I mean.

 

It just really stinks. He is an adult and is 100% accountable for his actions. He is your boss for goodness sakes. He knows better than to grope you every time you walk by. He just doesn't care.

 

I have zero sympathy for the guy. This is not an episode of 'Mad Men'. Ugh. :grouphug:

 

 

:iagree:

 

Years ago I worked in a County Jail. It was a man's world, let me tell you. Not once was I ever harassed by the corrections officers I worked with. Inmates were another story, but even then it only happened a couple of times because when people are in jail awaiting trail they tend to be on good behavior. I was shocked when my boss asked me if I had ever felt harrassed because in the 3 years I worked there it just did not happen. They were very courteous and sometimes protective when appropriate. They were able to control themselves and this boss should control himself too but is choosing not to.

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:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

 

I don't know how you got the impression that I believed that if Julie wasn't saying no, she was saying yes to the boss, but I'm so sorry if my post wasn't phrased clearly -- and I'm glad you pointed it out so I could clarify what I meant, because it's definitely not the way you're thinking! :eek:

 

What I meant was that, if Julie has been laughing about it when her boss slaps her butt, or if she hasn't specifically asked him to stop doing it, HE may very well believe that she's fine with it, or even that she likes it.

 

I was trying to figure out what he might be thinking, and without knowing exactly how Julie has been responding to his inappropriate behavior, it's hard to completely condemn the guy. She doesn't want to lose her job, so I was wondering if she may have let the guy get away with his actions because she was afraid he might fire her. I can't blame her if she did that, because she needs that job, and even though in her heart, she knows what she should do, it's hard to make the right choice when you have kids to feed.

 

If she's acting like nothing is wrong, he may believe that she is encouraging his advances. Again, I'm not saying that she was doing that, but that he might have gotten that impression. That's why I'm hoping Julie will tell us more about how she has handled the situation thus far.

 

Anyway, I definitely didn't mean that any of this was Julie's fault. The guy shouldn't be doing what he's doing. Period. But if everyone laughs about it and lets him get away with it, they are unintentionally encouraging him to continue the butt slaps. If people have asked him to cut it out and he hasn't stopped, that's a different story, but if everyone acts like he's funny and charming when he does it, how is he supposed to know that anyone is upset and angry about it?

 

I'm glad you didn't mean what that statement said. However.... do people really need to be told not to slap other people on the butt? Really? So if some random guy grabs your butt at the mall you just figure he was being friendly? If a neighbor slaps your butt when you talk about the lawn, it's just a big joke? Is it just slapping that's okay, or is pinching over the line? What about rubbing? And if pinching or rubbing isn't okay, maybe you should rethink slapping being okay. Because to me it's not the slapping part that's the problem, it's the butt part.

 

I know the butt-slapping thing is kind of a holdover from team sports, where coaches and teammates do it frequently and it's part of the culture. But even that makes me uncomfortable. I would call a coach on it who did it to my daughter. I would tell my daughter not to slap other people on the butt, no matter the age.

 

I just cannot wrap my head around the idea, which you are arguing for, that a grown man, who owns his own business, would in any way be under the impression that it was "all in good fun" to slap his female employees on the butt without them being intimidated, or scared of losing jobs at all. The fact that she hasn't yet called him on it in no way means that she welcomes that action, it just means she hasn't worked up the courage to call him on it, because he has a position of power over her. And he knows it.

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:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

 

I don't know how you got the impression that I believed that if Julie wasn't saying no, she was saying yes to the boss, but I'm so sorry if my post wasn't phrased clearly -- and I'm glad you pointed it out so I could clarify what I meant, because it's definitely not the way you're thinking! :eek:

 

What I meant was that, if Julie has been laughing about it when her boss slaps her butt, or if she hasn't specifically asked him to stop doing it, HE may very well believe that she's fine with it, or even that she likes it.

 

I was trying to figure out what he might be thinking, and without knowing exactly how Julie has been responding to his inappropriate behavior, it's hard to completely condemn the guy. She doesn't want to lose her job, so I was wondering if she may have let the guy get away with his actions because she was afraid he might fire her. I can't blame her if she did that, because she needs that job, and even though in her heart, she knows what she should do, it's hard to make the right choice when you have kids to feed.

 

If she's acting like nothing is wrong, he may believe that she is encouraging his advances. Again, I'm not saying that she was doing that, but that he might have gotten that impression. That's why I'm hoping Julie will tell us more about how she has handled the situation thus far.

 

Anyway, I definitely didn't mean that any of this was Julie's fault. The guy shouldn't be doing what he's doing. Period. But if everyone laughs about it and lets him get away with it, they are unintentionally encouraging him to continue the butt slaps. If people have asked him to cut it out and he hasn't stopped, that's a different story, but if everyone acts like he's funny and charming when he does it, how is he supposed to know that anyone is upset and angry about it?

 

Bolding mine. I think I answered this question upthread, but sometimes it's hard to find posts. :) So, for those that didn't see my response to this question: I haven't been responding much at all. Just kinda freezing and moving away from the situation. The last time I whipped around because it was worse than the times before.

 

I also wanted to address the "funny and charming" comment. This is not a young, handsome, clever guy. This is an old overweight man with bad breath. ;) Hopefully that is not sounding horribly rude, but I wanted to make sure everyone understood the situation. Not that it would make a difference what he looked like.

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I can share what I did when I was waiting table, many moons ago.

 

I worked nights and had a 'gentleman' come in wanting coffee I brought him his coffee and turned to go set the coffee pot back on the burner. As I started to walk away the 'gentleman' smacked me on the bottom. I didn't even think about it. I swung around and asked him if he would like to try that again. He turned a bit red and told me no. He was a customer that came in almost nightly. Never again was he anything but kind.:lol:

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I think documentation and consulting an attorney would be at the top of my to do list.

 

This guy is so over the line, there is simply no, "maybe he doesn't know" in the equation. I wish I had something else to say, but the sooner you find another job the better off you'll be. I don't see a happy ending if you stay there.

 

I'm so sorry. :grouphug: This man is a tool. :glare:

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Well, a smack on the butt that lingers and is accompanied by comments is not really flirtatious as much as just...totally inappropriate IMO. And he's doing it to multiple women at the same time. Is it okay to test the waters with a few employees in the workplace to see which employees are receptive to his inappropriate behavior? I am kind of shocked at some of the responses. He isn't a boss inviting someone out to dinner; he's smacking the butts of at least two women in the work place, and in one case he's only known the woman 3 weeks. I'm sorry, but I cannot assign a positive intent at all. That IMO is not cluelessness, and that isn't some guy interested in starting a relationship. It is just plain old, straight up, completely inappropriate.

 

I think he was inappropriate, and I doubt he is just clueless - he seems to be a jerk. But people were making general statements about flirting etc in the workplace never being ok because it is always a power issue, and that's what I was responding to.

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I haven't read all of the responses, but I did click on the OP's name and see all of HER responses, so with that in mind, if you need the job but just need firmer boundaries without offending him, I would do a couple of things-

 

First- the next time he reaches for you give a sort of sweet smirk and say. "Be good!" and slightly smile. Sort of sweet and flirtatious, but also very clear that it's NOT okay with you. If he persists you might say something like "MISTER ________, stop that right now and be GOOD!" with a big smile on your face. You can playfully make the threats slightly stronger, but always PLAYFULLY make it clear that what he is doing is NOT ACCEPTABLE but you're not going to get all huffy and litigious about it either. I think in some states it's not considered harassment unless you have made it clear such advancements are unwanted.

 

Secondly- and this may be my paranoia, you may want to set up a video recorder in your office. security videos can be very inexpensive these days, and it will literally CYA if he fires you. If he's doing this with multiple women and none of you stay in the job very long, he's a serial offender. Spin it as long as you can, but he knows he's got you right where he wants you, and I doubt this is going to get much better.

 

Thirdly- seriously start looking for another job. Maybe you can find something even better.

Edited by Katy
Because for some reason my formatting didn't save.
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I'm glad you didn't mean what that statement said. However.... do people really need to be told not to slap other people on the butt? Really? So if some random guy grabs your butt at the mall you just figure he was being friendly? If a neighbor slaps your butt when you talk about the lawn, it's just a big joke? Is it just slapping that's okay, or is pinching over the line? What about rubbing? And if pinching or rubbing isn't okay, maybe you should rethink slapping being okay. Because to me it's not the slapping part that's the problem, it's the butt part.

 

I know the butt-slapping thing is kind of a holdover from team sports, where coaches and teammates do it frequently and it's part of the culture. But even that makes me uncomfortable. I would call a coach on it who did it to my daughter. I would tell my daughter not to slap other people on the butt, no matter the age.

 

I just cannot wrap my head around the idea, which you are arguing for, that a grown man, who owns his own business, would in any way be under the impression that it was "all in good fun" to slap his female employees on the butt without them being intimidated, or scared of losing jobs at all. The fact that she hasn't yet called him on it in no way means that she welcomes that action, it just means she hasn't worked up the courage to call him on it, because he has a position of power over her. And he knows it.

 

Well, sometimes people actually like being slapped on the butt, even by a boss. I know people don't like that, but it's true. People having affairs with the boss or co-workers or supervisors isn't all that uncommon, and it can include a lot of behavior that would be totally inappropriate if the other person wasn't, in fact, interested.

 

While I am not inclined to think it applies in the OPs case, yeah I can see if someone tried to brush it off or giggled nervously, it could be misinterpreted as being ok with it.

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Well, sometimes people actually like being slapped on the butt, even by a boss. I know people don't like that, but it's true. People having affairs with the boss or co-workers or supervisors isn't all that uncommon, and it can include a lot of behavior that would be totally inappropriate if the other person wasn't, in fact, interested.

 

While I am not inclined to think it applies in the OPs case, yeah I can see if someone tried to brush it off or giggled nervously, it could be misinterpreted as being ok with it.

 

Do you think it is more reasonable to assume that people like to be slapped on the butt and might want an affair, or that people don't like being slapped on the butt because that is a sexual move and/or violating a person's body without permission?

 

I guess I should just start grabbing every guy's butt at the mall. Hey, I might find one who wants a little action on the side, and the rest should understand that I'm not sure which ones will until I test them out.

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Well, sometimes people actually like being slapped on the butt, even by a boss. I know people don't like that, but it's true. People having affairs with the boss or co-workers or supervisors isn't all that uncommon, and it can include a lot of behavior that would be totally inappropriate if the other person wasn't, in fact, interested.

 

While I am not inclined to think it applies in the OPs case, yeah I can see if someone tried to brush it off or giggled nervously, it could be misinterpreted as being ok with it.

 

It is always completely inappropriate in a work setting, even in the rare case that someone likes it.

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I haven't read all of the responses, but I did click on the OP's name and see all of HER responses, so with that in mind, if you need the job but just need firmer boundaries without offending him, I would do a couple of things-

 

First- the next time he reaches for you give a sort of sweet smirk and say. "Be good!" and slightly smile. Sort of sweet and flirtatious, but also very clear that it's NOT okay with you. If he persists you might say something like "MISTER ________, stop that right now and be GOOD!" with a big smile on your face. You can playfully make the threats slightly stronger, but always PLAYFULLY make it clear that what he is doing is NOT ACCEPTABLE but you're not going to get all huffy and litigious about it either. I think in some states it's not considered harassment unless you have made it clear such advancements are unwanted.

 

 

 

If she is acting in any way flirtatious or playful about it, he is more likely to take that as encouragement and an invitation for more. A playful manner on her part, witnessed by others, could actually work against her if this ever does progress to a legal action.

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If your goal is to keep your job and be able to exist there in the most comfortable way possible, which it seems like your posts indicate, I would take a pro-active, immediate stance with him without going the legal route.

 

Don't wait for the next incident, because this will only cause you more stress and keep you distracted from doing your job well, being a good mama, and getting on with life. Request a meeting, practice your speech many times before you go in, and then forge ahead, politely, with the truth. Calmly reiterate what has happened, how it makes you feel, how much you appreciate your job, and what your personal boundaries are. This doesn't have to be a long, flowery speech--just the truth, plainly stated as you've told it to us. Explain that you didn't know how to react when it happened because you were so shocked that an employer would treat an employee that way. Tell him that being treated this way isn't something you can live with at work, but that you like and need your job and hope that he can understand how you feel. If you feel the opening, you might even share that you've been mistreated by men in the past and you're really hoping that this job and your employer/employee relationship will be a mutually respectful one. You might even mention that you considered legal action, but you knew that wouldn't be necessary because you feel that he's a respectful, decent person who will understand what needs to change. This lets him know that you're serious without sounding threatening and lays out what your expectations are.

 

No manipulations, no inquiries, no cameras, no reports, no waiting--just the truth right out in the open between the two of you.

 

If he is a decent person, who has just gotten into some bad habits, this will probably call him back to appropriateness. It may be uncomfortable for a while as you work through the awkwardness. But, if he's willing to change, you will have gained an upper hand in the relationship and will have laid good groundwork for being treated well in the future.

 

If he doesn't respond well . . . denies, gets defensive or angry, threatens your job, etc., then he's not a decent person at the root of it, and the situation will likely not have a good resolution.

 

Here's how I would think about it: If you calmly confront him and it works, then you have a livable work environment and you've gained power. If you stay and do nothing, then you live with stress and you will dread going to work. If you keep logs, take videos, and search out legal routes, you're still living in stress, dreading going to work, and getting your focus off of moving your life forward. I would go the straightforward, honest, "git 'r dun" route first.

 

If you confront him and it doesn't work, then you have some choices. Stay and be miserable. Stay, pursue legal action, and be miserable. Leave, pursue legal action, and be distracted from life and your sweet babies. Leave, find other solutions, and get on with rebuilding your life.

 

I realize that there is no easy solution, and it's completely unfair that you're in the situation. I know that having to find another job will be hard and stressful. However, I believe that truth, when applied to any situation, heals in one way or another.

 

Please let us know what you decide to do so that we can support you and hold you up in our thoughts and prayers.

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If she is acting in any way flirtatious or playful about it, he is more likely to take that as encouragement and an invitation for more. A playful manner on her part, witnessed by others, could actually work against her if this ever does progress to a legal action.

 

I agree. I think being polite is ok, but being sweet/playful/flirtatious is very likely going to be perceived as encouragement.

 

This dude knows exactly what he is doing. He knows the OP's situation. He knows she is single, knows she needs the job, and knows she needs the flexibility. OP, he is not being lenient with your schedule or talking you up because he is a good person willing to help you out--he's stockpiling ammo of the "hey, I scratched your back, now you need to scratch mine" variety. I am so sorry you feel stuck in this position. :( I hope you know it is NOT your fault. Can you look for another job, quietly? Do you have any upscale restaurants that do a good lunch business? You could make decent money waiting tables at the right restaurant, and lunch shifts are usually over and done with during school hours.

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I agree. I think being polite is ok, but being sweet/playful/flirtatious is very likely going to be perceived as encouragement.

 

This dude knows exactly what he is doing. He knows the OP's situation. He knows she is single, knows she needs the job, and knows she needs the flexibility. OP, he is not being lenient with your schedule or talking you up because he is a good person willing to help you out--he's stockpiling ammo of the "hey, I scratched your back, now you need to scratch mine" variety. I am so sorry you feel stuck in this position. :( I hope you know it is NOT your fault. Can you look for another job, quietly? Do you have any upscale restaurants that do a good lunch business? You could make decent money waiting tables at the right restaurant, and lunch shifts are usually over and done with during school hours.

 

I had a guy offer me a job as a waitress for a breakfast/brunch kinda place that would end in time to get the kids but I still don't know what I would do about the kids in the morning before school and who would get them up and dressed. I HAVE thought about switching to night shifts in the medical field since I'm currently in college for a medical degree. I would take a decent pay cut, though, at a time when I can't pay my bills as it is.

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I haven't read all of the responses, but I did click on the OP's name and see all of HER responses, so with that in mind, if you need the job but just need firmer boundaries without offending him, I would do a couple of things-

 

First- the next time he reaches for you give a sort of sweet smirk and say. "Be good!" and slightly smile. Sort of sweet and flirtatious, but also very clear that it's NOT okay with you. If he persists you might say something like "MISTER ________, stop that right now and be GOOD!" with a big smile on your face. You can playfully make the threats slightly stronger, but always PLAYFULLY make it clear that what he is doing is NOT ACCEPTABLE but you're not going to get all huffy and litigious about it either. I think in some states it's not considered harassment unless you have made it clear such advancements are unwanted.

 

Secondly- and this may be my paranoia, you may want to set up a video recorder in your office. security videos can be very inexpensive these days, and it will literally CYA if he fires you. If he's doing this with multiple women and none of you stay in the job very long, he's a serial offender. Spin it as long as you can, but he knows he's got you right where he wants you, and I doubt this is going to get much better.

 

Thirdly- seriously start looking for another job. Maybe you can find something even better.

 

I couldn't disagree more with the bolded. This is really, really a BAD idea. Any playfulness or smiling will be misinterpreted, whether willfully or cluelessly.

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Bolding mine. I think I answered this question upthread, but sometimes it's hard to find posts. :) So, for those that didn't see my response to this question: I haven't been responding much at all. Just kinda freezing and moving away from the situation. The last time I whipped around because it was worse than the times before.

 

I truly believe you have to let him know you don't like what he's doing. I don't think you need to be vicious about it right away. I think if you remove his hand and tell him "OK, that's enough of that," it would be a good first step, that wouldn't embarrass him in front of everyone else in the office. Obviously, if he ignores your request, the whole nice thing is going to have to be thrown out the window and you'll need to be far more assertive.

 

I also wanted to address the "funny and charming" comment. This is not a young, handsome, clever guy. This is an old overweight man with bad breath. ;) Hopefully that is not sounding horribly rude, but I wanted to make sure everyone understood the situation. Not that it would make a difference what he looked like.

 

LOL! Not exactly hot stuff, huh? :ack2:

 

What I was really wondering, though, wasn't what he looks like, but how people react to him when he slaps them. Are they acting like it's a big joke, or are they telling him to cut it out?

 

I'm still curious to learn his reputation among the other employees. As I mentioned in an earlier post, people tend to talk about the perverts, and they also tend to warn others about them, so I'm wondering if this guy has a history of creeping out other women. If he has a bad history, it's definitely time for you to find another job. If everyone else seems to like him, perhaps a few gentle reminders that you're not comfortable being touched, might just do the trick. Since you need the job right now, I think it's well worth investigating this guy a bit, so you'll know what you're dealing with.

Edited by Catwoman
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I couldn't disagree more with the bolded. This is really, really a BAD idea. Any playfulness or smiling will be misinterpreted, whether willfully or cluelessly.

 

Again as a self-defense instructor, I would have to agree with this statement. Any type of smile or cutesy statement would be inappropriate. There is no need to try to laugh this off or be apologetic about the situation-- it is inappropriate, and it should be dealt with in a professional, no-nonsense manner. There is no way to be both flirty and unequivocally say "no" at the same time. Just say no.

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No doubt he knows your situation and has chosen to take advantage of it. I think you should tell him, in a serious tone, that you don't like it, that it makes you uncomfortable.

 

And honestly? I think you should look for work elsewhere. He will very likely NOT stop and since you have no authority over him to appeal to, things may escalate.

 

I am SO sorry this is happening to you. You do not deserve this. ((hugs))

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Look him in the eye with a straight face and say, "I'm sorry but could you do that again so I can catch a video on my phone?"

 

ETA: This really pushes my buttons. When I was a 22yo single mom my boss used to run his hand up my skirt to squeeze my inner thigh when I was at the filing cabinets and then joke about sexual harassment. With his wife in the office. This was back in '92 when there really wasn't much legal recourse. Sexual harassment really wasn't taken seriously. You don't have to put up with this

Edited by Barb F. PA in AZ
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