Q. I am a professional woman in my thirties working in the human resources department of an organisation of 70 persons. My boss makes sexual advances towards me like he does with many other females. I told him if we sleep together, I would have to get two cheques of equal amounts every month.
He realised he was not getting anywhere with me, so now he does not like me. In addition, he is a poor manager and he is not handling his job competently. He manages people poorly, and because of him, we are missing our targets.
He now tries to avoid me, although we should be working closely. He hardly speaks to me and uses one of the messengers to send things to my desk, and I do the same. He also gives them instructions to give me. If I am sick at the office or miss a day from work, he writes memos to me.
The tension is thick in the office. Do you think it is a good idea to report him to the board of management?
A. It is unfortunate when your workplace is a living hell, since it is where you spend most of your awake hours. This will make you not want to attend work and want to leave work as early as possible.
Reporting your boss to the board of management is usually a good idea if your boss is involved in corruption such as stealing the company's money or having a personal company that is rivalling the one he is managing, or for sexual harassment.
Furthermore, the company is missing targets and his supervisor ought to be measuring his performance periodically. Soon he will start to blame you for the weak performance of the business. Please ensure that your performance is evaluated properly. And when you do not agree with his appraisal, then you have a right for it to be noted. In addition, you need to know beforehand what your work targets are.
HAVE FRANK DISCUSSION
Your main problem appears to be a personal one with your boss. It is compounded by the fact that the department - human resource - which should be sorting out these issues, is the one creating it. Therefore, you need to have a frank and amicable talk with your boss about the problems you are facing and the expectations you have of him, and ask him what he expects of you.
I would also suggest that you avoid the tit-for-tat approach of not having any contact with each other. In other words, do not send information to his desk via the messenger. Instead, take it to his desk and be very polite to him and see if your example might ease the tension.
Additionally, when you are missing work for any reason, please remember to inform your boss quickly. And concerning those memos, if there are any inaccuracies in them then you have a right to point it out to him, and if he does not change the incorrect statement, then you can respond in writing so that your file reflects the truth.
Try to improve the work environment by always greeting him when you arrive or when he arrives. Furthermore, even when you are leaving the office to go to lunch, you could inform him. Perhaps he is lacking confidence and sees you as a threat to his job. Therefore, ensure that you affirm him where appropriate about his performance on the job.
I hope these things will help to make the work environment bearable. If not, then keep your options open by seeking alternative employment.