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    tamma1115's Avatar
    tamma1115 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jan 27, 2007, 08:33 PM
    Boss tries to make me feel more comfortable around him?
    I have worked for this company almost five years (USA). For four years my CEO never spoke or even looked at me. Last year when he fired my boss, he hired a consultant, and he started to talk highly about me and how smart I am.

    Every time I meet him and if just two of us, he always talks and touches my hand briefly and very friendly with me. He told someone that I intimidate him, and he tries to make me relax around him? I know he is CEO, so I always be careful and be nice to him.

    On his birthday I gave him a card and a small gift. That day I met him in the mail room with another manager. Three of us were just talking normally. When the other manager left,only me and my CEO in the mail room, I get my mail and he asked me to give him a hug for his birthday.

    A couple of weeks later, when I was in the break room by myself, he walked in and showed me a picture of him when he was younger, holding his baby.. sleeping. I think he just wanted me to see him when he was younger.

    When I am around with others, he ignores me. It's only when we're alone that he acts the other way. I shared this information with my supervisor, who is a close friend. He told me not to worry, that my CEO is only trying to make me feel comfortable.

    I feel very uncomfortable about all of this, especially since he is my boss. What should I do? Thanks
    chippers's Avatar
    chippers Posts: 440, Reputation: 88
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    #2

    Jan 27, 2007, 09:02 PM
    the fact that it makes you feel uncomfortable is a big red flag. You have everyright to feel that way. With everything out there about sexual harassment in the work place. You are concerned about you job and your reputation. The fact he speaks highly of you to others shows his respect for you. The touching although inappropriate, may be innocent on his part. He may not realize the discomfort it's causing you. Then again the gift giving although sweet was also inapropriate. If it came from a group of employees its one thing, not one individual. Although you were showing your ceo appreciation, he maybe taking it as an act of friendship by asking for a hug in the break room.
    he may sense your discomforture, thus trying very hard to make you feel at ease in the work place.
    maybe one day when you have a moment, why don't you talk with your supervisor and go see the ceo. Let him know how committed you are to your job in the best proffessional manner you can. That you highly respect him as your ceo and value his leader ship. In doing that you're telling him it's a professional relationship without bringing up any unpleasant past history.
    If he continues to touch you or it becomes more involved, then by all means, file a complaint. You've already talked about it with your supervisor.

    I hope this helps
    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #3

    Jan 28, 2007, 08:35 AM
    I am assuming by your posting that you are female and young? Your immediate supervisor and your CEO are males. Your immediate supervisor has a job to do and cannot think the way we women do. He may very well believe what he is saying and doesn't think there is more to it. He is wrong. Follow your gut instincts.

    Your CEO is making very small tentative overtures to you. He finds you attractive and is not sure how to deal with this. He will continue to make very small advances until one day he will feel comfortable enough to make a blatant pass at you.

    How do I know this? I have been in the same situation, quite a few times, when I was young. From your posting, I am assuming that you do not want this personal connection to go any further.

    What should you do? Do not give him a hug. Do not worry about hurting his feelings or about getting fired. You need to be smart about this and sidestep it. When he brushes your hand lightly, pull away and take one step back while you are continuing your conversation. Body language is key in this. He will get the message without a confrontation. If he asks for a hug, take a step back away from him and tell him you think you are coming down with the flu and you don't want to get anyone sick, especially him because you know he is needed in the office. If he tries for a second hug at a later date, take two steps back and tell him you just vomited in the ladies room, and again, you don't want him to get sick. Keep avoiding any physical contact he may try to initiate.

    The entry above mine was correct in telling you that you made a serious error in judgement giving him a gift. Do not, under any circumstances, do anything that can be misconstrued as being personal. If there is a physical confrontation at a later date (meaning if he actually full on grabs you), you have just done a bit of damage to your legal recourse.

    If you want to keep your job, keep your working relationship, and not get intimately involved with the CEO, you need to do these things I mentioned above.

    I would not recommend initiating any sexual harassment complaints or lawsuits at this stage. He definitely has not done enough to warrant it. Keep a log on the dates and incidents that occur. You may not ever need it, but keep it in case you need it at a later time and this escalates.

    Please let me know if any of my suggestions helps him cool it down. If it doesn't dampen his ardor and the contact is increasing, please let us know what has occurred and maybe some other people here will have other suggestions.

    Good Luck and All the Best,.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #4

    Jan 28, 2007, 08:52 AM
    You have some great advise here that I would only add a few things. Try to avoid being alone with him to begin with. Be more business-like in your demeanor around him at all times. Vibes count a lot here. And finally ask your immediate supervisor to place something written and dated in file concerning this issue, and make sure you get a copy. If your immediate supervisor has your best interests in mind, they will be willing to do that. If not, then perhaps a sit-down with someone from human resources without the CEO or supervisor is warranted.
    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #5

    Jan 28, 2007, 09:31 AM
    Hey Val. I agree with you wholeheartedly but I think doing these things is a bit premature for the moment.

    Guys talk. Especially when it is something as serious as even the whiff of a possibility of a sexual harassment lawsuit. If she asks the supervisor to place something written if her file, it suddenly becomes a formal complaint to him. You can bet your butt he will speak with the CEO and the CEO will either make this girls life a living hell or he will ostracize her without any hope of advancement. Also, keep in mind, Human Resources, although a good place to turn for handling these things when they begin to escalate, is not a place to go at the beginning of a situation. They are not there to hold your hand, give you some words of advice and comfort, and quietly write something up and place it in your file to help you build a case. Human Resources is answerable to management and will do everything they have to protect the company.

    I know all this because I chose those paths early on and found out the hard way that this is not a fair or easy situation to handle. The man is the CEO. Any person beneath him is expendable as far as he, or anyone else, is concerned. I am working under the assumption that this young lady wants to keep her job and get promoted. Being a "whistle blower" this early in the game he is playing, will work to her disadvantage. She will be pinpointed immediately as a potential lawsuit by her supervisor and Human Resources.

    On top of my personal experience, my late husband was a Director of Human Resources for some very prominent Fortune 500 companies. We had many a discussion on this topic and what role Human Resources actually plays in the company.

    Val, please don't be offended. I still think you are one smart lady and dispense sound advice. It is just a little early in this situation, for your suggestions.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #6

    Jan 28, 2007, 12:27 PM
    Heavens to mergatroid! Not at all offended, Ruby. You make some very valid points here. Its been a while since I've been in the corporate environement so perhaps much has changed. Its just when push comes to shove, the immediate supervisor is likely to claim he never had that conversation with her and that was mostly I was thinking about at the time, which wasn't very big picture of me. I am glad you thought of this and elaborated!
    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #7

    Jan 29, 2007, 02:12 PM
    Tamma, I am glad you checked the posting and that we could be of some help. Good luck. I only wish you the best. I know it is not going to be easy. Just remember we are here for you if you get stuck.
    tamma1115's Avatar
    tamma1115 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Jan 29, 2007, 08:04 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by RubyPitbull
    Tamma, I am glad you checked the posting and that we could be of some help. Good luck. I only wish you the best. I know it is not going to be easy. Just remember we are here for you if you get stuck.
    Thank you so much for your help!
    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #9

    Jan 29, 2007, 08:13 PM
    You are most welcome. Have a good night. The real Ruby Pitbull is pawing at me and letting me know it is time to walk her and give her some attention! :)
    Jack_Jack 238's Avatar
    Jack_Jack 238 Posts: 18, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Feb 15, 2007, 03:38 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by tamma1115
    I have worked for this company almost five years (USA). For four years my CEO never spoke or even looked at me. Last year when he fired my boss, he hired a consultant, and he started to talk highly about me and how smart I am.

    Every time I meet him and if just two of us, he always talks and touches my hand briefly and very friendly with me. He told someone that I intimidate him, and he tries to make me relax around him? I know he is CEO, so I always be careful and be nice to him.

    On his birthday I gave him a card and a small gift. That day I met him in the mail room with another manager. Three of us were just talking normally. When the other manager left,only me and my CEO in the mail room, I get my mail and he asked me to give him a hug for his birthday.

    A couple of of weeks later, when I was in the break room by myself, he walked in and showed me a picture of him when he was younger, holding his baby.. sleeping. I think he just wanted me to see him when he was younger.

    When I am around with others, he ignores me. It's only when we're alone that he acts the other way. I shared this information with my supervisor, who is a close friend. He told me not to worry, that my CEO is only trying to make me feel comfortable.

    I feel very uncomfortable about all of this, especially since he is my boss. What should I do? Thanks
    If you feel uncomftrable with him try to stay away and sometimes be around him not as much though don't make it oviuos! Just keep it simple and becareful. Don't get to frendly!

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