Secrets – Reader Question

I recently had a reader ask me how I feel about secrets. I asked him what he meant. He said he didn’t want to go into too much detail, but that it was about an affair between two co-workers were having within the company.

He said that the superior treated the person with whom he was having an affair better than everyone else. A promotion just opened up within the company and he was afraid that it would go to this person because of the relationship.

“What should I do?”

I had trouble answering his question so I thought I’d ask all of you.

What would you do if you knew your boss was having an affair with a co-worker?

Have you ever experienced this? Did it affect the working relationship?


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12 thoughts on “Secrets – Reader Question”

  1. When I worked in Corporate, I encountered this on more than one occasion. The last time I encountered it, it definitely impacted the working relationship and the morale. The boss was married and the team knew his wife making it even more awkward in the work place. It is understandable how attractions happen in the work place, but affairs put the entire team or department in an uncomfortable position. I chose to leave the company as it was one more sign of a company in peril with poor leadership.

  2. Since this involves the boss, I would leave it be. One’s job is at stake in such cases.

  3. A ps here…most people doing wrong know it already. Saying something about it usually doesn’t change anothers behavior, but only creates friction in the friendship or more tension in the work place, especially when those involved are full grown adults.

  4. Hi Positively Present, what if you are close friends with one of the involved people. Don’t you think you should them that what they are doing may be wrong? Explaining how their relationship is affecting other people.

    Hi Karen, Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave, but in this climate that can be tough. What if you are invested in the company and don’t want to leave? Instead of letting it happen, maybe it’s better to get it out in the open. Just saying.

    I’m not saying that the right thing to do would be to say something, but many of us ignore things that we know are wrong. If you and me (I include myself because I’m guilty of ignoring bad behaviors at every job I’ve had) were willing to say something the workplace would be more honest and probably a lot happier.

  5. Happened to me recently, but there wasn’t anything I could really do about it. I might talk to the boss if I had enough evidence, but otherwise you are treading on thin ice. Your best bet is to make friends with his/her boss if you can.

  6. Hi Nathan, it’s a tough situation. Making friends is a good idea because maybe down the road, if it happens again, you may be able to say something.

    Hi Karen, good point. Just because you feel like you should say something it doesn’t mean that it would help. And If the person’s job would be on the line it’s better to keep the mouth shut.

  7. I would say nothing. Who sleeps with whom is none of my business. This does not mean that I approve, but do the people involved really care about my unsolicited opinion? Commenting would merely cause friction as already stated above.

  8. I don’t think I’d get involved either. It’s really none of my business. If I thought it would affect my job/promotion, then I would probably document everything I saw happen between them, especially if the “other person” got the promotion. Then I’d start looking for a new job!

    Unless it’s personally affecting my relationship with the boss, then I really feel that it’s not my business who the boss sleeps with. If it was affecting our relationship I still wouldn’t say anything about the affair, I would keep it about my working relationship with the boss.

  9. He/she might have a case. When there’s favoritism in the work place based upon the granting of sexual favors, those who do not welcome this conduct could establish that a hostile work environment is being created. Is this person so upset that they’re willing to hire a lawyer and present a case? Make sure that it’s a battle worth fighting because it won’t be pretty, but some battles are worth fighting.

  10. Hi Kate, friction in the workplace is rarely helpful when trying to settle a problem. Sometimes it’s best to wait out the situation.

    Hi Stacey, it’s hard to intervene in this case. You make a good point. We should always have a plan B in case the situation doesn’t unfold the way we hoped.

    Hi Marelisa, s/he might have a case, but do they want to go through the trouble of hiring a lawyer? I’m not sure. You are right. It definitely wouldn’t be pretty.

  11. I would leave the alleged relationship *completely* out of the picture, and focus on documentable problems, refraining from any personal attacks while doing so.

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