DEAR HARRIETTE: My boss constantly hits on me, and it makes me extremely uncomfortable. I don’t want to risk losing my job by complaining, but he’s becoming too much.
He’s starting to do it in front of others, and it makes me not want to come in to work most days.
I live alone, and I have to pay my bills, so I don’t really know how to handle it. I know it may sound strange, but HR at my company is a joke — they’ve failed to get people fired for much more.
What should I do?
DEAR CREEPY BOSS: I spoke to an attorney about this subject and learned a few things about how to protect yourself in this situation.
First, know that HR at any company is there to protect the company — not you. You are right not to go to them to help you before seeking outside counsel.
Explain your situation to an employment attorney. Gather as much evidence as you can to illustrate what has been happening to you. That includes noting any witnesses who may have observed his behavior. With that information, you can go to HR and state your case.
Yes, confronting your boss can put you in a vulnerable position. But your letter suggests that you are already in such a position. Now you need to strategize for what happens next.
With your attorney, you can push back and try to get him to be held accountable for his actions. You should also start looking for a new job in case it becomes too hostile at your current workplace. But having an attorney will buy you time because now you will have protection.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently found my boyfriend’s old Twitter page, which has been inactive for many years. Some of his tweets and hot takes on there were problematic, to say the least.
Even though he hasn’t used the account for many years, I still find myself being bothered by the fact that he would ever think it was OK to say those things on a public platform. Should I confront him about this?
DEAR OLD TWITTER: If you found your boyfriend’s old Twitter, so can others. Out of concern for him, you should talk to him about it.
Tell him what you found and ask him about his thoughts. Tell him how you reacted when you read what he had written and that even though the tweets are many years old, they remain disturbing.
Get him to explain himself. Listen so that you get a clear sense of who this man is and whether you think you still share values. Don’t feel guilty if you feel the need to sever ties.
If he continues to believe the views he expressed years ago and that doesn’t align with you, it’s OK for you to separate. But don’t do so without giving him a fair chance to explain himself.
Also, encourage him to delete the posts and the old account entirely. Many people have lost everything when their social media from years back resurfaces. Urge your boyfriend to take it all down. More, let him know that he may need to defend his thinking to others if anyone else finds those disturbing posts.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.