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Work relationships - boss

(61 Posts)
Letmebeme1 Fri 06-May-16 22:06:43

I am hoping that someone was in similar situation and can help me make sense of it

I am professional with a good career and very strong track record in my company. I have been working for my boss (call him X) directly for 2 months, but know him for about 1year as I was doing projects for him previously and had a line manager in between for period of 6 months.

2 months ago I went for an interview as my line manager was leaving and got a job reporting to X.

X is very charismatic and great with people as he builds a personal rapport and fantastic at support and motivating. He always been very complimentary of me, in terms of work and as a person. He happened to say few personal compliments that sounded a bit unprofessional ie. you're gorgeous but maybe 2-3 times since I report to him. X is a senior guy, director level. He is in his early 50s, married and family man. I am in mid 30s married with two children <5yrs.

I know he likes to speak to women.

There are changes in my company and he is likely to be moved to a different business entity. At the 121 meeting today we talked about uncertainty of our roles and he gave me a lot of great advice. But he also asked if I am in a certain office next week and if We could go out for lunch. I agreed as I have great respect for him and feel as I can learn a lot from him.

But I am overanalysing;

1/ He did not put it as a formal invite in our diaries as did not want his PA to question that he does lunch only with me
2/ He could do lunch with me locally but chosen location where we are unlikely to be seen by coworkers
3/his previous comments make me slightly uneasy although when I questioned it once he behaved extremely professional

Where is this going? I am confused as to his reasons. He is great with everybody but the comments he made in the past worry me a bit.

Part of me thinks he will try on with me but I feel stupid for thinking that!!

Please share your thoughts!

Startingover2016 Fri 06-May-16 22:13:10

If you are getting the vibes that he will try it on with you, he probably will. How will you manage it if he does? Assuming you will reject any advances, where does that leave your working relationship after that?

I wouldn't go if I were you. How are you going to 'learn' from him at a lunch?

Make excuses for now and keep it friendly but formal in the future.

I was in a similar position with a boss and felt under a lot of pressure for a long time. He kept saying we were great friends but that wasn't the case at all. It would have been better if I had set the boundaries earlier.

merville Fri 06-May-16 22:22:32

I'd be inclined to agree with Starting above.
> Calling you gorgeous - inappropriate for a work colleague (def. inside work, still so outside).
> Your instincts/unease
> As starting says, what (more) are you going to learn in one lunch, or were you thinking they'd be an ongoing thing .. even more risk of escalation to something dodgy.

You could have a small child related emergency/obligation to get you out of it(!)

It's a good thing he's prob. moving to another entity.

If you're right - and instincts usually are - he's actually a bit of a predator, taking advan of his position & reputation. Sociopaths are often very charming and successful in business.

merville Fri 06-May-16 22:28:18

Sorry I forgot to include "I know he likes to speak to women" hmm.

Letmebeme1 Fri 06-May-16 22:33:52

I can't read him that's part of a problem. Once when he made a comment, I tried to test him and said something that he could take the wrong way. He did not - behaved just as you would expect your boss to do.

I think he is just a big charmer, but I would not want the situation where I feel uncomfortable. Part of the problem is that I really like him and enjoy his company. I probably have a little crush on him and feel like a schoolgirl at the times!

i am confused as I feel like it's a perfectly normal relationship and I am just overthinking it...

fluffyjumper123 Fri 06-May-16 22:40:01

No good will come from it! Sorry - I can't say that I think it will. He is married with children. Not only will you be made to look like a home wrecker if something ever was to happen/go wrong but you would most likely end up nursing a broken heart. He may be a lovely guy but not so lovely if he is showering other women with inappropriate compliments while he has a wife at home. Cut your losses before you come involved.

Letmebeme1 Fri 06-May-16 22:40:30

I get your comments though. Instincts are rarely wrong..
Is he just playing games with me?

fluffyjumper123 Fri 06-May-16 22:40:37


timelytess Fri 06-May-16 22:42:04

Have lunch but keep your knees together. Wear two pairs of elastic pants. You'll be fine.

Letmebeme1 Fri 06-May-16 22:42:29

Thanks for your comments ladies, I appreciate that.

Letmebeme1 Fri 06-May-16 22:43:38

Timelytess - you cracked me up!!smilegrin

fluffyjumper123 Fri 06-May-16 22:44:07

This is coming from personal experience by the way. Mistook advances for compliments and before I knew it, things escalated. It all happened very quickly. Hate to sound like a nag but I really would keep it strictly professional and not do anything to cross the line.

springydaffs Fri 06-May-16 22:44:30

uh-oh - DEFINITELY don't go then if you have a bit of a crush on him!

I despair sometimes that people don't realise that this is exactly how affairs start: that first meeting we can't resist but is a bit risque; where we think it'll just be a little light flirting/ego-boosting. And before you know it...

merville Fri 06-May-16 23:19:35

Now that you've said you might have a little crush on him, I'd be even more inclined to say, excuse yourself from the lunch and avoid anything similar in future.
So he likes to charm women - perhaps it's just ego massage/feeling good for him or perhaps it's more (though you might've heard gossip if he's been there a while and anything happened before) .. either way, agree with fluffyjumper and would add; you could adversely affect your good career and reputation. Time to nip it in the bud?

merville Fri 06-May-16 23:22:24

Just to add - if you found out your husband was acting the way does inc. telling female work colleagues they are gorgeous, what would you think of him?
He/the situation is not kosher.

Letmebeme1 Fri 06-May-16 23:35:56

Thanks Merville & others

Keeping the distance. For sure.

My marriage has not been great for a while, adding to it, I am probably in a quite a fragile situation overall. Do not want to make a mess of things

merville Sat 07-May-16 09:02:01

I could be wrong of course but this deepens my impression of him as a potential predator sensing blood in the water i.e. your marriage & vulnerabilty; he's probably quite perceptive if he's very good with people. His move to another team/entity might be a prompter too.

Bottom line - if he is "up for it" for lack of a nicer way of phrasing it, and you allow yourself to get sucked in, it will probably pan out in the time-honoured way ... he doesn't leave his wife, he drops you after the shine wears off, your colleagues find out or at least suspect; your reputation is affected and every work achievement of yours, past & future, has the "yeah, she got there cos she shags the boss" pall cast over it. The instability would prob. affect your work as well.
The last two would be such a pity given that it sounds like you have achieved a lot career-wise - & kudos to you doing so with 2 small kids.

Maybe you could you start a thread re. your marriage/fragile situation so you can get help & advice? "Escaping" into a potential affair would only become a clusterf*ck.

roarfeckingroar Sat 07-May-16 11:25:34

I would go and if it is inappropriate then not go again. It is lunch, not dinner in a hotel. Go, take what advice you can, then leave.

GeorgeTheThird Sat 07-May-16 11:30:51

So. Your marriage isn't great, yo h ave a crush on him, he has form for flirting with you and with others, you're both married, he isn't outing it in his diary and he wants to go somewhere not local.

No. Don't go out for a secret lunch with him. Unless you want to start an affair.

SleepingTiger Sat 07-May-16 13:11:41

He is successful because he reads things and manages risks well. I work in a similar environment and know these things (age equals experience 😉)

He should never have said "gorgeous". That was unprofessional. He tried to cover it up because you where in the office, it was a normal working day or time, and he wanted the situation to evaporate quickly.

He is moving to a different business unit, he wants to take you to lunch where nobody can see you and he hasn't put this lunch in (eg) Outlook.

He will make a move on you. Guaranteed. It will be a soft, calculated, risk averse approach.

Why not Invite him to lunch locally in your Outlook, editing the Invite with an expression that as you are busy at the moment you thing x would be better than Y naming the restaurants.

I am not at all confused by his reasons. Nip it in the bud. He is harvesting in the years he has left before his retirement and don't be sucked up and spat out as pawn in his game.

TheSquashyHatOfMrGnosspelius Sat 07-May-16 13:16:42

You could turn up with half an onion under each arm grin
What I would do is go but talk about my DH and kids quite a lot if it looks like turning the wrong way.
Some of the things you have said about him makes him sound practised at this and not in a good way! Good luck.

Poppledopple Sat 07-May-16 13:58:07

Do as sleepingtiger says - rebook somewhere else and put it in the diary - otherwise you will also be hiding it. Your colleagues need to know where you are. Also dont ever share a car. Be ready for him offering you a lift. He has sensed your minor crush on him and is responding/using it ... so protect yourself, your marriage, your career and your childrens family life - trust your gut and reverse back out of this one...

suspiciousofgoldfish Sat 07-May-16 14:04:19

This is a terrible idea OP.

SleepingTiger Sat 07-May-16 15:22:44

Or you will become Bill and Monica but without the power and protection that went with it.

GeorgeTheThird Sat 07-May-16 16:16:54

There are lots of reasons not to go.

But are there any valid reasons why you will would go?

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