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To wish my boss wouldn't get his handoff my shoulder!

(91 Posts)
user1490990350 Sat 01-Apr-17 12:17:10

I know I'm making a fuss over nothing. But my boss always put his hand on my shoulder when talking to me. He's a very strong character/confident.

I think he's been on some training course that's taught him it is an approachable and friendly thing to do to make people feel comfortable but it has the opposite effect and makes me feel like a child.

He stands there with his hand on my shoulder when giving me instructions (which he has to do regularly as part of my job). Sometimes he pats my shoulder afterwards!

I know I'm being unreasonable and I should (and do) have bigger things to worry about but it's a little unnerving.

Would I be unreasonable to just tell him in a jokey way not to touch my shoulder! grin

Everyone else I work with is male and he doesn't do it with them but I've seen him do this with a young woman that was visiting for the day. So it's not just me.

Chasingsquirrels Sat 01-Apr-17 12:18:26

Boss-name, don't touch my shoulder, I don't like it and it isn't appropriate.

user1490990350 Sat 01-Apr-17 12:19:20

Do you think it is inappropriate though?

That's why I've not said anything. It's not like he's stroking my leg!

I've had a completely pervert of a boss once who kept asking me to go on a date with him. But my boss is otherwise completely professional.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Sat 01-Apr-17 12:19:21

I'd leave.

Fuck that.

JonesyAndTheSalad Sat 01-Apr-17 12:19:25

Step back smartly. But don't say anything. Unless he literally follows you to place it there again he will be scuppered.

Or, just say "God your hand weighs a ton! Get it off me"

Or jump a mile high and say "Oh! You startled me!"

Or stare at it with a frown on your face.

Or say "Ow!" don't do that.

ragz134 Sat 01-Apr-17 12:20:39

If he's only doing it to women then if be surprised a training course promoted that. I wouldn't like it either. Next time, step back pointedly looking at his hand... Or just say how you feel.

Bluntness100 Sat 01-Apr-17 12:22:45

Just step back or twist your body. If you like the company, like him and it's just this then handle it discreetly.

DJBaggySmalls Sat 01-Apr-17 12:23:59

Say 'dont put you hand on my shoulder.' Repeat til he stops putting his hand on your shoulder.
As he goes to put his hand on your shoulder deflect with your hand and say 'no.'

user1490990350 Sat 01-Apr-17 12:25:00

I used to step back but I've just got used to it now so don't anymore.
Anne it's a power thing. Asserting his authority! confused

user1490990350 Sat 01-Apr-17 12:25:25


Chasingsquirrels Sat 01-Apr-17 12:29:13

It's physical contact that you don't like - of course it's inappropriate! Don't even question that.
It doesn't mean that he has inappropriate intentions, or to be honest with even realises he is doing it, but he might.
None of that matters though - please tell him. I think straight would be better, but jokingly or via actions if that sits easier with you.
And DO NOT apologise, no "*Sorry*, can you move your hand please".

jelliebelly Sat 01-Apr-17 12:35:13

You don't like it,it makes you feel uncomfortable therefore it is inappropriate! Why on earth put up with it!?

user1490990350 Sat 01-Apr-17 12:38:00

I've put up with it for a while now. I didn't think it was that inappropriate but it's making me u comfortable now.
I don't think it's appropriate to touch another work colleague unless to give them a hug if they're crying (or similar)

lollypopcorn Sat 01-Apr-17 12:44:00

Was it a training course in harassment?

It's not nothing! It's completely fucking inappropriate!

user1490990350 Sat 01-Apr-17 12:53:55

Thank you everyone.
I was expecting to be told I'm being unreasonable.

I have absolutely no idea why he does it.

Spam88 Sat 01-Apr-17 12:54:42

I highly doubt he's picked this up from a training course. If he has, it was a shit training course.

I'm with you that any unnecessary touching in the work place is inappropriate. I think you've had good advice above as to how to deal with it.

TupperwareTat Sat 01-Apr-17 12:57:44

Wear spiked shoulder pads.

Tell him not too. Or do it back?
I know its not easy, does he do it to others?

Foldedtshirt Sat 01-Apr-17 13:00:29

It's a wee bit passive aggressive but I think if he's a good boss otherwise I'd step back saying, 'Woah! personal space'

BhajiAllTheWay Sat 01-Apr-17 13:35:51

I would duck back out of the way and say " you don't have to do that, do you think I'm going to walk off while we're speaking or something?? ". I'd hate it.

ChristianGreysAnatomy Sat 01-Apr-17 14:05:29

When he puts his hand on your shoulder, put your own hand on his opposite shoulder. Pat him a bit too.

Every time.

jeaux90 Sat 01-Apr-17 14:08:29

I would just be honest and say "it makes me feel really uncomfortable when you put your hand on my shoulder, I know you don't mean anything by it but I just focus on that rather than what you are trying to say so I'd rather you didn't if that's ok"

Foldedtshirt Sat 01-Apr-17 14:09:27

Christian that's brilliant! grin

ShowMePotatoSalad Sat 01-Apr-17 14:11:14

It's inappropriate. Is there any need to touch your shoulder? No. Is it a display of dominance? Is it a way to get your attention? It doesn't matter - you don't like it therefore it's unwanted physical contact and it's wrong.

Emphasise Sat 01-Apr-17 14:12:17

I'd be amazed if any training course has ever told a boss to touch their staff, more likely to be told to never ever touch.

It's not about being friendly and approachable it's about patronising and keeping you in your place, "patting you on the back" imo

JonesyAndTheSalad Sat 01-Apr-17 14:13:07

Yes Christian! I thought you were going to say "Put your hand on top of his hand as it rests on your shoulder"

And pat that!

Both could work....make him feel like a child if you pat his actual hand!

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