Keep Your Boss in the Boardroom, Not Your Bedroom

Too many women believe that having an affair with the boss is their ticket to promotion. Some have been deluded enough to think that the affair will result in a marriage proposal.

It won’t work. Your boss has a lot to lose by getting involved with you. And understand that everyone in the office will know about it. No matter how discreet you two might be, nobody misses the meaningful looks and other obvious signals that you two are thinking about something far removed from business at hand.

Are you looking for a promotion or raise? Perhaps this will happen, but it will be in the short-term. Because everyone knows what’s going on, you will be in double jeopardy. Suppose your paramour leaves for another position? Don’t believe for an instant that your co-workers and new boss won’t have misgivings about your competence. You may be perfectly qualified for advanced positions, but you compromise your credibility by bringing sex into the equation, and everyone will doubt you. And if he offers to take you with him to the new job? Forget that, too. No one will find any credibility in your talents, because they will know you’re sleeping with him and that’s why he brought you along.

Based on personal observation, I’ve seen the following scenarios play out. None ended well for the woman involved.

She’s Got Such Beautiful Eyes

This is the reason one manager gave in persuading his colleagues to hire her. Yes, she did have beautiful eyes, but as the other managers gave sidelong glances and fidgeted, they dug deep into the woman’s qualifications, but also into the manager’s ability to hire based on objective quantifications. They were skeptical, but agreed to hire her.

Both she and the manager had spouses and children. As the relationship steamed, no one in the office missed the flirtations, the after-hours closed-door liaisons, and the ease with which the woman lorded it over others, flaunting her (supposed) immunity.

In the short run, the affair resulted in a mutiny against the woman. No one respected her, many despised her. When she lost control of her staff, she was devastated, and clung to her manager for support. But he could only give so much. In addition, an especially bitter employee telephoned her husband with the lurid details, and she ended up divorced.

Did the manager come to her defense? Did he divorce his wife and marry her? No and no. He kept his job, but had little backing among his colleagues due to his poor judgment. He failed to be promoted and eventually left the company. He was later divorced, as well, and lost his children to his ex-wife.

What if his fellow managers had had enough and fired him or asked for his resignation? When he left, she would have been on the curb, too.

I’m Just so in Love with Him

Shortly after being hired, a colleague asked me to lunch. Since I reported to the president of the company, I suppose she wanted to befriend me. At lunch, she ordered a split of champagne, and as she got high, she became more vocal. She was married, not quite happily, and had the misfortune of falling in love with my boss. Moreover, she sincerely thought that she could garner promotions and higher salary by sleeping with him.

Her mistake was that she thought she could have it both ways. Not only did she want to get ahead in the company, she thought that through her sexual favors, she could get him to leave his wife and marry her.

While the company president had slept with several female employees, he had too much invested in his marriage to consider leaving his wife. There was the mansion, the children’s private schools, his standing in the community. While it seemed that his wife was unaware of his affairs, or turned a blind eye to them, she, too, had too much to lose by confronting him.

During an out-of-town convention trip, my friend got her chance to seduce him. He was so drunk that he couldn’t perform, and she was left devastated. She was convinced that he hadn’t even remembered their failed encounter, even after she had prepped herself with her best perfume and lingerie. She came into my office and sobbed out her anguish, yet I couldn’t feel too sorry for her. She had expectations that had no base in reality. How could she think that he, the company Casanova who took advantage of his female employees, would think her any different than any of his other conquests?

She ended up quitting her job in a pique of anger at an imagined slight from him in favor of another female employee in a management meeting. When she phoned her husband to tell him of her decision, he informed her that he wanted a divorce.

We had a sort of going-away party for her, during which she got wasted and sobbed through the entire meal. She had fully expected her boss to fire her aggressor and beg her to come back, because he had to be in love with her.

When the boss made his token appearance at the party, she clung to him and wept. He couldn’t get away from her fast enough. Another male employee volunteered to take her home, and all of us, without exception, felt sorry for her, not so much that her heart was broken, but because she had been so stupid.

He’s in Love with Me

When she reported to her temporary job as an administrative assistant, she quickly learned the business and contributed in many ways beyond a mere secretarial role.

It soon became obvious that he had more interest in her than in her abilities.

Only a week later, the agency called to say that he had not paid the bill and that she was not to report to work.

Yet he kept calling her, saying that he wanted her to work for him independently, and offered an amount twice what she was making from the agency. She declined, saying that it was not ethical, that she was under contract with the agency, and couldn’t in conscience break that agreement.

Two weeks later, the agency called her. The agent told her that he was either crazy or “in love with you” and wouldn’t stop calling them. She protested her innocence in the matter, but was subsequently dropped from the agency’s call list.

The man continued to email her and offer work if she would come back. She never had another assignment from the agency and has been unemployed for over a year. Her credibility was ruined, even though she was completely innocent. The man’s calls to the agency served to undermine their opinion of her, and they must have assumed that there was more than the job assignment at work in this case.

Do you see the result of all this? Do not think you can use your feminine wiles to climb the ladder. The man involved will either: (a) abandon you when his situation becomes untenable, (b) hurry back to the comfort of his wife, or (c) ruin your career. On the off-chance that he might be able to further your career goals, his aid will be short-lived and everyone else will hate you.

The last person you want to be found sleeping with is your boss. Use your brains, talent, and expertise to get ahead, and don’t sell them out for a tawdry affair.

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