Unfortunately, most of us have had to deal with a difficult boss at one point in our lives, but a pervy boss may well be one of the worst types. From having to put up with wandering eyes to trying to ignore unprofessional comments, it can make work-life hell and really interfere with self-confidence levels.
It could be a bumbling old supervisor who ‘accidentally’ brushes past the women in the office at any chance, or a hot young new executive who thinks she can seduce her male secretary into doing whatever she wants. They come in all shapes and sizes, and no-one should feel ashamed of outing their pervy boss, no matter what.
However, many people may be worried about harming their career progression by speaking up, or be worried that they’re making something out of nothing. So how do you know when the line is being crossed, and what should you do about it?
See Also: How to Handle a Racist Boss
1. Assess the Situation
Make a note of specific occasions and events where you felt that your boss acted in an unprofessional manner towards you and write down exactly what happened. Think about each case carefully and how you reacted. Did he or she say something innocent which you just misconstrued? Or was it a genuinely unscrupulous comment that couldn’t have been understood any other way? Did you shun the look or remark by turning away or rolling your eyes, or did you blush or giggle because you didn’t know what else to do. You may be inadvertently encouraging the pervy behavior to continue by not showing enough assertiveness or by failing to show that you’re not impressed.
2. Speak to a Trusted Friend
If after assessing the situation you feel like you have done everything possible to discourage your manager’s behavior, it would be wise to speak to a trusted friend or colleague about the situation. Getting another opinion will help to figure out the seriousness of what is happening and may give you some advice on how to deal with it. Ranging from the mildly offensive all the way to the downright invasive, there are obviously different ways to approach each case depending on the seriousness of what happened.
3. Confront Your Boss
You’ve decided enough is enough, so it’s time to book a meeting room. A private place is important as this will be a sensitive and potentially embarrassing conversation to have. Keep calm and get straight to the point of what the meeting is about. Explain that you don’t feel comfortable with how your boss has been acting towards you and come up with specific examples of what you considered inappropriate. It’s up to them how it goes from here, but hopefully the result will be positive, and you can continue a normal if slightly awkward for a while, working relationship.
4. If the Situation Continues
Sometimes a pervy boss just doesn’t get the message. If the shameless perving doesn’t stop, it may be time to go to HR. Things get a lot more serious from here, so be sure to be able to back up your claims if you decide to go ahead. The result could be that they lose their job.
Unfortunately, many people decide that it’s easier just to quit and get another job. But it’s better to stand up for yourself and stop your pervy boss perving over more innocent employees in the future.
The workplace can be a tough environment to survive in and, unfortunately, the pervy boss is only one of a whole host of trying characters you may have to deal with on a daily basis. By maintaining an honest and open attitude, diplomatically voicing any concerns you have, and tactfully approaching any problems, your work life will be more enjoyable. It’s always better to get things out in the open rather than suffering in silence and resenting people.
Have you ever had to deal with a pervy boss? What happened?