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Is your boss asking for sexual favours?
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February 27, 2007

Part II: How to handle your boss

There are bosses with egos. And there are those who discriminate against you and don't appreciate your worth.

But, what if your boss asks you for sexual favours in exchange for perks?

According to Getahead columnist Seema Goswami and author of Woman On Top: How To Get Ahead At Work, there is something seriously wrong with your workplace if you have to sleep with people to get ahead.

"Please look for another job instead of thinking about compromising yourself for the sake of your career," she says.

These and more questions were answered by the author during a chat on February 21. 

For those of you who missed the chat, here's the transcript.

Violet asked, Just sometime back I was removed from my actual position and shifted me to another department completely different from what I used to do without even consulting me. I was deeply hurt. I'm here with the new assignment, but I'm planning to leave. How do I make understand from a professional level that what he did was wrong?
Seema Goswami answers, If you have already decided to leave and take up another job, why is it so important to make this person understand that what he did was wrong? Does it even matter? You need to disengage and move on with your life, instead of obsessing about what happened in the past. Don't waste your time and energy worrying about how to get your point across to someone who wronged you. Go out there, get a getter job, and show them that you have what it takes. That's called getting your message across with style -- and without saying a single word.


Sunitha asked, Ma'am, my boss is seeking sexual favours to get me with my work. What should I do? Should I oblige to him or leave the company? But if I leave this job what is the guarantee that my new boss won't be asking the same. Please help me
Seema Goswami answers, You cannot be serious! How can you even suggest that 'obliging' him is an option? That just shows how little you value your own person, that you are willing to violate yourself just to please your boss. Please get out of this 'victim' mindset immediately. There is something seriously wrong with a workplace in which you have to sleep with people to get ahead. You need to bring the situation to the attention of others in the company and try and root out this menace. And please look for another job instead of thinking about compromising yourself for the sake of your career. Believe me, not every boss is a predatory monster. And while there are no guarantees in life, it is extremely unlikely that you will encounter the same problem in your next office.



PS asked, working means take the load of work, do work of other persons so that they don't have work and impress your boss making your self busy. It is not necessary to work hard but show that you are working hard, am I right ma'am?
Seema Goswami answers, You might get away with this in the short run. But in the long run, I am afraid that only hard work will get you the right results. Contrary to what you seem to believe, bosses on the whole are not credulous fools who get taken in with an act, no matter how well performed. The reason they have been put in charge is because they know who is working hard, who is slacking off, and who could do better. So by pretending to be working hard when you in fact are not, will fool only yourself.



Sureshs asked, Hello Seema, How to make the manager to understand the technical problem to deliver the product to the customer. Hence, am having non tech manager he is always talk about delivery date and not able to understand the technical feasibility of the same. Please give your inputs. Thanks
Seema Goswami answers, Perhaps the reason he doesn't understand is that you have not taken the trouble to explain it to him. If he has been placed in charge, it is only because he is qualified to be in charge. And if he is unaware of some technical detail, it is up to you to make that known to him. You can do that in person, in conference, or even over email, depending on what works for you. I'm sure if you explain the problems you are facing, he will take them on board and factor them in.


Employee asked, My boss expects his subordinates to always flatter him. He supports people who work extended hours and weekends; does unrelated work like working unofficially in 2-3 projects though officially assigned to 1; or taking him out to lunch and dinner. I don't do any of this, so he doesn't like me. He even gives credit for my work to others. What to do?
Seema Goswami answers, Tough luck. There's really nothing you can do but take it or leave it. Your boss is who he is. He is not going to change just to please you. If you don't like his attitude or his working style, then maybe it's time you brushed up on that resume and started looking for another job.



Vidhya22 asked, Hi Seema, what to do if your reporting authority is at a much higher level in the company and hence you are forced to work with a slightly senior person in the team and this person puts in wrong feedback during appraisals to my actual boss? There is this problem of not having unity of command.
Seema Goswami answers, Yes, that is a tricky situation and one that needs to be handled with considerable finesse. You have to make sure that your senior colleague doesn't feel that you are going over his head. And yet, given the facts of the matter, you have no option but to do that. Your best bet would be to try and open some line of communication with your actual boss. You can either use an intermediary to do that or approach him directly on some work-related pretext. Don't voice your concerns as complaints about your senior. Instead, explain that you want to have some direct feedback from him as to how you are performing. And, that you would like to discuss your work performance with him directly to get the benefit of his considerable wisdom.



Ritesh asked, Hi, I asked my boss for a valid increase in my salary. All of a sudden he started pointing out mistakes in my work. How do I tackle this situation?
Seema Goswami answers, The important question is: were there mistakes in your work? If there weren't any and he will simply making things up, then you could have legitimate cause for complaint. But if these mistakes did exist then he is well within his rights to point them out. So, don't complain. Instead, clean up your act and once you have done so, ask for that raise yet again.



Seema Goswami says, Sorry, but that's all the questions I can take today. Goodbye and take care.



Part II: How to handle your boss

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