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My manager is sleeping with my employee...

 
 
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 06:45 pm
I have just been hired recently (2 months ago) as an assistant manager in a small office who has two person's reporting to me. I report to the main manager of the department. I have very strong evidence that one of the persons that I manage is romantically involved with the person I report to. My boss and this employee live together, eat together, work together, and spend just about every waking moment together. I know I'm only two months "new," but it seems as though a majority of the office decisions are made by my manager and my employee in closed door meetings (this is what I've been told). At times, I have observed my employee belittling a portion of the staff for making an honest mistake. I believe it is my place, as his new manager, to correct that behavior; however, with the current relationship situation, I cannot see this working out well for me. Any suggestions or thoughts how I can convey my concerns and not end up losing and office political capital? Any help with this scenario would be helpful.
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 11,602 • Replies: 45
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Intrepid
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 07:10 pm
@c1nation,
You were hired for a specific job. You should fulfill the duties of that job regardless of what you think the sleeping arrangements of the office staff are.

The manager did not put their alleged lover in the postion, they put you. Do your job and let things fall into place.
glitterbag
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 07:12 pm
You have just described a nightmare that others have lived thru and you must be very careful. I was in a similar situation years ago, and my advice is to observe and keep a diary. It might sound sneaky but unless you document everything, the people who report to you are going to be in the same bind you are. Since you are new, wait a while to gauge the relationships and mood of the group. You don't want to confide your concerns and then find out the person you spoke to is related to one of the offending parties. Also, even those people who are being badly treated by your subordinate, sometimes blab your discontent to the people you are discontent with because they want the offenders to know you are on their side. So, it's tricky....continue to listen to everyone and see if you can find out how your manager's boss feels about the situation.

In a perfect world you would remind your subordinate that you will handle all the criticism and you SHOULD be the one to provide guidance and corrections,,,,but sometimes "courage" is a rare thing and you need to be sure that your manager's boss will have your back. I can't state strongly enough to wait and watch and get a better idea of the lay of the land. I do believe you can make changes for the better, just make sure the timing is right.

I should ask, are you new to the whole company or only new to this new position? If you have been with the company for a considerable amount of time, I think I would modify some of my advice (for what it is worth). There may be other ways to get yourself comfortable without feeling compromised. Good luck.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 07:15 pm
@Intrepid,
Oh, I disagree, Intrepid. It's obvious the boss and employee/lover are in collusion, and this person (male/female? who knows!) asserted themself, it would be game over for this poster.

I think the smart thing to do is wait a bit and suss things out... maybe the relationship will peter out, or this cination person will find another way to deal with it.

If nothing is happening to the employees who were complained about, I'd leave it alone. Cination is too new to make waves on an unknown ocean. Watch and see, then eventually make your move. Even if the person was innocent, what will that help if Cination does anything? Employee and boss are in collusion. Won't listen.

If there's a chance to go above the boss, that's another issue, but it didn't sound like it.

More info needed.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 07:16 pm
I agree that others sleeping arrangements are off-limits, however it appears that his subordinate feels entitled to co-manage and that can lead to morale problems. Morale problems tend to affect everyone's performance....and I think the person asking the questions is asking for advice to work effectively and not hamper anyone's romance.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 07:19 pm
@c1nation,
Another thought - could you perhaps go to your boss and convey what you've witnessed/heard about the belittling, without seeming judgemental? You could either act innocent about their relationship and just mention the inappropriateness of his behaviour, or b) act like you're aware of it but it's undermining your role.

Something like that might work.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 07:27 pm
I think you should meet with the manager and let him know that you are aware that he and your employee are 'an item' and that you hope that does not affect the employee's performance AND your relationshhip with him, as your manager.

You can just "be cool" with this UNLESS it affects work policy or performance. As long as everyone knows that, things can be OK. But don't sacrifice your job because of their behavior.

They are both violating company policy, so be sure that you can report to your boss's boss, if needed. Work up a relationship with that person, also.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 07:37 pm
All very good advise; just do your own job well, and it's not up to you to worry about who they sleep with. Your concern is strictly job related.
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 07:39 pm
@c1nation,
I wish you could just get another job, but since it is not likely you are going to have to tough it out and understand completely your goals in such a situation, viz., protect number 1 or perhaps joist windmills.

The first thing to do is acquire greater knowledge of the situation before you take any actions. Probe your boss on what he considers the parameters of your authority and get him to verbally or in writing commit to a general sense in what you want to do vis a vis your "job description and responsibilities." Once you have that geography mapped out you can act according to a precise and agreed upon course of direct action, even though you might have given your boss only a generalized version of the situation. Make it abundantly clear that any actions you take were kith and kin to the spirit of the concisely agreed upon parameters of your own authority.

The basic principle of tennis; "you can't lose if the ball is on the other player's side of the net." In such situations as your you have to get the ball on the other guy's side of the net. So, there is nothing wrong with manuevering your boss to back your authority.
0 Replies
 
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 08:10 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

Oh, I disagree, Intrepid. It's obvious the boss and employee/lover are in collusion, and this person (male/female? who knows!) asserted themself, it would be game over for this poster.

I think the smart thing to do is wait a bit and suss things out... maybe the relationship will peter out, or this cination person will find another way to deal with it.

If nothing is happening to the employees who were complained about, I'd leave it alone. Cination is too new to make waves on an unknown ocean. Watch and see, then eventually make your move. Even if the person was innocent, what will that help if Cination does anything? Employee and boss are in collusion. Won't listen.

If there's a chance to go above the boss, that's another issue, but it didn't sound like it.

More info needed.


I disagree with your disagreement. I have seen this type of situation first hand and I stick by what I said. People let office politics and situations rule how they act rather than being professional and doing what should be done. I never let that stuff bother me.

This is, according to the poster, a small 4 person office. The poster has only two people reporting to them. The male lover of the female boss (I assume the boss is female. If not it may shed a bit different light on things) and another person who the male lover likes to criticsize.

One has to wonder why an assistant manager was required in the first place. It may or may not have bearing on what kind of business this is.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 08:14 pm
Doesn't sound there are only four people to me: "At times, I have observed my employee belittling a portion of the staff for making an honest mistake."

One person would not normally be termed "a portion".

At any rate, we can agree to disagree.
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 09:10 pm
@Mame,
Yup.

I was going by
Quote:
as an assistant manager in a small office who has two person's reporting to me. I report to the main manager of the department.
Of course, this may have been construed incorrectly by me.

Regardless, I still think a person who is hired to do a job should do it professionally and not let little sidebars distract from that.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 09:13 pm
If it's job related, then it's your responsibility. Otherwise, it's your bosses responsibility. It must be work related for you to bring up any complaint to your boss.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2010 10:57 pm
@c1nation,
To me as a new employee no matter what your title happen to be it is your job to work within the existing power structure you find to the best of your ability not to challenge it!

You know there is always relationships that bypass the official chain of commands in any firm with no need for the parties involved to be sleeping together.

For example, I was the one who hired an employee that later climbs over the decades to a position many many steps over my head. He was my best man at my wedding and our relationship is still more like two brothers then just friends.

As a result, of that one relationship, I had far more influence then anyone could dream of by just looking at a neat chart of the line of command in my department.

I knew in my younger days one gentleman who only held the title of clerk and yet was in effect in charge of the day to day running of a large part of a major north east railroad.

Such webs of human relationships are normal and you seem to me to be overreacting to this one.


0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 07:58 am
Life taught me a valuable lesson: generally, and, by generally, I mean 99% of the time, when a person confronts a second person about a wrongdoing/impropriety/poor judgment, the second person denies all of the above and makes the first person the target of resentment and anger.

While documenting is good . . . sometimes, other improprieties follow from an initial impropriety (cooking the books, for example) . . . confrontation is not.
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 08:08 am
@plainoldme,
Exactly, and when the second person (the employee) has the ear of the boss, the guy in the middle, cination, will likely be the one to suffer.

Cination could, however, go to the employee and have a little talk about whose job it is to reprimand people, and please, in future, bring the matter to his attention. Just tread lightly. If the employee has begun stepping out of bounds, he may not want to be reined in, especially from a newbie. Depends on how he handles it.
0 Replies
 
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 08:30 am
Has anyone considered the possibility that the manager hired an assistant manager to rein in the employee that the manager cannot handle because of the close up and personal relationship that they have?

Just a thought brought on by the fact that I still cannot figure out why the manager has an assistant manager to handle two employees. Something just not right there.

We need c1nation to fill in the blanks.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 09:22 am
BTW, two colleagues (each full-time and tenured) share an office. They are always together. In fact, their togetherness creates a great deal of discomfort at meetings. I think the man is married but the woman is not.

After they left one meeting, my immediate boss asked whether they were married to each other (they are in a different department). Her discomfort was palpable.

What is really interesting, if you make allowances for size difference (he's well over 6 feet tall and she is petite) and gender differences, and examine their faces, you realize how closely they resemble each other.

A workplace affair is difficult to hide.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 09:58 am
@plainoldme,
Quote:
A workplace affair is difficult to hide.


A work place affair is impossible to hide as women talk and talk to each others.

When I was in the work place the only times I knew who was doing what with whom was when I had such a relationship myself.

The lady would full me in with great details about such going on and it was always interesting to think that my 'private' relationship with her was equally being share around amount the women.

I can still remember when this one lady told me that she had just assume that my best friend knew about us from me and therefore let the information drop to him.


Mame
 
  2  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 08:20 am
@BillRM,
Some of the biggest gossips in an office are men! Smile
 

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