Ask the Advice Goddess 2
Against everyone's good advice, I went ahead and had an affair with my boss. She instigated the encounter and I responded. Thinking she was older, wiser, more experienced, more successful and more mature, somehow I thought things would be okay. When I decided to call it off, (which seemed a sensible idea to me -- 1. I wasn't into it anymore, 2. There was a pretty big age difference, 3. I have a girlfriend already -- something my boss knew fully, and 4. office romances are not a good idea), I told her these reasons and she stopped talking to me. Completely. She won't look at me, won't sit next to me, won't say a word to me. Clearly, this is a problem, as we work together. So far, my reaction has been to respect her position. But part of me says I should call her at home or continue to try to engage her at work. What do I do -- press for a resolution or respect her silence? --Excommunicated In CaliforniaIt's a little difficult to go back to "business as usual" with a coworker who's seen you chained naked to a coffee table, especially after that coworker has proceeded to dump you.It's even worse when you're the boss, and your subordinate is the one who has given you the "unsatisfactory" performance evaluation. This woman probably feels horrified and humiliated by your rejection, and your daily presence at work is like a giant Post-It note reminding her that you don't find her attractive.That's the problem with "giving at the office." Your ability to pay your mortgage now depends upon your spending forty hours a week in the presence of a woman scorned. Worse yet, this woman signs your checks.There may be little you can do to put an end to her daily reenactment of The Cold War. Ignoring it will not make it go away. However, attempting to engage her at the office will only make things worse, as she'll probably feel attacked and trapped into discussing something highly embarrassing to her in the presence of dozens of potential witnesses.Instead, write her a conciliatory note asking her to meet you to talk at some neutral place -- an out-of-the-way bar, coffeehouse or restaurant. Once you get together, you need to convince her -- whether or not it's true -- that even though you really loved having sex with her, the real reason you ended your affair was that it was too hard to carry on a relationship at the office.In service of her battered ego, she'll want to believe you, and you may have some chance of getting your work situation back to something resembling normal. But don't count on turning the clock back to the days before you saw each others' appendicitis scars.In fact, if you are hoping for a raise anytime soon, you would greatly improve your chances of getting one if you started looking for it at a brand new place of employment.Question#2My friend, (let's call him "Tazz)," says he wants to meet a wonderful girl, settle down and get married. He is thirty-something, never married, hasn't dated in two years after a broken (by her) engagement. He is very narrow in his viewpoints on life, extremely homophobic, rigid in his religious beliefs, makes $12,000 a year and lives at home with his parents.Until recently, he drove only the most mundane, fuel-efficient cars. The day I arrived in L.A. from Lake Tahoe, we drove to a large car dealership and the salesman and I persuaded Tazz to trade in the Dull-mobile for a shiny, sporty, sexy '97 Miata convertible.Though Tazz says he enjoys driving the new car, he also complains that getting the Miata was a big mistake. He whines that it's impractical for hauling his samples around (he's a salesman), it gets worse mileage than the Dull-mobile, and has caused his insurance to increase by $30 a month.I told him the car would be a "chick magnet," and driving with the top down would loosen him up, and (on sunny days) improve his attractiveness to the opposite sex, via tanning his otherwise blotchy complexion.Please give me some unbiased advice to share with my grumpy, lonely friend.--JohnnyOh, the dilemma of the man in the brown polyester suit! Sludge must seek its own level. Tazz should sell his "chick magnet" and use the proceeds to move out of Mom and Dad's pad to The State of Intolerance where he can meet a lot of other homophobic religious fanatics.And take it from a self-proclaimed expert -- unsolicited advice is a dangerous thing. The next time you tell a person who has not requested your intervention what to do with his "Dull-mobile," he may counter with a suggestion that does not involve a trip to a car dealership.***Got a problem? Ask Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, box 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com.