I have worked for a tele-marketing firm in a SouthEast Asia country for three months. My cowoker Amy (alias) is a nice person, I respect her from professional and personal aspect. We sometimes also help each other (tele-marketing firm requires lot of overtime work). I found she kept getting salary promotion again and again though we do the same thing. I was just bit confused but not jealous. Later I figured out the "trick" --- She and the male boss were from the same country and apparently the boss likes her much, she tries not to be too intimate with the boss because of the boss' intention. Boss is married and she is single. However, in order to show how much he likes her, boss keeps kissing her ass by sending her promotions... She handles it well by keeping a good but not affair-type relation with the boss -- She likes the promotions but doesn't really want an affair.
Since the boss isn't that fair, some people have complaint and convey the anger towards Amy. Coworkers don't like her. I am confused --- Is Amy wrong or not ? She didn't volunteer for those things and didn't have affair with the boss (let's assume this for discussion), why shold she reject the favor ? But on the other hand, how can others feel comfortable when they are not fairly treated ? How should I handle the relation with Amy after I figure this out ?
Assuming that things really as you described, not that I'm accusing you of anything, I'm not, but you may just not have all the details.
I would think that she should be advised to make it clear to her boss that she wants nothing but a professional relationship because if indeed he does her these favours hoping for something in return, whether or not your friend responds it could cause her problems later. If she responds she could get into trouble for having relations with her boss. And if she doesn't, her boss may get angry for helping her and getting nothing in return and may start hurting her professionally or perhaps in other ways.
But I'm not a psychiatrist so please take my advice with a grain of salt and consult someone more knowledgable. [ October 17, 2004: Message edited by: Damien Howard ]
I agree with Damien, she should tell her boss she doesn't want his special attention. I used to work in a company led by Indonesian people and noted similar things happening (though far less serious, pretty much just always having a friendly word when a woman employee walks past). It's probably a cultural thing, so tact is required.
What she should also do is try to make the situation extremely clear to the rest of your colleagues. They think she's taking advantage of her sex to get special treatment when she's trying not to but failing.
Worst case scenario you could (with her approval) take the boss to court for violation of labour laws relating to equal opportunities for men and women, but that's definitely a last resort as it will ruin your relation with the company (for both of you probably).
You had your fun. Now it's time to go to jail. Thanks for your help tiny ad.