Life Advice



Boss's affair affects office morale

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Please tell me that I am overreacting and should just enjoy my work and take the salary.

-- Suspicious

Dear Suspicious: It would be easy for me to tell you to hunker down and mind your own business, but during a previous life I dealt with a similar dynamic at work, and the "private" behavior of two people in senior positions, while not affecting me in any way personally, had a tremendous impact on the office overall.

Time spent away from the office, time spent in the office with the door closed, and the overall secrecy, distraction and drama surrounding the relationship overwhelmed the staff.

When people at work engage in illicit relationships, whether they realize it or not, they involve the entire office system in their behavior.

The burden should not be on you to determine whether these two are having an affair (I assume you would rather not know, anyway).


If you have an HR department, you should report your concerns -- include specifics regarding the extensive time away from the office when your boss is unreachable.

Even if you are able to bring this to HR's attention, you should not assume any resolution making things easier for you at work. Unless you can realistically envision waiting out this affair to its inevitable (litigious) conclusion, you should buff up your resume and look for work elsewhere.

Dear Amy: My closest friends sent me a gift basket for my birthday, which they ordered from an online retailer.

It was very thoughtful of them.


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