Life Advice



Ask Amy: ‘Best of’ column concerns workplace harassment

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Explain in very simple language what happened, i.e., "At the end of our business lunch, when I extended my hand to shake his, Mr. Smith pulled me toward him and kissed me on the lips. I was shocked at the time, and upon reflection continue to be concerned about his conduct. In my experience consulting for this organization, I have always conducted myself professionally and until now have always been treated with professionalism, and respect."

If the board handles this well, expect to revive your business relationship and work with the organization in the future. – December 2012

Dear Amy: Your answer to “Kissed Consultant” was way off the mark. This consultant was kissed by a new director of the nonprofit she was consulting for, and you want her to notify the board of directors?

What if he misread her signals, or what if he is from another culture and didn’t know any better?

– Appalled

Dear Appalled: This man should already know better than to pull a business associate close and kiss her full on the lips after their first meeting.

One way to educate him would be for the board of directors to let him know what is and is not acceptable professional conduct. – December 2012

Dear Amy: I know you took flak for your response to the “Kissed Consultant,” who said that a male director of the nonprofit she was consulting for kissed her on the lips after a business lunch. You suggested she should notify the board of directors about this man’s actions.

I thought your comments were right on. When this happened to me, I reported it to my boss (it was his boss who was the kisser).


He talked to his boss, who apologized.

– Happened to Me

Dear Happened: Unless this sort of thing has happened to you, I don’t know if people can understand what a violation this is from a business associate who, incidentally, is also a complete stranger.

No matter what the intention might have been, this is not an affectionate or friendly act, but one that seems aggressive. It is highly inappropriate. – December 2021


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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