Nichole Bryan asks :
I am led to believe that my co-worker may have a crush on me. He is significantly older....I am 21 and he isn't 40 yet so I will leave it at that. He usually intimidates people because he is very tall and built, but he has always been very nice to me and teases me playfully.
So far I've noticed he will go out of his way to say hello and will try to start conversation many times throughout the day when we are together. There are times when he will tell me that he is only does a sort of thing only for me, tells me not to be jealous when he is kidding around with another MALE co-worker, and at some times tells me I should join them.
He also will make treats for me, but for others as well not to be so obvious? He also has a habit of staring at me which even customers have pointed out before and most of the time when I talk to a certain male co-worker he doesn't like, he will come up to me afterwards and point out what the other guy has done wrong.
It is very, very rare for him to be standoffish with me but it happens from time to time. Recently someone pointed out to him that he treats and talks to me differently than he does everyone else. I am thinking that is why he was standoffish today.
He is technically my manager and also much older like I said so I feel like if he does have a crush and it's reciprocated he will not even act on it which I do not want. Some help please.
Firstly, It’s inappropriate for your manager to behave like this and you should speak to someone in confidence about the way he treats you in front of customers. Is there a Human Resources contact in your company? You should alert them, in total confidence. If, for example, further down the line, things get complicated, you will have this to back your story up with.
He shouldn’t be making treats for you or showing you favouritism and I’m only relieved that you recognise that nothing will come of it, even if you were to give in and admit your crush. You don’t want to work in a role where you never know what’s going to happen next - and especially if he has the tendency to be standoffish.
What will happen if a new female worker joins the team and becomes his favourite? Your treats, your benefits, your status, it will all vanish - even if you’ve developed a relationship.
You need to treat this as harassment – as that’s what it is. He’s not even behaving well towards your colleagues, and so you need to alert someone to this. You’ve said he’s intimidating. He’s probably a bully to many people.
You’re flattered with the attention - but don’t be. He sounds like a sleaze and a bully. Don’t give him the satisfaction of feeling he has a hold over you or could have you if he wanted you. Be professional, mature and hard to read – a little mysterious.
Not to entice him but to put him on his guard and not take you for granted. Don’t for one minute think you are more secure in your job because of his attentions to you – it can change with the wind.
He’s clearly not a good manager and it will come out sooner or later, and he’ll take down those who he got close to. Maintain a professional distance at all times or risk losing your job and your self-respect!