I want to get with my boss. I just started a new job, and it’s wonderful. It’s the first non-crappy, “real” job, like, in my actual chosen field, that I’ve had. And so far, I’m kicking ass at it. Soon after I started, I started getting vaguely tingly feelings for my boss’ boss. And now, a few months in, I’m basically lust-sick. How do I reconcile this? I sincerely feel like I have a connection with this guy and that there is legitimate viability to the relationship (which is as yet non-existent, although I have plenty of reason to suspect that the feeling may be mutual) but I’m not dim-witted enough to imagine that I can pursue a dalliance with the bossman and not potential ruin my sweet ass employment situation. Eternal question: do I follow my heart and risk derailing my budding career, or do I play it safe and stay focused on work?
One confused employee
Oh, God, don’t do it. Please don’t do it. I don’t know if you’ve heard recently, but the economy is not at its best. People who majored in medieval women’s studies aren’t getting six-figure salaries like they used to. The fact that you have a job that you ostensibly enjoy and is in the field you chose is a blessing that should, above all, not be taken for granted. Don’t do anything that would risk it, like showing up late all the time, taking 2-hour lunch breaks, or putting one or more parts of your boss in your mouth.
And regardless of the precariousness of your job status, this person is your boss’ boss. How much more money do they make than you? How much more security do they have? How much younger are you than this person? Is the situation really at all in your favor? No. Don’t let this person — I’ll keep it gender-neutral, though my instincts say you are likely a woman and he, a skeezy-ass man — take you for granted. I’m sure you can both find something outside of the office where it’s not bound to be the cause of litigious headaches. Besides, even if it does work out (for whatever that’s worth) and you don’t get fired, your coworkers will all still regard any future relationship as one step up from prostitution.
I’m pretty sure my boyfriend is a kleptomaniac. He’s always showing up with things — clothes, household stuff, etc. — that I’m certain he can’t afford. I mean, I like the stuff. But I don’t want him to go to jail. But he seems to be good at it! Also, it’s awkward to bring up. We just don’t talk about how he gets it. Help needed all around, obviously.
Wait, what? You know (or think) he can’t afford all the gifts he’s presenting to you, but you keep taking them? Doesn’t that seem like the first — and for your situation, most important — problem? Yeah, it’s awkward to accuse your boyfriend of going through Nordstrom with a pocket-lined trench coat, but you know what’s more awkward? Not saying anything until the cops show up with videotape of your boyfriend hiding Swarovski crystals in his most embarrassing orifices. If you love the guy, or even just don’t want him to go to jail, you need to address it. What’s the worst that could happen? Granted, maybe he was hiding income from you because he didn’t want you to have a say in it or something, but that would — guess what — still make him an absolute loser you should leave! He’s either getting the stuff by illicit means or you’re underestimating his income. That needs to be addressed. You may briefly look like a jackass if you sit him down and accuse him of not making enough money for his lifestyle, but it’s necessary.
It sounds like you are in dire need of some courage. If you can’t work up the gall to confront your boyfriend on his kleptomania, ask him to steal you a spine the next time he’s at the Sharper Image.
I’m a 23-year-old girl who has been living with the same roommate for two years. We were casual friends in college and since moving in together, have become reasonably close and generally enjoyed some nice, harmonious domestic bliss. She pays bills on time, doesn’t eat my food, and has sex quietly enough that I can sleep though it. What more could you really want, right? Well, she recently started a super high-pressure grad school program and evidently the stress has been affecting her stomach. She was very polite and explained that she was having some pretty gnarly digestive issues and would keep lots of veggies and herbs and weird food stuff in the house in an attempt to do holistic battle with her unruly gut. I was supportive, of course. But now she is dropping the most unspeakably disgusting poops in our shared bathroom ALL THE TIME. Even when I’m not in there, the stench is making its way through our entire small apartment. I’ve stopped inviting people over, and honestly, it’s hard for me to be there sometimes. I mentioned it and she sheepishly mumbled something about it being a side effect of her new diet, but made no indication of it stopping ever. I don’t want to be a dick and bail on this nice girl for what is basically a health problem after two happy years together, but at what point do I save myself and ditch this smelly b-tch?
Trapped in a bad place
First and foremost, I want to frame your question for all time to display to all of my self-righteous friends who go on a two-month Kombucha/raw food binge and act as though, ironically, their shit don’t stink. Second, it depends. Have you given the girl a final opportunity to return to something resembling a normal diet, or asked her to go to the doctor? I mean, it can’t be normal for the smell to be THAT pervasive all the time. If it really is unavoidable (and maybe she just has some particularly delicate intestinal fauna that dislikes eating nothing but tree bark and moral superiority), then I say get out. Clearly this is her new lifestyle, and for a very legitimate reason, you are not okay with it. If you’ve talked to her about the problem and it’s not getting better, move on. You’ve been living with her for two good years, let it end on a relatively positive (if smelly) note, and enjoy a house that smells of rich mahogany and leather-bound books.
And in general, it’s hard to let go of roommates when we get attached to them, I know. But we sometimes just have to admit to ourselves that people change, living situations get awkward, and people start taking herbal supplements that make the bathroom smell like despair. It’s a crappy situation (hehehe) while you’re in it, but when you move on, I’m sure you’ll be much happier for having made the change.