64
dooter
70d

I am a female manager at a small, mostly male company, and directly manage several people (all male). One of the six has worked for me for multiple years. Since he began his employment, I always felt he had a “crush” on me and kept my distance (as much as I could as his manager).

His crush has gotten increasingly more obsessive over the past year: constantly staring at me, using absurd reasons to contact me through email/messenger/texts, whether at work or evening/weekends, and getting extremely emotional/upset if I do not frequently talk with him or provide feedback for his every task. He never says anything inappropriate or makes any advances but is making me increasingly more uncomfortable.

My tendency to avoid the employee combined with my obvious annoyance with his increasingly absurd reasons to interact with me is reflecting poorly on my management skills — to the extent that my manager is questioning my abilities to manage.

Comments
  • 23
    Does not sound good. Don't you think you should talk that over with that employee?
  • 25
    Tell him that it bothers or you're an actually terrible manager. You can always transfer or fire him if he doesn't take too kindly to it. You don't need to be polite, but you shouldn't assume that he gets your indirect rejections.
  • 18
    Communication is the best tool to solve many of the problems.
  • 46
    As another female manager, my advice would be to have a 1 on 1 (followed up with notes back in email) and ask what is happening that he requires this much help. Have clear examples of the excessive communications. Don’t frame it as creepy, frame it as you’re consuming too much of my manager time and that indicates a problem of you independently doing your job. Also, time to give written expectations: don’t run to management with every problem (even if this is not why you see him contacting you), be more independent, no contact after hours unless there is an emergency.

    Setting the expectations resets the relationship, or should, as long as it’s clear “I’m your boss not your friend, you can’t call/text me at all hours. If you feel the need for constant help, I want to know why you can’t successfully do your job alone after all these years”.
  • 5
    @dooter have you considered mentioning this (the fact that this guy is making you increasingly uncomfortable) to your manager? (Assuming they are someone you can trust and/or they'll have your back)

    Maybe try to figure out together a strategy to deescalate the situation with that guy, before he decides to push it any further.

    Bonus: your ass is (should be) covered too, because now they'll know what's grinding your gears.
  • 8
    >a manager that doesnt communicate with their team

    Amazing
  • 2
    What @p100sch and @atrabilious would probably be what I'd do, or at least give it a shot. If it doesn't work or even feels to harsh, then you should be able to talk to your closest manager. Just like your employees should be able to talk to you.
  • 1
    Frame it as "you're taking up too much manager time, especially outside work hours (with examples)".
  • 2
    Talking about uncomfortable things is a core leadership skill. And you are in a leading position. You should talk to him.

    In bigger companies, moving to another department or moving him to another department might also work.
  • 3
    @atrabilious Came here to say exactly this.
  • 1
    @dooter
    Please tag management issues - not dev or devrant related ones - in the correct joke / meme category.
    Thx
  • 0
    @dooter what @atrabilious said. Could not have phrased it better
  • 2
    I like what @atrabilious said.

    I just want to add a thing: Work should stay at work. You're not at work to make friends.

    If anyone would call me on _my private_ phone number / text / message me, without an _epic_ emergency, I'd call in a 1 on 1 next day with the very clear reminder that this is a total no go.

    Total no go as in first and last warning before it gets official.

    If it happens again, call with HR, written warning. Fired if it happens again.

    I've had my fair share of psychos and a zero tolerance policy is the only thing that helps. Anyone with a sane mind / team player would refrain from "accidental contacts" (as someone called it... Yeah... I call people by accident all the time, mfugga) after getting reprimanded.
  • 1
    >been going on for 6 years

    Well it has to stop now as this will get worse if left unaddressed. It's you or him...
    Do you really like working there? Sounds like a hostile environment. You can remove yourself from the situation completely and move on to greener pastures at another company.
    Having him disciplined in the boys club isn't going to end well for either of you.

    I don't have all the details and I'm making some assumptions here but your options seem pretty limited as is.
  • 0
    I'd say communication is key in this situation. I'd definitely have a talk with him and sort things out. If he admits to having feelings, I'd make sure that he knows not to let his personal life and work life mix or it could cost him his job.
  • 0
    Ignoring genders, political believes etc. the only way to handle this is to directly address the person in question. If the behaviour continues address HR. If no consensus is reached, give that person the boot.
  • 1
    Efff guy's brains out. That can work too.
  • 0
    @galileopy I think that was the idea originally when this was posted but he wants some kind of weird violation fantasy which at this point has probably transitioned to her working for someone who wants a football sized creature lobbed at them they can hurt together much as all of these monsters have gone
  • 0
    @killames you have seen to much hentai.
  • 0
    @galileopy did I mention barbed tentacle penises and nuns in the same sentence ?
  • 1
    "i always felt he had a crush on me and kept my distance"
    Quality managering right there.
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