I’m a hospital pharmacist and occasionally work with a doctor in his late 30s who’s married and has a son.
I’m 34, happily married to my husband of ten years whom I’d never cheat on. The doctor knows I’m married with a son as well.
He’s considered a "big shot" doctor. I frequently go on rounds with him and have to clarify medication doses, and make recommendations on patient care.
He’s overly friendly and nice to me, is very flirtatious in general, and likes to joke around.
He's made strange and inappropriate comments that aren’t professional for the workplace. I’ve mostly brushed them off.
The first day I met him he asked if I’d “had babies.” He says he likes to make me blush. He also joked around and said he thought I said I missed him.
One day when I was wearing a skirt, he looked me up and down, commented he's not used to me wearing a skirt and asked me if I felt "liberated."
He touches my knees and my shoulders occasionally when he greets me.
But the main issue is that one day during rounds he was behind me and he pushed his body against mine.
I felt uncomfortable but didn't want to make a scene and didn't say anything or back away.
I tried ignoring him but the next time he saw me he sat down next to me, asking me more personal questions regarding my work schedule and how often I see my husband.
I have no experience with dating and flirting in the "adult workplace."
Is he trying to pursue a potential fling or affair with me, or is he harmlessly flirting?
I think he’s been inappropriate but am afraid to say anything now because I have to work with him and don't want to be uncomfortable.
I wouldn't now go to human resources to complain of harassment but I don't know if I should say something or wait to see if he tries something else again.
I’ve never shown signs that I’m interested.
Should I come out and tell him he makes me uncomfortable and to stop touching me and let him know I’m not interested? Or wait? Am I overreacting to the situation or underreacting?
Touched Too Much
He’s pushing you to see how far he can go. Move away immediately when he next touches you, even if it’s your shoulder.
Write down these incidents you’ve mentioned, and to the best of your recollection, the dates and places when they occurred.
If he ever presses his body against you again, walk away – and go straight to human resources with your report. That same day.
His intrusive questions show his sense of entitlement to test you. It’s not gentle flirting, it’s progressive steps to take things further.
You’ve underreacted, and now must firmly indicate disinterest.
Hopefully, by backing off his touch and not answering his questions (ignore them and comment only on the work), you’ll get your message across.
If he tries anything further, say calmly and firmly, “This is inappropriate,” and get your report to hospital officials immediately.
Be prepared that he may counter with his own “story,” to forestall an HR inquiry.
Unfortunately, he’s the type of “big shot” often well-known for inappropriate sexualized comments and come-ons, who’s overlooked by officials because of his status.
To avoid becoming the fall guy for it, start showing clearly that you won’t put up with it.
This year (Grade Six), my long-time best friend started insulting me, kicking and dissing me for this other bratty girl.
I’ve tried hanging out with others but it’s not as fun as being with her.
I tried talking to her but I don’t want her thinking I’m a baby because I’ll get emotional and start tearing up.
Hurt Best Friend
I admire your maturity in asking advice on something that feels very private and hurtful.
I’m hopeful that you can also discuss this with your parents since they know you and your friend so well.
They may be aware of things in her life that could explain these changes in her.
She’s trying to impress this other girl, as if she’s become insecure about herself. You’re the stronger one, not a “baby.”
Ignore her for awhile, and be more open to other friends. She’s not fun now, and others will be if you give them a chance.
Tip of the day:
Report details of inappropriate sexualized behaviour to human resources before higher colleagues turn your disinterest against you.