-“Doctor…My boss has an affair with a male co-worker—I hate her.”
Alyssa X. is a nice, hard-working middle-aged agent in the downtown office of a national real estate company who also juggles her marriage’s demands. After toiling long hours in the office and outside it (she has to show the units on sale and for rent to customers) she feels she has been neglected. She should have been promoted to a more senior position with better benefits. Lately she has been fuming about the no-so-hidden affair of her boss with a male employee that arrived one year ago, both married and with children.
They spend long hours in her corner office with the door tightly shut; her boss has given instructions to her secretary to never interrupt them and, in case of emergency, text her a message instead of just knocking on the door. She has a big suite with plenty of amenities like a sofa and a stocked fridge; on Thursdays her secretary replenish it with champagne and tasty snacks. They always “work” until late on Fridays, with the pretence of catching up.
In public her behaviour becomes more insulting as she always puts down most of the office employees while invariably, ostensibly praising his work. She looks distracted and has missed a few targets set by the central office. But nobody, including her superiors at headquarters, seems to care about it. A few days ago Alyssa dared to hint at the pernicious effects for the staff of the “in-house distraction” in a water cooler chat, which drew the ire of the philandering lady. Alyssa apologized. The workplace morale of the rest of the staff has been eroded by this situation.
-“What should I do, Doctor? I want to quit,” she said.
-“Mmm…that would only hurt you,” I replied. “What does Human Resources say?”
-“Nothing…as if everything were normal.”
-“Well, perhaps it has not properly entered their focus as they dismiss the rumours as malicious gossip…It’s not illegal to have an affair and should not be anybody’s business…But if it starts affecting the bottom line—”
-“That’s an idea…One of the executives from the main office comes to town next week …He usually inappropriately flirts with me but this time I’ll use that to my advantage …When we go for a coffee in Starbucks, I’ll casually lay the latest sales chart on the table.”
Never underestimate the camouflaged resources of a despondent woman.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.