What's Your Problem?

I'm sick of my new manager's outrageous flirting...

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Q: Help! My new manager (a male in his mid-fifties) flirts outrageously with me (I'm female in my early thirties). I've tried humour, stern words and the silent treatment, to little avail. I love my job, but at the same time I'm not sure how much more of this I can tolerate, and how much longer I can continue working for this brilliant professional but sexist dinosaur.

A: You seem to have tried everything except judo. As I'm sure you know, judo is adapted from jujitsu and embodies the principle of non-resistance. Indeed, an opponent's oncoming force, far from being resisted, is augmented so that he flies ungracefully over your shoulder.

The chances are that your deeply tiresome manager gets his kicks from your defensive responses. So next time he starts to flirt outrageously (do make sure there's an audience, but then I bet there always is), fling your arms round his neck and cry: 'Oh Nigel, how did you guess that I find you so utterly, utterly irresistible? When are you going to make a dishonest woman of me?'

I won't blame you at all if you don't try judo - it takes a bit of nerve - but I'm pretty sure it would work. It would leave Nigel looking just as foolish as he deserves to look and not a bit inclined to provoke a repeat performance.

Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. His book Another Bad Day at the Office? is published by Penguin at £6.99. Address your problem to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@managementtoday.com. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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