DEAR HARRIETTE: An older employee is getting credit for my work. He and I are both regularly required to do extensive research for interview subjects, but his research is never up to par.
This employee has seniority over me, so I’m afraid to speak up about what’s going on. He doesn’t ever take full credit for the work that the two of us do together, but the fact that he gets any credit for my work is disheartening.
Should I speak to him about this, or go directly to our boss?
DEAR TAKING CREDIT: Why not do both? Speak to this employee directly, and let him know that it disturbs you that you have to go back and redo his research because it is consistently missing information. Ask him if he needs support in figuring out where to find the details needed. While you may not appreciate having to help him, one focused strategy session with him may help you both in the long run.
Meanwhile, do speak to your boss to point out the discrepancy with the work. Hopefully, your boss will say something to this man about the quality of the research he provides. Unfortunately, you can’t do much more than that.
We sometimes go on dates, kiss and hold hands, but we don’t do anything outside of that. We don’t even speak regularly. When we do speak, we’re very friendly — but definitely not flirty. When I spend the night at his house, which I’ve done three times since we’ve known each other, nothing happens.
He’s been very respectful, and I appreciate the fact that he hasn’t tried anything funny with me during our sleepovers, but it’s also confusing. I can’t tell what he wants from me or if he wants anything at all. I wouldn’t even know what to label us: Do we have a friendship or a relationship?
How do I ask him what’s going on without implying that I want more? I don’t think that I want more, and I don’t want to risk our friendship. I’m just confused.
DEAR PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP: First, figure out what you do want. Is it enough for you to hold hands and kiss and see each other sporadically? Is that what you want in general or just with him? What do you want in the big picture, and how does he fit into it?
It’s worthwhile for you to have a frank, direct conversation with him about your friendship. You can tell him that you enjoy his company and that you like spending time with him.
You can also ask him what he wants from your relationship. If you are comfortable with it being platonic, say as much. If you want to know what might happen if you take things further, talk about that. Stop waiting for him to make a move. Speak up and figure out where you two stand.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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