DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Sometimes when it’s slow and she cannot afford to bring in extra help, like these past few months, my boss asks her boyfriend, “Kenny,” to come in and help, especially with the heavy lifting. She runs a small on-line specialty baby clothing business, and sometimes there are fabric bolts and other supplies delivered that are hard for us to handle, especially since my boss has a bad back and I have neck problems, which is an occupational hazard in my field. I am her main seamstress, and throughout the pandemic, I have been most days her only employee, except for the guy she has who takes the shipments to either UPS or the post office.
My boss is only five years older than me, and her boyfriend is the same age she is. They have been going together for something like ten years, and even though they do not technically live together, it seems he is at her house more than not, and the studio she rents for the business is only two blocks from her apartment.
The last few times Kenny has been in to help, as soon as my boss heads out, he stops whatever he was doing and comes over and hangs out next to me and my machine. He has done it before, but now his attitude seems more like flirting instead of passing the time.
It makes me uncomfortable, but I feel weird about saying something either to him or especially my boss. I feel like if I offend either one of them I could lose my job, and I do not want to do that, not with other jobs so hard to find.
Do you think I should say something to one of them? --- NOT INTERESTED IN LOSING MY JOB
DEAR NOT INTERESTED IN LOSING MY JOB: As you’ve known this man for a while, and it’s only recently that he’s changed his approach to you when your boss isn’t around, I’d cast my vote for saying something to him about how his new kind of talk makes you uncomfortable.
In the unlikely event he isn’t aware of how he’s coming off, at least you’ll make it clear to him that you’re not interested, and you’re likewise not inclined to just let it go.