Dear Aunty B,
I have just been accused by my manager of being too flirtatious with my colleagues and clients suggested I would get better results by toning it down as it was “grating” on her nerves.
I feel really hurt as I dress as I should and never cross the line. I am a happy go lucky type of person, I love my workplace and genuinely feel happy to be at work.
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I do admit I use female charm on both men and women and it gets results. My manager is grumpy and has no female charm whatsoever, so it’s probably no surprise that we don’t get on.
Can you tell me what to do? It obviously doesn’t get results with her even though I am doing well in my job and as my boyfriend points out, that reflects well on her!
Not flirty, just really, really friendly,
Dear Not Flirty,
You are getting results? You know the line? And you are absolutely sure you would not get better results toning it down a bit? You are sure about all that? Okay then, ignore your manager.
Now I don’t often advise employees to ignore their managers. In fact it could be a first for Aunty B.
But your manager sounds jealous. She may be jealous of your happiness, your looks or your friends in the workplace.
Don’t underestimate jealousy. It can cause people to respond in very destructive ways and is a powerful and stupid emotion in the workplace. If you are not a jealous type of person and are secure in your own feelings and it sounds like you are, then jealousy can be quite difficult to spot because you just don’t understand it.
What you have to do is this. Stop feeling hurt. Be yourself. And make her lots of cups of tea. Be professional and friendly towards her and make sure you always compliment her in front of other people. She’ll come round in the end.
Your Aunty B