Thursday, September 19, 2013

A rant for dudes in workplaces

Dear Dudes in Workplaces,

This is a little bit of a rant. Please understand that your female coworkers may be extremely uncomfortable with anything that feels like it crosses lines. How can you tell if it may cross lines? If it's not something you would say or do while your wife or girlfriend is standing right there, then you shouldn't be saying or doing it.

Please don't tell me you "just wanted to see me" because all I will be able to think about is 1. how 10 people just heard you say that to me, 2. now people think we are having an affair, 3. I somehow feel guilty even though I didn't do anything except receive the comment. If you are married or otherwise taken, please know that your partner is in the room with us at all times and I cannot view you without that context. I want you to also, please.

Please note that this applies even if you have a girlfriend but want out, like that one dude who confessed, unasked, while I was getting coffee one morning. No, I am not available for your venting pleasure about your relationship issues and likewise I am not interested in dating after you two break up because 1. I don't mix work and relationships* and 2. I don't want to be the next person you complain about as you size up potential replacements for your new girlfriend. Girls know how you treated the last one is how you will treat the next one.

Also please also do not lean too close to me. How to know if you are leaning too close to a female colleague? Would you stand that close to another dude? If not, then you are crossing lines.

Maybe it is old-fashioned, but please consider that people can take their workplaces very seriously. If you reach out with flirty behavior and it is not reciprocated and in fact if the recipient looks uncomfortable, please note this and cease immediately.

I don't dress for attention at work but female colleages may feel this way too even if they're in alluring outfits -- please keep in mind that a person's clothing does not grant permission to cross lines.

Thank you,
Asexual at Work

[* There is only one exception I would make to my "don't date anyone at work" rule, and that is for a friend NOT in my same office who is of my most trusted contacts AND has the same ethics I do, which may be why dating has never actually been an option. But because of the solidity of both our friendship and his character, I really trust him. And there might be a few dudes I would consider if I were no longer working here but they'll never know.]


  1. That actually sounds like an uncomfortable place to work.
    Hope whoever it was got the message...

  2. They don't know me well enough to know about this blog...

    However it's a pretty awesome place to work, just has some clueless people floating around. (I guess every place does.)

  3. I had more breasts against my back and shoulder, at work, than at any gentlemen's club. Women and men, both do this in office situations. I don't condone it but, like spam, even though it annoys most people, they get enough results to make it worthwhile. I think you need to handle this on a person by person basis. If they don't listen, talk to HR.