Would you report your boss for having a weird conversation?

I need some help from the community on how to handle this issue.

So I was working with my boss at night (night meaning around 7, not the afternoon), but we were in different locations, so going back and forward about a company we cover. He starts asking me questions about the conference call, then out of nowhere sendings three texts (texts not pics), talking about his man parts. I texts him back saying I didn't understand what he was talking about, then you kept going with the company, not recognizing if it were a mistake or on purpose.

We don't really joke around about stuff like that which made it even more odd, but he does fly off the handle a lot and talks down to me. He also runs very hot and cold. It wasn't a message like he was hitting on him or anything (he's married and I'm a guy, though he could be secretly gay), but it was just very odd.

My question is, has anyone ever had this occur or them, and should I say something to my company's HR department?

Comments (17)

Apr 23, 2018

Meant weird, not werid

Apr 23, 2018

Depends on 2 things: 1) Can you discuss this with your boss before going to HR? 2) How much do you trust the HR department?

If you think you can discuss with your boss, then do so. Let him know it was inappropriate, not something to be discussed in any matter, etc.

If you don't think your boss can handle a conversation like that, then another option is going to HR. I asked if you trust your HR department because if this happened at my company, the answer would be no (you may have a far more professional HR department than I am accustomed to). If you do bring this up to HR, you have proof of what was said. The result may not be completely satisfactory (i.e. harassment training that doesn't deter him) or your boss may deduce it was you leading to more headaches (possible retaliation).

I'm not trying to dissuade you from going to HR. You have far more information about the reputation of the HR department/company works and how professional they are. It's up to you to choose the best course of action and I'm trying to provide some food for thought. Good luck.

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Apr 24, 2018
ironman32:

He starts asking me questions about the conference call, then out of nowhere sendings three texts (texts not pics), talking about his man parts. I texts him back saying I didn't understand what he was talking about, then you kept going with the company, not recognizing if it were a mistake or on purpose.

Like, 'bro my balls itch a lot today?' or something sexual? It's a bit different. What did he say?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Apr 24, 2018

i cracked up out loud on this one. +1

    • 2
Apr 24, 2018

I'd personally brush it off unless it ended up being a regular occurrence. If this really is some weird one-off or accident and you end up going to HR, it could cause problems around the office. You know the whole situation though.

    • 1
Apr 24, 2018

I would not say something to HR. HR at your company may be different, but HR is generally going to have a "cover the company's ass/legal liabilities at all costs" mentality, and they could turn an honest mistake/misunderstanding into a really big deal unnecessarily. If it was clearly intentional, inappropriate behavior, that's one thing, but this could have been a wrong number text.

Apr 24, 2018

Agree with the other commentors. Don't make this into an issue. It was probably a wrong number text and even if it wasn't just brush it off and don't make an issue about it. Now if it becomes a habit, then you may want to bring it up. And if it gets to that point, go talk to him directly and tell him to stop, don't go tattle tale to HR. Don't bring HR into things unless absolutely necessary.

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Best Response
Apr 24, 2018

Mate, save that shit, if you get let go or laid off, you just doubled the size of your "package".

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Apr 24, 2018
overpaid_overworked:

Mate, save that shit, if you get let go or laid off, you just doubled the size of your "package".

Winner winner right here.

Apr 27, 2018

Thanks for all the advice guys.

I end up talking directly to him about it, and it was just a misunderstanding. We'll see if it happens again, but it was a blip on the radar.

Anway, I wanted to get everyone's advice or learn if anyone had taken that route before.

Apr 27, 2018

Come on man that's all we get? That's so inconsiderate!

"Hey guys something crazy happened to me, you'll never believe it, I can't give many details but I want your advice."

"Hey guys thanks for the advice. The situation is now over."

Don't tease us with such a juicy story, give us the deets.

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Apr 30, 2018

Happy to hear it solved itself. ;) Have had a lot of weird talks with superiors but never about a topic involving sexuality. Usually i try to be as tolerant and open-minded as possible, since i would want the same treatment after a bad day but there are of course limits. For example i could live without getting the ideological worldview from someone else force-fed into my brain on a daily basis.

Apr 30, 2018

Michael Scott?

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May 3, 2018

Definitely save the texts. If your boss is senior enough (C-suite), the company may go a long way to protect itself from a sexual harassment situation. Maybe he'll screw up again--you never know. And maybe one day you will need some leverage over him or get fired without notice. Having something like this in your back pocket can't hurt.

May 3, 2018

Sounds like it's resolved, but I would have ignored it the first time as it could have been intended for someone else. If it became a pattern, then I'd ask him about it.

I would only ever go to HR as a complete last resort and if it was obvious and well documented harassment (and only after involving an outside lawyer).

Junior folks take note - HR IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. They are risk mitigation for senior management of the company. They are not on your side, and they are generally not motivated to help you.

Involving them usually will piss off whoever you are reporting, and HR steps in to figure out how do we not get sued and what is the lowest cost way to make this issue go away.

May 3, 2018
TechBanking:

Junior folks take note - HR IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. They are risk mitigation for senior management of the company. They are not on your side, and they are generally not motivated to help you.

Involving them usually will piss off whoever you are reporting, and HR steps in to figure out how do we not get sued and what is the lowest cost way to make this issue go away.

Definitely good points.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

May 3, 2018
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