Tuesday, December 15, 2009

If Your Boss Asks You To Cover Up His Affairs, Start Looking For a New Job

I'm pretty sick and tired of the whole sordid Tiger Woods scandal, but it did bring up an interesting discussion I had with a friend yesterday. She is pretty sure that Tiger's affairs were organized, scheduled, coordinated and kept under wraps by one or some of his aides. She would know, since she had to do something similar for her ex-boss.

Many moons ago, my friend was an admin assistant for a lecherous man who paid her quite well. "The Boss" was a rainmaker who often wined and dined clients and potential clients to generate business. As part of her duties, my friend was required to make travel arrangements, set restaurant reservations, purchase gifts, etc. Initially, my friend didn't suspect much. But she did think it was odd that when she was first hired, she was told that "The Wife" was a needy, pill of a woman and she needed to be kept at bay during work hours.

When The Wife called and The Boss was out, my friend would tell her stuff like, "The Boss is in a meeting/golfing/dining with a client." My friend thought the excuses were all true. But to make a long story short, my friend eventually realized that some of The Boss' "client meetings" were just rendezvouz with skanky women. My friend didn't like that she was complicit in helping The Boss with his extramarital affairs, but she justified it as her job.

Predictably, The Wife also eventually found out about the multiple affairs. The Boss begged her for forgiveness and agreed to go to marital counseling. In the process, The Boss apparently told The Wife that my friend was the one who facilitated The Boss' affairs. The Wife demanded that my friend be fired and The Boss agreed. My friend was an at-will employee and was terminated after a couple of negative performance reviews. (Apparently, The Boss was savvy enough to use his own personal funds and not the company funds for his trysts. The Boss purportedly got a slap on the wrist but is still a "star" at the company.)

I don't blame my friend for what she did at her job. Some may say she deserved to get fired for doing something she knew was immoral. But how many of us really have the courage of our convictions to immediately quit a job when our boss asks us to do something immoral, if not illegal? Had she not, she probably would've been fired rather quickly for insubordination.

But I do blame my friend for staying at her job as long as she did, not because she was doing something immoral, but because she should've known she would've eventually been fired anyways. It happened to John Edwards' top aide and I'm sure some heads will roll at Camp Tiger.

I'm not sure there's a lesson to learned here but I know I'll immediately look for a new job the moment my job description includes "extramarital affair coordinator."


Ms. MoneyChat said...

i don't watch tv much, and i definitely don't watch those gossip hours that are referred to as "news." the huge amount of publicity that tiger's extra marital affairs are receiving is exhibit a as to why i don't like "news" programs. uurrgh, that is between him and his wife. he doesn't owe me a thing, not an apology, not an explanation, not a hiatus from his job, nothing. gosh.

as for the friend, i can honestly say that i wouldn't have stuck around long at all. actually, i probably would have spoken up and told mr. boss what i thought about what he was doing and how i couldn't continue to knowingly coorperate. that's just me, though, i'm a person who's not afraid of having difficult conversations. i'm all about respecting my bosses, but i'm not about treating them like they're some kind of higher being. i extend the same respect to everyone, regardless of their position.

i don't know if i fault your friend. i just know that i would have handled it differently. most likely my job would have ended much earlier.

Ms. MoneyChat said...

oh and shtinky, thanks for your comment on romeo. you're right, all dogs do go to heaven;-).

Sallie's Niece said...

That's a tough situation. I mean sure I would start looking for another job but we all know it's not as easy as just looking. I think I would have said something to his higher ups. She may still have been fired (who knows) but at least she didn't have to do someone else's dirty work.

Jin6655321 said...

It sucks that your friend got fired for the boss's misdeeds. From the sound of it, it seems like her part in his affairs were all in line with her job description- travel plans, gift buying, reservations, etc.

I do agree that I would not have stayed very long. The first negative review after the wife found out would have me out there looking for a new job. But, then again, maybe the job was hard to leave. You did say she got paid well.

paranoidasteroid said...

Your friend should have talked to someone at the company as soon as the first bad review came in. After all, I'm sure her boss didn't have her add, "Meet with skank #6 at 2:30pm" on his calendar, so theoretically, she could have been unaware.

Doing something immoral at your job is one thing, but she wasn't the keeper of that guy's d*ck. I'm sure she would have reported anything illegal, but other's morality is something I would have a hard time trying to govern.

DogAteMyFinances said...

Sorry, I'm not buying it.

If he trusted her, and she kept his secrets, she would have been invaluable, and never would have been fired. In fact, she would have been promoted, and she would have gone with him to the next gig.

If he never trusted her, she never really covered for him. I think she should have done the opposite and actually made herself useful. She didn't promise anything to his wife, and he didn't do anything illegal.

Miss M said...

Thank goodness I've never been in that position! It sounds like he kept your friend in the dark for the most part too, she only suspected her boss's bad behavior. What a rotten thing he did, I hope karma comes around and bites him in the butt.

Revanche said...

Ugly, that is. I'm assuming she couldn't have proven that he was having affairs, so as to prove that he was asking her to do things outside her true job description.

I would certainly have spoken up about those negative performance reviews, though, especially if they were specious. Oh, and started job hunting as soon as I suspected.