When my company promoted me to supervisor, my best friend took me out for a drink. That night he and I chatted about the women in the office, ranking them on a 0 to 10 scale. I didn’t think anything of it. I was on my own time in a bar and with a good friend.
Apparently, he went home and shared my comments in pillow talk to a woman he was sleeping with, and she passed them on to her women friends, my employees. I received a tongue-lashing and have been placed on probation. My friend, however, escaped punishment.
I get that I was stupid, but feel like my friend should have kept his mouth shut. What feels unfair is that my job is in jeopardy for something said on my own time.
You cannot expect your friend to keep his mouth shut when yours flies open. Even though it was after hours, you were a supervisor grading your employees on appearance. Your ratings came back into the workplace via the ears of other employees. Your words carry more weight now as a supervisor, which means you merit harsher discipline when you exercise poor judgment.
Instead of complaining about unfairness, spend some time thinking about what your supervisory status means. Do you want respect from your employees? If so, you need to change how you act.
© 2020, Lynne Curry
Lynne Curry is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016) and “Solutions” (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com). Send your questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.