Ask Amy: I was ordered to flirt with my gay client

DEAR AMY: I brought a big client to the bank where I work. I partnered with a “relationship representative” (a female colleague) to build the account at the bank.

The rep informed me that she was having issues with the partnership and said she needed my help.

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

I spoke to the client and we agreed to speak again at a later date.

Sometime after this, the rep and I saw him at a public event. I was truly shocked when the rep asked me to go “flirt” with the client.

I am gay, as is the man in question.

I am afraid to say something, as my position is too low, and I may be terminated.

What should I do?


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DEAR K: You don’t say how you responded to this request in the moment, but your colleague’s suggestion is totally inappropriate, and you should register your discomfort.

Write down your account of exactly what happened, so you have a record, and take this to HR.

If you were terminated for bringing a very reasonable concern to the administration’s attention, then you would surely have a case of wrongful termination that I assume any employment lawyer would be happy to take.

I understand that banking is a “go-go” industry. Your bank’s “relationship rep” might skirt all sorts of boundaries in order to keep major clients happy, but if she can’t manage this professional relationship without calling upon you to flirt with the client, then she isn’t very good at her job.

She could very easily claim that this was a joke. The word “flirt” can have nonsexual connotations. Regardless of her intent, she should not make comments like this, or attempt to use you in this way.

You brought this big client to the bank, and your doing so means that you are valuable to the bank. Don’t underestimate your own value, both as an employee and as a person.

DEAR AMY: My sister committed suicide after a complicated life, contentious divorce and child custody battle.

Her horrible ex-husband has always blamed me for her suicide. I tried to help her and was dedicated to her (not him) while living abroad.

Their daughter, 21, who I am in touch with and see when I am in the U.S., is getting married, but she did not tell me, which is disappointing.

Her dad forbade her from inviting …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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