We all have workplace etiquette dilemmas: Handling undermining co-workers. Asking for raises. Gently informing a colleague that some dude on the Internet is calling him a “robot made of stone.”
But only “Jim,” a Wall Street worker from Fort Lee, New Jersey, has the particular problem of a thong-wearing boss.
From yesterday’s New York Times etiquette column:
I am a 22-year-old man working at a new job on Wall Street. My boss is a very attractive 30-year-old woman. We happen to exercise at the same gym at the same time. We both swim, and the first time we ran into each other, she was wearing a one-piece bathing suit, and I was wearing a classic Speedo. I saw her look me up and down. The next week, she started wearing a thong bikini. Isn’t this a power thing?
Jim is on to something here, but the advice the Times columnist gives Jim (“your boss’s chlorinated costume change looks more like a flirting thing”) is completely wrong. This is Wall Street, not a middle-school dance. If Jim’s associate (or VP, possibly) had wanted to seduce him, she would have gone over to him, grabbed the waistband of his banana hammock, and pulled.
No, Jim is clearly being power-played. What his boss meant by switching to a thong was: “Oh, we’re playing show-off now? Well, look at these abs and glutes, little man. I got them with Crossfit. Nice, huh? And if you ever, ever try to one-up me again, I’ll keep you in the office 24/7, spreading comps until your eyes bleed. I’ll make you build a pitch book using only your pinkies. You won’t see daylight until you’re 35.”
Jim, our advice is to find a different pool, or stop swimming altogether. This is clearly not a woman to be messed with.