I had an argument last night about whether a boss can properly manage someone he/she is in a relationship with.
The subject was a rumour at the subject workplace that the boss was screwing the subordinate.
I don’t have a problem with it. The management of a bed buddy. And if there is a problem where does one draw the line?
To manage someone requires professionalism and this – as far as I can tell – should be a trait independent of personal relationship. I have been managed by people I consider friends. And I was never put out by the separation of work and play.
If you lose your professionalism during a relationship does this include friendship and if not why not? Does the relationship have to be sexual? And what difference does that make? Does the contact of genitals somehow affect your brain. And does it matter if there is love but no sex. Or sex and no love? Bloody complicated I reckon.
I can see how the work relationship could bugger up the personal relationship. Nothing like your boss telling you that you suck and won’t be getting a pay rise, and then having to go home and cook him dinner.
But how does the personal relationship bugger up the work relationship? Maybe an over compensation to the hard-line or show of no-favouritism. Both of which speak to a lack of professionalism in the other direction.
So I truly believe that if you think professionalism is not independent of personal relationship then no boss/sub arrangement should comprise even the hint of friendship. In fact no talking except via HR. Which is absurd.
I got quite beaten up verbally for my views on this. Which simply made me suppress them rather than change my mind. I am starting to see two things:
1. I have boundary-less or blurred boundary views about human relationship – not commonly shared by others
2. I am very logical
I probably wouldn’t do too badly with the Vulcans.