Inappropriate Comments From My Bosses Over The Years

If you’re in paid employment, you most likely have a boss you report to. Every organization has a line of hierarchy; you may join a company as an intern but become a manager one day. While we’re making our way through the ranks at work, we get to experience different work relationships along the way.

I’ve been in paid employment for ten years and in this time, I’ve had six direct bosses. My first work experience was during my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). NYSC is a scheme set up by the Nigerian government to involve graduates in nation-building and the development of the country. It starts with a three weeks orientation at a boot camp and thereafter, everyone is assigned a job to serve their country for a year.  I was posted to a bank and this job introduced me to the working life and rudiments of having a 9-5 job.

My second place of employment was very different from my first. I worked there for four years and I had four different team leaders, three different supervisors, and two different managers because I moved a lot around the department. It’s safe to say that I grew up there with nurturing relationships and left with an improvement in my people skills.

I watched the movie, Horrible Bosses again last week and it reminded me about the different bosses I’ve had over the years. I’d like to believe that I’ve had it easy in comparison to some horror stories I’ve heard and read online. Some people really go through hell at work and don’t know what having a proper boss and employee relationship should be like.

Now though I haven’t spent my entire career crying at work or feeling like I wasn’t good enough, I’ve had my fair share of inappropriate comments uttered by my bosses that I haven’t been able to let go of till this day. I have categorized these comments into three.

The Borderline Scary Comments
Most of these comments were uttered by the same boss. I was always left astounded. I was also young, naive, and inexperienced so I didn’t know if I could say anything. So most times, I kept quiet.

  • Do you have a boyfriend?
  • Bring a fork let’s eat together.
  • Tell me about what you did with your boyfriend last weekend.
  • I think we should go out together after work. I want to get to know you better.
  • Did you change your skirt? This is not the way it was the last time you came into my office.

Just Incase You Forgot I’m Paying You Comments
This category is for comments made by my bosses simply because I was a paid employee. It follows the notion that an employee should always provide solutions and do as asked because they are being paid.

  • I’m not paying you to question things I ask you to do.
  • I don’t care how you are going to do this but you need to get it done.
  • I messed up, I know. That’s why I have you to fix it. So, fix it.
  • I know we didn’t fix a meeting for today but I’m in your office waiting for you.

The Overfamiliar Comments
These are comments that may be considered as too personal especially because they were said by someone you didn’t have a close relationship with.

  • When are you getting married?
  • Are you thinking about getting married this year? you should add it to your plan for this year if you haven’t.
  • Did you add weight? Is it just me or your cheeks look bigger?
  • Do you always sound this way? what do you do when you get angry?

My experience and knowledge over the years have taught me that inappropriate comments should not be overlooked. It’s best to discuss or report them to avoid a never-ending cycle.

Have you ever had to deal with inappropriate comments from your boss? Let’s remember that our focus is on inappropriate comments, not derogatory comments.

Mariam Shittu 

5 thoughts on “Inappropriate Comments From My Bosses Over The Years

  1. Wow that’s true. Comments shouldn’t be overlooked but people always feel afraid to voice their opinions because of the fear of losing their jobs. Job security is a big issue in Nigeria. I am really looking forward to working in a good place when I do move back. Working here in Canada I can’t think of any inappropriate comment I have ever gotten, maybe except for like culture and those were due to them being ignorant but I educated them in a way.

  2. You are right inappropriate comments should not be overlooked. When it is overlooked, more comments follow. I believe the fear of loss of job keeps people quiet on this topic especially in a society where finding the next job is not so easy. The question is How much is too much and how much can one bottle in?

  3. A lot of inappropriate comments, but I just always move past it immediately so I don’t bottle up anything.

  4. Great post!

    This post just reminded me of when I was a student, I had this “internship” and on like day 2 or 3 my boss invited me to his house for a pool party. I remember he specifically said “everyone is coming in bathing suits. It should be fun and you can bring one friend.” Of course he asked me if I had a boyfriend. I was about to say “can I bring my boyfriend to this pool party?” Lol. Shameless agbaya! Oniranu. 🙄

    The unprofessionalism from some of these bosses is just appalling.

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