flirting with the Head of Department

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flirting with the Head of Department

Postby janjan » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:15 pm


I work in a large college and we are currently undergoing restructuring. My immediate manager is retiring imminently and there is speculation about whether her post will be filled. Lately my colleague has been flirting with the Head of Department. She has stayed behind when the rest of the department has gone home and met alone with the H.O.D in his office on several occasions. My colleague is very open and she has said that she and the H.O.D have laughed until tears rolled down their faces over subjects such as masturbation and the behaviour of other tutors.. Last week eyebrows were raised because they both blushed and giggled together as my colleague (an attractive woman in her early thirties) bent down by the photocopier. All this would be just banal gossip if it was not for the fact that the H.O.D. has told her that the manager's post will be advertised very soon and that she should apply because he will be on the panel. He has told no-one else about this.

IO am a woman in my fifties and I am a little reluctant to say anything because it may be taken as middle aged jealousy. However, I think both my colleague and my Head of department are behaving extremely unprofessionally especially when they are supposed to be setting an example to students.

What should I do, if anything?
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Re: flirting with the Head of Department

Postby snail » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:13 pm

I agree that it's unprofessional and childish, but I'm not really sure what you could do. If you really think their behaviour is harming the college, could you complain to the HOD's superior? Likewise, if she gets the job and you think that's because the HOD was blatantly influenced by his personal feelings for her, you could complain about that. Perhaps best wait and see what happens with the promotion - if she is 'cultivating' him in the hopes of getting it, then she may allow things with him to peter out once she has either definitely got it or knows she definitely won't get it.
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Re: flirting with the Head of Department

Postby Bel Bel » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:41 pm

The messenger tends to get shot so I would stay well out

They haven't thought this through either. If she gets the job and they fall out (either because one wants more than the other, they get together and it faals or she isn't that good and can't handle the job) then what is going to happen. It will be pretty uncomfortable for them both.

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Re: flirting with the Head of Department

Postby ILoveChristmas » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:03 pm

I agree that it's extremely unprofessional and not the sort of behavior you expect from people of that age or in those positions.

In my view the action open to you depends on whether you've any intention of applying for the manager's position or not once it becomes public knowledge, which it must do, they're simply not allowed to recruit from within without giving others the opportunity to apply and interview. If you don't plan on applying then I agree that it's best left alone, you don't want to stir the hornet's nest if it's not going to benefit you in the longer-term, however, if it's something you are interested in applying for I would suggest an anonymous letter to the Head of Department's superior, or another member of the interview panel highlighting a conflict of interest between the Head and this female member of staff.

You don't need to make allegations and you don't even need to go into specifics about your concerns, but it should still be enough to ensure that he's not included in the interview process, otherwise it's a severe lack of due diligence on the college's part and something that could potentially land them in a lot of hot water at a later date. Hopefully they'd be aware of that and keen to avoid it.

Of course it goes without saying, in the interests of preserving anonymity, and let's face it, who wants to be the one to stick their head above the parapet, don't write or post the letter on college premises. Do it at home, and remember not to sign it!
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