Thursday, March 11, 2010

There's a first for everything

Because it will take some time for my blog to get going, I've decided to "borrow" questions from Dear Abby and answer with my own insight. I am refraining from reading Abby's response as I do not want what she says to interfere with my own opinion.


Last week I suggested to a co-worker, "Zack," that I treat him to a beer after work. Before our pints arrived, he disappeared to a corner of the pub to text on his phone, and 10 minutes later his girlfriend showed up. Her being there obligated me to buy her a drink, and it derailed the work-related discussion I had initially had in mind.
The following Monday, I mentioned to Zack that he should have asked me first if it was OK to bring someone else. He was none too pleased to hear that I thought his behavior was rude. How far off base was I?

Dear Wondering,

I don't think you were off base in feeling his actions were off putting. It seems to me that Zach felt your intentions may have been beyond work-related which made him feel uncomfortable, hence the invitation of his romantic relationship to the event. Did you communicate to him why you wanted to buy him a drink? Though buying someone a drink can definitely be an innocent act, it for the most part is viewed as suggestive if for no other reason than you are offering a one-on-one with alcohol involved. With that said, if Zach was thinking along these lines it was wrong of him to accept the offer given that he is involved romantically with someone else. If Zach was not viewing your offer as an opportunity to connect outside of the workplace, it was indeed off putting for him to invite someone else along, especially someone not related to work, without first discussing it with you. Nonetheless, I do not feel that you were obligated in any way to buy his girlfriend a drink when she arrived.



  1. Based on your response, I'm assuming WONDERING IN WESTMONT, CANADA is a woman. If so, I think she should have been more clear in her intentions. Love the blog, I'll be back for sure.

  2. By the way, I tried to follow you, but the follower gadget isn't working. I'll try back later.

  3. Good answer. She really should have been clear about why she was inviting him. He probably brought the girlfriend along as a safety net.