Help! Underhanded colleagues are framing my boss for sexual harassment.

Help! Underhanded Colleagues Are Framing My Boss for Sexual Harassment.

Help! Underhanded Colleagues Are Framing My Boss for Sexual Harassment.

Advice on manners and morals.
Oct. 27 2011 7:20 AM

Indecent Proposal

My colleagues are framing our boss for harassment. Should I expose their evil plot?

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Dear Turkey,
Thanksgiving is not traditionally the holiday where you pair off and decline to spend time in groups. You have extended a gracious invitation to a friend to join in a welcoming family celebration. Sarah sounds overly needy. Of course it’s sad she lost her parents, but you can’t be the only person in the world she can turn to for holiday solace. If she can’t spend the day with her extended family, being part of Leah’s celebration sounds like the perfect solution. Explain to Sarah that you’re going to be recuperating at Leah’s, her family is lovely, and Thanksgiving is a great occasion for all of you to get to know each other better. If she won’t bite, then Chinese takeout is certainly not her only option. For one thing, she could join the many people who volunteer at soup kitchens that day. If by Friday you feel you will be wearing out your welcome at Leah’s, and you’ll be sufficiently recovered to spend the weekend with Sarah, fine. But you’re not responsible for Sarah’s choice to chew on some turkey jerky by herself.


Dear Prudence,
Two months ago my friend stayed overnight and slept on my couch. The next day the couch had an odor of urine. I own cats and they have never peed on my couch or anywhere else in my house. I mentioned to her that someone had peed on the couch during the night and asked if she noticed anything. She got very angry and defensive and has not been over since. It cost me $155 to clean my couch. I really think she did it by accident, and I would have accepted her apology. She used to stay over quite often and I am somewhat relieved that she isn't anymore. There have been no more accidents since this occurrence. How could she not have noticed a wet spot on the couch during the night?


—Ruined Couch

Dear Ruined,
Perhaps in response to your query, you expected your friend to say: “Actually, in the middle of the night someone came in, tossed me off the couch, urinated on the cushions, then left. I didn’t mention it because I thought it might upset you.” Sure, the stain might have been left by your friend. But cats can be so finicky about any change to their environment that one can’t ignore the possibility that a kitty left a message for you. Translated into lolcat, it might read: “Iz no want lady on couch. Iz make sure she gone.” But let’s say your friend had a mortifying accident. If she was aware of it, she was unwilling to own up. You can imagine that when you questioned her she found it hard to form the words, “About my incontinence …” You salvaged your couch for $155 and say you’re delighted your friend hasn’t been back. In the end, instead of being pissed off, conclude that you’re in luck to have this leaky guest out of your life.


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Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.