Dear Prudie: My boss pantsed someone at work. Should I tattle?

Help! The President of My Company Just “Pantsed” an Employee.

Help! The President of My Company Just “Pantsed” an Employee.

Advice on manners and morals.
June 28 2012 6:00 AM

Reign of Terror

The president of my company just “pantsed” someone at work. How do I report this?

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Dear Crowd,
Maybe the boyfriend broke up with her because she is clingy as a barnacle and has as much social sense. Native Hawaiian wildlife is under threat by invasive species, and your tropical romantic getaway is also in danger because of an intruder. Before you find your friend sitting in the middle seat between you and your husband as you all take off for this threesome, stop hinting about what a pest she’s being. Sit her down and tell her how upset you are that she’s invited herself on your vacation. Explain this is a long-planned trip for you and your husband to have a romantic time together, and you don’t intend to make it a trio. Say of course you can’t prevent her from going to Hawaii, but you’re not going share your schedule with her because you don’t intend to share your vacation with her. If she can’t take the financial hit and cancel the tickets, then she needs to start planning her own activities. You can also say it might be less awkward if she stays at a separate hotel so you’re not always running into her in the lobby. If she can’t figure out how to enjoy herself alone on vacation, she can always swim up to the poolside bar and drown her sorrows in Lava Flows.


Dear Prudence,
I am a professional man who is generally confident, but I am wondering about the etiquette of asking my dentist on a date. I have always felt that it is unfair to put someone who works for your business in the position of having to decline your advances, so I have never made such an attempt. But recently I have become attracted to my dentist. She is funny, kind, charming, and despite being a fan of a horrible professional football team, seems to be a wonderful person. Of course I know that my interactions with her up to this point are very limited, but that is true of all relationships at some point. So, is it okay to ask, or do I just have to hope I run into her in the grocery store one day?



Dear Drilling,
It’s a tribute to her skills, or your teeth, or both that you find yourself hoping to get her fingers out of your mouth so you can get to know her better. Of course, when you have a saliva ejector hanging off your lip, you’re not at your best, so it’s good you haven’t said anything while trapped in her chair. There is no reason you can’t ask her, but depending on her romantic status, her reaction to you, and her views of proper dentist-patient interaction, be prepared to be turned down. I looked up the American Dental Association’s code of ethics and conduct  and on relationships with patients it says: “Dentists should avoid interpersonal relationships that could impair their professional judgment or risk the possibility of exploiting the confidence placed in them by a patient.” That sounds like a lot of leeway, so ask away. The problem is that professionally you only see her twice a year, so I suggest you write her a note—with a big “Personal” across the envelope, and send it to her office. You can explain that not only is she a fabulous dentist, you find her a delightful person. Say that you’d enjoy getting to know her better over dinner one night—you can mention you are more presentable when not wearing one of her disposable bibs. Give her your email address and say that you hope it’s a yes, but if for whatever reason she can’t take you up on your offer, you look forward to seeing her for your next check-up and you will continue to floss daily.


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An Innocent Man: An ex-girlfriend falsely claimed I raped her. How do I reveal this hurtful incident to future love interests?” Posted July 7, 2011.
A View to a Thrill: Neighbor boys peep at my scantily clad daughters. Should I have them cover up?” Posted June 30, 2011.

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Boyfriend Is Thick as a Brick: Dear Prudence advises a woman who is reluctant to wed her dim-bulb suitor.” Posted July 5, 2011.

Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.