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Bad Hiring Decision


Business and Professional Relationships Networking and maintaining a positive environment in the work place is important! Surviving the 9-to-5 within.

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Old 22nd May 2014, 1:56 AM   #1
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Bad Hiring Decision

I dated this man for a couple of weeks and found him very attractive, we talked often, went golfing, I liked his attitudes, the way he raises his kids, and really love his work- he’s in a creative field, not great for steady income, but truly beautiful work. Not one kiss in those two weeks.

So, here’s the path of insanity… one day I called him to see if he knew anyone interested in part-time contract work as an assistant for my company. (He’s lived here all his life and I’m new to the area. I tapped all of my local connections.) I pay higher than market and offer lots of flexibility. I typically hire highly educated people who are parents or need to work from home a lot. He said he wanted the job. He’s smart, educated, available. I wish so much that I hadn’t hired him. Anyway, in that rash desperate state, I concluded that he would rather work for me than date me so I said okay and hired him. I really needed more hands.

When we met that afternoon, I said, “so this means we’re not dating, right?” and he said something quietly but part of it was “no chemistry.” I didn’t hear the rest and yes it was terrible communication, so I thought he said no to dating and yes to work so I said, “Ok, so let’s work.”

He’s been working for me for about 5 weeks and its driving me nuts. I like him more all the time, and I found him physically attractive from the beginning so that doesn’t help.

He’s just out of a ten-year relationship, which ended in the fall of 2013, and he's online dating. He talks about his past relationships a lot, every day, and the women he tries to date, and this or that woman that he’s talking to or asking out. I’ve been redirecting his dating and ex talks to talk about work, and when that is done and we’re paper shuffling, to talk about family and kids. But he keeps bringing it up again. I asked him the other day why he keeps talking about his relationships, he said it's because I’m safe.

He’s also told me I’m attractive, even said I’m beautiful a couple of days ago and that he’d take pictures of me if I want to do OLD again because my pictures weren’t good. Once he said I should be able to find someone because I’m attractive, sweet and smart. (I'm not beautiful or sweet.) I just stare at him, sincerely dumbstruck and actually woozy, then make a joke and redirect to work, family, kids. But I have always been easy to read, have a lousy poker face so it has to be obvious that it makes me swoon.

I wonder if this is a game, maybe an ego stroke, or maybe making fun of me attraction. It makes no sense. I'm pretty encouraging and positive with employees and contractors but pull back toward him so I change my natural workplace demeanor, which isn't good either.

I have to be careful because of sexual harassment risk AND I need for him to work through mid-June because of a massive project- can’t hire someone new at this point and he’s come up to speed well. I can't let him go now.

So say, "Let's stick to work talk." ? And then if he brings up the personal stuff again, "Really, let's focus here." ? Today I played music while he was doing things which cut off the chat completely and that worked well. But sure enough, he talked about the new woman he's talking to when I said I was taking off early for the hockey game so he wouldn't be able to reach me after 5. (He was going to have to stay in touch as he made deliveries.) I'm a pretty rabid hockey fan. She likes hockey too, and he said he needs to learn hockey to get women. I said, "You can't fake hockey. See you later." and he went off to do deliveries.
What do you think of just saying, "(Name)!! Enough of the relationship talk!!" ?
I don't even know how to handle the flattery stuff. Is he just trying to solidify his job by flattering the boss?
What do you say to flattery?

Last edited by BlueIris; 22nd May 2014 at 3:44 AM..
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Old 22nd May 2014, 9:49 AM   #2
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It's very hard to deduce exactly what his motives are (if any) when we're only hearing your side of the story> And let's face it, that side is often fraught with wild and sometimes over-analyzed interpretations. I think we're all guilty of that

First, I have a few questions;

How did you meet? Have you known him before you started to "date"? Did he know what you did for a living and/or that you hired and paid well prior to dating? Who initiated contact and set the dates?

I look forward to hearing your responses!
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Old 22nd May 2014, 9:58 AM   #3
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BlueIris,

Provided that your take on this is accurate, it is clear that he is not or was not interested maintaining a dating relationship with you, you should leave it at that! Never a good idea hiring someone you've dated, imho. Akin to dating someone in the workplace, if things go wrong, it can get ugly.

As soon as this project is completed you really need to let him go. You all did sign a project by project contract, correct? It is clear to me from what you have written, that he is either oblivious to your requests to cease in dating talk or he is out-right undermining you b/c he sees you as a "friend" as opposed to an employer. You ought to know that being a female employer, the onus to be more professional, forthright and boundary conscious falls on you. Sad, but true. I suspect that b/c you are a woman AND b/c you have dated, that he feels he can "get away" with his unprofessional behavior.

Just record, document his behavior, actions. Let him know for the LAST time that you are wanting him to keep things professional and if he continues, IGNORE him, do not respond to or be pulled into his conversations about dating. Yes, you need to firmly let him know that you need him to be professional.

Your engaging in him only encourages him and frankly, I don't see this turning out well for you if you do not stop acting like a high school girl with all this swooning, etc. and realize that you, your business could be hurt by all this drama.

Stay objective and remember that he told you that there was no chemistry. You hadn't kissed during the 2-weeks you were dating him, etc. Why? B/c he wasn't that into you in the first place. Now that he is working for you, don't be surprised that he is trying to cozy up to you more. He's milking the opportunity for all he can.

Also, your attraction is mostly physical. Now, take a careful look at him as a professional, person...you don't want to be with someone like this. Especially if she does not respect you.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 11:26 AM   #4
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Thank you both. I needed redirection, a slap in the face.

Michelle, we met online and he initiated and set dates. He called me to talk. He found out what I did at our first date but didnt know that I hired and paid well until I asked if he knew anyone who might be available. But he did talk about lack of money quite a bit. He said he borrowed money from his parents after he started working for me. Our last "date" was odd because he invited me to his place for dinner but never made dinner, so when 8 pm rolled around I said I had to go, and did. It was a strange two weeks, in retrospect.

Soccerrprp, Yes, it was a terrible idea to hire him and Ive been really sloppy and immature. Youre right about being more conscious and careful being a female employer. Theres too much work to get done. If he brings it up again, Ill be more direct. The team is very jovial and chatty, but still on task. Letting things be so loose in general is my doing so I need to reign that in overall. No, hes not good partner material for me- while he's an involved father, attractive and intelligent, his passivity in not working his tail off to provide for his kids doesn't sit well with me. He made more money before the 2008-9 economic crisis, but lots of people did, but then adjusted, which he doesn't seem to have done. None of this has to do with my success and my business will suffer. It helps to see in writing all that you said. My lack of discipline has been ridiculous.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 5:53 PM   #5
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I had a sit down discussion with him this morning and all is settled. He said he wanted to be friends and I said we'd better stick to working.
Makes me want to go back to not being a boss some days. haha.
I thank you for yanking me out of the trees.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 6:17 PM   #6
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And how to do you feel about how things went down this morning? Do you think you have a handle on things particularly how you felt about him?
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Old 22nd May 2014, 11:51 PM   #7
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I think things went down well. I told him that the personal talk was interfering- talking about dating, exes, looks and photos and things of that sort. I took responsibility for not directing things carefully and keeping us on task. I said things had been blurry since wed dated before he started working here but Id make sure we stayed on topic from now on. He said he wanted to be friends and I agreed but at work wed focus on work. I doubt that well be friends.

Strangely enough I think that the lack of control was more unsettling than the attraction. I had failed to control something I am responsible for, my office.

Very productive positive day today, so there was immediate effect. Good lesson in not spinning out over a crush and having more control in that arena too.

Im really new at this- business opened only 21 months ago.
Of course, Im also single and really have to keep the personal far far from work.

Thanks for your support, Michelle!
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