By Guest Blogger Wendy Coakley-Thompson
Q: I logged on to Facebook a couple of weeks ago and noticed a friend request from my boss. This shocked the hell out of me. First of all, I don’t know how she found me there. But the request is troubling, because the woman is hell on heels. Think Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada – minus the talent and good looks. If she was consistently crazy, then I could get used to her. But this woman is like a box of chocolates; you truly don’t know what you’re going to get from one day to the next. This on top of the borderline racist things she’s said and done, like touching my hair on the sneak tip as if I wouldn’t notice. Or telling me she’s assigning me to projects strictly because both the client and I happen to be Black, like that would give her some kind of advantage. I’ve prayed about it. I’ve tried to ignore her or treat her like I was raised right. I’ve even asked my friends for advice.
But those friends tell me that I can’t fight crazy with common sense. The only bright spot in my day is leaving her crazy ass and coming home to the safety of social networking. Now I have to see her hideous mug on Facebook. I’m afraid that if I don’t confirm her, I’ll be committing career suicide and exposing myself to a whole other level of insanity. I need this job. Plus crazy boss aside, I love my work. What should I do?
I think you already know the answer to your question.
If your boss is “hell on heels” in the reality of the cube farm, what makes you think she’ll be any less insane in cyberspace? Think of everything you put on your Facebook page. You’d be giving this woman license to pry into your life and spy on you. Don’t think employers don’t do it already. From Googling employees to running credit and background checks on them, employers find reasons to be all up in your life. You only have to type boss+Facebook+friend into your favorite search engine to find reasons why accepting this woman’s friend request is not a good idea. Why would you give the nails for your own coffin to someone who you characterize as a “crazy ass”?
So, what can you do? Door Number One: Accept the friend request anyway and invite this woman into your personal life – not recommended. Door Number Two: Decline the request, with a polite message that reads something like “Thanks, but I prefer to keep my work and private lives separate.” You take your chances with this ballsy move, but you have to weigh the possibility of incurring your boss’s wrath against safeguarding your personal life. Or, Door Number Three, just let the friend request sit there on your home page as ammunition for a possible lawsuit, should it come to that.
And from what you say about this woman, the possibility of litigation doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
Either way, Alphanistas act decisively. If you choose Doors Two or Three and still lose your job, you’ll know that, like a true Alpha female who sticks to her guns, you went out on your feet – not on your knees.
Author Wendy Coakley-Thompson is the DC Publishing Industry Examiner at Examiner.com. Check her out at http://www.examiner.com/x-6658-DC-Publishing-Industry-Examiner.