Indian media is going frenzy with the allegations pressed against the “Tehelka” Magazine editor “Tarun Tejpal”, of sexually harassing a junior journalist. It is shocking to see a renowned media person involved in such a crime, but more shocking is his statement “I feel atonement cannot be just words. I must do the penance that lacerates me. I am therefore offering to recuse myself from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office, for the next six months.”. Read full letter here.
Is this enough? I don’t think so, moreover who is he to decide what punishment he should get? I am quite miffed by this incident, but intent of writing this post is not to talk about this case. Intent is to share my thoughts on the Boss and Employee relationship; relationship that is more than just office work.
Men and women working in an organization together is pretty common, more common is the healthy flirting that goes on between them in the office environment. I am calling it healthy, because this could be a way to break that sexual barrier/tension between the two sexes. But where to draw the line?
Answer to this is not very simple. It actually varies from person to person. Depends totally on the how the other one is going to perceive your gesture. But it’s never a good idea when the two person involved are Boss & Employee or Senior and Junior. If one of them has the power to influence the appraisal or work assignments of the other one, than they should not be, more than the friendly coworker.
Having worked in major organizations for more than seven years, I have witnessed few of such incidents. One that I would like to cite here, is that of a manager who was giving some extra attention to a female employee working two ranks lower than him. It came in notice when that female employee got promoted way before her scheduled time, even when she was not working on any active projects. Manager got sacked, and girl got promoted, again.
Sometimes it’s the other way round too. I have seen many girls, specially in IT field, who are surviving in the industry not because of their knowledge but because of their other skills. One senior manager once asked me to give good ratings to a girl working under me. I objected, as she used to spend more time in coffee breaks and arranging parties in office, than in completing her assigned work. The girl was positioned under another team leader, the very next day. A cute smile, a gentle pat and a little twinkle in your eyes can get you a long way. Long long way…. 🙂
To share a funny incident, once I have seen a guy, helping a girl in distress by trying to write a Java software code for her. Funny thing was, he didn’t even knew what Java was. He couldn’t complete her work, but he did manage to sit with her for half the day. What did the girl get? She managed to get the attention of her team leader, who than sat with her for other half of the day, to complete her work.
On that note, keep enjoying your working environment because some girls have knowledge and talent; some boys have the strength of character.
- Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal steps down for six months over alleged sexual assault (ndtv.com)
- Tehelka: How do you associate a sexual assault with someone who you thought stood up for justice? (indianhomemaker.wordpress.com)
- Tehelka editor accused of molesting his staff (niticentral.com)
- Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexual assault by journalist, steps down as Tehelka’s editor for six months (ndtv.com)
- Deeply disappointed with Tehelka response, says woman journalist to NDTV (ndtv.com)