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Discussion on: What should I do when I get hit on by colleagues?

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Heidi Waterhouse

I'm sorry. It doesn't do any good to say that you shouldn't have to deal with this problem, because you do.

If it's at ALL possible, I play oblivious. Sometimes it's not, and I say, "No, thanks." Making excuses just encourages boundary-free jerks to try a rules-lawyer around them. If they keep it up, go to your manager (not HR). Save any sketchy emails you send or get to a non-work location. If your manager passes the buck, start looking for another job. I know it's hard to believe, but there are less terrible places out there.

And, this is the unfairest of all - Don't trust them. Not your hotel room number, your personal phone, your home address. Don't drink anywhere near work. Almost all bartenders will give you a non-alcoholic drink in a drink glass if you ask.

Find allies. The queer-looking women with bright hair have been playing this game long enough that they can usually help you at an event. (not all of them, but a lot). Find the slacks, the communities, the backchannel communications. I can't tell you where the door to Narnia is for you, but I promise that there is a place you can slip into and get help from other people.