This is because ass-kissing and butt-licking are key tenets of the Nigerian corporate world; they form the basis of most work-related relationships.
Alternatively, you may just be genuinely in awe of your boss and you want to learn as much as you can from them.
Whatever the case, your aim is to get close to your boss while maintaining respect and professionalism…and that is great. You should keep it balanced, as an inordinate amount of closeness may actually work against, you rather than for you. But, how can you tell when the balance has been tipped and you are getting too close?
You trade office gist with your boss
You are not a snitch, you are not ‘telling on’ your colleagues, but you are just letting them know what the others say behind her back. Your boss, on the other hand, tells you what the CEO is planning, who is about to get sacked, and who grates on nerves the most.
In fact, you are the first to know all the “Oga-at-the-top” gist and your colleagues come to you to confirm rumors about the boss or the company.
If your boss feels that comfortable with you, you want to take a few steps back.
You bring food from home for your boss
Perhaps your boss is an expat and has not tried that particular dish, or they just enjoy your cooking. The fact that you are so close, that they feel comfortable enough to eat something you brought from home, then, your relationship is definitely not balanced. It has transcended the boss-staff level and y’all are operating on an Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King level.
You give unsolicited advice
Sometimes your real friends do not even want unsolicited advice from you, but you and your boss have since gotten to that place where you can easily dish out unsolicited advice.
You actively help them make decisions about work and even personal life. Sure, if they want to share personal things, there is nothing you can do about it. However, when you find that you feel comfortable dishing out advice, it may be time for you to walk.
You have shared a bed with your boss
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a sexual encounter…but that counts too. No matter how good your relationship or how well you can tolerate each other, there are certain things you have to draw the line at. One of them, is sharing the same bed.
No matter the circumstance of the office trip, whether you have run out of money and it looks like there are no other options, there is a better option than sharing a bed.
Sleep on the floor, perch on the couch, do not set yourself up for that kind of closeness….but if you don’t see anything wrong with it, you definitely are too close to your boss.
You hang with your boss outside of work
Sure you sometimes have to attend certain meetings with just your boss, there is the out –of-town office retreat where you two are paired for bonding exercises. Of course, there are the occasional lunch break moments where you are invited to discuss work-related ideas as well.
You don’t want to be that one person who did not show up your boss’ wedding or their child’s naming ceremony so you honour the invitation.
These are totally normal activities you can do with your boss when you have a smooth relationship. But when you start to have drinks, just for the fun of it, after work; attend each other’s church programs or try new restaurants together…it could be a red flag. You probably should cut back on the closeness.
You miss your boss when you are on leave
You spend every day of the week at the office and you work with your boss… from 9 am to at least 5 pm every day. Yet, when you are finally on leave, you find that you miss them and you keep texting/e-mailing in the pretext of checking up on work.
It not a romantic thing either, because you are in a serious relationship and there is no attraction whatsoever. You are just too fond of your boss, and they can pass for the sibling you never had. When you start to experience these feelings, you definitely are too close.
They call or text you at any time of the day, sometimes for no particular reason
The word “boundary” does not apply in your relationship with your boss. They can call you at any time of the day, maybe even midnight, even after you have just spent the whole day together at the office, to ask you a random question on a topic that is not even work related.
Sometimes it could be to remind you to do something personal for them on your way to work the next day. It could be a sign that they are thinking about you a bit more than they should, or just that you are getting too close!
You are hated for being “the Boss’ favorite”
Even when the facts show that you met and exceeded your KPIs, people in your office do not believe because they believe your boss has just fabricated the results because you are favoured above all others.
Your colleagues speak in hushed tones around you because they are afraid you will go and whisper it all to the boss. In as much as they loathe you, they are afraid of doing you dirty, because they know the boss will come at them for it. If this is your situation, it’s a huge clue that you are too close to your boss.
You end your work e-mails with “xxx” or “xoxo”
Exchanging formal e-mails are no longer part of your work ethics when it comes to your boss. You don’t even bother to start with a greeting or state the facts. You send jokes to each other, including memes and sarcastic quotes and end the same emails with phrases like “I love you” or “xxx” and “xoxo”. You are well aware that your relationship is not appropriate as you cannot separate that loving friendship from your professional, working relationship…but you just love your boss.
It is what it is.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime| Kurhan