What should McAulay do about her boorish coworkers?

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McAulay works in a field where most of her clients and customers are men. "I take them out to lunch and dinner quite frequently, and sometimes these guys can be total pigs. They can make inappropriate comments toward me, toward maybe the waitstaff," she says. "How do I put them in their place and still not lose them as clients?"

Faith says humor should do the trick. "Something that calls attention to the fact that they're acting inappropriately but that you can roll with a joke," she says. "I would also suggest take one of them, maybe the instigator, out of his wolf pack environment and speak to him one-on-one and say, 'Look, Jim, maybe you don't realize this, but your comments sound sexist. And I'm sure you don't mean them to.' And be prepared to give him some specific examples and then, you know, wink and pat him on the butt."

Randy says he doesn't think making jokes will work. "I think if they're being sexist, they're being sexist and your joke isn't going to make them change," he says. "I think you can speak much more directly to people if you do it tactfully. If you do it gently and if you comment on the remark—not the person who made the remark."
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FROM: How to Handle Life's Stickiest Situations
Published on June 02, 2009

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