Ever since David Letterman and ESPN’s Steve Phillips schtupped their underlings, all the glossy women’s magazines have scrambled for a good and juicy “I slept with my boss” story. Elle is the latest lady mag to cough up an inappropriate-relationship-with-the-boss confession‚ but what’s refreshingly candid about ex-investment banker Melanie Berliet’s story is the terms of the relationship. For better or for worse, Berliet was never in love with her boss and never claimed to be. Quite the contrary: she admitted she only answered his late-night calls and replied to his sexts because she wanted “a fat bonus check.”As one of only 10 women in a male-dominated field, Berliet couldn’t help but attract the attention of everyone, including her boss, in the workplace, and she’s unapologetic about their mutual flirting. But, unfortunately for Berliet’s bank balance, when she wouldn’t have sex with her boss, she wounded his ego and he retaliated. He dissed her with a skimpy bonus, which she called “a serious slight on Wall Street.” After realizing “the image he had of me was one I’d allowed him to create: a sex object,” she quit her investment banking job to become a writer. [Elle]
Berliet’s story is obnoxious at times, though. The bonus she did receive—$65,000—is plenty of money to fall back on after she quit that job. Women who don’t make bank, but are in similar sex-in-the-workplace situations, can’t just up and leave. I get the message of her essay—she chose to flirt to advance her own agenda and doesn’t consider herself a victim—but, honestly, her financial situation kept her from making this situation much messier than it could have been. Most women aren’t that lucky.
Nevertheless, Berliet’s flirt-for-pay scheme gone awry has me wondering: Have you ever flirted/slept with the boss to get a raise/bonus/promotion? And did it “work”? Tell us in the comments section below!