Dear Amy: I am convinced that my (married) boss is having an affair with a co-worker, and it is driving me mad.

All literature I have read says to leave it alone, but it is so demoralizing for me in my role at work that I feel completely stuck.

I am sales manager and he is director of sales. She is an administrative assistant and has no role in sales. They go on “sales calls” for hours and hours every few days. Not once have they brought back a lead. When I go on a sales call, I am mandated to file a report and do follow-up.

When they are out, they don’t answer phone calls. They have spent literally hours “buying office supplies” at the local supply store. Hours!

They giggle and flirt endlessly, including going into quiet places in the office where they then whisper to one another.

She knows details about the company and its direction that no other staff member knows.

I once got in early and almost caught them in the act (I think), but of course I have no proof.

I try and ignore it — I really do — but on a professional level I feel like there are different rules for her and the rest of the staff. She has had three pay rises in five months, and no one else has. She is also quite mean and backstabs co-workers.

Meanwhile, I feel unappreciated and feel that I am carrying the weight of the company. I find it hard to be motivated. My boss is never here!

I am miserable at work. I have started applying for any job I can grab, just to get out!

Please tell me that I am overreacting and should just enjoy my work and take the salary.

— Suspicious

Dear Suspicious: It would be easy for me to tell you to hunker down and mind your own business, but during a previous life I dealt with a similar dynamic at work, and the “private” behavior of two people in senior positions, while not affecting me in any way personally, had a tremendous impact on the office overall.

Time spent away from the office, time spent in the office with the door closed, and the overall secrecy, distraction and drama surrounding the relationship overwhelmed the staff.

When people at work engage in illicit relationships, whether they realize it or not, they involve the entire office system in their behavior.

The burden should not be on you to determine whether these two are having an affair (I assume you would rather not know, anyway).

If you have an HR department, you should report your concerns — include specifics regarding the extensive time away from the office when your boss is unreachable.

Dear Amy: I didn’t love your answer to “Chatty Sister,” who said her brother yelled at her and their mother, demanding silence while he was studying. The brother could have a learning or processing disorder, making it difficult to maintain his focus. You should have suggested this. — Upset

Dear Upset: If the brother does have a disorder or learning challenge, it is his responsibility to find ways to mitigate it. Sitting in the middle of the family space and insisting on silence is not appropriate.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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