When we think of “Provocative Co-workers”, the first thing that comes to mind is the sultry female or the guy in sales with too much ego trying to impress one of the women on staff. However, women have one advantage over men in the work-place and that is they can dress in a more physically appealing manner. Could you imagine a guy showing up at work with trousers so tight that his groin is the focal-point for everyone in the work-place? When it comes to women, there are some different factors in what they wear and how they wear clothing. Despite ethics and dress-codes, women cannot hide the physical attributes that make them uniquely female.
The problem comes about in the work-place when the women can press the limits when it comes to being on the edge of code. Most professional women dress appropriately for the work-environment as to not disrupt the work-flow. However, there are some that care to extend their attention-gathering capabilities from the social circles into the work-place. The downside is that the physical appeal allows them to gain the attention without having the burden of responsibility when it comes to comments, actions, and reactions for other co-workers.
As a rule of thumb for men in the work-place, leave any sort of gawking and stares at the front-door. Sexual harassment is one of the leading reasons for men to become terminated on a job and it is almost never worth it. There are a number of women that actually know better than to wear a very short mini or open-blouse to work, but choose to do so with the caveat, “This is who I am!”. Yes, it is lame, but there are those that may not quite get the memo that is no way to climb the corporate ladder.
One of the common characteristics is associated with the word loud such as over-bearing fragrances, plunging necklines, high-hemlines, and bare-legs. The old argument was that it provokes men to assault women, but the reality is that it causes friction in the work-place, especially among other women that behave professionally. Men that get too close to these women may suffer from guilt by association which could imply that upon promotion there could be issues placing him in a position go authority based on his lack of judgment.
The provocative co-worker may flirt among staff members, laugh and speak loudly along with ensuring that she remains the focus of attention during meetings and other departmental or company functions. It becomes less about the organizational mission at work and more about their own vanity. As in every institution that we interact with on a daily basis, we cannot be ourselves 100% of the time. If you bite your fingernails, there is a high likelihood that you may not do so during a business-meeting with a client. Therefore, the logic prevails when it comes to dressing for the occasion such as work.
Some of the most common practices are women wearing low-cut or open tops where either the breasts or bra may be visible, mini-skirts without hose or underwear, or tight shorts. Most often these actions are intentional and places them as a priority over all others. Also, men should be aware that there are a small group of women out there in work-places across the country prone to filing sexual harassment grievances based on the attention they may or may not receive, thus making it difficult for those that have legitimate claims to be taken seriously initially. I have witnessed this practice first-hand decades ago when a female employee found a male employee attractive and made it a point to prop her legs on his desk, wearing very provocative clothing despite the warnings from management. The day she was fired for insubordination, she filed a claim against the gentleman that due to no fault of his own lost his job based on the guilt by association factor much like policies used if two employees brawl.
Thankfully, these women are few in number and most are in entry-level positions and under the age of 35 on average according to some studies extracted from stats filed in states. Some of the basic practices for men would be to avoid touching any employee unless it is essential for their health or welfare. Even if the other employee may joke around and or flirt, understand that at any moment it could escalate into something more severe. Avoid yielding comments about gender or the woman’s attire, despite the temptation to compliment. Jokes are the quickest way to find yourself broke and unemployed.
If you encounter this type of woman in the work-place document the date, time, and place along with witnesses and ensure that they witnessed what has occurred. Refrain from any unnecessary dialogue or interactions with them if it is not directly work related. More professional types already understand what is and is not appropriate. For guys, your mouth and your hands are the two things that can get you fired in dealing with females. Whether you are offended or not by the actions she may do or say to you, present your case to a manager or human resources in order to protect yourself before it escalates. Usually, she will get a warning , but at least you have protected yourself and income.
As a man, you may want to keep things low-key to possibly have a chance at being with her or dating her, but you may want to advise her that the actions are inappropriate first before involving management or human resources. Remember, that a woman is easier to get than your reputation or money. And avoid dating this type of woman in the work-place because it is no telling how many other guys like her also and may do something foolish in her honor. One other common theme among women who do this is to relish in the jealousy among men within the office. Understand, that by denying the woman seeking your attention for one later that does not have to try so hard is your best bet, because her identity is not just on outward appearances.