During a conference, everyone from the office stands together for a group photo, our boss stands somewhere on the sides lines, near to a very attractive female coworker.

A few people tell him not to stand on the sides lines but stand somewhere in the center, but then he points to this coworker and says "Its fine, I know where everyone will be looking at".

The coworker doesn't notice this conversation.

It's just someone calling someone beautiful behind their back, but at a workplace it felt weird to me.

Boss is late 50s and coworker is late 20s.

So was this just a harmless thing to say?

closed as primarily opinion-based by gnat, mxyzplk, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Strader, Retired Codger Nov 15 '18 at 12:54

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    @mxyzplk asking about whether a particular line of conversation is considered workplace appropriate sounds very much like it falls under the heading of "navigating the workplace" to me? – motosubatsu Nov 13 '18 at 13:39
  • @Joe Strazzere don't know I have just started working, it's my first job. – SamFlynn Nov 13 '18 at 23:03

This sounds like a thoughtless "joke" that fell flat and was not very appropriate for the workplace. If this woman (she's in her 20s, so no longer a girl) had heard the comment, it could have turned things awkward for her, especially because of the power difference between her and her boss.

It's not harmless per se because women often deal with comments that target their appearance. If it's a one-off occurrence, I would take it as an example of what not to do and otherwise not dwell on it. If it's a pattern, then there is a bigger problem in your workplace (but that's not the impression I got from your question).

  • Yeah that makes sense, I can see how it could make things awkward. – SamFlynn Nov 13 '18 at 23:05

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