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Nightmare boss makes employee share hotel room

A recent “Dear Amy” advice column contains a business travel-related letter that all of us could only hope is pure fiction. Get ready to wince …

A seasoned female employee wrote to advice columnist Amy Dickinson to discuss her boss, who is 20 years her junior. The boss, “Beth,” seems to have personal boundaries that are, let’s say, a little “different.”

First of all, Beth requires the woman to share a hotel room with her.

Just wait, it gets worse – much, much worse.

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In hotel rooms, the employee writes, Beth “will leave the bathroom door open while using the toilet and yelling comments to me (not even my husband does this).”

Beth also walks around the room in her thong and tries to discuss her dating and sex life with the woman while the woman attempts to hide under her covers and fall asleep.

Can you guess what happened when the woman asked for her own hotel room?

Beth told her that it wasn’t in the budget and that she had to control travel costs.

Beth is such a control freak over travel expenses that when she orders room service breakfast, she orders a single entree and pot of coffee and expects the employee to share the food.

(Don’t bother asking why Beth booked a room that offers room service, instead of a Residence Inn, Hampton Inn, Hyatt Place or Comfort Inn, where the rate includes breakfast. That would be too rational.)

The indignity never ends for this employee. The woman once tried to get around Beth’s food and money issues. She writes:

“I made the in-room coffee and said that gave us a little extra money to work with and I would like to get my own breakfast, but she said she did not like the in-room coffee. I would rather go out to a less expensive coffee shop and order what I choose to eat, but I am locked into her preferences. She once suggested I should stay with her brother when I traveled to another city in order to save money. I refused. (Oh, did I mention she bought a million-dollar home this year?)”

Amy Dickinson tells the woman that her “boss sounds like a nightmare,” and that she should find another job.

Dickinson also tells the woman that she should research Beth’s behavior starting with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website,, because it seems to rise to the level of legally actionable.

Beth has created the very definition of a “hostile work environment,” Dickinson writes.

Readers: Want to chime in on this one?

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