Strip Joints, Salesmen and Employee Engagement

John (not his real name) read Fired Up or Burned Out and contacted me about a dilemma he faced.  John is a salesperson.  One evening following dinner with a customer, John’s boss said he was taking the customer and John to a strip joint.  John’s boss does this regularly and views it as a legitimate best practice among salespeople.  John’s wife learned about it and expressed her disappointment.  She also warned that if it happened again, she would leave him.  John understood her disgust.  He felt disappointed too.  John told me that frequenting strip clubs was against his values.  He also disclosed that he had little financial resources as well as a wife and several children to support, some of them in college.  He asked me for advice. What would you advise John to do?I told John that he should first find out if his boss’s supervisor would approve of taking customers to strip joints. If he would, John should start looking for another job somewhere else in the company as well as outside of it.   If his boss’s supervisor would not approve, John should approach his boss first and respectfully say that he would not agree to go along the next time.  He should document the details of this conversation in an email to himself.  If his boss retaliates, John should then take the matter to human resources as well as to John’s boss’s supervisor.  Are there other suggestions you would make to John?

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