04/23/2012 10:48 EDT

Quick Study: How To Avoid Awkward Situations With Your Boss


They're tucked away in corners behind clients and stacks of papers, writing down your every move or staring at the clock when you come in late. But bosses are human too, which means that every so often, you'll run into an embarrassing situation with them -- say, while using the washroom or when out with friends at a bar. This kind of behaviour isn't exactly laid out in the employee handbook, so how are you meant to handle it when such an encounter occurs?

Pat Stonehouse, founder and business etiquette expert of Advancing With Style in Toronto, says your boss and supervisor should always be treated and seen as a different type of employee.

"These are the people who decide if we get promoted, get a raise, go or stay. You also want to be respected by them, but ultimately they do have influence of where we go in the company," she says.

Here are 10 sometimes tricky and awkward situations with your boss and how to overcome them. Story continues below:

10 Awkward Situations With Your Boss

Business etiquette has come a long way, Stonehouse notes, and with the influence of social media in the workplace, employers and employees are starting to get too personal.

"We don't have to love them or like them, but when you go into an office, we should exhibit professional behaviour. Gossip is harmful and people who gossip all the time are not respectful for people's privacy," she says.

The Twitterverse is filled with descriptions of embarrassing employee-boss encounters (search "that awkward moment when" and you'll see what we mean):