The way my team at work is set up, we have a Team Leader (TL) who meets with our General Manager (GM) on a weekly basis, but we don't have much contact with GM. I personally dislike GM, but I'm always professional and friendly when we meet in the hall, show up at the same coffee station, etc. It's not that I think he's a bad person, he's just been yanking me around for years about my position here at work and I'm fed up pretending that it's ok with me. So I quietly stay out of his way and don't go out of my way to reveal too much about myself to him because he tends to gather pieces of personal information for use while he's running the business (so-and-so is going through a divorce, so they really need this job, so-and-so's spouse just got a better job so this person doesn't need as much money, eyc. etc.) I stopped having these personal discussions with him when he told me I was going to get a promotion, then never followed through. I got so disgusted I felt it would be better to stay away from him because then it's less likely I'll say something I'm going to regret. He's also extremely patronizing, trying to be everyone's buddy and making the admin team high-five him in the hallways, which I think shows that he thinks of us as kids. I am always friendly to him, but I quietly decline the high-five when I pass him in the hall.
My Team Leader is a different story. She is honest, supportive, and one of my biggest advocates when it comes to getting that position I have been gunning for. GM knows that we are close, so he has begun to question TL about me. He has twice now asked her if I am having problems with my husband.
While I did not expect him, clueless as he is, to make the connection between my hesitation to reveal my personal feelings and his inability to keep his promise, I think it borders on creating a hostile work environment to be probing about my marriage like that. Although I did respect the man at one point in my professional relationship with him, I never considered him a personal friend, and I bristle at the fact that he would ask such a personal question. Even if he did work up the nerve to ask me directly instead of weaseling around with my team leader, it's none of his business and I think he should know better. To me, it says two things: 1) He doesn't respect me enough to think I know when he's crossed a line and 2) he is in denial that the cause of the problem could be him.
I told my team leader that, if he asks again, to tell him that 1) I find that question unacceptably inappropriate and 2) if he wants to know something about me, he needs to come and ask me. What are your thoughts on the matter?