ASK HR: He’s threatening to send shameful photos of me to my boss!
6 days ago, 04:00
Q. A couple of weeks ago, a few friends and I went for a three-day getaway at the Coast. While there, we were invited to a house party by some people we met while holidaying and I had a little too much to drink and behaved in a way I am ashamed of. A week ago, someone contacted me and told me that he had damning photos of me that he would send to my boss if I did not pay him Sh300,000. I don’t have such money – how do I handle this since I want to keep my job?
This person is using guilt and fear to control you so you need to consider your options very carefully.
Sadly, all options you have will have consequences, and you will have to decide what risk you are willing to take.
It would be good to check at this early stage if your friends may have received similar demands, or if it is only you who is targeted. If they have, reason together and agree on the most appropriate action to take.
I see three options that you could consider: to pay, confide in your boss, or involve law enforcers.
If you choose to pay, you have to worry about three things. Since, as you say, you do not have this kind of money, borrowing to pay a blackmailer is not a good idea.
Two, there is no assurance that more demands will not be made on the same evidence. There is every likelihood they may retain copies that can be used to extort more money from you.
Three, ascertain that indeed the said photos do exist, otherwise you may end up being conned.
Your second option is to risk your career and talk to your boss. Obviously, you and your friends made wrong judgment to socialise with strangers and loose yourselves in their company, however, the holiday spirit has the tendency to tempt one to be carefree, so your employer may be sympathetic over your situation.
However, if the said photos pose a huge risk to the company, you will find yourself out of a job. Once you get a new one, there is the possibility that your blackmailer may play the same card.
Your third option is to involve law enforcers to have the blackmailers apprehended and prosecuted. For this to be possible, you need to preserve every evidence you have to build a strong case that can lead to prosecution.
Your situation reminds me of this statement – “When you are happy, you enjoy the music, when you are sad, you understand the lyrics.”
I truly sympathise with your situation, but I am sure that you are wiser now.
Do you have a question? Send it to our team: [email protected]
As custodians of HR policies, the HR office has the authority to intervene in such matters.
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