update about the former co-worker who wanted the CEO to sponsor her party

Remember the reader whose former coworker wanted to throw a party, invite most of her old coworkers but exclude a handful of people, have the CEO pay for it, and create t-shirts promoting the party for people to wear to work? Here’s her update. And it’s … weird.

I contacted my friend again to tell her that I didn’t feel comfortable with the t-shirts and exclusionary piece of the party. She responded terribly and was really, really rude to me. I was able to see how selfish and ridiculous she was being for the first time. Nonetheless, I was taken aback by how she responded, and I didn’t reply to the barrage of nasty texts that she sent me. The next day, she apologizes for being “harsh.” I tell her I appreciate the apology but don’t know how I want to address the other nonsense. Then, she goes psycho again and basically says that we just don’t need to talk anymore and all she’s done was “respect my opinion.” I was able to see how clearly she did NOT respect my response or thoughts. I never responded to her “cutting me off.” Ten minutes later, she replied to an email I sent a week or so prior with details for a possible trip the two of us could take to say the trip couldn’t happen right now. I just laughed and thought mean things about her to myself. I had a chance to process everything and wasn’t upset this time around because I was exposed to her strangeness, and I felt I’d make the perfect decision to stop talking to her.

Two weeks pass without any word from her, and I was fine with it. Then, because of how small our network is, she hears that I was offered a new job and calls me to congratulate. Of course, I ignore the call. She then texts me to say that she wanted to wish me well and I tell her thank you. The next day, she texts me again (and this is the start of the unexpected), to say that she’s decided not to host the party. She says that after some deep thinking and reflection, she gets that it would be inappropriate for her to do and that she just needs to take this time to heal and accept she’s not part of that workplace anymore. I was actually impressed by this realization but still pretty intent on not continuing a friendship with her.

Then I check my old work email to tie up lose ends there and update some of my contacts to my new email address. What do I see (see attachment)?  An email to all staff publicizing this party (yay) from the very woman that my friend told me wanted to keep it “exclusive.” I laugh to myself again because it’s so unbelievable.

So I won’t be going to the party after all…. since I get that I don’t work for that company anymore…which incidentally is what started this jazz in the first place. So that’s that. End of story.

{ 68 comments… read them below }

  1. fposte

    Okay, we may have beat out the team of dietitians being removed by security. This is amazing stuff.

      1. lindsay

        There should be some sort of AAM-March Madness brackets to see who has the craziest story. I’d vote in that.

  2. Josh S

    Dysfunctional much? Yikes!

    Sorry to hear that you’ve (seemingly) lost a friendship, OP. But I hope you end up happier for it in the long run. The host of this party seems like quite the piece of work. :)

    Thanks for the update!

  3. MeganO

    Woooooowww. Agree with Josh S – sorry to hear you’ve probably lost a friendship, but I think/hope it will overall be a positive change. This will be a great story to tell in the future. Yikes.

    Good luck with your new job! Wishing you tons less drama!

    1. Laura L

      Same. Ending a friendship sucks, but it sounds like you’ll be much better off in the long run without her in your life!

  4. Elizabeth

    My jaw was in the basement with the first posting about this party. It has since moved to the sub-sub-sub basement! Karma will catch up with this woman at some point in time…

    How about having the dietitians crash the party? :)

    1. Heather P.

      ha! The dietitians crash the party and start criticizing what everyone’s eating and handing out business cards

  5. Rana

    Wow. And, OP, I’m sorry you had to find out about her real personality the hard way, but I’m glad you have a sense of humor about the whole thing. And congrats on the new job!

    1. EM

      Indeed. Good for you. I had an online friend that I “knew” for a couple of years before she absolutely went cray-cray. She basically lied about a lot of things and was caught in a really awful one in the end. Luckily, since she was an online acquaintance, it was fairly easy to block all communication with her. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to break of a friendship with someone in a small network. You did the right thing, even though it was difficult.

  6. Just a Reader

    Wha…? Who sends an email inviting “All Staff” to a party when they don’t actually work there? So weird.

  7. OP

    Oh….to clarify….this invite is from a woman, let’s call her Sharon, who still currently works there. I mentioned her because –according to Crazy Clara–it was Sharon’s fault the party was closed. CC kept saying “I’d love to keep it open but Sharon really said let’s not do that.” So…. when CC steps down as host and Sharon takes over, the first thing Sharon did was open party to all staff. It just showed me that my friend was lying to me the entire time.

    1. Catherine

      Just…wow. Thanks for updating us, OP. I have experienced friends like this before, and you made the right decision. Good luck with your new job!

    1. Pretty Poe

      Hey now, don’t be painting us personality disorder folks with the brush of crazy people like this. Some people are petty, mean, weird, and self-centered to the exclusion of all else. This does not mean they are legitimately mentally ill.

      Sorry to jump on you, but comments like this are what add to the stigma surrounding mental illness. Unless you have some serious education to back that statement, it doesn’t help.

      1. Heather P.

        aaand this is why I usually include a disclaimer. No offense was meant. I am genuinely sorry you were offended. I should have just used other synonyms. But I chose poorly in this one instance and of course, it backfired.

      2. EngineerGirl

        Actually, having a sister with BPD, it does sound like a personality disorder. “I hate you, don’t leave me” and “Walking on eggshells” are two great books for people that can’t sever the connection.

        Btw, there was no friendship to lose. It just had the initial appearance of it.

        1. Moi

          Yes. I am not a medical professional but I had a close friend with BPD and my as well who is no longer a friend because she chose not to take her medication or regularly drank on it and wound up being abusive toward me and completely unpredictable most of the time .
          What struck me about the OP’s former “friend” were the sudden extremes in her behaviour.
          I’m not trying to stereotype all people into one box. If it is well-managed people can lead healthy productive lives unlike my friend at that time.

  8. karenb

    I wonder who is funding and will there still be t-shirts?? And OP I’m glad things worked out well for you overall.

  9. Anonymous

    Wait, I’m confused. Who sent the party invite? Was it the friend who told the OP she wasn’t going to host the party after all? Or was it someone else? Who’s actually hosting the party?

    1. fposte

      It was the OP’s Then-Friend who initially wanted to host the party. Then-Friend blamed her cohost Other Colleague for the exclusive policy, saying it’s what Other Colleague insisted on. Now Other Colleague has, in what I suspect to be a master stroke, hosted the party on her own with none of the exclusions Then Friend claimed OC insisted on.

      If I were really good, I’d make a chart–it would be an epic chart.

    1. Marie

      Yeah, attend the party and see if someone ends up with a restraining order, like the dieticians!

  10. Blinx

    OP, thanks for the update. Glad you were finally exposed to CC’s craziness.

    Could we request another update, say around Sept. 2? Please???

  11. Kelly O

    When I read this, all I could think was, “bitches be crazy.”

    I don’t know why, exactly. But it feels right.

  12. Another anon

    I’ve been waiting for weeks for this update, so thanks to the OP! I’m a little sorry the final product didn’t include t-shirts, though. I was really looking forward to that.

  13. Wth?

    My first thought is that this could not have been a real company. It sounds like the kind of thing where a couple buddies get together and form a business, hire a few people, treat the whole operation like a social club, and abide by none of the conventions of a normal workplace. Insane.

      1. Pretty Poe

        Could be in higher ed…I’ve worked in it and there are some pretty interesting characters!

        1. Jamie

          It was some atypical type of school with a CEO instead of a Principal.

          I’m pretty sure the students were kids, IIRC.

          1. Emily, admin extraordinaire

            My guess is it’s a charter school. They often have CEOs or Executive Directors. I know because I just updated my contacts list with a slew of new ones. :P

  14. bemo12

    I completely called it in my post on the original. I said wait until you do something she doesn’t like and she will go crazy.

  15. Zee

    This can’t be made up!

    But I know what it’s like to lose a friend in a situation in which if you show any disagreement with plans, they let loose this crazy selfish persona you never knew they had and the friendship ends up on life support. I let one die once, and even with the ignoring, the person, like Crazy Clara, kept on trying to make contact. It’s sad that they are like that, but it keeps us sane when we stay away from them.

    Congratulations and good luck on the new job!

  16. Liz

    1) Love, love the graphic.

    2) The time to realize that someone is mean and probably not a good friend is when you see that person being mean and not a good friend to someone else. Not when that meanness finally, inevitably is dumped on you. If everyone could just get this, the mean people wouldn’t have the support they need to implement their ridiculous, childish schemes. Please stop the enabling at a point when it could make a difference for someone else. It’s being a good citizen.

    1. AN

      +1

      When someone starts that system of multiple contacts like the OP mentioned just to get you to respond to them because they don’t feel you appreciate their ‘genius’ it is time to back away and remove them from your life.

      I’m sad to say I lost a very good friend because of this however a whole group of us were left very very low due to her antics. I typed up a whole other paragraph here about it spiraling out of control and involving a much larger circle and the attempts to ruin our reputations in other matters but it was too detailed. I’ll leave it at this: ” It got real messy and one of the group is still trying to shake of a potential legal situation because of it”.

      Not all of them will sink to this level but ultimately you can’t know which until it happens and then its too late. Protect yourself!

      1. EngineerGirl

        Yes. There is absolute over the top retaliation when you draw boundaries. The lying in incredible. I used to get soooo upset by it. But at one point realised that she would retaliate to the point where others noticed. And they did. But the in between time was hell. Because people kept blaming me for it.

        The worst part is that they don’t take ownership of their actions. When they harm, they think they did a 2 to you when in reality they did a 7. If you complain they act like you are crazy.

        One of the most empowering days of my life came when I wrote the letter that said I would no longer be supporting her financially and that she was on her own. I showed it to both sides of the family before I sent it (so they knew what I was doing). With the support of my family, I was able to move forward. And enforcing those boundaries were good for her too – she actually started taking ownership of her life.

    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      “The time to realize that someone is mean and probably not a good friend is when you see that person being mean and not a good friend to someone else. Not when that meanness finally, inevitably is dumped on you.”

      Yes. Thanks for saying this — it’s a point that I think might have been lost in the weirdness of the OP’s update and the amusement of the graphic.

      You call people out for being a bully when you see them do it to others, and it’s too bad that didn’t happen here.

    3. Laura L

      Yes! Thank you, Liz. I agree 100%.

      I know it can be an ego boost to be friends with (or date) someone who is mean to other people, but nice to you (I’ve done it before), but in the long run, it’s not a good idea for either you or the people the friend is bullying.

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