update about dealing with the rumor mill when your boss is having an affair

Remember the reader who was wondering about how to deal with loud rumors that her boss was having an affair with someone else in their company? Here’s her update.

I am writing in to give you an update on the boss who was having an affair. I’m the coworker who wanted to try and squash the rumors before they got out of control.

Well, it went well and then very badly! It went well because I tried your suggestions and my boss started acting more appropriately/discreetly after I mentioned my concerns and the rumors stopped as I gradually just stopped responding to any mention of them when they were brought up, and would say it wasn’t a good thing to talk about at work.

However, it went badly as I am currently writing to you on her last day as the boss of this department, and she showed up at 11 a.m. completely drunk! She found out she was transferring to another department a while ago and completely checked out almost immediately. Luckily, between myself and my coworkers, the department stayed organized, though she managed to make a lot of people angry before she finished her time here. I’m not sure why she decided to show up drunk on her last day, but at least it’s her last day, right? The worst part has been that we interviewed a candidate for a position today and my boss ran the interview. Needless to say, it did not go well.

In the end, this whole mess works out well for me because her transferring means I am stepping up into a new position that comes with a raise. And I suppose this will make for a funny story after it stops being mortifying to think about!

{ 21 comments… read them below }

  1. fposte*

    I feel a lot less bad for the boss now, anyway. And I’m glad the OP is going to move up!

  2. Katie in Ed*

    Even though she’s leaving, your description of your department sounds like it might be time for a new job.

  3. businesslady*

    I’m just trying to wrap my head around the idea of having a drunk interviewer–like, what would you even do as a candidate in that situation? “so what’s the culture here? work hard, play hard…heh heh?”

    1. Ann O'Nemity*

      I know, right?

      Frankly, I’d be tempted to just leave and withdraw my application. There’s no way in hell I’d want to work for that company.

      1. businesslady*

        although if you were a high-functioning alcoholic, you might be pretty excited…

    2. Jamie*

      I wonder if there was a round of weepy hugs while the drunk boss repeatedly said, “I love you, man…I totally love you.” Followed by a nap.

      Or maybe that’s just me when I’m drinking.

  4. Jennifer*

    Not that it excuses any of her behavior, but I wonder what is going on with this woman’s personal life? It definitely sounds like there are some issues going on there. I hope she works things out and doesn’t continue to spiral down.

  5. bemo12*

    I’m confused? She showed up to work drunk and wasn’t fired?

    Am I reading it wrong that she is internally transferring? And they still let her after a stunt like that?

    1. Katniss*

      Yup. Myself and a couple of coworkers reported her anonymously to HR but I don’t know if she got in any trouble.

      1. ThatHRGirl*

        Oh dear. It sounds like, at minimum, someone needs to offer this lady some EAP information! In my org though… she’d be canned pretty swiftly.

    2. Anonymous*

      You would be surprised how frequently bosses are allowed to get away with bad behavior. I had a boss who would get drunk at work functions. Repeteadly. In front of clients and important people. Was finally let go after more than half a dozen incidents, including one I reported because boss made me feel unsafe (was drunk, getting in my personal space). But it took nearly a year of awful incidents for them to fire this person.

  6. Dry White Whine*

    Wow! Not only showing up drunk, but interviewing as well.
    I would have loved being a fly on the wall for that!

    Pleease keep us updated OP, sounds like there must be a lot of underlying issues for a person to do that

  7. tangoecho5*

    I think she should be fired for showing up drunk at work. That’s totally unacceptable!

  8. Zee*

    Oh, if only the universe worked in a way in which Alison would receive a question about having a drunk interviewer today!

    1. ThatHRGirl*

      “My interviewer kept laughing hysterically throughout my interview, plus she wouldn’t take off her sunglasses and puked into a trashcan mid-question. Do you think I got the job??? When should I call to follow-up??” :)

  9. Anon*

    You know…sometimes it really isn’t anything deep going on with a person. The OP’s boss may just have a messy personal life and it eventually crept into the office. Having affairs, drinking too much and clearly not doing any work. I’m glad the OP got a promotion and doesn’t have to deal with this person and her issues anymore. And I agree, showing up to work wasted should get you canned right there on the spot.

    Sometimes the rumor mill is true…

  10. Runon*

    I really enjoy getting updates. They are always valuable. And occasionally entirely giggleworthy.

  11. saro*

    I had a meeting with a high-level (think head of an organization) and he was absolutely plastered. It was really uncomfortable since we were in a Muslim country at the time. Though he agreed to some things he clearly was not allowed to agree to, we joked later that we should’ve had the contract ready to sign at that initial meeting!

    I will not start on my rant of the lack of professionalism of non-locals in international development…

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