my wife had an affair with her manager, being underweight in job interviews, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. My manager refused to back me up when a coworker complained about me

I had a minor disagreement with a colleague about a couple bucks worth of candy. There was some being handed out in the office over Easter, and I wanted to take some to leave for the cleaners, which my colleague disagreed with me doing and sent a really rude and disrespectful email to a group of people (me included), mocking my suggestion to include the cleaners, which I responded to by saying he was being rude and arrogant.

As far as was concerned, the disagreement was stupid and over and done with. He then went to my boss complaining about my email, stretching the truth and exaggerating what had happened. My boss then spoke to me and told me that while I’d done nothing wrong and they agreed with my sentiment, my email had caused some offence and in no way was I being penalized for my actions, but to keep the peace she had told the guy who complained that I would be spoken to.

Now I’m annoyed with my boss, and think she should have told the guy complaining that it was a petty complaint and unfounded so there was no reason for me to be spoken to. I think it’s really unfair that my boss privately approved of my actions and then publicly criticized me. Do you think I’m being unreasonable in expecting my boss to stand up for me rather than hang me out to dry when by her own assessment of the situation I’d done nothing wrong? It really bothered me that a higher priority was put on keeping the peace than being honest and straightforward about the situation. If I had been in the wrong, I would have no expected her to back me up.

Yes. Your boss sucks and needs to learn how to take a stand and be direct with people. Either she doesn’t think you deserve a reprimand, in which case she shouldn’t have told your coworker that you were getting one, or she does think that you do (which is why she told your coworker she’d talk to you) and needs to be able to bring herself to tell YOU that. Now you know that your boss isn’t always able to say things that she thinks people won’t want to hear, which might not be a huge deal in this particular context, but can be a huge weakness if it surfaces more broadly.

(That said, calling your coworker rude and arrogant wasn’t the best move — and that’s especially true if it was in a group email. So no one here is behaving impeccably, although your coworker and your manager both made bigger errors.)

2. Is being underweight turning off interviewers?

I’ve been aggressively job searching since January. I’ve had lots of interviews, but no offers. I don’t usually make it past the first in-person interview (I actually just had my first 2nd interview for a job I really want last week though and am waiting to hear back, fingers crossed!). Anyway, in trying to figure out what’s been holding me back, I’ve had a few people suggest that it could be my appearance, specifically my weight. I’m 5’3 and around 87-88 lbs. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder since I was 12 but it’s pretty under control right now and I’m healthier (physically and mentally) than I’ve been in years. The people who have suggested that this might be an issue in interviews are saying that because I’m noticeably very underweight and even unhealthy looking (I don’t see this), employers might be hesitant to hire me. The thing is though, the people who are telling me this KNOW about my eating disorder; I’m not convinced an interviewer who doesn’t know this about me would guess it just by my appearance… for all they know I could just be naturally thin.

I go out of my way to ensure that I present myself in a very professional way, recently paying extra money to have interview clothes tailored to fit, for example. I’ve also come a long way in my recovery process and I’d like to think I’m not being discriminated against simply due to my weight. I guess I’m just curious if this is actually something hiring managers would pick up on and be wary of? And if it is, is there anything else I can do to help employers see that any concerns they may have are unwarranted?

Hmmm, it’s so hard to say without actually seeing you, but I do think that it’s possible that you look thin enough that people would be concerned about your well-being and it’s making them uncomfortable … but it’s also possible that it’s more about how you’re interviewing, since that’s something plenty of people struggle with. It also could be something like a confidence issue, if you feel uneasy about your appearance and it’s coming through as a general lack of confidence. Is there anyone you trust to give you an unbiased read?

(Also, congrats on your progress in recovery!)

3. My bosses haven’t acknowledged that I’m leaving

It has been a week since my manager sent out an email to my team informing them that I would be pursuing an opportunity outside of the company, and that my last day would be in two weeks. My bosses, who sit in offices right outside my cubicle, have not congratulated me or wished me luck, or anything of the sort. I got along with these bosses quite well. On my last day, if my bosses still haven’t said anything to me, do I need to copy them on my “final goodbye” email, or stop by their offices to say goodbye? I feel snubbed that they have not even acknowledged my departure.

They suck for not acknowledging that you’re leaving, but take the high road and say goodbye to them and tell them how much you enjoyed working there (whether or not you did) before you go, because it’s in your best interests to maintain good relationships with them (for future references and networking, as well as because of the fact that people sometimes pop up later in your work life in ways you don’t expect).

4. My wife had an affair with her manager

My wife is a server at a restaurant, which I would say it’s a pretty big name to in California. I recently found out that she was having an affair with a manager that lasted 6 months. I actually asked him to leave the restaurant before I went to tell their Human Resources that he was having sex with my wife, because they have rules against sleeping with employees, but he felt that I was menacing him and went and told HR himself. All I wanted is for my wife to be able to go back to work and be able to provide for herself and our kids. Because of this situation, she demoted herself to working during the day, because she not comfortable working around him. If their number one rule for managers is not to sleep with employees, shouldn’t they transfer him or fire him for breaking the rules?

They should take some sort of disciplinary action, yes, but that doesn’t always mean firing or transferring someone. It’s entirely possible that he was disciplined but you’re not aware of it (since that’s not information they should be sharing). Regardless, though, focusing on what happens with this guy isn’t really your concern; your relationship with your wife is, and that’s where you should be focusing. (And I’m sorry.)

5. I can’t get my application released for a different role

I applied to teach in a school district that I’ve previously worked for, since I’m moving back to the area. I was well liked and had a strong record of improving student achievement. During my phone screen, the talent recruiter asked if I might be interested in joining the talent recruitment team. She convinced me to apply. I had 4 interviews that went well and was told by the superintendent that I was their choice. I sent thank-you notes and they asked for my references (who I’ve used in the past and had no problems with).

Three weeks have passed, and I’ve sent 3 follow-up emails, which have all been ignored. I assume they chose another candidate, but the problem is they are talent recruitment and I can only get placed in a teaching job through them. I can’t apply for other positions in the district because my original teaching application was pulled for the recruiter position. I very kindly emailed the recruiter to let him know that I understood if they choose another candidate but needed a response or for them to release my application, but they just keep ignoring my emails! I’m really stuck – what should I do?

How frustrating. I’m not a fan of calling rather than emailing when checking on an application, but in this case, calling might be a more direct way of solving this. Call, and leave a message if you don’t get a live person. Your message should not talk about the status of your application for this job (since they’ve apparently decided to ignore those queries) but instead says something like, “I’m very interested in being considered for a teaching role, and hoped you could help me get my application for a talent role back into consideration for teaching.” If you get get ahold of your contact there and she doesn’t return your calls, then see if you can get a live person elsewhere in that department and explain the problem you’re having.

Alternately, if none of that works: You used to work in this school district, so presumably you still have contacts there. Is one of them well-positioned to intervene in this BS for you? That might be a more effective route if they continue being unresponsive.

{ 209 comments… read them below }

  1. Chriama*

    #4 — It really sucks that your wife had an affair, but you still shouldn’t intervene in her workplace. Either it was between 2 consenting adults, in which case it’s on your wife to request a transfer for herself or the manager, or he somehow bribed/threatened/coerced her into sleeping with him. You would only be justified in intervening in the second situation if your wife feels uncomfortable asserting herself, and in that case a strongly worded letter from a lawyer implying there you might pursue a case for sexual harassment (or coercion or assault) if they don’t transfer the guy would go much further than a phone call from an angry husband.

    Seriously though, your wife is an adult and this is her workplace. Unless anything truly illegal happened her, it’s not your place to interfere.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I would even add that even if the wife feels uncomfortable asserting herself, it’s still not the OP’s place to do it for her. He can be a support for her and encourage her to assert herself/support her when she does, but even then, he shouldn’t be handling it on her behalf.

      OP, tough as this is, your role here is confined to dealing with your wife and marriage; it doesn’t extend to dealing with her workplace.

      1. Ruffingit*

        Absolutely agreed! The OP said he wanted to ensure that his wife could continue to work so she could support herself and the kids. If he’s looking at divorce and wants her to have a livelihood, I get that, but this is not the way to go about it. He needs to concentrate on the marriage and the outcome he’s looking for there, not what his wife does in her workplace. How she chooses to handle the situation is on her. The OP could easily set himself up for harassment charges from the manager/affair partner if he continues to get in that guy’s face.

  2. Jessa*

    I agree, it really isn’t on for the spouse to physically intervene by going to the workplace. Maybe if the wife felt threatened and asked to be picked up or taken to work, but that should be the end of it. It’s not on to be talking to HR or trying to have the guy fired. Nowhere in the OP does it say that the wife was coerced or anything. Now it could be so, but you’d think that would be front and centre in the discussion if it was. Also if the manager thought he was being menaced, the OP was probably in high dudgeon.

  3. Elle*

    #1 – I have to say that whilst I think that it’s nice to be generous, I think it’s always a bit questionable when you being generous with other people’s money/things. I don’t love the visual of one co-worker trying to force other co-workers into “charity”. In that situation, you graciously suggest and – if not – you drop it. It’s rude to do anything else. If you think the company should gift candy to the cleaners, either speak to a manager or buy it yourself.

    Also, nowhere in the post does the LW actually acknowledge that sending a group email to a co-worker calling him arrogant and rude is extremely unprofessional and really not normal behavior. The only people I’ve ever worked with who actually sent “call-out” emails were wildly immature with hair trigger tempers and were so childish, and honestly a bit crazy, that it makes me slightly doubtful of how much her co-worker was truly exaggerating or how much the LW has to be “managed” or “calmed down” by her boss. Because this letter doesn’t exactly cover her in glory. And I think she got an extremely soft ride from Allison (maybe because of the charity angle?). Because this is not just “not impeccable” behavior.

    1. Elle*

      And how much could the co-worker exaggerate when there was an EMAIL trail? Since both of them were… unwise enough to have this discussion over group email, I find the LW’s story to be a bit suspect.

      1. Ruffingit*

        I don’t know, could be the co-worker said things like “So after the group email exchange, she cornered me in the hallway and got in my face yelling at me…”

        There are any number of things he could have said to the boss that exaggerated the story. In any case, I tend to agree with your assessment overall though, being generous with other people’s money/things and participating in name calling over email doesn’t make the OP look good at all.

        1. Fish Microwaver*

          I read it that the candy had been left for the staff (possibly by a client or manager) and the LW was putting some aside for the cleaners. In that situation, it was a nice thing to do, as cleaners and other out of hours workers often miss out on loot of this kind.

          1. OP #1*

            That’s what I was trying to do, the firm had brought some candy for everyone in the office and I’m often at work late enough to see the cleaners coming in to work I thought it might be nice for them to have some they’re not often included in things the office does

            1. Koko*

              I think that’s a lovely gesture and I can’t believe your coworker got so territorial over the candy as to begrudge the people who keep your office looking great. Especially with their usual late evening hours, those folks’ contributions to the workplace tend to get overlooked.

      2. OP #1*

        We had a conversation in person first and then my coworker sent an email to the group, so not all the history was on the email.

    2. OP #1*

      Please don’t misunderstand, I know my email was childish and foolish. The firm brought candy for everyone to share I made a suggestion once to include the cleaners and left it at that, so I wast trying to be overly generous with some one else’s money, it’s not something I would have taken to one of the managers I’d have been to embarrassed to take such stupid issue to them! when they’ve got a firm to run.

      My boss took the view that my coworkers email was more offensive than mine and sent first (so provoked me), also the complaint was over the top, as she overheard some of the conversation we had so knew most of what had gone on.

      I dislike the contracdiction in the handling of this, which is what I was asking Alison to comment on, I wasn’t sure if I was missing something in think that she should have been consistent and not presented a different outcome to both me and my coworker.

      1. BCW*

        Here is my problem with the “provoked” angle you seem to be taking. Its not like he said something to you and then had a snap reaction and said something you wanted to take back. You read it, then typed out an email (and probably read it over before sending it). Therefore it was more of a pre-meditated reaction, not a knee jerk reaction to being provoked. You seem to be playing a martyr here, when in my opinion you were just as wrong as him, maybe more

        1. OP #1*

          I know My behaviour was foolish, I don’t expect anyone to look at my actions or his and think that was a good way to behave,

          but my boss tells me after hearing both me and him out about the situation she did not think the complaint was justified and my coworker created the problem. What I don’t understand is why tell me that and tell him something else?

          As for being provoked I read the email was irritated and sent a 1 line response, not a full on rebuttle of his email, the whole thing took maybe 30 seconds to type and send so I didn’t think to hard about it.

          1. fposte*

            That right there will get you–firing off irritated emails without thinking about it is a recipe for co-worker strife. Learning to drop the tug-of-war rope is one of the best skills you can develop in the workplace.

            Yeah, your manager shouldn’t have said something different to your co-worker than to you (or at least shouldn’t have told you she did); I’m not liking her lack of spine. Consider also the possibility that she was similarly mollifying to your co-worker and doesn’t consider you blameless either, which would mean it’s not as simple as “she’s on your side but won’t admit it.”

            So you’ve learned a couple of things: no immediate angry emails no matter how justified you feel; and your boss is a wuss.

            1. some1*

              “Learning to drop the tug-of-war rope is one of the best skills you can develop in the workplace.”

              in all aspects of life! I know I struggle with it.

              1. Contessa*

                Yes, absolutely. This is one of the most useful things I have learned at work–when to just shut up. I used to email myself into corners, or get myself so angry I couldn’t concentrate on other work projects.

                When I get an email that makes me furious, now I take around 30 minutes to consider a response. I go through drafts in my head, and inevitably, draft 5 is much more professional and productive than draft 1. If there is no response that doesn’t border on an ad hominum attack*, I don’t say anything.

                *The caveat is blatantly unprofessional and unethical behavior that can have legal ramifications. If opposing counsel edits a proposed contract, signs the edited version, and sends it back to me without highlighting the changes (for example), you can bet I’ll have something to say about that.

                1. Elizabeth West*

                  I write drafts in Notepad, where there is no chance I can accidentally hit Send (or hit it on purpose but then regret it later). I learned that the hard way in my personal life, with a Facebook message. :P

          2. Malissa*

            Here’s a work place rule that applies in your situation. If someone does something that ends up being a big pile of stink, the last thing you ever want to do is get involved in that stink in anyway, because the minute you touch it, the stink is on you.
            Always best to side-step the pile and continue on your way.

            1. OP #1*

              That’s a good point, I should have kept my mouth shut and he would have looked foolish, but now its reflected badly on me.

              1. KrisL*

                If it helps, your co-worker looked worse and was more of a jerk, but don’t send an angry e-mail. You can vent a little to your co-workers if you have to, but don’t send the e-mail.

      2. Not So NewReader*

        I have seen bosses use this technique of appearing to have a conversation with the offending party and they don’t reprimand the offending party at all.

        I suspect the boss has no idea how to handle the situation and that is what they end up doing instead.

        The problem is that this lays the ground work for the next go-around because everyone “knows” for certain that they each won the last go-around.

        One of your take aways from this is when the boss says she will speak to someone regarding a matter, you can’t be certain of that.

        Your idea was very kind, OP. But you work with sugar addicts that must have their sugar. I suggest the next time you have a generous idea like that you just bring it to the boss and let the boss make the decision then she can inform the group.

    3. KAZ2Y5*

      Candy was brought for the employees. Saving some for the janitorial staff/evening shift is not “charity”, it is sharing with all the employees. And even if the janitorial staff is from a cleaning service, calling this charity really rubs me the wrong way.

      I will admit I take this personally because I am writing this while working the night shift. There have been too many times when I have been forgotten, or only gotten leftover because people don’t see us and forget we are here. Just because you are talking about the janitorial staff and/or someone who clocks in after 5pm, doesn’t mean it’s charity to give them something meant for all the employees.

      1. Kelly L.*

        This. They are also employees of the business, especially if they are directly employed by the same company.

      2. Chinook*

        I too am offended that the idea of leaving a portion of a staff gift, the candy, would be considered charity. What is your definition of staff if it isn’t people who work for the company? Do you think that the position of custodian is given benevolently to those who can’t do better? The reality is that it is a thankless job done outside of business hours that is necessary to work in a hygienic environment and they deserve to be included in whatever else is given to staff?

        1. Dan*

          Honestly, yeah, its actually hard to get those kinds of service jobs if your resume indicates you can do better.

          They think you are over qualified and will move on to the next best thing ASAP.

          Staff = W2 employees of the company signing their paycheck. My company utilizes the services of a company featured on Undercover Boss for all maintenance and cleaning of our three interconnected buildings. Them folk are most certainly employees of that company, not mine.

          1. a*

            Yes, I’m confused by this. I thought most janitorial staff were outsourced from another company, not typically employees themselves.

            1. Kelly L.*

              There’s no one way it’s done. Where I work now, the custodial staff are W-2-getting, officially-working-here employees of the same institution. My other long-term office job was the same. Other than that, I’ve worked a lot of small businesses that had one or two custodians and they were also hired by the “main” company and not contractors.

            2. Jessa*

              Still, something cheap like candy is a nice thing to share. I’ve been a contractor (white collar labour) and basically been told to sit there whilst W-2 employees got parties and things. I get that companies might not want to give logowear to non employees, but they brought in cupcakes from a cupcake company and told us Temp Staff that no we can’t have any.

              It’s a nice gesture to leave some for the incredibly hard working janitorial staff. It’s good corporate citizenship to do so. They’re people too. You can’t include them in EVERYTHING the company pays for but sheesh, candy? Why the heck not.

              Three years later I still wouldn’t recommend working for the company that did that to us temps. Because if they’re that cheap/nitpicky (they’re a humongous multinational with billions in profits, they’re not some two person joint,) I don’t even want to know what else they cheap out on. We’re talking less than a dozen cupcakes here. There were maybe 10 of us.

              1. hayling*

                That sucks. I can see maybe not inviting temps to off-site events, but being stingy on cupcakes doesn’t benefit anyone.

                1. Pennalynn Lott*

                  I once worked as a contractor for Microsoft. There was a huge, very clear, very distinct line drawn between employees and contractors, and the two sides never mixed. This was because, in the past, a contractor had sued Microsoft because they had been treated like an employee (invited to departmental lunches & Free Pizza Fridays, and the like) but not compensated by Microsoft like an employee.

                  So, while I was there, even little things like joining MS employees at the foosball or air hockey tables when you needed a break was a huge No-No. We definitely weren’t allowed to share cupcakes or anything else, either. It wasn’t personal, it was just a very strict reading of labor law.

          2. Chinook*

            I am still hung up on thinking that giving candy to custodial staff would be considered as charity by someone. To me “charity” has the conotation of doing something to help someoen who should be grateful for the help because they needed it. Candy should not be used for charity and custodial staff are not charity cases who were given a job because no one else needed it or earned it. This is as legit a job as any other out there and they earn their money fair and square.

        2. Ruffingit*

          Yes, I think they do deserve to be included. I read it (and I’m assuming Elle did as well) that one of the co-workers was handing out candy, not the company itself. The OP only said “candy was handed out” so it wasn’t clear by whom. If it was a co-worker doing it, then that person gets to decide who gets it. If it’s the company, then yeah everyone should get it. I think the majority of people would likely agree the janitorial staff should get candy in this situation. This is not an argument about “well, the janitors don’t DESERVE it.” My mother cleaned offices after hours and I helped her for years when I was a young child and a teenager. I know the thankless job that is. This is more about who does the candy belong to as that person gets the decision in who gets it.

          1. fposte*

            Yes, I was thinking of it as organizational candy. If it was an individual’s candy and that individual objected to it (it wasn’t your co-worker himself who brought in the candy, was it?) that’s another matter. In that case, you just leave your own candy for maintenance or buy some for them.

      3. Dan*

        I’m going to stick my neck out and say that contract staff aren’t employees. They just aren’t. I’ve been the night shift guy and a contractor, so I’ve BTDT. And I’ve never worked for a place where the janitorial folk aren’t from a cleaning service…

        1. Harper*

          I work for a place right now where the janitorial staff are every bit as much employees of the company as I am. So, it is the way some places are structured.

        2. fposte*

          Sure, but here we’re talking candy, not 25% of profits. Let’s forgo an extra Twix and share a little regardless of contractual standing.

        3. KAZ2Y5*

          I can see not leaving any candy if they are a cleaning service–although I would still think it was a nice gesture. It was the charity bit that really offended me. And to be honest, I have only worked one place (in all my jobs) where the cleaning staff came from a service. Of course, I work in a hospital and our contract staff are drs and nurses!
          And to bring this back on topic I totally agree with Allison. While no one behaved perfectly in this situation, the OP has much less dirt on them than anyone else in the story!

        4. Liz in a Library*

          FWIW, my last three jobs all had janitorial staff that were employees of my company, not of a contracted service.

        5. Mike C.*

          I’m going to stick my neck out and say you should treat those people with the same respect you treat any other employee. I’ve “BTDT” as well, and that’s a terrible way to treat people. They’re human beings making your business run, treat them as such.

        6. some1*

          So should the temp sitting in the cube next to you be disqualified from sharing in the candy as well if he’s also a contrctor? That seems petty.

          1. Judy*

            I was several times excluded from some events and perks (lunches, ice cream sundae treats, swag mugs, etc) because I was a “corporate” employee, and didn’t report through the local chain of command. Is it so important to differentiate that the 20 of us who work for corporate are different than the other 500 of you? And it was done with such class. All site email invitation, with a separate one sent to us later, hey, we really didn’t mean you were invited.

            1. Koko*

              Your situation kind of reminds me of poor Toby in the Office – stuck back in the annex by himself and nobody wanting to socialize with him because he worked for corporate!

          2. Dan*

            I could care sless that the op is talking about candy. Its *candy*. But to generalize the question, should the contractor in the next cube be disqualified from certain events because he is a contractor? Absolutely.

            I’ve been a contractor, and was excluded from the summer picnic. My boss gave me a “friends and family” pass. I went. I thought the exclusion was dumb if you were going to invite other outside parties.

            I don’t do contract work if I can avoid it because of the “second class citizen” treatment.

            1. Liz in a Library*

              It seems like a good solution on the employer’s side is to make a real effort to not treat contractors as if they were second class citizens…

            2. RG*

              The employer has to be careful about treating employees and contractors the same, though. Because if you treat them the same, then they start to be considered employees, rather than contractors and that has implications for employment, tax, and employee benefit laws.

              And yes, that includes things like getting invited to the company picnic.

      4. BCW*

        I think it depends on the company. My company contracts out or janitorial work. So I don’t really think of them as employees of the company. Now when I was a teacher, yes, the maintenance staff was definitely part of the staff. I don’t think its very clear which instance this is.

        1. Heather*

          I don’t really see what difference it makes. Whether the cleaning is done by a service or employees, suggesting the candy be shared was a kind thought and would have made me think more highly of the OP.

          1. BCW*

            Yes its a nice thought, but I’m just saying why the co-worker may have not thought sharing was necessary. Most people in my office NEVER see the cleaning staff. So, since they are out of sight and out of mind, plus not even really a part of our company, I don’t think someone is selfish for not including them in company perks.

            1. Zillah*

              I’d probably agree in general… but we’re not talking about a gym membership or a percentage of the profits, we’re talking about a few candy bars, you know? It’s a gesture that costs you next to nothing but would likely be quite appreciated by the cleaning staff.

            2. Vicki*

              Why do we care about the motivations of the co-worker?
              I can’t imagine any “reason” for not sharing with the cleaning staff that warrants even a comment, let alone email to a group of co-workers.

          2. Chinook*

            I am beginning to wonder what line I once crossed when I gave our regular bike courier one of the leftover muffins from a lunch meeting (from the leftovers staff often get to have). Ironically, as receptionist, I talked to him more than anyone else in the office and he could work miracles in getting items across downtown in rush hour in the middle of winter, so I thought it would be nice to give him food (which is considered tax deductible as fuel for bike couriers around here). Now I am thinking I could have gotten in a lot of trouble if the wrong person saw me.

      5. Miss Evy*

        If the candy came from management for the staff to share, it’s not “charity” to share it with everyone who is not on the “regular day shift”, such as custodial/janitorial staff, or people who work graveyard/swing shifts. It rubs me the wrong way to hear it put that way, because everyone who works for a company should be treated as staff.

        I could see there being differences for things like company parties, but candy? Seriously, it’s one of those things that should be considered Not A Big Deal.

        I’ve done the off shift in my company, where we also happen to have two buildings about a mile down the road from each other. Usually perks are distributed equally at both (Friday lunch buffet, weekly fruit boxes, etc.), but sometimes because our admin staff and company president are at our first/smaller location, the second location gets forgotten when it comes to spontaneous treats and cake and such. I always appreciated when some of the staff brought us (the 2nd location) extra cake or made sure we got our share of the Pi Day pies when those events spawned edible treats at work.

    4. Vicki*

      The co-worker sent the group email.
      The LW may have replied to the email, may have responded directly to the co-worker, may have responded privately. That’s not clear. But the initial email was _from_ the co-worker.

      And no one was “being generous with other people’s money/things”. The candy didn’t belong to anyone else. t was gifted to the office as a whole.

  4. Julie*

    Regarding #5 (I can’t get my application released for a different role): Is it possible for the OP to reapply all over again for the teaching job? If it’s a matter of already having created a profile in their system, perhaps you can create a second one, especially if they are tracked by email address. Get a new email account (gmail, yahoo, etc.) and create a “teacher” profile and apply to the position that way. I hope you get things straightened out! It sounds frustrating.

    1. Brett*

      California has a statewide system that is tied to your social security number, educational records, and teaching credential. The OP could create a new account, but it would not have any of that info in it which would make it hard to get past job screens.

      1. Brett*

        (Not every district uses this system, but it does exist for California. Even for a local district system, the district can get the applicant’s educational record and credential from California, so that makes it easy to see duplicate accounts.)

  5. ArtsNerd*

    #2 – First, congratulations on your continuing recovery!

    I’m hesitant to publish this, but while I agree with Alison that an overall confidence issue might be in play … I also feel like 88 pounds is going to be noticeably underweight with almost any body type at your height. I’m not typing this out to make you feel bad or launch a debate about numbers and how far is too far (please no) but to react to:

    “(I don’t see this)”

    Eating disorders mess with your perception of how you look to a surprising extent. It’s part of what makes them so insiduous and dangerous. I’d recommend you give these comments some serious consideration when you assess the work still ahead of you, while still JUSTIFIABLY celebrating your hard-earned progress.

    Best of luck in the job search!

    1. Ruffingit*

      I agree with you and was also hesitant to post something about it because people do veer off into the “but such and such a number could be healthy/BMI” discussions that I just don’t want to get into.

      The OP mentioned that the interviewers can’t possibly know about her eating disorder, that she could just be naturally thin for all they know. They can’t know about the eating disorder, but they will assume it. Fairly or unfairly, they will assume you have an eating disorder and they may not want to take that on. There is nothing you can really do about that except continue to gain weight as is appropriate per your recovery plan.

      I commend you on your recovery and I will keep a good thought for continued progress for you!

      1. Sara M*

        Agreed with everything said here–the eating disorder really messes up your self-perception. I would guess that your friends are right.

        Idea, which you can take or leave: Alison is a hiring manager, and she’s also unbiased on your current appearance. If she’s willing… email her a few pics of yourself in an interview suit, from a few angles, and ask her what she thinks. (Important: it would just be an answer to your question, and not a judgment on how you look or what you weigh or anything like that. So you’d need to brace yourself to hear it in that voice.)

        It’s my guess that (as said above) you do look very thin for someone of your height. And that could be creating a subconscious response in people’s minds.

        Best wishes for your progress in treating the disorder!

      2. minuteye*

        Even if their first thought isn’t “eating disorder”, they might be thinking some form of physical illness that causes weight loss, such as cancer. Since they’re not allowed to ask about that kind of thing (I think?), it’s possible that they assume to worst, and don’t want to hire someone with health problems. Which would be really sh***y, but still entirely possible.

        1. Us, Too*

          You can ask anything you want, just not necessarily discriminate based on it if it’s a protected class question/answer.

            1. Us, Too*

              True! Personally, I don’t even ask this kind of stuff for obvious reasons. No need to go down that path plus it really shouldn’t matter.

        2. CTO*

          OP, if people do think that you look “ill” in some way, it might help overcome that if you make sure you seem energetic during the interview. You might need to be more mindful of that energy than someone who’s less likely to be misread because of their appearance. Not a false, forced peppy, but engaged, friendly, and appropriately enthusiastic about the job. Unfortunately, any low-key tone you display might be judged as illness if people are already making assumptions based on your appearance.

          Doing a mock interview with a trusted friend or colleague might help you strike the right balance and maintain your confidence. Best wishes with both your recovery and your job search.

    2. OP #2*

      ArtsNerd- Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I know the eating disorder messes with my perception. It’s also confusing because I get conflicting feedback from people in my life. For example, my mom, who has seen me at much lower weights, tells me I look completely normal and “great” right now. Other people tell me I still look noticeably anorexic and unhealthy. Trying to find professional interview clothes was a big reality check for me that I must still be pretty thin because I couldn’t find ANYTHING that fit whatsoever, hence needing to get things altered. I didn’t realize it would be that hard.

      1. MP*

        OP, I’ve struggled with an eating disorder, so it’s great you realize that you may not be fully recovered yet. Definitely keep pursuing recovery options and meeting your minimums (or above). 88 lbs. still isn’t weight-restored, despite what your mom may say, because she’s seen you at worse. My friend buys clothing from the junior’s section. You might be able to find things at Express, too. Also, the best thing I did for myself in recovery was read articles from Your Eatopia. Yes, you may find yourself uncomfortable reading the articles, but in the end, it made me feel so much better following the guidelines in there. Remember, your confidence is what will make you shine the most. Good luck! :)

      2. A Cita*

        I understand OP; it’s so hard to tell. I’m your height and am often your weight (no eating disorder–just medical stuff). I fluctuate a lot between 88 and 112 lbs, depending on my health. But because I’m very fine boned, no one can tell until I get to the top of my weight (and then I get asked if I’ve put on some weight). So it could very well be at least partly a confidence thing. Since you’re already working on your recovery (and congratulations on that!), I think you can only focus on your confidence and making sure your interview skills are strong right now.

        I disagree with sending Allison a photo. Because if it is how thin you look, there’s nothing you can do about that except what you’re already doing. I think it will just make you more self conscious.

    3. Anon for this*

      I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. Job-hunting is stressful enough without having to worry about being under scrutiny about your weight.

      That said, you’re probably right about people speculating. I have a colleague who is a sub-elite runner (she’s run in the Olympic marathon trials), and members of my team constantly comment in her weight and appearance. She’s thin in the way very fast runners often are. I’m also a runner, though nowhere near as fast as her, so I have a little more understanding of typical runner body types than a non-runner might. I try to end these discussions when they start. It’s awkward, because my manager is the most vocal person on the team on this subject, but I hate that this woman’s body is a subject of conversation.

      My point, I guess, is that people do talk and speculate about this stuff, inappropriate though it may be. And they definitely judge.

      1. VintageLydia USA*

        I was going to say something similar. Two of my closest friends were very thin through high school. They didn’t have eating disorders, just lucky genetics (both if their mothers were also small.) But the amount of speculation about whether they were anorexic was insane.

        1. some1*

          I was incredibly thin in high school and as a young adult and pretty much everyone thought I had a an eating disorder.

          I didn’t consider it “lucky” to have people talk about me behind my back and say that my body was disgusting, and I bet your friends didn’t think so either.

          Calling it “lucky genetics” perpetuates the idea that being as thin as possible is what is universally strived for, and makes it harder for naturally thin people to be accepted for the way they look.

          1. CTO*

            Thank you for saying this. It happened to me, too, and I don’t like having attention drawn to my weight any more than anyone of any other size does. Underweight or overweight, my body is not a topic for others to discuss.

          2. Zillah*

            Ditto. Any time I wasn’t feeling well, I had to field questions about anorexia and bulimia (and many comments behind my back) for weeks.

        2. Bea W*

          This happened to me in high school. It was very frustrating. Both of my parents were tall and thin, as were both my grandfathers, and many of my aunts and uncles as well. I didn’t get the tall, but I got the thin. I can barely maintain weight even at 2000+ calories a day. I lose very quickly too, so any illness or any days where I don’t eat normally have an impact, and it’s hard to gain back.

      2. Julie*

        …I hate that this woman’s body is a subject of conversation.

        Wow. It is so inappropriate that a manager brings up the topic, but it’s also wildly inappropriate for anyone at work to talk about someone else’s body. How would they feel if she overheard their conversation?

        1. some1*

          I have been the thin co-worker and I have overheard the conversation: if she so much as side-eyes as them they will tell her to get over it because *it’s a compliment* and tell her they wish people talked about how thin they were.

    4. Led*

      I am in a “helping profession” and being thin is often a definite disadvantage. A few extra pounds looks maternal and caring (and not as sexual). Oprah went through hell when she lost weight and suddenly was seen as less accessible and understanding by her fans.

      But you are no longer talking about an appearance issue. 88 pounds is dangerously underweight. I’ve yet to meet a medical professional who approved of an adult weight of less than 100 pounds, even for people who are less than 5 feet. I’ve known people who couldn’t get hired because they were dangerously overweight. This was a concern for the health of those people and how it would affect their ability to do the job. At 30 pounds underweight, your immune system is weakened and you do not have the stamina of an individual at a normal weight. So that means that right now, as you are, you have less ability to do a job well than a heavier person. Underweight people are more accident-prone. Additionally, you are at greater risk for heart and lung problems as well as diabetes and mood disorders. It is actually more detrimental to your health to be underweight than overweight.

      I’m trying not to be mean, but I know what 88 pounds at 5’3″ looks like. It’s not thin. It presents as illness. I would greatly suspect it’s holding you back. Please do concentrate on getting better soon. Fortunately, it doesn’t sound metabolic, so although it’s hard, it can be treated.

  6. CoffeeLover*

    A few people in the comments above have discussed whether or not you are “eating-disorder” thin, and I have to say I don’t think it matters. What will you gain by knowing you are or aren’t? Either you are, in which case you can’t do anything about it now and have to work to convince employers to hire you anyway. Or you aren’t, and you have to work to convince employers to hire you anyway. I think your focus instead should be on having employers want to hire you regardless of your appearance. While you may have a negative appearance trait that you can change with time, there are people that have i.e., scars, and still manage to find good jobs. I would take comments about your weight as basically useless feedback as there is nothing you can change in the immediate future, and work to change things you can like how you answer questions in interviews.

    1. OP #2*

      Very good point. I’m going to try focusing on the things I CAN control in interviews. I’ll admit for a while I was probably coming off as pretty desperate… I was applying to too many jobs without assessing whether they’d be great fits. I was getting so many interviews but wasn’t going anywhere from there. (hey, at least my resume and cover letters must be good, right? :P Thanks to AAM resume/cover letter advice!).

      1. Rindle*

        I have some thoughts, but I am hesitant to say anything because I don’t want to say the wrong thing. My disclaimer is that I don’t want to suggest or support the idea that you should try to conceal your eating disorder from the professionals you are working with and your supporting friends and family.

        My suggestion – strictly for the interviewing and job hunting in case it really is an issue – is to buy clothes that don’t emphasize your size, and to work with your tailor to fit them in a way that helps you. Most people probably want their tailored clothes to make them look smaller, but that’s not the case with you so your tailor needs to understand that. S/he can probably make suggestions about pleats and strategically placed fabric that will help.

        Also, you could accessorize with scarves, do some reverse contouring with makeup, and make sure that all of your accessories are proportional to your size.

        Congratulations on your recovery, and I wish you all the best as you continue down that road – and down the road to a new job as well!

        1. The Maple Teacup*

          Loving the tailored clothes idea. When clothes properly fit your body (not too big or too small) it can help a person appear proportional. I’m average weight, and if you dress me in an ill fitting uniform (its happened) I look like an awkward toddler playing dress up. Tailored apparel could help offset the perception you’re smaller than they think you should be.

          Keep up the recovery! You’re awesome!

      2. Chriama*

        I would agree that it’s unlikely that every single person you’ve interviewed with has noticed your low weight and thought “eating disorder”. Some people naturally pay less attention to other people (including their appearance) and society tends to value thin body types so strangers would be even less likely to see it as abnormal. I actually remember reading a news article about a study that compared men and women’s BMIs to their careers (first impressions, salary, promotion, etc) and found that women were better off underweight (in terms of the positive correlation between low BMI and better careers) while men were rewarded for being overweight.

        Overall, if you’re getting to the first interview and no further, I think there’s something wrong with your interviewing technique. It could be a confidence thing, or maybe you slouch or mumble. I would work on fixing things that don’t have to do with your weight, because that kind of obsessing is unhealthy for your recovery.

        1. Not So NewReader*

          This. I think many of us have something- too short, too tall, too fat, too old, too young. And it is a real easy pit to fall into- “oh I did not get hired because I am too short/tall/young/old.”
          And in doing so, we totally skate by how we answer the questions, how we sound, how we sit in a chair etc.

          People do look at people’s bodies. Yeah, it’s not right but a lot of us do. I have one friend -I want that thick head of hair she has. Another friend has the most awesome blue eyes, how come I missed out on that? Not every single thought people have is negative.

          Alison has great interviewing advice here in the archives. Practice in front of a mirror or into a tape recorder or with a friend. Heck, maybe the dog/cat will listen to you for a bit.
          Work on getting used to the sound of your own voice and getting your answers to flow. That probably sounds silly but it will help set your frame of mind for interview. I like to do that just before an interview so that my mind is not racing from bills to pets to car repair and so on.

          I hope I don’t sound like I am minimizing your struggles/successes so far- I think you have done awesome and you definitely have what it takes to win this one, too.

    2. A Cita*

      Agreed. This is what I was alluding to in my other post above. The speculations isn’t helpful and could actually be harmful by making OP self conscious. Focus on what you can fix: practice your interview skills so you appear strong and confident. Practice, practice, practice. Look professional (which it sounds like you’re doing) and work on sounding/appearing upbeat if that needs a boost. Good luck, OP.

  7. Stephanie*


    Ugh, I’ve struggled with this in interviews, but on the opposite end. No major eating disorders, fortunately (congrats on your recovery, btw). I’m overweight and wonder how that comes across (I’m about 50 lbs overweight). If I’m asked about hobbies, I try to not mention too many sedentary ones. I make sure to take water instead of soda. not order anything too fatty at a meal, etc.

    *sigh* It’s a weird thing to think about, I know.

    1. OP #2*

      I’m sorry you have dealt with this sort of thing, even if in a different way. :(

      People in general can be so judgmental about what others eat/drink so I am conscious of this as well… Someone once told me I was going to get fat from drinking so much Diet Coke because of “that study that shows people who drink diet sodas are fatter than people who don’t.” oh yes, so clearly drinking Diet Coke must CAUSE weight gain, right? Regardless of what I eat/don’t eat the rest of the day… And this person had a PhD in experimental psychology and taught advanced research methods. *headdesk*

    2. Dan*

      I’m a dude so the overweight part isn’t so bad for me to deal with. But I have an underweight friend. She is short and I am tall, so I weigh 3x what she does. We are both self conscious about our weight, but I almost feel worse about it. When we go out to the bars, I can handle A LOT. As in I can’t even feel two beers.

    3. Dang*

      I am also overweight and self conscious about how this comes across in interviews, especially given that I typically interview for health-related positions. Things that have helped me: making sure my clothes fit well (nothing worse than feeling like the big lady in the small coat!) and I feel good in them. Making sure the other, more immediately controllable aspects of my appearance (hair, nails, makeup) are in the best shape they can be. And then just pretending it doesn’t exist and giving myself a pep talk about my skills, qualifications, etc. Also, someone on here shared a TED talk about doing ‘power poses’ before an interview. It actually really helps!!

      I know theoretically I should just tell myself “well, if it’s the right fit, my appearance won’t matter.” But it’s hard to get there. So I can totally empathize. Congrats on your recovery & best of luck! I’m sure you’ll find the right job!

      1. Cube Ninja*

        To get a little granular… “well, if it’s the right fit, my appearance won’t matter.”

        Your appearance will, but your *weight* will not. :)

        I’ve had quite a lot of opportunity to conduct interviews and hiring in my 5 years in management. For me, as long as an interviewee looks like they’ve made some sort of effort in their appearance, I’m not focusing on anything but personality and job traits in an interview. If we didn’t have the well-established societal junk about dressing up for an interview, I’d be just as happy to interview someone if they were wearing jeans and a t-shirt. A suit doesn’t magically make a person more professional or a better worker just as the lack of one doesn’t make them less professional or a worse worker.

        I’m fortunate to have a fairly laid-back office in which they don’t really care about tattoos or piercings – I’ve been promoted thrice despite having (at the time) 00 gauge lobe piercings, inner conch piercings on both ears and a full sleeve. I cover up when we have clients in the office, but otherwise, it’s just part of who I am, not part of how I do my job.

      2. Stephanie*

        [N]othing worse than feeling like the big lady in the small coat!

        OMG, yes yes yes. This is why I was on the verge of tears last time I went suit shopping. Not helping is that I’m very busty/broad shouldered and straddle straight and plus sizes. It was such a challenge to find a jacket that wasn’t too tight or so giant/loose that I looked 30 lbs heavier.

        1. teclatwig*

          Amen, preach it sister. I have found conferences so much less stressful when my wardrobe fits like a dream and my hair & makeup are taken care of.

          This last conference I was in that horrible land between straight and regular sizes, and it was just awful. Old pants were too tight and new (cheap because only Ross had my size) pants fit just right for maybe 3 hours before becoming too baggy. Blech.

    4. AB*

      Stephanie, I completely understand! I am heavier than I would like to be, and am extremely conscious about what I eat or buy whenever I’m in public but especially when I’m at work. I am always fearful that if I order anything other than salad, people will think “well that’s typical, the fat girl orders a burger and fries. No wonder she’s so heavy”. I like to keep a candy jar at my desk for coworkers and guests, but always catch myself pointing out that I really don’t like candy when people come to get a piece (I don’t… it’s actually true, but there’s no real reason anyone should need to know that or care) because I worry that people will think I spend all day noshing on mini snickers.

      I realize that most of it is just in my head and that no one probably notices or cares if I am eating a hamburger rather than a salad, but I can’t shake the feeling of judgement so I go on ordering salads and justifying my candy dish.

      1. Parfait*

        Alas, as a fellow fat chick, I can attest that people ARE watching. I hate it, but I have a couple of coworkers who can’t help but comment. “Oh, you’re having a donut today? That’s so funny, you usually don’t take one!” “Oh you’re having an apple, good for you, that’s so healthy. “Fries? Oh you are being SO BAD.” And if these two women are commenting, I can only assume many more are noticing but were brought up better and don’t comment.

        1. AB*

          Gee thanks for adding to my paranoia! (kidding) I know people do notice. Just last week, the new office receptionist was going around letting people know there were cookies in the break room as an Easter treat and she stopped midway in telling me and said, “Oh, but you never eat anything like that; you always eat so healthy” At OldJob, it was practically a running office joke that I never indulged in anything unhealthy and didn’t eat much at office functions (so much so that they got me a bowl of fruit rather than a cake at my goodbye party). I guess it’s that the rational side of me asks why I care so much about what other people think, even down to the fact that I worry about what the grocery store cashier must think when I’m buying that big bag of candy to keep the candy bowl full.

        2. Natalie Anne Lanoville*

          Yes. They watch, they notice, and they judge. Often irrationally.

          When I was a slim, fit vegetarian, everybody cooed, “Oh you’re so healthy, must be because you’re a vegetarian.

          Now that I’m a chubby, lazy vegetarian, they say, “You’ve gained a lot of weight, huh? D’you think it’s because you’re a vegetarian?”

        3. Stephanie*

          Or you get the guilt trip.

          “Oh why don’t you just live a little?” And “live a little” means eat this piece of mediocre grocery store bakery cake. Sorry, if I’m indulging, it’s going to be good cake.

          1. fposte*

            Oh, I’m with you! I use my food snobbery consciously to minimize my bad eating, but seriously, if it’s going on my ass, I want it to be worth it.

            1. Jean*

              “If it’s going on my ass, I want it to be worth it.”
              This, above a line drawing of a slice of layer cake with icing, is also going into my Mythical T-Shirt Collection.

        4. Anon scientist*

          I think I’m at just the right weight for me (and not very far out of “normal” in terms of weight), but for whatever reason, everyone I work with has zeroed in on what I eat for lunch.

          I have a Good Breakfast every day and I like a Nice Dinner and the rest of my family is quite round. So I have a minimal lunch… The only meal my coworkers see. I get comments all the time from different people, so usually I just lie and say I’ll be eating more later/at my desk.

          One comment is ok. Daily/long-winded commentary (or multiple people piling on) is not.

  8. Elizabeth the Ginger*

    OP #5, I don’t really have any advice, but I wanted to offer you my sympathy!

    One challenge of working in teaching that people in other fields may not always think of (though I’m sure you do, OP!) is that there’s much more of a “hiring season” than in some jobs. Schools usually want to get their faculty sorted out for the next school year before the current year ends, if possible, so it’s a big scramble for applicants during the spring and relatively quiet the rest of the year. How frustrating to have your application for this district tied up elsewhere for all this time! Best of luck to you.

  9. Betsy*

    #4: The one thing that really bothers me about this is that the situation is unfortunately really common: a male superior and a female subordinate have an affair, and the superior (who is the one who really transgressed, from a business perspective) ends up with little or no consequence, while the subordinate is transferred to a less prestigious or lucrative position (or voluntarily moves to one, because of her discomfort with the situation).

    It really bothers me, in other words, that as a result of this manager having an affair with his subordinate, she is now on a less desirable shift, and he is not.

    I totally agree that it’s not the husband’s place to try and deal with the problem, but the situation still grates on me, and I wish the HR department had handled it differently.

    1. Chinook*

      But how can the manager be punished if the subordinate doesn’t speak up about the affair? Right now, all management has is the word of what may look like a jealous or controlling husband. Now, if the wife had reported it, I would feel just as outraged at the inaction.

      1. VintageLydia USA*

        Because in general its assumed the person in authority should know better. They both were in the wrong, but if they punishments are going to be unequal (as is here) the person higher up should get the worst punishment.

      2. Betsy*

        I may have read this wrong, but I took “he felt that I was menacing him and went and told HR himself” to mean that the manager had reported on the affair, in which case HR has work of it from the manager, not the husband.

        1. Chinook*

          ““he felt that I was menacing him and went and told HR himself”” I took that as meaning he told HR about being menaced by an employees husband which may or may not have included the reason for the behaviour. If HR was told by the manager, then, yeah, something should have been done to him because I would think that was an abuse of pwer issue.

    2. Chriama*

      I understand your frustration, but I think it’s important not to conflate gender dynamics with power dynamics. The business cost of firing or relocating an employee rise as the employee’s position in the hierarchy rises. Unless the business believes the cost of NOT acting (e.g. sexual harassment lawsuit, significant loss of morale, or this action calling into question the manager’s judgement in other situations) is greater than the cost of acting (disruption in the old department, finding a replacement, possibly moving the old guy to a new department, disruption in the new department), they won’t feel prompted to take action.

      In the context of our society this tends to have a disproportionate impact on women because women tend to be in subordinate roles.

      1. Chriama*

        Re-reading your comment, it doesn’t sound like you’ve conflated the 2 issues after all. I agree with your frustration that HR didn’t take it more seriously (no business of mine would be run like that!) but I understand why they did it.

        I would argue that the wife needs to take more responsibility for her career by speaking up to HR, especially if they’re skirting around their own clearly stated policy. Things might have been made more complicated by the husband speaking directly to the manager (if he felt threatened and then HR transferred him, he could become litigious) but it’s the wife’s place to deal with her job.

        1. Julie*

          And it looks like she needs to deal with her husband, too, unless she agreed with his actions.

    3. Dan*

      She is just as culpable has he is, so I am not terribly bothered. If she was an unwilling participant, then I take that back. In that case, there are much larger and more serious issues involved. If it was concsentual, then i don’t see why the manager had to get screwed by default.

      1. Betsy*

        I would be surprised if this is true, from a business perspective. Most of the workplace rules I’ve seen say, “don’t sleep with your subordinates,” not “don’t sleep with your superiors.” In those cases, it is the superior who violated rules, not the lower-stature employee. And this is done deliberately, because the question of “consensual” gets fuzzy when the person you’re sleeping with decides who gets the best shifts, or the best section, or who gets laid off when budget cuts show up.

      2. Grace*

        There’s an important reason that a business should be concerned about a superior having sex with a subordinate: the business can be held strictly legally liable in a sexual harassment lawsuit (including filed by the EEOC, Department of Fair Employment & Housing, or a private attorney).

    4. BCW*

      I get that he is the superior and stuff, but if this was an ongoing affair, they both chose to do this multiple times. At that point she has to take some responsibility. If she is in a less important position, well yeah, its easier to move her. Plus, it doesn’t sound like she is exactly advocating for herself.

    5. Sunflower*

      You’d have to know more about the affair to make that decision. It sounds to me like both were willing participants and there wasn’t any quid pro quo type stuff going on. I can only speak from my experience- I’ve worked in the restaurant business for years and this stuff has happened at almost every one of the restaurants I worked at. It was never about quid pro quo, it was more about everyone being very close knit, working a different schedule than most people and the managers are more like your friends than bosses. What is considered unprofessional in offices can be the norm in a restaurant. The OP also said this is ‘their number one rule’- honestly I have found these rules to be more like guidelines- they state them as rules in order to discourage it but a blind eye is turned.

      Honestly, I think the best thing for your marriage is for your wife to start looking for another job. Even if either of them are transferred, there’s a good chance everyone in the company knows what happened and I think it would be easier to move on from it all around if your wife disassociates from the company completely. It’s not easy but it’s probably worth it if you want to put this behind you

      1. some1*

        I’ve never worked in serving, either, but from what I have been told while technically management has more power, serving is seen as a more desirable role because you can make more money (unless the managers get tipped out).

        1. Sunflower*

          This is actually pretty rare in my experience. Unless you are in fine dining for many many years and have made serving your career then you might be close to managers. Managers do work many more hours than servers but at the end of the year, their paychecks are still coming in a lot higher than servers. Plus factor in benefits, PTO(not that you have a ton of time to take it). I’ve seen managers go back to serving but it’s mostly because they are tired of long hours and dealing with high turnover or demanding employees. Managers might work 50-60 hours a week whereas servers can be between 30-40 hrs, still able to make living wage and can take off whenever they want. I also think, in general, both mangers and servers tend to see the other as overpaid.

          1. Cathi*

            Just here to add my perspective on this tangent:

            I’m a bartender at a casual, national chain. I make ~$10k/yr less than a starting managerial salary, sure. But I also only work 25 hours a week, whereas my managers work 50. I don’t get PTO, but I do have far more flexibility about when I can take days/weeks off, since there are a bunch of people who are interchangeable with me. We are all offered the same health and 401k benefits.

            I could work part-time somewhere else serving or bartending and almost assuredly come out far ahead of my poor managers.

    6. some1*

      I get what you are saying, but I could see some people in this position volunteering to take the worse shift as penance. Clearly her husband is (understandably) pissed off, and this probably is the easiest way for her to show her husband she’s removing herself from the guy without having to quit.

  10. Brett*

    #5 One way to check on the status of the job you applied for is to check school board agendas and minutes. The final hiring choice would have to be approved by the school board, so you can find out in the minutes if the position has been hired (and even who was hired). Or if you see the position on an upcoming agenda, then you know it has been hired. Although, it is possible to end up on the agenda before you have been told you have been hired!

    When my wife was applying for school district jobs, this was actually one of the faster ways to find out if someone had been hired for the position.

    Also, I mentioned up above about EdJoin applications for California. Was this application through EdJoin? If so, that makes it even more serious that the district is doing this, since it can tie you up for jobs across the state.

  11. BCW*

    #1 I don’t know, I think both of your emails were petty, and I also think your reaction is a bit petty. However you took the tone of his email (since we all know that in email, how you perceive it may not be how the sender meant it) you took it to another level by calling him rude and arrogant in a group email. He went to the boss because of it, which I wouldn’t do, but I don’t fault him for. Whether or not the boss thinks he is rude and arrogant, I agree with them that you shouldn’t have said it. Sometimes it is important to keep the peace, you seem to just want to be justified in calling him names and not be spoken to about it. Would you prefer it if the boss did talk to you and not acknowledge that she thought your assessment was valid? Because to me, that easily could have happened

    1. OP #1*

      Yes both very petty, his email came of the back of a conversation we had, there was no misunderstanding the tone of his email, I could have gone and complained to his boss about it but would have been embarrassed to take such a silly complaint to his boss. He said something offensive and so did I that was an end of it from my point of view, but he tried to make it in to something more than it needed to be.

      What I think my boss should have done is is tell my coworker the complaint was petty (not because I did nothing wrong, but because we were as bad as each other) not tell him one thing and me the opposite.

      1. Celeste*

        My two cents: you two had a verbal disagreement.

        For some reason, coworker escalated to an email bashing you. You bashed back. Coworker escalated to your supervisor to get the upper hand. Supervisor didn’t want to be in the middle, and tried to take both sides by making you look punished to coworker without punishing you.

        Most of all, I wonder what the original conversation was like. I think you both placed some high value on the candy, so maybe appreciation in any form is rarely offered? Is the coworker at a higher level than you, and did he feel slighted that you thought the janitors were as deserving of the treat? Or is that the coworker isn’t there at night time to even think about the cleaners?

        I think there’s something that set this person off. You both got into right-fighting, and it never leads anywhere good in a relationship. I think you should look towards the root here. It’s up to you on whether to try to calm things down with the coworker about how it all went so wrong. I don’t know your history there, but at one point you could have a conversation in the hallway, and IMO it would be better if you could get back to that level, without supervisors taking sides.

        1. fposte*

          Hadn’t encountered the phrase “right-fighting” before. It’s a very useful condensation.

          And I think it’s a plausible assessment here, and OP, maybe take a moment to think about that–is it possible that one of your annoyances is that you want your boss to declare to your co-worker that you were right and he was wrong and basically declare you the winner in the argument?

          1. Celeste*

            Well, I stole it from Dr. Phil. Instead of solving a problem or agreeing to disagree, the two people will fight tooth and nail to be right. I love the advice to drop the tug o war rope…but I’m not sure most people can do it until they can lose the desire to be right.

          2. OP #1*

            It’s not about winning the argument, my boss looked at the facts and told me the complaint was dumb and without merit, but to put an end to it she would tell my coworker I’d been spoken to about what I had done wrong, but told not to worry about it and I’d not done anything wrong.

            If my response crossed a line and was really offensive (such as swearing at my coworker) or I’d been confrontational and grabbed some candy to take, then I would expected to be disciplined, but I didn’t escalate the situation.

            All I want is for my boss to speak her mind, if she thinks I’m wrong then that’s fine I’ll accept her assessment, but I think it’s weak management to privately support me and publicly criticise me .

            1. fposte*

              What Celeste says–and, in fact, an email wherein you call somebody rude and arrogant is an escalation merely by protracting the argument. Seriously, them’s fightin’ words, and people who receive them aren’t going to forget it.

              No argument on the weak management, though. But that’s what you have, and you’re not going to change it.

        2. OP #1*

          That’s an accurate assessment, I’m not bothered about the candy or what was said to me in the original email. But the stupid complaint to my boss and her trying to make me look punished is what has upset me.

          The original conversation was OK so it was a bit unexpected he had such a problem with what I was asking to do. The only thing I can think of is he was taking care of handing the candy out so maybe I stepped on his toes, but I’d like to think that’s not the reason.

          Part of the reason I’m upset with my boss is my not speaking honestly to my coworker it’s left him with the impression he’s been reasonable in this situation, when he hasn’t. I’m more bothered by the lack of support from my boss than the original situation but I don’t think she understood that when we talked.

          1. Celeste*

            I think you were bothered by the original email, simply because you responded to it.

            But it’s good you can look back to the start. I know you would not like to think you are the reason it went sour, but something happened. I’d be curious to know just what.

            1. OP #1*

              I answered the email because at the time it bugged me a little, I’d have forgotten about it by now if it hadn’t been blown out if all proportion or my boss has shut down such a petty complaint.

          2. Celeste*

            I also think you can’t make it about your boss not supporting you in conflicts. I think your boss is just averse to conflict and only a desire on her part to be different will change that.

            1. Not So NewReader*

              Good point. The boss may have figured in the big picture that there were other more important things to get on with.
              I encourage, you, OP, that the boss is not a major failure for not supporting you publicly on this one. Especially since it is not related to work you produced, it’s basically a side issue. Now, if she pulled a similar stunt about your own work, then yeah, go in on that one. Ask to speak to her about it.

  12. r*

    For Op #2– One thing to keep in mind as you’re job searching is that, especially in some areas and industries, it’s a pretty tough market still out there. I know many people who were interviewing for a year or more, so it’s most likely that this is not just about you and is just a reflection of the job market right now. Id recommend AAM’s interview guide. I especially like the technique of telling yourself that you dont have the job (or don’t want it!) For me, it was a good trick to fake confidence, particularly as I was getting more desperate in my search.

    If you’re in therapy or treatment of any kind, you may want to discuss your job search and concerns there, if you arent alteady. They might have other suggestions on helping you grow more comfortable with interviewing and becoming more confident in trusting how you present yourself and how other see you.

    Best of luck in your recovery and job search!!

    1. OP #2*

      Thank you! I know the job market is tough and reading about the experiences of people on here definitely helps remind me that I’m not alone in the long job search. And I definitely talk a lot about job stuff in therapy!

  13. Jake*

    Leaving a job unacknowledged is unacceptable. You still have to be the bigger person, but any manager that does this is a complete ass.

    1. OP#3*

      Thank you, and thanks Alison for responding! You helped me decide that I will be saying bye to these bosses regardless of whether or not they say something…sigh, people can be so disappointing :/

    2. Clever Name*

      This. I wasn’t allowed to work my full 2-weeks notice at a prior job, and I still made myself cheerfully say goodbye to my boss and coworkers. (I actually was cheerful because I was very glad to be leaving, and also because I was really regretting not taking a week off between jobs to decompress, and I had just been given that opportunity. I sat in my bathrobe and watched trashy TV. It was heaven.)

    3. Not So NewReader*

      Yeah, it sucks to have management ignore you like that. But definitely taking the high road is something you will remember and feel good about for awhile.

  14. JC*

    #3: Are your bosses different people than your manager who sent out the email, and did you tell them yourself that you are leaving before the email went out? If you haven’t talked to them about your leaving, it’s possible that they feel slighted that they had to find out from a 3rd party.

    1. Artemesia*

      This is the first thing that occurred to me with this. If you work for these people and you are sitting right outside their office, then it would have seemed natural to say ‘I wanted to let you know that I have given my notice to Samantha (the manager); I have loved working here but we are moving to California’ — or whatever.

      Yes, they should have said something when they heard, but they may feel blindsided by the information and be wondering why you didn’t let them know personally. I do think it is on the superiors to behave maturely compared to the subordinates BUT so often they are as socially clueless and professionally awkward as the next person.

    2. OP#3*

      Good question. At my company, any pay/career questions go through my manager. My bosses (two people separate from my manager) are in charge of the whole client team but my work does not overlap with them to the point that I would need to inform them of my departure first (in fact, going to these bosses first instead of my manager would not be appropriate). Do you advise that I speak to them now?

        1. OP#3*

          I just asked another one of my managers if he felt that I should have gone to the two bosses first, before the email was sent out. He said no, and that I stuck to the correct protocol (going to my unit manager only and letting her send the email). I guess this may just boil down to my bosses being inconsiderate or annoyed when an employee decides to leave.

          1. Sophie*

            Maybe they’re waiting for you to approach and personally tell them your plan? Even if the correct protocol is going to your unit manager for the announcement, don’t you have personal conversations with your colleagues about your departure and your future plan? Instead of being annoyed by your bosses’ lack of acknowledgement of your departure, I’d suggest that you go and talk to them. It’s such an easy solution.

            1. fposte*

              Or maybe they’re waiting until you actually leave. Unless you have bad history with them, I don’t see why this has to be an indication that they’re bad people.

  15. Us, Too*

    OP #2: I’ve interviewed candidates who were at both ends of the weight spectrum and while it may have subconsciously influenced me, I can’t say that it was a conscious deciding factor in making an offer or elevating a candidate to the next step in the interview process.

    I’d certainly take action to find an unbiased person to assess your appearance as objectively as possible. I’d then take action accordingly using fashion, makeup, etc to try to mitigate any risk there that I could. It makes sense to take action on anything you can take action on, obviously.

    BUT… I think it’s far more likely that it’s something you are saying or doing (or not saying/doing) in the interview that is the culprit. Honestly – I can’t recall a single candidate that I’ve dismissed due to appearance because there are almost always legitimate issues that are reason enough to dismiss someone. So I’d ALSO ask for an unbiased assessment of your interview skills by someone you trust – a mentor or someone in your network, for example. And take action accordingly.

    1. Kit M.*

      Tangential, but I love that you said this: while it may have subconsciously influenced me, I can’t say that it was a conscious deciding factor Every time someone says how they don’t make judgments based on race or sex or appearance, I just want to add “consciously”.

  16. Alano*

    #5 I might be missing something, but only 3 weeks have passed since you finished the interview process and they asked for your references? I don’t know if that’s long enough to draw any conclusions about their decision.

    I know in the private sphere many workplaces use outside companies to perform background and reference checks, and even under the best circumstances that often takes more than week. And I suspect in a public school district there are more layers of bureaucracy and approval to work through. Or it could be just as they were about to make you an offer they received a really good resume, and they want to do their due diligence and interview the other candidate, even if you’re still their top choice. Or somebody crucial to the decision making has been out of the office on vacation for a couple of weeks. There’s many things that can cause a delay. In the private sphere I’ve seen it take months for a formal offer to be made to a candidate, and generally government entities mover slower.

    I agree, it’s not a great sign that your emails have gone unanswered, and ideally they would give you a clear timeline of when they plan to make an offer, but if you already sent several emails in three weeks I would be worried about pestering them and coming across as someone who doesn’t know when to back off. And if you call and tell them, “nevermind, could you consider me for a regular teaching role,” I think you run the risk of looking either impatient or like you were not particularly enthusiastic about the recruitment role.

    I’m not an expert on this, but after having send three emails, I think I would wait a couple of weeks and if you still haven’t heard anything then make a phone call. And I would just ask if they had a status update on the recruitment position. And then only after they’ve confrimed you are no longer in the running for the recruitment position, I would let them know that I’m still very much interested in a teaching position.

    Also, if they asked for your references, couldn’t you contact your references and see if they were ever called? If it’s been three weeks, but the references were just contacted in the last week or the last few days, you would know that the process is just dragging.

    1. Chriama*

      I don’t think so. Even in a bureaucratic system you want to make sure your best candidate knows that they’re still being considered. If they were actually in the stages of hiring her I’m sure they would let her know something, not just pull total radio silence. If they operate like this regularly, they’ve lost their top candidates before.

      Given the fact that pulling your application actively hinders your job search because you can’t apply for other jobs, I think you can be more assertive than usual. Not aggressive, but less of the typical job candidate obsequiousness. You should definitely call (don’t mention the current application because it might seem passive-aggressive) and I like your wording of “releasing” your application because it emphasizes the idea that they’re actually harming your job search by blocking you from applying to other roles (rather than passively harming it by keeping you on the hook indefinitely, because we all know that you don’t have an offer until you have an offer).

    2. Brett*

      “And if you call and tell them, ‘nevermind, could you consider me for a regular teaching role,’ I think you run the risk of looking either impatient or like you were not particularly enthusiastic about the recruitment role.”

      The problem is that teaching jobs are hired on a pretty strict timeline. If the OP’s application is not released by about the end of May, they will be out of the running for all teaching jobs for the next year.

  17. Apollo Warbucks*

    #2 if you’re well dressed at the interview and have solid answers to the questions they ask, then that’s as much as you can do. There are any one of a hundred reasons you might not get the job, for your own good don’t think to much about your looks or body image, as being one of them. Take care of your self and carry on getting better.

  18. Darth Admin*

    For #2 (Is being underweight turning off interviewers?)

    First, congratulations on your recovery.

    Next, I think you might find it more fruitful to take the focus off of “are they not hiring me because I look thin?” and put it on “how am I coming across in interviews and what could I improve?”. Maybe some of those friends commenting on your weight could run mock interviews with you? Or help you conduct “post-mortems” of the interviews you’ve had to see where you could improve your responses?

    Finally, I’m a hiring manager and I don’t think weight is something (good) hiring managers factor in to the hiring equation. For instance, I would not assume that someone who’s extremely thin is sick; I’d more likely assume it’s how they’re built. Same for a larger person. Unless an interviewee comes in looking like they just rolled out of bed or were coming from the club, their appearance fades into the background after about 30 seconds and then I want to hear about your skills and experience and what you could bring to the job.

    Good luck, on your job search and your continuing recovery.

  19. Bea W*

    #2 – I am also underweight and bony. I have been all my life. When I was a teenager, people assumed I had an eating disorder. Now people assume, if anything, I eat super healthy or not very much, and am a runner or exercise a lot. I don’t do any of those things! (I can’t run more than a block *sigh*) I do not have an eating disorder, but I’ve had chronic depression, anxiety and other issues that also impact self-perception and confidence. I haven’t experienced my thinness having an impact to my ability to get hired. In fact, I get hired quickly. I attribute that to communicating confidence in my skills and interviewing well.

    The hopeful news for you is I agree with Allison here. I think it has more to do with how you interview, and not your weight. If you feel self-conscious about how you look and your weight, it comes through in the interview in your body language and how you hold yourself and communicate, and coming across as confident (even when you don’t feel it – “fake it ’til you make it” applies) is important in an interview.

    You probably already figured this out since you’ve already had your clothing tailored to fit you. This advice applies to everyone looking for a job – it matters how you dress. Your interviewer doesn’t have much information to go on, except having read your resume and maybe speaking briefly on the phone, so first visual impressions matter. I know due to my size I have a horrible time finding professional clothing, especially pants or skirts that fit well. It’s not enough to make sure your clothing is appropriate for your interview, but that it fits well. Ill fitting clothing can make a person appear larger or smaller than they are and draws unwanted attention to your body. Fit makes a huge difference!

    Make-up works wonders for covering and correcting facial features that are less than flattering. All women have these issues, not just the thin ones. I don’t like bothering with make-up, but I do for interviews.

    Eating disorders really mess with your physical self-perception, so have a trusted friend or two give you feedback and tips on your overall “interview suit”. So you can know going in that you look professional and put-together. That is part of communicating confidence and poise. Looking good also translates to feeling good.

    Do some mock interviews, including some fully dressed to get the whole picture, with someone who you trust can give you honest feedback and helpful practical advice on what you are doing right and what you can change. Practicing can also help give you more confidence and maybe help with nervousness in the actual interview. Video recording (Is that what it’s called now? I really wanted to say “taping”) the mock interview and watching it can be helpful, since we can be unaware of our body language.

    The economy also still isn’t quite right, and some fields are more difficult than others. If you are in one of those fields, that may also be part of the problem. So don’t despair and keep on plugging away at it.

    1. fposte*

      On the fit, I’d also say it’s important to dress for the weight you are now and don’t worry about what weight you’ll be later.

  20. Katie the Fed*

    Regarding #4 – workplace relationships can be SO destructive and have so many unintended consequences. That’s why it’s almost impossible for coworkers to mind their own business usually – these things get really disruptive and ugly and spouses get involved and it’s just a mess.

    I feel bad for #4 – but echo everyone else that you should focus your energy where it belongs – your marriage – not on something out of your control.

  21. some1*

    #4: I get that you were pissed when you to your wife’s work, but did you really think you would be allowed to decide what the outcome of revealing the affair to HR would be? Or that you had any authority to ask the guy to leave his own work?

    You say that you just wanted your wife to be able to keep working there, but HR could have canned them both.

    1. Grace*

      HR would be very foolish to fire the subordinate. First, the business can potentially be sued for sexual harassment and be held strictly legally liable for the conduct of the supervisor. Secondly, if they fire the subordinate they can also be sued for retaliation.

      1. Overkill*

        The OP seems quite convinced his wife explicitly had an affair with her superior, meaning she willingly entered into the relationship, and not that she was pressured into it.

        1. Zillah*

          But Grace is right – firing someone because they stopped having an affair with their supervisor has lawsuit written all over it, especially if the business has rules against managers getting involved with subordinates but keeps this manager on, anyway.

  22. Joey*

    Have you asked your interviewers for feedback?
    Is there something in the interview leading you to believe its your appearance/weight? ( ie weird looks when they meet you, staring,etc)
    Are you applying for jobs that traditionally place a heavier emphasis on appearance like sales or client facing positions?

    Speculating without any basis is a little premature. Its much more likely that you’d have more luck improving your interview skills. And don’t think that because you may not doing anything “wrong” in the interview doesn’t mean there are things that may be holding you back.

  23. permanent temp*

    #3–been there, done that, sadly twice.
    Sent a really lovely email out to all the people I had worked with, including my manager and the ppl who reported to me. Not.a.single.reply. My manager at the time didn’t even bother to get off the phone or look me in the eye when I left.

    Second time around, the only one who didnt’ reply was one of the VPs. Seeing as how he sat 6 feet away from us but never smiled or made eye contact with any of us employees, I’m not too upset….just amused at how stuck up some people can be.

    1. Clever Name*

      As someone who has trouble making eye contact with people, especially people I’ve just met, hearing that it can be interpreted as being “stuck up” is really painful. :(

      It’s something that I make a real effort at, but looking a new acquaintance in the eye when I first meet them feels uncomfortably intimate. (I know, I’m weird.)

      1. samaD*

        if you’re weird for this, then I’d like to apply to join the club :)

        eyes are HARD, especially with new people. some days watching the mouth with the occasional glance up is as close as it gets :/

        1. permanent temp*

          But this is a different situation. I’m not saying a person who doesn’t make eye contact is stuck up, but people that I worked with and at one point were friendly with me completely ignored me in the end. But my point was, I had been working with these people and I liked them, and I thought they liked me. So….to have my email/contact go unacknowledged, unnoticed did sting.

          (FWIW I’m not great with eye contact, I try hard in professional settings but I try to make it up in other ways to show I’m interested and friendly….but again the point was reaching out to colleagues and going unnoticed/unacknowleged.)

    2. OP#3*

      Sorry to hear that :( I try to give people the benefit of the doubt (maybe he didn’t see the email, or kept his reply in draft status, or forgot etc) for my own sake, but sometimes people are just inconsiderate. The good thing though is that it teaches me that that’s not a good way to act with people—so if in the future I am someone’s boss, I can treat them the way I’d like to have been treated.

      1. permanent temp*

        Honestly, I wish I could keep giving benefit of the doubt. I do, most of the time I do, with certain people who have otherwise shown that they’re caring and friendly. You’re right, that is a good lesson to take away from this.

    3. Sharon*

      I’ve had a few jobs where managers and above shunned me when I gave notice. It was like I betrayed them or something, even though my behavior at all times was polite and professional. Some people are just like that, I guess. The instant you give notice you stop being “one of us” and disappear.

      1. Fish Microwaver*

        When I left my last job (for one in a different part of the same orgainisation), my manager didn’t say anything or email staff to let them know. In my new job I occasionally speak to her on the phone and she pretends she doesn’t know me. She is an ass.

  24. JaneJ*

    First, for the record, I agree that if the manager broke the rules there should have been some consequences. Perhaps there were; there’s no way to know from what’s here. But I’m wondering what specific grounds the wife has for saying she’s “uncomfortable working with him.” Is it because of something legitimate like harassment, threats, coercion, etc.? Or is she simply uncomfortable now that everyone knows, or feeling awkward about her husband knowing she still works everyday with this man? Against better advice I chose to start a relationship with someone in my office. Not a direct superior, but someone definitely higher up than myself. People talked, spread rumors, said nasty things, there was some awkwardness, etc. To some extent, those are consequences of my actions. If she wants to keep this job, she may need to accept that she created an bad situation and now has to deal with it. Before people get on my case, I completely agree that if there are any legitimate complaints like those mentioned above, that changes the situation.

    1. some1*

      It’s possible that she’s embarrassed that the husband showed up, too. I would be if I was her.

  25. Mena*

    #4: Sorry for the situation you are in but why are you approaching your wife’s employer about her manager? Your wife may have a credible claim of feeling pressured into the affair by a superior, but the angered spouse contacting the employer is less powerful. Your wife needs to manage her career and the two of you need to focus on your relationship. I think your energey is not focused correctly.

  26. Overkill*

    #2. If you’re convinced your weight is normal then bolster your presence and try to project more confidence and heft so that a more reserved presence does not feed into the interviewers perception of your being underweight. I can immediately think of a fellow gym member who is about 5’6-7, and decidedly under 100 lbs, easily. Eating disorder does spring to mind, but her high energy, alertness and athleticism make me question by bias.

  27. Overkill*

    #4. Something is missing from this tale. Do you have proof she had sex with him? It’s very surprising that, despite the policy, the manager himself went to HR. Why would he jeopardize his job like this, given the sexual harassment climate in California of all places? Are you sure it’s not just a case of your wife having a crush on this manager or her (and I’ve lived this, regrettably) simply using this manager to try to enflame your passions and jealousy? I too was the one to go to the bosses because nothing was happening between us and it was patently clear she wanted to give that impression at the very least. It’s all odd.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I would imagine that he went to HR himself because that’s preferable to the OP telling him. This way, he got to control the framing and messaging.

      1. Overkill*

        But the OP said the manager complained about the OP’s ‘menacing’ behavior and not to discuss the affair. I’m going to hazard a guess that the OP was the last to know about whatever it was that was or was not going on.

        1. fposte*

          No, the OP says the manager told HR “himself” rather than waiting for the OP to do so. It may have included a discussion of the OP’s behavior, but the wording has the manager ‘fessing up to HR.

          1. Overkill*

            There could have been a ‘fessing up, for sure, but it’s my hunch everyone knew about the ‘relationship’ and it was the OP’s behavior that concerned them more. I don’t see a confessional here, particularly as his wife ‘demoted’ herself to avoid him. Perhaps she’s the ‘aggressor’ as it were.

            1. fposte*

              All of this could be true, but it’s not what the OP’s post indicates, and I think his version is perfectly plausible.

  28. Malissa*

    #3–I once gave my notice at a small office. The owner of the company who would always smile and say hi to me on the way in, gave me the silent treatment for a week.
    It sucks when you leave and people snub you.

  29. Heaven's Thunder Hammer*

    #4 I recommend for dealing the affair in your marriage. The author, Athol Kay has written a couple of very good books, has an excellent blog and forum for people to fix their marriage. Good community there too. Good luck!

  30. OP#5*

    Thanks for the advice y’all. It turns out they lost the funding for the original talent recruitment position and didn’t want to share that at the time. They’ve past my application onto principals now and I have several promising interviews lined up. Maybe that’s a blessing in disguise because it’s hard to imagine working for a talent recruitment team that doesn’t communicate timelines to candidates. The director did mention that he’ll call me when the position is funded, but having a funding contingent position (in addition to the communication issue) may not be for me.

  31. Cat Lady*

    OP #2, this is my family’s greatest fear for my sister. She’s anorexic and refuses to get help or even admit she has a problem. She’s employed now through the army, but once her contract is up, she has plans to go to grad school and/or seek employment in the private sector. We worry that she will have a difficult time finding a job despite being very smart, confident, and hard-working because she looks so thin. Her level of thinness cannot be hidden with clothes and tailoring; even through long sleeves and pants it is very obvious that something is wrong.

  32. Chris*


    What this sounds like to me is a misdirection of emotion. It sounds like you’ve completely, or at least heavily, forgiven your wife. That’s fine, and great for your relationship, if it’s sincere. But turning her into a VICTIM isn’t the answer. Now, if she was coerced, or felt threatened, etc, then it’s absolutely different. But if she was a willing participant in the affair… it sounds like you’ve taken the anger and resentment you feel towards her and sent it all against the guy. He deserves some of it too, absolutely. But for your own emotional health, don’t place all the blame on the guy instead of actually forgiving. If you convince yourself that she did nothing wrong, it’s easy to “forgive.” But that emotional pain will still be there. Get counseling (solo and marriage) (if you can afford it, believe me I know how expensive that stuff can be), and forget about the guy. Your relationship should be the focus, not this guy.

    1. anon-2*

      #4 – and also by escalating the complaint, SHE could be fired, no?

      To make myself more clear, didn’t she go along with the affair? And doesn’t that break company rules?

      1. anon-2*

        to make myself clear – weren’t two employees involved in an illicit affair, which is a terminable offense?

  33. KrisL*

    #1 I was going to say what Alison already said – don’t call someone rude and arrogant, especially not in an e-mail. Your co-worker would have looked a lot worse if you hadn’t responded or had responded in a gentler way. The co-worker does sound like a jerk.

  34. former music teacher*

    OP #1, I’m glad you thought of the custodians. This isn’t quite the same, but when I was an elementary music teacher, one time our school won this “spirit contest” at a district back-to-school rally for the faculty and staff. The prize was a catered breakfast from a VERY nice local restaurant, on a date of the school’s choice. The principal decided to have the breakfast on a teacher workday when the art, music, PE, and other “specialist” teachers had to go to a mandatory workshop in a neighboring town. Gee, thanks. Another time, the PTO arranged little goodie bag things during teacher appreciation week, but only gave them to the classroom teachers, leaving out the specialist teachers, and they set up a little area in the teacher workroom with a labeled box for each classroom teacher where they could leave things to be copied or laminated or repaired or whatever by volunteers–but not us! Made me feel super appreciated. :/

  35. anon-2*

    #1 – many years ago, we got into trouble over something that was rather picayune, but wound up sending a “morale stinkbomb” through the entire site.

    I was working in an operations department for a company. We had a vendor – an engineer who fixed our business machines and was permanently on-site. He had leukemia. It took his life. This was someone we worked with and around, who we hung out with, who we saw every day. The employees took up a collection for flowers for him.

    It hit the fan with management, who seemed to be eager to find fault with anything we did — and we got yelled at for doing that.

    His memorial service was at night. Several of us attended, but I think they couldn’t bring disciplinary action for going to a friend’s funeral on our own time … but I bet they thought about it.

    1. OP #1*

      That’s appalling, how could anyone complain about showing some respect to someone who had died.

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