update: my boss got drunk and was angry that I couldn’t drive him back to the office

Remember the letter-writer whose boss got drunk and was angry that she couldn’t drive him back to the office because she didn’t drive for medical reasons? The first update was here. Here’s the latest:

I have some good news. On Friday I received an offer and I start a new job on Wednesday. I couldn’t have done it without the things I learned from you and your site. During the interview, the hiring manager mentioned more than once how impressive my cover letter was. My new job is at another Fortune 500 company and the title and pay are equivalent to my old job, but I am just happy to be employed again. Even though I was only unemployed for six weeks before I received the offer, it felt like much longer and after what happened I was afraid I would unemployed and living with my parents forever.

I did have an interview with a different company a couple of weeks before I got the offer for this job. At the interview, the hiring manager only asked me questions about loyalty to my superiors and what I thought about tattling. She also ended the interview early and told me flat out she would never hire me. Her LinkedIn shows she has worked with my ex-boss [the one I reported] twice in the past.

Some of the comments said I should have gone to work on one of the teams that were supervised by the family/friends of my ex-boss, but what happened at the interview solidified my decision to leave rather than work for them. The HR at my old job told me my boss would retaliate against me if I stayed in his department and said they were not going to do anything further about it. They also said I was right not to take a position working for one of his friends because they would side with him over me. Given the clear signals HR was giving me, and what happened at the interview with the first company, I know leaving was the right choice if I didn’t want to deal with retaliation or my career potentially being damaged.

THANK YOU again for everything.

{ 155 comments… read them below }

  1. Wannabe Disney Princess*

    Now that I’ve come to from the rage induced mini-blackout after reading the paragraph about the interview…CONGRATS on your new job! So glad things have worked out in your favor!

    1. Kyrielle*

      This. All of this.

      OP, I am so glad you were able to land a job and are moving forward.

    2. 2 Cents*

      Me too. Thank goodness that other interviewer tipped her hand like that so blatantly. Tattling!?

      Sounds like everything worked out for the best. Hope you love your new job! (And that no one expects you to babysit them if they get too drunk to drive.)

    3. Duck Duck Møøse*

      Wow, it sounds like that interview was a set-up, with collusion with your former boss, to shake your confidence. What despicable people. :(

      I’m glad things are looking up – best wishes on your new position!!

      1. RVA Cat*

        This. Not to get too political but it sounds like a table for 2 in the Green Room…

          1. JessaB*

            Rule number one of AAM reading, do not be eating or drinking when perusing this site. It’s dangerous to your sinuses, your ability to breathe whilst laughing til you choke, and your computer/phone you’re reading from, because it’ll get splattered.

            Mind it took me a long time to remember this.

      2. Anonymoose*

        I’m disgusted at this woman’s behavior. Loyalty?? Why would she be loyal to a moron who doesn’t know when to stop drinking and expects his employees to not only break the law but do something completely against their wishes?? Who are these people and how do I blacklist them on my LinkedIn?!

        1. Stranger than fiction*

          Clearly she’s only heard his side of the story and who knows what that entailed.

          1. CoffeeLover*

            Ya. He probably said something like “we had drinks with the client at lunch and OP reported me.” Conveniently failing to mention the part where he was a giant asshole.

          2. Alton*

            Still, it seems pretty immature to bother interviewing the OP just to get a dig in! Why waste everyone’s time if she’d already made up her mind, unless she just wanted to be nasty?

            1. Steve*

              She clearly just wanted to be nasty. I mean you have to be careful about interpreting things in a fixed frame of mind, but, it’s really hard to interpret this behavior in any other way. Except maybe some ways that are worse (e.g. she wanted to shake OP’s confidence, wanted to gather intel for ex boss, etc).

            2. Van Wilder*

              What kills me is that clearly ex-boss was in the loop on this and he was probably patting himself on the back on his importance and how OP will “never work again in this town” because he knows everybody.

            3. Optimistic Prime*

              The amusing thing is that she probably thought she was sticking it to the OP by not hiring her when it sounds like the OP dodged a gigantic bullet.

            4. Annonymouse*

              It could have been that OP was put forward for interview by HR/recruiter and the interviewer saw she worked with her beloved ex boss and did an informal reference check.

              Which gave a-hole boss a chance to vent and give his side of the story. Which I’m guessing was also outside the scope of anything OP had negotiated with the company about references.

      3. Hills to Die on (formerly AMG)*

        Wow–that interviewer had some real gall! Ridiculous. I’d show her what tattling is when I call HER HR department and let them know how she’s representing their company.

        So glad you are in a better place!

        1. Hills to Die on (formerly AMG)*

          And also–your old job’s HR department sucks out loud. “Yeah, he will probably retaliate against you but we aren’t going deal with this anymore.” Lol! Insanity!!

          1. HR Jeanne*

            The HR dept absolutely sucks out loud!! Please know that none of this is typical of a reasonable workplace, and I hope your new company gives you a better idea of how a workplace should be. Thanks for the update!

            1. John B Public*

              It doesn’t suck entirely- they were honest about what she was in for if she stayed. I’d take brutal honesty over comforting lies in this situation- give her the info she needs to make an informed decision. It’s quite possible that the boss had enough of a power disparity over HR that HR literally couldn’t do anything absent a binding legal judgment.

              1. Stranger than fiction*

                Yes, I actually think it would have been worse if she just smiled and nodded and didn’t give any advice to the Op.

              2. Chris*

                In a lot of companies, HR has no power over management. I realize this may come as a surprise to many whose experience has been different.

                1. Karen D*

                  Yep. And our (fantastic) HR professional is always kind but blunt when handing out bad news like this. “Yep, that new policy sucks. But it’s the new policy and that’s not gonna change.”

                  She will go to bat in cases where she thinks she can make a difference, and she will fight like a tiger when she thinks the company is headed for legal trouble or is just acting unjustly, but she’s always aware that she’s got limited capital to spend, and she’s not going to blow it on a lost cause.

    4. Matilda Jefferies*

      That was my exact reaction as well. So glad you’re out of that mess, OP!

    5. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      Seriously. I am horrified and agog by all that happened, but very happy that OP is safely out of that toxic whirlpool of crazy.

    6. Djuna*

      I read the interview paragraph 3 times because I was sure I had to have misread it. I now have a rage-twitch in my left eye, which thankfully did not interfere with me absorbing the good news.

      So glad you got out of there, OP, and so relieved that the other hiring manager was so idiotically transparent.

      Congrats on the new job, and I wish you the most professional surroundings ,with the most sensible bosses, a kick-ass team, and a happier workday every dang day from now on. You sure have earned it.

    7. Excel Slayer*

      Did… Did someone actually waste their time on an interview just to insult someone?


      1. designbot*

        That’s exactly what I was wondering. Not only did they waste their time, the candidate’s time, their company’s time, but they probably went through the motions of “we were really interested in your resume because of XYZ” that’s customary at the start of an interview. Ick.

      2. Gazebo Slayer*

        And not even someone who had wronged HER by any stretch of the imagination – someone who’d refused to ride with her drunk-driving work friend.

        Incredibly petty as well as despicable.

    8. evilintraining*

      Am I the only one wondering if she worked for Uber? Seriously, though, what a crapfest that place must be. Their HR department is ridiculously dysfunctional, as is their executive team. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that there have been several lawsuits against that organization.

      1. Mr. X*

        The Dollop podcast had an episode detailing how Uber treats their employees…..sorry, “independent contractors”. It’s a horror show.

        1. lamuella*

          The Dollop’s episode on Uber is amazing. They did one in around February on Enron as well, which is just as jawdropping.

  2. Looc64*

    “Tattling?” Wow didn’t realize that the position she was hiring for was kindergarten student.

    1. Alex*

      Right? Also, the ex-boss has apparently built up a pretty impressive group of equally terrible people around him. I can’t believe the gall of that woman to bring the LW in for an interview essentially just to tell her off. So glad that she’s gotten far away from all of this.

      1. 2 Cents*

        Worked for a guy like this. He had a whole crowd of people who basked in his influence because he was very generous with him (aka paid them off with some of his ill-gotten gains). Some people have very low prices for their integrity.

    2. LSP*

      I was thinking she probably wasn’t even really a hiring manager, just two five-year-olds wearing a trench coat.

      OP – Did she also want to know your position on naps, story time and cooties?

      1. Connie-Lynne*

        Hahaha, now I’m imagining this interview and loving it.

        LW, good job. I’m glad you’re out of there.

    3. Newby*

      I think any job that discourages going to HR if your boss is trying to punish you because he got drunk is not a good place to work. That interviewer is an ass.

      1. Stranger than fiction*

        I’m dying to know how Op responded to that whole line of questioning. Like “I’m totally loyal until you ask me to do something illegal”?

        1. Contrarian*

          I completely agree that loyalty should not extend to doing something illegal.
          However, drinking at lunch (indeed, even getting drunk at lunch) is not illegal. The problematic part was pressuring her to drive when she was unlicensed to drive.

          1. JessaB*

            The other part of the problem though, is that it’s not illegal to be drunk, but he was out on company business so legal or not, it should be severely frowned upon that he got too drunk to drive.

          2. Annie Moose*

            It wasn’t the drinking that was illegal, it was OP driving that was illegal. By trying to force her to drive, he was trying to pressure her into committing a crime!

        2. Annonymouse*

          I don’t believe in tattling.

          I do believe in reporting illegal behaviour which would have resulted in people being arrested and a huge scandal to the company.

          Are you saying you see these as the same thing?

    4. Reboot*

      This. I have no patience for grown adults who still use that word in all seriousness.

  3. King Friday XIII*

    Sounds like you made the right decision, and I’m glad you found a new job at a much better place!

    1. Van Wilder*

      I’m so happy for you! But I’m still shaking my head that your boss did everything wrong but he was so untouchable that you were managed out. I’m thinking lawyer? But you’re probably a healthier and happier person for having just moved on. Hope you have normal people in your new job!

  4. Recovering Adjunct*

    Congrats on the new job! I hope you’re able to leave a very detailed Glassdoor review of your old job.

    1. Rick Tq*

      Glassdoor the old job, name the drunk manager, and I’d suggest adding another review for that first interview where the drunk’s crony called you in to tell you to get lost.

      Her management should know she wastes their time harassing a disabled person to support a non-employee.

        1. Looc64*

          Yeah, I wouldn’t leave a review, because if they found it and tried to figure out who left it, you’re probably suspect number 1. It’s not really worth it.

      1. Van Wilder*

        Glass Door review won’t go through if you name names, unfortunately. They kept rejecting my review because I said I don’t want to name names but beware of the department that rhymes with “Schmerformance Management Office”

  5. C Average*

    Honest question: does Exboss have any redeeming qualities? Is he really bright, charismatic, good at his job, skilled in esoteric and highly sought niche areas? If not, has he got naked pictures of God or something?

    It boggles my mind that a person not only gets away with this, but has other people who don’t even work for him helping him get away with this. He sounds like a mean, vindictive, unhinged, improperly socialized SOB, and I just really want to know what offsetting assets he may have.

    Good on you for getting a new job in a place beyond the reach of his influence.

    1. Antilles*

      I think he’s probably highly skilled at his job and equally skilled at lying. People who are directly in his circle don’t challenge him because they don’t want to risk losing his business talents; everybody else is getting a pack of lies that make his actions look reasonable.

      1. JessaB*

        A lot of abusive people know very well how to manipulate outsiders to their cause. It’s kind of classic gaslighting of everyone but the person they’ve decided warrants their ire. It’s the reason when people try to report things, that they often decide not to, because “everyone thinks that person is so nice and lovely, and nobody would ever believe he hit me, or whatever he did.”

        1. Irish Em*

          I had a manager like that, who would sexually harass the poor, young, zero-hours contract part-time girls (and they were girls, the ones he targeted) and he always had his ass covered because there would be no witnesses and it was well known that he would (and I hate that I have to say this, ugh) “play the race card” and claim that the harassed girls were all racist because they were Irish and he a non-National. *shudders*

          Not to mention he could be very charming when it suited him, and he was very canny about befriending those people who could benefit him, meaning that senior management would be more inclined to believe him over the inexperienced part timers. SO GLAD to be away from him.

    2. AdAgencyChick*

      I know. I’m flabbergasted that this loon seems to have a coterie of people who have drunk his kool-aid.

      OP, I hope you got severance out of this. I also think you’d be well within your rights to contact HR at your old company and tell them that this turd is poisoning the well for you at other potential employers despite their promise to you that you’d have a good reference coming out of this.

      I mean, they’ve already shown their unwillingness to discipline him or tell him his actions have consequences, but maybe you might get some belated severance out of it? I think you should already have been paid a good chunk of severance, but I bet you haven’t.

    3. Jeanne*

      I am not surprised. I don’t know why it’s part of our culture but people like this are everywhere. They seem to succeed where good people fail. I wish I had the explanation.

      1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        Yeah, I am also not surprised. A good example of this kind of cabalistic loyalty mixed with crazy is Uber, or Amazon. There are workplaces that are really willing to allow a walking lawsuit do crazy things as long as they can bully those beneath them into silence.

        1. Liet-Kynes*

          Amazon isn’t quite that, but Uber, from all accounts, is the corporate equivalent of a raging frat party held by convicted felons.

        2. Amazonian!*

          I’ve worked at Amazon. It’s an intense, hard-charging environment, and it attracts people who like to debate issues and probably repels the “conflict averse.” So for sure it’s not for everyone. But for me it was an amazing job, provided me with great experience and a boost to my career, and I really enjoyed it. I certainly wouldn’t characterize it as a bullying environment. PCBH, not everything you read in the press is 100% accurate.

          1. Candi*

            You need to read comments on this site from other prior Amazon employees. At best, you got one of the better locations, with halfway decent management.

      2. Annonymouse*

        I can come up with one.

        Remember that OP from earlier this year who was asked to be a reference for that guy that basically bankrupted her non profit?

        She was concerned about what to say, how factual to be or just speak to his personality and leave the work out of it.

        Most of us advised “be factual and tell people what you wish your company had known before hiring this guy.”

        A lot of other people were “you can’t do that! Don’t ruin their career, he deserves a second chance! It’s wrong to be negative in a reference!”

        Except being positive for this person shuts down charities and hurts people.

        Or in this case lets this guy get away with despicable behaviour until he is so far up the ladder he doesn’t need the cover anymore and can openly be an ass and ruin the careers of decent people like OP.

        1. Luke*

          A large city’s public defenders’ office was looking for an official slogan. One wag proposed “Doesn’t Everyone Deserve A Seventh Chance?”

    4. The OG Anonsie*

      “Naked pictures of God” is going in my idiom file, thank you.

      But, and I mean, maybe I’ve had bad luck but I feel like managers and their accompanying network of people who facilitate it are studded around the management chains of most companies. Some are worse than others, but I can’t say I’ve ever worked somewhere that was devoid of these little cells of nonsense.

    5. LBK*

      Right!? The hiring manager that was clearly in cahoots with him must have gotten a wildly inaccurate version of the story, because I don’t know how you hear “My employee refused to break the law to drive my drunk ass back from work” and think that the employee is the bad guy in that story. This honestly sounds like someone who’s been brainwashed by a cult leader. Insane.

      1. Imaginary Number*

        I could see how that conversation would go. “We were at a business lunch where everyone was drinking, including myself. My employee, who I didn’t even have to invite, made comments that I was drinking too much. I told her she could drive just to make her happy, but she said she doesn’t even have a license so we had to take a cab at that point. Then she reported me to HR anyway and tried to claim that I was discriminating against her since she couldn’t drive for a ‘medical’ reason. It’s ridiculous.”

        It’s so easy to completely twist a story without actually having to lie all that much. Just leave out a couple significant details to make it seem like OP is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    6. Jessesgirl72*

      The first update said that HR said he had a lot of connections and the company felt they needed him for Big Project.

      People like the Boss usually treat their equals really well, suck up to their superiors, and treat their underlings like crap- unless they prove their “loyalty”

      I’m glad the OP is out of that mess and has a new job someplace that will treat her like a human,

    7. Bookworm*

      Also not surprised. As others say, he’s probably getting the benefit of the doubt because of something he brings and/or he just knows the right people/knows how to treat particular (ie important) people.

    8. Lindsay*

      I am with all of the other commentators – congrats on the new job and where do you live that there are so many dysfunctional people willing to prop up an extremely dysfunctional person?!

    9. Not So NewReader*

      I have seen it happen twice now that bad bosses can accrue power by twisting stories around. They are not particularly good at their jobs. But they don’t have to be because they are so good at undermining everyone else.
      It becomes almost a psychological terror, everyone is afraid of ticking this person off because of the lies they spread. The lies usually contain some truths so it is very hard to separate out what is true and what is not. Another problem comes in because of the very high frequency of lies and distortions, people just do not have time to sort through all the layers of problems going on concurrently.

      One boss took the job with a modest raise. She said if she did not take the boss job, they would have eventually worked her out the door. For what worked into less than fifty cents an hour she became a boss who had no faith in upper management, her crew had no faith in her and her paycheck had a tiny increase for all this. To say she was resentful does not describe at all.

      The other boss that wielded a lot of power was one who took a job that no one else wanted. She always had problems in her department and used those problems to show everyone that her job was. just. so. difficult. This, in turn, secured her job even more because no one wanted to deal with THOSE problems. The problems stemmed from her steady stream of lies and her gender bias. She hated women.

      In both cases, the bosses took the book of “Things a good manager should do” and threw it in the garbage. They did the exact opposite of anything you would expect out of a decent manager. Upper management just refused to deal with all the complexity going on in each case. They had what they thought were bigger fish to fry.

    10. Susan*

      hahah! Naked pictures is usually my go to answer for erratic behavior that is tolerated for some employees and not others.


    1st – congrats on the new job!

    2nd – sweet holy Hades, you clearly made the right choice in leaving. HR told you multiple people would retaliate because you were unfairly treated and DIDN’T CARE?! So glad you got out of there.

    3rd – since the incident in questions was tied to your medical condition, I am shocked at the interviewer from the first place you applied. She knows the story and said she would never hire you. Of course it is about loyalty to her friend, but that seems to me like it could easily come off because of your medical condition. That wasn’t very wise on her part, but since she sounds like an utter nightmare I am not surprised.

    Anyway, congrats again! Hope you can leave this all behind you now.

    1. Root Beer*

      You absolutely made the right decision to leave. I wish you all the best with the new position!

    2. Liet-Kynes*

      HR probably didn’t care because they were told not to care. I’m sure it nauseated them as much as it does everyone sane, but my guess is the word came down from On High, and because HR exists to represent the the interests of management as far as employment law goes….

      1. Stephanie (HR Manager)*

        Agreed, but the fact that they told the OP what they did tells me that HR cared very much; they were under no pressure to reveal that information, and in fact they could have someone come down on them for it. They probably wanted to do something but had their hands tied, so they did what they could with what they had.

        Tangentially related… “retaliation” is something HR HAS to act on, but only in the legal sense of the word, which this doesn’t fit this circumstance. Nevertheless, someone in that HR department had a long, angry venting session over managers. Yeesh.

        1. Alice*

          I wonder (honest question, just like C Average asked above) — why do HR staff stay at an organization as rotten as this one sounds? It’s one thing to work in a rotten environment and do the best you can, but surely the HR staff need to be worried that their reputations are going to take a hit because of the company’s bad practices.

          1. Jadelyn*

            For the same reason anyone else stays at a toxic job. Needing the money, having a hard time finding a new job, whatever.

            That, or they’re as awful and corrupt as the management. I’ve seen that happen too. Sadly, no profession is immune to That Type of Person making their way in.

          2. Not So NewReader*

            With the two bosses I was talking about above, one company moved their HR people frequently. So you would spent a couple years in one location and then move on. Actually this added to toxic boss’ power, as each HR person had to go through the learning curve of what was actually going on.

            With the other boss, HR view it as something that was happening “Over There”, since they had no problems with each other all was well with the world. I have been away from this place for a long time. I ran into an HR person and she said, “oh it is so much better Over There now.” Little did she know that employees are saying the same complaints as they were when I was there. Nothing has changed.

            1. Elfie*

              Yeah, hubby works at a place that is actually pretty good to its employees – as long as you never need anything. If you do need something (accommodations, want to work part time, anything really) then they just take the piss. Up until fairly recently, their HR moved around A LOT, which meant that you were always educating someone new about your situation. It actually enabled the boss’es bad behaviour as NSNR says above. Now that they’ve changed this practice, things do seem to be getting a little better (at least for hubby), but they can’t quite hide the fact that they’re such a toxic workplace for pretty much anyone who isn’t a white, male, middle-aged engineer.

        2. The OG Anonsie*

          That’s my thought as well. They had no actual authority to actually prevent the exboss et al from screwing with the LW, but they did give her (him? I can’t remember if they’ve said) an escape hatch and some protection. Having no actual teeth due to organizational dysfunction isn’t necessarily the same thing as not caring, and given the apparent circumstances they seemed to do what they could do to help.

          A less generous interpretation is that this also gave them a way to have the LW leave before enough things happened to potentially become a lawsuit.

        3. la bella vita*

          I read that as the HR person trying to help the LW out but having their hands tied – it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the HR person is currently or will soon be looking for a new job.

        4. Liet-Kynes*

          “Agreed, but the fact that they told the OP what they did tells me that HR cared very much; they were under no pressure to reveal that information, and in fact they could have someone come down on them for it.”

          Yeah, that’s what I was getting at. Like, they were told not to care about the retaliation in the sense of being prevented from acting on it, but it wasn’t like they didn’t care about having their hands tied.

        5. Thornus67*

          This MIGHT have risen to ADA discrimination/retaliation given it flowed out of, in part and through no fault of LW, LW’s legal inability to drive due to a medical disability.

    3. Normally A Lurker*

      I actually suspect the interviewer doesn’t know about the medical condition. That is prob not how the incident was phrased to the the interviewer. At least, that’s my guess.

      1. Say what, now?*

        That’s my thought, too. She was probably told that the boss had only had a couple of drinks and could have driven but decided to err on the side of caution. He probably then portrayed it as LW went to his boss and told him that he had been drunk when he’d only had one or two. Maybe even that he/she refused to drive even though he/she could have.

      2. Anonymoose*

        Oh, totally. ‘Poor little BossMan’ was probably also ‘dead sober’ in the story. *eyeroll*

      3. Leenie*

        Can you imagine accusing someone who is a virtual stranger to you of “tattling”? Regardless of the surrounding circumstances or what the interviewer thought transpired, that’s just embarrassing.

        1. ArtsNerd*

          This! “LOYALTY” to a boss!? “Tattling?” I cannot fathom any scenario in which this interviewer behaved appropriately.

      4. Ms_Morlowe*

        Or it was heavily implied that the OP was making up a medical condition–as in, “she said she had epilepsy but I’ve never seen her have a seizure that looks exactly like TV seizures so she was clearly lying.”

  7. Lady Phoenix*

    You have escaped the Titanic and found a lifeboat to civilization. Congrats!

    It will only be a matter of time before old boss does something crazy while drunk that can not be excused: driving drunk, a workplace accident, sexual harassment to name a few. And yup, a lawsuit will hit them and they will be hurt hard.

    The fact the female boss talked badly about “tattling” was all you need to know: they will let terrible shit slide, let good people take the fall, and open themselves to a big lawsuit. we can only imagine what other things go behind those doors.

  8. Clinical Social Worker*

    I always love it when the OP lands a better job somewhere else. The best revenge is living well! So glad for you OP.

  9. ZSD*

    I’m glad you found a new position, and I hope that you love it there!
    I’m so sorry you had to sit through that horrible faux interview. God, why did the woman even think that was a good use of her time?

  10. PB*

    Congratulations on the new job! This is wonderful news. I’m sure you don’t need me to say it, but your former employer sucks. HR knew he’d retaliate, and told you they’d do nothing to stop him? And that other interviewer, asking about tattling? Ugh.

    1. Liet-Kynes*

      It’s breathtaking how much a white, male, ruthless functional alcoholic can get the world to cover for him, isn’t it?

      1. I am not a lawyer but,*

        Do we know he’s white? The guy like this that I worked for wasn’t, but he fired me because I wouldn’t have sex with him. But another commenter is right – living well IS the best revenge. I don’t feel guilty at all for enjoying how far he has fallen.

  11. kitkat*

    Congrats! I’m so glad you’re far away from your old boss and his cronies. It sounds like he’s really throwing you under the bus to the people that know him. Normally I’d say that’s bad, but in this case it’s nice that it’s helping you avoid toxic workplaces.

    I would urge you to leave a glassdoor review. You don’t have to get into specifics if you want to avoid being recognized, but a heads up to prospective employees that management makes unreasonable requests and that HR will not do anything about it. I would be thankful to know that before applying.

  12. Liet-Kynes*

    This is such great news, and I’m glad it ended well, but this industry sounds about as incestuous and dysfunctional as the late-era Hapsburg dynasty, and the interview made me feel dirty just reading about it.

    1. Nolan*

      Perfect analogy! I had the same feeling but couldn’t find a way to articulate it.

      I don’t know what industry this is, but I hope it’s not as Hapsburg-esque as it sounds from what the op has endured!

      But congrats on the new job op!

  13. Amber Rose*

    This is the kind of letter that makes me want to shake my fist at the sky and scream “It’s just not FAIR!”
    I mean it kind of is because you’re FREE now, and that’s fantastic. But the vengeful part of me hoped for retribution.

    Actually, if I had to give today’s posts a theme, I would say they are all making me channel Conan the Barbarian.

  14. requiredname*

    That sounds like an absolutely terrible environment, plus extra work in poisoning your professional reputation. I’m so glad you found a different job!

  15. Jeanne*

    Congrats on the new job! These people are disgusting. I am glad you got a good outcome. Please forget them.

  16. Kate*

    WOW. Someone set up an interview with you on company time just to be vindictive? I’d let her boss know.

    1. Bend & Snap*

      It sounds like the boss smeared the OP…what a jerk.

      OP I’m glad you have a happy ending!

    2. Gazebo Slayer*

      Hahahaha, that would be great fun – especially given her sneering little question about “tattling.” You could even let her know – “Hey, thanks for giving me a great idea!”

    3. esra (also a Canadian)*

      I would absolutely write an email to her boss about that. Seriously, who goes to that much trouble to pull this high school nonsense??

    4. Cassandra*

      I understand the impulse, but I wouldn’t? A few reasons:

      – why risk further entanglement with that level of not-right?
      – not OP’s circus, not OP’s monkeys
      – the chance that Vindictive Interviewer will actually suffer consequences approach zero

      Glassdoor, eh, maybe. Poking the alligator? Nah.

  17. The OG Anonsie*

    This is such good news! I’m so glad you were able to find something again soon, this whole thing was so insane.

    I also feel vindicated that my reading of HR as giving you a pretty clear warning about this was accurate, because I was starting to think I was crazy with how everyone thought I was assuming too much.

  18. Falling Diphthong*

    Lecturing subordinates on how they owe loyalty just demonstrates that the speaker knows management hasn’t done anything to actually engender loyalty.

    1. Knitty*

      From the “The beatings will continue until morale improves” school of management.

  19. Caro in the UK*

    Congratulations on your new job! You’re free and happy, while your ex-boss is still a miserable idiot, who is obviously still wasting his energy being angry at you. You are most definitely better off out of there and I’m so glad you are :)

  20. PizzaDog*

    Congratulations on the new job! You deserve it!

    As for the interviewer who wasted their time and yours on that nonsense interview? Put that far out of your mind. It takes one unhappy person to do that to someone looking for a job.

  21. Rusty Shackelford*

    At the interview, the hiring manager only asked me questions about loyalty to my superiors and what I thought about tattling. She also ended the interview early and told me flat out she would never hire me. Her LinkedIn shows she has worked with my ex-boss [the one I reported] twice in the past.

    That’s… weirdly Machiavellian.

  22. Emily*

    Congratulations on your new job. Pretty hard to believe the BS they put you through (and that interviewer sounded INCREDIBLY unprofessional) but I’m so glad it’s worked out okay for you.

    1. Liet-Kynes*

      They’re lots and lots and lots of tiny shiny things, all over your suit, come to mention.

  23. Tangerina Warbleworth*

    First, OP, go you!! You rock!

    Second, adding to everyone’s shock over that awful boss and the interview with the person who knew him. There is no one whose skills are so amazing that they should be able to get away with being falling-down drunk on the job.

    Look on the bright side: you have some great experience under your belt now, and you know what kind of sh!t you can face down. Again, go you.

  24. sssssssssssssssssssssss*

    Tattling. Wow.

    Tattling is to get someone INTO trouble. Telling is to get someone out of trouble or danger – that’s how I frame it for kids. Reporting dangerous behaviour (i.e. his drinking) was not so much to get him into trouble but to flag a serious issue to get everyone out of trouble (accidents).

    Good luck!

    1. PM Jesper Berg*

      “Drinking” is not necessarily “dangerous behavior” (indeed, the manager recognized he wasn’t fit to drive), and drinking is not inherently the issue here. Where the manager erred was in pressuring his subordinate to drive and trying to stiff her for the cab fare.

  25. Bea*

    Screw those dbags.

    That’s the nicest way to say what I really have to say to them. Scummy and gross. I’m so glad you got a job within 6 weeks and hopefully this company isn’t ran by Good Ol Boy knuckle daggers in fancy suits.

    This burns because I’m absolutely loyal and will fight someone if they’re bad to my boss because my bosses are amazing. They’d never ask me to do something illegal let alone act like a giant spiteful child when I told them no. So yeah, I’m loyal to people who earn it. Not just because you’re “the boss”, any old fool can carry that title around we’ve all learned.

  26. Doe-eyed*

    This is a total hypothetical because I know you’re so done with it, but does the interviewer open themselves up to claims of discrimination for health issues given that rejection?

  27. Interviewer*

    Hopefully you are not connected on LinkedIn to any of these douchecanoes.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. I’ve never been asked to protect lawbreakers, and I don’t know anyone in my industry who would. What your boss and the HR department doing is wrong, and not normal.

    Best wishes to you in your new role. You deserve a great boss, a happy work environment, and a lot of drama-free interactions with HR for several years to come.

  28. MissDisplaced*

    Jesus OP, I don’t know what industry you work in, or if this is just a small town, but you were treated horribly in all this and were not at fault. I’m glad you got out of that company and situation.

  29. CAinUK*

    I agree with leaving Glassdoor review. A scathing one. But also:

    If HR explicitly said they would condone retaliation for mistreatment over a medical issue, how is this not a lawsuit? At a minimum, state labor board complaint and investigation. IANAL but this seems like a slam dunk to me?

  30. Undine*

    Q. What do you think about loyalty to your superiors and tattling?
    A. What do you think about negligence and retaliation?

  31. Mike B.*

    I was initially shocked that so many awful people worked in tandem to make life difficult for OP. Then I remembered how many serial killers work in pairs. Sometimes crazy has a way of finding crazy.

  32. My Boss's Designated Driver*

    This reminds me *so much* of my first job after college. A few months after I started working at this nonprofit, my boss got extremely drunk with a board member and corporate supporters. He had driven a company-owned vehicle to the bar, and asked me to come pick him up at 9pm. I did it because I knew the vehicle had to be returned, and even though my boss was very grateful, my respect for him was lost. (As if this was the only thing he ever did wrong…) We also didn’t have an HR team who could help–just a lot of men in leadership positions.

    Kudos to you, OP, for being young but still recognizing that you should stand up for yourself. And congrats on getting an exciting fresh start!

  33. Not So NewReader*

    Well, OP, for all the misery you went through you really landed well. Congratulations. You kept working at things and I so admire that. It’s not easy then there are days where it feels downright impossible. I hope you give yourself a treat of some sort in congratulations for working this through.

    I had to chuckle, sarcastically, about the previous interviewer. It always amazes me how many ways people can tell us, “Hey, I am a certified ass!” Never be a shamed of taking the high road, OP, it will serve you well through life. Those other people, not so much.

  34. RB*

    I’m sort of angry all over again after this second update. Please use Glassdoor to warn others off this company.

  35. Narise*

    My letter to her company would begin with ‘Dear CEO I was disappointed to learn from MS. Johnson that your company would never hire someone with a disability that prevents them from driving. My understanding was that abc position does not require driving but your manager has made it clear she would never hire me. I recently left a position at xyz company. I had one day when I was unable to drive my manager after a business lunch with clients. MS. Johnson had discussed this incident with my former manager and stated clearly she would never hire me apparently because I can’t legally drive and was unable to drive my manager after said lunch. To be honest I’m still not certain why she scheduled the interview with me with your current company policy in place. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I hope it you will reconsider your current policy.’

  36. ArtsNerd*

    THANK YOU so much for the update, OP! I was thinking of you and the awful situation your managers put you in. I’m going to echo the other commenter who points out that someone who goes through the effort of bringing you in for a false interview is a very unhappy person, and I hope you truly realize that you didn’t do anything wrong.

    Also: please know that in small professional circles, the good people tend to hear through the grapevine about who the assholes are, no matter how “important” they might be. You’ll know them when they arch their eyebrow at even the blandest mention of [name].

    Congrats on the new job! So glad you’re OUT and can put these jerks firmly into your past.

  37. Bunny*

    I’m an epileptic. I can drive, and I’m grateful every day. I’ve gone through tons of managers who insist they know better than my doctors, who schedule me for overnight shifts despite it elevating my seizure risk, and was fired from a job for being out for week with seizures. I hadn’t handed the paperwork to the right person.

    Yes, I contacted a lawyer and saved that reference. But the way companies treat all people with chronic conditions is insane.

    Keep rock in’ OP.

  38. AFRC*

    AMAZING!!! So happy for you!! (and glad you dodged another terrible situation with that other company)

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