let us discuss past letters

I’m on this week’s episode of Hannah and Matt Know It All, a very fun podcast where the hosts talk about questions from various advice columns and field new questions too. (If you like advice columns and you like podcasts, this show is your holy grail.)

In this episode, we talked about a whole slew of recent Ask a Manager letters, including:

  • a letter sent to me that hasn’t appeared here (I gave it to them as an exclusive!) about a burlesque company where the owner’s girlfriend is making everyone miserable
  • the guy who ghosted his ex and found out 10 years later she was his new boss
  • the person whose coworker was crowdfunding for IVF and wouldn’t stop hassling people for money
  • the person who had an affair with a coworker’s husband and now was making her work life miserable
  • my recent column about whether employees should have to ask for a raise

We also talked about how you can spot bad bosses in the interview process, whether people can be redeemed, and a bunch of other things!

You can listen to the whole hour-long episode here or on iTunes.

{ 23 comments… read them below }

  1. NYCJessa*

    Han and Matt are the best! Thanks for being on their podcast again, Alison, I’m going to go listen right now!

  2. Wendy Darling*

    I am not familiar with this podcast but I will listen to ANYONE discuss the ghosting boyfriend letter basically forever, so I’m going in!

  3. Observer*

    I just listened to it.

    On the last letter, I think Matt was right that the guy needs to have a conversation and be REALLY open to listening. Based on his letter he really sounds like he could be less than a perfect co-worker, to say the least. The whole song and dance about “concerns” over “unprofessional behavior” and how he might have been “remiss” in not going to her manager just really set my alarm bells off. It’s not that I think there is never an obligation to talk to your manager about your co-worker’s behavior. But this doesn’t come close to it. It DOES sound like he’s trying to find an excuse to get his coworker in trouble for being “mean”.

    1. RabbitRabbit*

      Yeah, I was concerned too and agree with his comment. It could be someone being mean, or it could be a legitimate issue.

    2. hbc*

      Yeah, no one would be delighted to be on the receiving end of that situation, but his response seemed very Sheldon-esque. Very high on the logical analysis and rule assessing, zero consideration of the emotional/social situation. Which is the kind of personality that’s often going to make people get frustrated from time to time.

      He needs to either have the conversation or get some social cred by being gracious about her retraction (and maybe enjoy that she’ll probably be pretty quick about any work-related stuff he needs for a little while.)

  4. CM*

    Oh man, why didn’t I start this podcast?? I’m obsessed with advice columns and love talking about them! Anyway, thanks — I just downloaded an episode and I’m excited to listen to it. On the Apple Podcast app, the last episode I see is from 2/18. I’ll check back in a day or two for your episode.

    1. Former Border's Refugee*

      If you go to the main…page, i guess… for the podcast itself in the app, the episode is there. It’s not at the top on if you go to “episodes” from the search page.

  5. Falling Diphthong*

    “The boss can’t fire the person who’s killing the business because she pays half his rent.” -the family-run business

  6. Angie*

    I got it on the podcast app… It’s literally called that. I use it for everything I can’t get on NPR one ( and I also use them for some of the things I can’t get on NPR and many of the things that I can because NPR one doesn’t let you save something to listen later). I just added them to my Favorites!

  7. Alldogsarepupppies*

    I have never heard of this show before but now I subscribed and have lsitend to three episodes in addition to this one. Thanks for adding more podcasts to my already crowed (50 hr/week) feed

    1. Liss*

      Seconding this. I am so sad at the trend of moving from written words to podcasts because they’re nearly always 100% inaccessible to me.

      1. Han*

        I really wish this was something we could offer. I’m so sorry that we can’t currently! It’s just the two of us and we both have full time jobs, so we just don’t have the hours available in the day. I do also do a written advice column – Ask A Helping Han – but it’s very new and only one question a week or so, and doesn’t include the fun guest stuff (obviously.) We’ve got transcription on our radar for future growth, though!

  8. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

    Alison, did the first update for the “too exclusive” post get taken down? For some reason it’s not loading, although the second update is still available.

  9. Diamond Minx*

    Ooh man, I wish there’d been follow up discussion on the burlesque letter! I’m a burlesque performer from Canada and now I’m desperately curious about this poor troupe. Our world attracts some very interesting and unique personalities. It can be both intensely feminist and empowering, and terribly dysfunctional – it is a world populated by larger than life strong personalities after all.

    I agree with the advice of going to the boss en masse and laying it out clearly that he needs to act to change the situation. The suggestions to point out the non normalcy of her behaviour might help, but my fear would be that it would just rile her up even worse. You have to remember that they are a bunch of scantily clad women sharing what is probably a tight backstage and getting ready to perform then coming offstage with the emotions that brings up. It’s a vulnerable environment, and I absolutely sympathize with how hard it is for them already.

    I think focusing on the financial hits the company is taking from the boss’s girlfriend might help, and perhaps pointing out to him that she seems depressed and unhappy and might be helped with counseling.

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