can my husband be fired for my social media posts, letting a no-call no show return to work, and more

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

1. Can my husband be fired for my social media posts about his coworker?

We had a friend who is also a coworker live with us for five months. During those five months, she was very promiscuous and was having sex with her married supervisor and many coworkers. She got told to leave when she had sex with my 69-year-old dad in exchange for pain pills.

The other day I found a note in my husband’s pocket from her asking if he could find her or text her. I flipped out and looked into his call/text log on our cell bill. He’s texted her 26 times. He is a supervisor but not hers.

I posted on Facebook about her activities with my dad and her coworkers having sex with her and about her getting a teenager drunk and talking her into having a threesome with her supervisor. I also texted her and called her a skanky whore and a slut. Can my husband be terminated for my social media post or my text to her?


In general, it’s a good life policy not to call people misogynistic slurs, and especially not to do it about a spouse’s coworker. Employers have a vested interest in their employees having reasonably harmonious relationships with each other, plus a strong legal interest in not having their employees harassed about their sex lives. If an employee’s spouse is putting either of those things in jeopardy, the employer absolutely can take that up with the person they employ.

Whether or not your husband will be fired is a different question, but at a minimum you’re likely causing serious problems for him at work, and making yourself look really awful in the process. Rethink your choices here.

2. Should I let someone who no-called no-show come back to work?

Thanks to your amazing resume and cover letter advice, I have landed myself a supervisory position for a national shipping company. The job has had its ups and downs, but the last two weeks have really made me question myself as a manager, and as a person. Without getting into details, I had three of my staff of six quit within one and a half weeks without notice. They’re for unrelated reasons, but we were already down one staff member so our schedule was devastated.

One of the employees had no-call no-showed for a shift last week, and all attempts to contact her failed. I assumed she got more hours at her other job and didn’t have the heart to tell me. It was decidedly uncharacteristic of her. My boss and I decided to proceed as if she were not coming back unless we heard otherwise. Five days passed without a word.

I got an email from her this morning and I’m not sure what to do. She says her phone got stolen on the bus, and her car got repossessed (information that was confirmed by one of my other employees) so she had no way to contact me or get to work.

The old me would have fired her without hesitation. I have always had a strong work ethic and a sense of personal responsibility, but I have fallen on my fair share of hard times, and am now very empathetic. I want to give her a chance, but I also don’t want to set myself up for more large unexpected holes in the schedule, especially when there are people out there who want a job with us who can be reliable. I feel like my judgement is clouded by my personal feelings. Am I wrong to want to give her another chance?

No. She’s not contacting you saying “I didn’t feel like coming to work, but now I want to come back.” She’s telling you that she had a personal emergency that makes her disappearance far more understandable. That said, she could have borrowed someone’s phone to call you, so I don’t think she’s fully blameless here — but if it’s better for you to keep her on right now because you’re short-staffed, you’re allowed to decide to do that. You don’t want to ever stick so rigidly to a principle (“all no-call no-shows will be fired no matter what”) without considering the entirety of the circumstances — both yours and theirs.

You can certainly have a conversation about why she didn’t find another way to contact you, and you can watch for other signs that she’s more cavalier toward the job than you’d want, and you can cut her less slack in the future if other problems arise … but if it’s better for you to give her another chance right now, by all means do.

I’d also take a close look at what happened with those three people who quit without notice. Emergencies do come up where people have to do that, but it’s generally rare. So I’d look at things like: Does your company make it safe for people to give notice (i.e., doesn’t push them out early when they do)? Does it treat people with respect and consideration? (If not, people won’t give it in return.) Are the pay and benefits so low that people can’t justify working a final two weeks once they have another offer? Are you hiring people without much adherence to professional norms in general? Is there some reason (morale or otherwise) why people might not care about burning a bridge? Once you figure out what’s going on, you’ll be in a much better position to avoid this in the future. (And you’ll know whether you really do need to be questioning yourself as a manager or not.)

3. I suspect the person who got a job I applied for lied about his qualifications

A few months ago, I applied for a job with a politician (Ron). I was a regular volunteer on Ron’s campaign several years ago, have remained involved with his organization, had since gotten another job in politics that lasted over two years, and recently deputy-managed a campaign for another politician in his area (with whom Ron is friendly, not competing against). I felt I at least warranted an interview, but didn’t wind up getting one. However, Ron called me himself to give me the news and said that he had to go with someone more qualified, but he would pass my resume on if he heard of other openings. I appreciated his honesty and the position he was in.

Last night, I did a little digging (in politics, opposition research is kind of an instinct), and discovered who got the job based on Ron’s public staff list. When I looked up the person (Allan) on LinkedIn, I saw that his most recent prior job (and the only one that would be relevant experience) was a lie. He claimed that for the last year he was a communications assistant at an organization where I know most of the people working there and all of the people at that level across the organization. I’m 99% sure it wasn’t Allan. Based on the claimed start date and the suspiciously few Facebook and LinkedIn connections we have in common, I suspect that Allan was actually a summer intern and inflated his job title and duration with his department. (This is a field where people know everybody and have a lot of connections.)

Obviously, before I do anything I should be 100% certain and confirm with other people who worked there at the time Allan claimed to be there. Even if I am right though, just because Allan’s LinkedIn page says he held that job, it doesn’t necessarily mean he presented himself that way in application process. That being said, if one of your employees had lied about their credentials, would you want to know? Would it be credible coming from a rejected applicant? If so, what is the best way to communicate this to them without making it look like I’m being petty? It is relatively entry level so experience isn’t that important, and there is no safety risk – just quality of work and the principle of it all.

It’s not yours to investigate or report, and it’s going to look weird if you do. If you hadn’t been rejected for the job, then maybe it would be something you could give them a heads-up about — but in this context there’s no way to do it without looking like you’re oddly invested in something that isn’t your business (and that you might be invested in it because he got the job over you). It’s not your problem; let it go.

4. How open should I be about my plans to move in the next few years?

I just started a new job in a city I’ve been living in for over six years. I love my new organization and finally feel like I’m finding my groove in my career at a place where there is a lot of room for growth. I’m not from the city I live in and have always had plans to move back to where I grew up. The plans have always been general, but now my partner and I are getting married and we’ve discussed that we feel like the timeline to move would be in the next few years.

How open should I be about this at work when it comes to conversations about my personal growth? I’ve been told I’ll be having one-on-one’s and group discussions about where we see ourselves in the future and I just don’t know how honest I should be. I don’t want to stunt my growth here, but I do see this as my last job in my current city and my success/happiness at work greatly determines how much longer I’ll stay.

Keep it to yourself. Your plans aren’t set yet, and all sorts of things could change in the next few years. Plus, even if those plans were written in stone, sharing them this far in advance risks you getting pushed out sooner than you’d want to leave (or not given long-term projects because they figure you won’t be around to see them through, etc.).

And really, lots of people won’t be at their current job a few years from now, so you’re not in a terribly unusual situation. You just happen to be thinking about a more definite plan than others might be.

5. Can I get out of a meeting that has nothing to do with me?

We have a monthly meeting or a particular project that I have always been included in for reasons I was never quite sure of. My former manager was required to go as it was for a project that she helped start, but by the time I joined the company, she had nothing to add. It was easiest for her to say I would be attending instead of her from now on, rather than say outright that this meeting was unnecessary for our department.

Fast forward a year, and I spend 60-90 minutes a month in a meeting where I contribute nothing and do nothing. It’s mostly a back and forth between the other two departments (A and B), with A painstakingly explaining data metrics and analysis to a very analogue team of B. Today, when team A sent round the meeting agenda, I saw there was nothing remotely pertaining to my department, and asked if I could be excused. Later a member of team B came to my desk to reprimand me for not coming, because two things to do with my department came up. One of these is something I have repeatedly said has been solely allocated to my (senior) colleague and I am not in a position to confirm or promise anything. (This element is the only relevant thing to our team that ever comes up at these meetings, and my colleague has pointblank refused to attend them.) The other was to remind me to prep for an external meeting I have organized.

Is there any way I can get out of this meeting or do I just have to resign myself to having this time completely wasted every month?

You can try! Talk to your boss and say this: “I’m thinking it would make sense for me to stop attending the X meetings. I’m spending 60-90 minutes a month in them, and for the past year, the topics discussed haven’t been relevant to our department. I’m not in a position to contribute anything, since it’s mostly discussions of ___, and I don’t leave with any action items to take care of. If it’s okay with you, my thought is to let (meeting organizer) know that I’m going to stop attending regularly, but if there’s ever something she specifically wants me there for, to let me know and I’d be glad to come. Is that okay with you?”

{ 811 comments… read them below }

  1. Gaia*

    OP1 I get it, you’re mad. But you need to back down. Calling your husband’s coworker misogynistic names is definitely something that could endanger his job. (Also, I’ll note here that she didn’t force him to text her, nor did she inherently do anything wrong by being “promiscuous” with the people she had sex with while living with you. She is a grown adult woman and shouldn’t be shamed for her sexuality. I don’t know what the texts your husband sent said but those are on him. He’s the one married to you, not her). You need to back down and remove the post from Facebook.

    1. HannahS*

      Yeah, and the thing is, the company isn’t interested in playing referee. They can’t confirm that she got a teenager drunk or scammed an old man out of his pain pills. All they can know for sure is that you wrote and texted those things because you put them in writing, in places that they can see. Alison’s right–they care about harmony, not about who is ultimately right. From their perspective, you’re the one disrupting the peace, and if they decide you’re disrupting the workplace, it’s your husband that’ll face the consequences. I’m sure that there’s a lot that she’s done that’s upset you that you haven’t included in your letter–she certainly doesn’t sound like a picnic to live with–but:
      1) If you suspect her of starting up something with your husband, you have a much larger problem with your husband than you do with her
      2) If you want to criticize someone, stick to the facts; people in general care way more about “she got a teenager drunk and pressured her into having sex” than “she’s a slut”
      3) When it comes to workplaces, you have to stick to your wheelhouse. You don’t work there. Unless you’re calling the police to report a felony, you tell your husband about her behaviour and let him decide what to do. His workplace, his decision. The higher ups don’t know you and don’t trust you. If she’s doing things she shouldn’t at work, the news will have to come from him, not from you.
      4) If you’re going to put something in writing, make sure you’ve calmed down and thought it through before you do. Take the posts down.

      1. Jasnah*

        “They care about harmony, not about who is ultimately right.” This!

        Your husband’s company is not interested in figuring out whether this woman did these things, and they cannot punish her if she did. All they can do is decide who they want to employ. It sounds like they are not your employer(?) but they may still decide to distance themselves from you, which could mean firing your husband.

        It sounds like the aim of your post was to let everyone know. The problem is, now everyone knows. And now you will be judged for your choices, as much as she will be judged for hers.

        1. valentine*

          OP1, I get the outrage, scorched Earth, and cub reporting, but, using the legal names (and featuring photos?) of at least three people, you posted online that your ex-friend/-roommate (who reminds me of an OP who was suffering from alcohol addiction), among other things, perpetrated several crimes, some involving a minor (either generally or with respect to alcohol consumption, if they were in the US). If you used the teenager’s name or identifying information, that’s the first piece to (preserve offline in case she wants to report) delete. Your slut-shaming texts make you seem like a woman scorned, which puts the focus on you. I hope you’ve solved your ex-friend/-roommate problem by cutting off contact. The roots of your problems, though, are your dad and husband. Instead of treating this woman the way he treats you, your dad allegedly illegally sold narcotics to her in exchange for illegal sex work. (If she suffers from narcotic addiction, I wouldn’t call this consensual.) Who even told you any of this? Do you really trust their framing? You presumably want this woman fired, but assume that won’t happen. A colleague’s communication with your husband isn’t, per se, a threat to you. Is his behavior? Why? What do you want him to do, reduce his contact with her as much as possible? Does he agree? Would you want him to get a different job? Step back, don’t contact anyone from his job (friend or otherwise), and don’t make big decisions until this stops feeling like an emergency.

          1. RUKidding*

            Yes, yes, yes. If she has an addiction I would argue about consent with the dad as well. Whose idea was it? Did he offer them in exchsnge to someone he knew couldn’t refuse because of her addiction?

            1. Snuck*

              This is my thought too…

              It’s very easy to paint this woman in a poor light but one does not have sexual intercourse alone, one has it with another party/parties. All of the other adults involved are equally ‘reprehensible’ in their life choices, or equally ‘responsible’ or ‘equally capable of making their own choices and living by them’. And the teen? I assume that person was over the legal age for having sexual intercourse, so while it’s an unpleasant thing, unless there was undue power or coercion at play, it’s not great, but not really illegal. And…. frankly… unless you were party to the bedroom shenanigans (or your husband) not really ‘your business’.

              Glad she’s out of your house, sounds like it was an unhealthy dynamic all around.

              I’d delete your posts, apologise to the relevant named and offended parties, in a very cautious and non blame giving way “I am sorry I posted on social media, it was immature and unprofessional of me, and I will not do this about your co workers again” is all you need to say… and then… don’t.

              You can choose to say to your husband “Look the woman has problems and drama, and we can’t do that right now, please just tell her to go away,and when she comes back tell her “No really… go away, we are not people who can help you”…. and be done with it. Hopefully.

        2. GreenDoor*

          I agree. Who she’s slept with is none of your buisness. The only thing the company might care about is that she’s slept with the wrong person (someone that reports to her, a minor, a Board member, etc). But , let’s face it, if she is known for being promiscuous, people will know if anything she’s doing is creating an ethical dilemma at that workplace. They don’t need your help finding out. If this woman means nothing to you, why harm your husband’s reputation and put his job security on the line?

          And if it all boils down to her sleeping with your dad for pills….take that up privately with your dad and stop projecting on the work aspect of all this.

          1. RUKidding*

            Other than allegedly getting a teenager drunk I don’t see what this woman has done so bad.

            Slept with her supervidor? Power dynamic much? Seems that she would be the aggrieved party. Supervisir’s infidelity is between him and his wife. Full stop.

            Slept with other coworkers? So..??? Slept with OP’s dad? Again, so…? Who she sleeps with, with the exception of OP’s husband, and I suspect there’s a “bit” of suspicion about thst in OP’s mind, is none of her business. Having a lot of sex does not make her “promiscuous.”

            Actually it would be nice if we could using that word. It’s almost always gendered, negatively about women.

            BTW if OP’s dad *did* give her his pills…for any reason, *he* committed a felony. OP might want to think about that.

            1. Mobuy*

              I know this is totally a tangent, but having a lot of sex…is exactly what makes you promiscuous.

              1. Sacred Ground*

                And it’s general usage is highly gendered. I’ve never heard a man described as promiscuous, and when a man is described as having lots of sex it’s framed as a positive. When used to describe a woman’s behavior, as it nearly always is, it always carries a negative judgement.

                1. RUKiddingMe*

                  This. It’s a negative, judgmental word almost always aimed at women in order to shame them.

              2. All Outrage, All The Time*

                “I know this is totally a tangent, but having a lot of sex…is exactly what makes you promiscuous.”

                1. No it’s not. I could have sex ten times a day with my husband and that won’t make either of us promiscuous.
                2. So what if it is? What is wrong with having a lot of sex? Nothing.

          2. RUKidding*

            Let’s remember that “ternager” does not always mean “minor” and that age of consent laws vary widely.

      2. thankful for AAM.*

        Slightly off topic but why do workplaces prioritize short term, temporary harmony over long term and stable harmony? In this case, both come together but so often, they just want the issue to disappear in the moment, a bandaid, rather than a full solution.

        1. Dr. Pepper*

          I think it’s because that’s human nature. We often go for the bandaid fix rather than tackling the difficult, murky roots of a problem. That, and many people are truly terrible and predicting long term consequences.

          1. Be fair*

            Yet with everything else, they want us to speak up and be direct. There’s no balance. People need to be more fair. (Yes, if everyone strives to be fair, life CAN be fair. It doesn’t happen if you don’t try.)

        2. Manders*

          I think in cases like this, the workplace doesn’t really have the power to fix employees’ relationships and shouldn’t get involved with trying to do that. So short-term harmony is treating the symptom that affects the company, and that’s all they can really ask for.

          I do think there are some cases where companies make the mistake of preserving the status quo over fixing a real issue (like: shuffling the victims of a known sexual harasser around instead of getting rid of the harasser, or expecting high-performing employees to cover the work of a low-performing employee). But in this case I think a bandaid’s being applied because the full solution is not something the company wants to get involved in at all.

      3. TootsNYC*

        also this:
        “she got a teenager drunk and pressured her into having sex”

        This is pretty private information about that teenager.

        If I were that teenager, I’d be tremendously mortified to have my sex life spoken about like that.

        Even if I were a victim. Maybe especially if I were a victim.

    2. Julia*

      I am confused as to why people in this situation seem to heap their anger and scorn on the person with whom their partner cheated, rather than on the partner. As Cheryl Strayed eloquently put it, perhaps it’s because hating the “other man/woman” does not require them to dismantle their life as would hating their spouse.

      Other observation: As I’m going through the AAM archives, I’m noticing a pattern of LWs sending angry messages to their spouse’s coworkers (or in one case engaging in a hair-pulling scuffle at the place of work!). The question in the letter always seems to be “can my husband/wife be fired because I did this?” It seems to be a common thing to strike out in anger and then realize “oh, yeah, this might have an impact on my own financial situation”.

      1. Grande*

        Also, the other woman is someone you barely know most of the time and she’s rarely someone you love. It’s easy to only see the bad in her, while with your SO, you know both the good and the bad and you love them.

          1. Ain’t Miss Behavin’*

            Yes. Speaking from experience. A nightmare experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and one I wouldn’t have suffered through had it not been for the participation of both parties involved. She may not have had, or violated, a commitment to me (unlike my husband), but she violated the social contract. I am equally as confused how there’s a rush to absolve the affair partner of any responsibility. I don’t care if it’s a man or a woman, if they know the other party is married or committed, they share in the deception and selfish behavior.

      2. rudster*

        The LW didn’t actually list any evidence that her husband cheated with the co-worker. All she mentioned were records of text messages (of unknown content – perhaps all from the husband said “Stop texting me and leave me alone!!!”) from the cell phone bill and one-way notes from the co-worker asking to talk or meet. Perhaps the co-worker slipped them into the husband’s jacket pocket when he was away from his desk and he never noticed (why save them anyway, except maybe one if it had a phone number on it?), or just hoped she would tire of it and stop. I would probably have told my wife I was being stalked by a crazy co-worker, but I don’t expect everyone would feel comfortable doing so, even if nothing is going on from their end.

          1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

            This is a really good point. There’s really no other reason to write him a note asking to text her, when she could just text him to say the same!

          2. Tiny Soprano*

            He could possibly also be keeping the notes as evidence to take to his boss of harassment. But if this was the case he should really have kept OP in the loop about it.

        1. Karen from Finance*

          I would have told my partner if someone was stalking me, but my partner is a very reasonable person.

          I once had a coworker who liked me sleep on my couch because he got passed-out drunk at an office party and it was a risk to leave him alone (charming). Next morning I called my partner, told him dude was here, explained, and he was like “yeah I get it you did the right thing”.

          BUT. If my partner were like OP? If my partner were the sort of person to have that sort of reaction? I get why the husband wouldn’t wanna tell her about the texts or the note if this lady was stalking him.

        2. Lara*

          Also, since no timeframe was given, 26 times in five months isn’t unreasonable or wrong, if she was in fact a roommate. Many of those texts could have been standard “roommate” talk, for all we know! Heck, 26 times in an even shorter amount of time still doesn’t seem particularly indecent. I understand that OP is angry, and I can’t pretend I wouldn’t do/consider the same thing if my roommate did that with my father but going scorched earth on facebook can have lasting consequences.

          1. LunaLena*

            I wondered if the texts might be housemate- or work-related stuff as well. I know not everyone does it, but where I work it’s not uncommon for people to text each other quick notices like “I’ll be a few minutes late to [meeting], feel free to start without me.”

        3. MCMonkeyBean*

          My confusion is that if this woman was, at least at one point, a good enough friend to live in their house–some text conversation seems really normal. If everything OP wrote is true then I think there are some things to be genuinely upset with her about… but I don’t understand why those texts are what sent her on a facebook rampage.

        4. TootsNYC*

          (why save them anyway, except maybe one if it had a phone number on it?)

          To keep from littering. And then you forget to find a trashcan. Especially if you’re not feeling guilty about their contents.

      3. Bagpuss*

        I think Grande is right, it’s often easier to blame the ‘other woman’ because you typically have lots of feels for your spouse, and in many cases, particularly if you don’t want to end the marriage, casting them as having been seduced / tempted by a home-wrecker is easier than looking at the problems you have in the marriage or with your spouse which resulted in them deciding to cheat.
        That said, it’s also, in my experience (I am a divorce lawyer) a very gendered thing. The Other Woman gets a lot more blame than the Other Man, and a wife who cheats typically gets a lot of criticism and vitriol than the husband who does so, from both men and women.

        It’s not rational, and it’s not fair, nor is it very helpful if you are the wronged spouse and you want to preserve your marriage, as it often means you don’t address the underlying issues, but it is very, very common.

        1. Spiky*

          Yeah, it’s that idea that men can’t ever be in control of themselves when it comes to sex, and it’s up to women to not tempt men/keep their men happy.

          1. Karen from Finance*

            Yes, it comes from internalized misoginy, which in turn is not a very generous way to look at men either. I mean I get it, it’s easier to lash out at the “outsider”, but it’s really not logical or ideal.

            1. Michaela Westen*

              Yes – if I was a man, I would be insulted by the assumption I’m an animal who can’t control himself, that any woman could have her way with, etc.

          2. RUKidding*

            Yup. The more I think about this the more I wonder if she has an actual addiction and is being taken advantage of by both her supervisor (we all know that’s wrong anyway) and OP’s dad. Lots of dads are still creepy old men.

        2. A Girl Has No Name*

          Eh… I appreciate wanting to remove the gendered dynamic of this, and I don’t doubt the accuracy of your observations. It’s wrong that it is so often overly applied to women vs. men.

          But I hope the (societal) correction to this isn’t to say that the affair partner is blameless. I’m all about empowering women, and do not think people should be shamed for their sexual choices, if they are consensual among all parties and they aren’t hurting others.

          But to be clear, it’s also okay to think that someone who knowingly chooses to sleep with a married person is kind of a jerk, man or woman. Yes, the spouse is the one who did the betraying of one person to another and of the couple’s vows, but in general we live in a society where coexistence with other humans is required, and we know right from wrong. Sleeping with someone else’s spouse is wrong, just like cheating on your spouse is wrong. Both are highly selfish acts with no regard for the hurtfulness of the behavior.

          1. tangerineRose*

            “it’s also okay to think that someone who knowingly chooses to sleep with a married person is kind of a jerk, man or woman. ” This!

            1. whingedrinking*

              Sure. But the tendency to blame the affair partner exclusively is common and frustrating, when in fact the cheating spouse was the one who (presumably) vowed to love, honour and cherish, forsaking all others, etc., and the affair partner never swore an oath of “never sleeping with your spouse”.

      4. Rusty Shackelford*

        It seems to be a common thing to strike out in anger and then realize “oh, yeah, this might have an impact on my own financial situation”.

        Rather than a moment of clarity, I always picture the person striking out in anger and then their spouse (or a friend/relative) saying “are you insane, I could get fired for that.”

    3. Grande*

      She was having sex with married men though, and she even had sex in exchange for pain pills (!). It’s harder to go any lower than that. She doesn’t seem like a nice person. OP must be feeling extremely hurt and it’s only human to direct her anger at the outside person.

      1. Mystery Bookworm*

        The fact that she was having sex in exchange for pills suggests addiction and desperation. Most people who behave in that manner need help and support, not derision. The world, sadly, is full of nice people who behaved terribly in the throes of addiction.

        To be very, very clear: you can’t force help onto someone and it doesn’t sound like OP is in a position to help. I think OP made the right choice in asking her to leave. Nor do I think we are obliged to forgive everyone who has acted out in pain; we’re never obliged to forgive anyone.

        But there is a difference between anger and public scorn. She didn’t just share this with her confidants, she is saying those things publicly, which opens her up for criticism whether she likes it or not. And she’s using sexist slurs, which also reflects poorly on her.

      2. Zip Silver*

        Opioid addiction is a hell of a thing. Can’t really fault her for sleeping with people for drugs, but you can fault MDs who handed pain pills out like candy for over a decade, and the Big Pharma companies who incentivized it.

        1. Margaret*

          Or the man in his sixties who looked at a young, addicted woman and said ‘yeah I’ll illegally give you my controlled medication in exchange for you sleeping with me.’

          1. Zip Silver*

            Right, it’s been established that sex was traded for drugs. Point still stands that opiod addiction isn’t a good thing.

            1. Hotstreak*

              There’s no need to mince words around “trading” etc., what she did is called prostitution. A known prostitute works with and is pursuing OPs husband. The wife has every right to be angry, and society should shun the woman for her choices. Her behavior should not be supported or tolerated in any way.

              1. Jules the 3rd*

                You going to shun the father, supervisors and coworkers, too? They participated in those ‘choices’. Wouldn’t be any prostitution without demand…

              2. A little judgemental??*

                Maybe instead of “shunning” (what year is it?) you could work to get to the root of the problem, which in this case seems to be addiction. Then again, maybe dad just wanted to sleep with a young woman and she said “only if you give me some drugs.”

                Your choices don’t have to be her choices and I don’t think it’s reasonable to suggest these people be shut out of society because you don’t like the job they’re doing. It’s a business transaction, kind of like how you get paid to do the job you go to.

              3. Crivens!*

                Separate from this particular woman, sex work is valid work and not worthy of shunning. Your bigotry is showing here.

                1. GradStudent*

                  Yes, because we should use laws to decide what is moral. Sex work is valid work and the only reason it is illegal is because people have moralized work. If you want to get ride of exploitation you make pimping illegal, not prostitution. There is no reason for prostitution to be illegal.

              4. RUKidding*

                Misogyny much?

                Yes and a known drug dealer committed a felony giving her a controlled substace in exchange for sex.

                He should likewise be publically shunned! His behavior should not be supported or tokerayed in any way

              5. JM60*

                On a technical note, I’m not sure if this is legally prostitution. I’m not sure if prostitution laws in most places prohibit recieving non-monetary goods in exchange for sex. That technicality aside, the letter writer definitely does have good reasons to be angry at her.

          2. Nacho Fridays*

            This… OP’s father and husband are highly questionable at this point, both looking to take advantage of someone in this state. We all hear and most of us IRL are experiencing someone close to us with an opioid addiction and see the disastrous path they are willing to take, its especially low for other people to gain sex in exchange for furthering their addiction. If your father and potentially your husband are willing to do this OP needs to be worried but not about this woman.

          3. Dust Bunny*

            Or the man who gave her the pills in exchange for sex.

            Unless he’s otherwise debilitated, 69 isn’t that old, folks. My parents are both older than that and in no danger of being sucked into this kind of situation unless they were already kind of game for it. Let’s not act like she victimized him.

            1. Sunny*

              Yeah, when I saw his age being equated with “old,” I sighed loudly.

              Wait until any of you is in your 50s and tell me if you think 60s is “old.”

            2. Elizabeth H.*

              Same I’m always kind of shocked when people say stuff like that. My parents are both older than 69 and are still working full time, doing 6am exercise classes, shoveling snow, going to hear live music, camping, etc

              1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

                Exactly, my parents were doing the same at 69 (maybe except for camping, which they didn’t care for).

                I hope to be able to work into my early 70s. The official retirement age for my generation is 67! 69 is only two years away from that, so, far from feeble, elderly, and easily tricked into trading pain pills for sex.

            3. Jules the 3rd*

              Yea, my 70+yo parents are both fully competent. My dad’s parents were fully competent into their 90s. We don’t have the visibility to assess who was at fault in that transaction.

              Either way, it’s not an issue for her husband’s employer to sort out. If anyone, probably the police, but the father would (I think) be facing charges for dealing.

            4. MattKnifeNinja*

              If LW #1 father isn’t under a guardianship situation, he owns his garbage choices. I also don’t believe this is the first time Dad did the pill diversion thing for sex either.

              Many people think 69 years old =no sex. Especially no one wants to think their parents are doing the nasty with randoms.

              My OB/GYN says her biggest group of patients with STDs are in the 50 and up club.

              I’d be more worried about Dad’s pain pills supple and potential STDs, than raging at the coworker.

              1. pancakes*

                There’s no particular reason to believe he’s done it before. And the woman wasn’t “random”; she was a friend of the couple before she moved in.

        2. Sam.*

          OP’s dad seems to have escaped her vitriol, but he was a knowing and active participant. And if he exploited this person’s addiction for sex, then the blame really should be squarely on his shoulders. Misogyny aside, blaming the coworker for this is a really bad look.

          1. AvonLady Barksdale*

            Yeah, that bothers me a lot. 69 years old is not universally elderly/incapacitated. Shoot, most people I know in their 70s are perfectly capable, both mentally and physically, of having ill-advised sex and exploiting people (now, THAT is a picture…).

            Placing blame, looking for someone to blame, is human. It’s what we do with that blame that’s important, and this OP has made some rash missteps.

            1. Richierich*

              Sex is said to help alleviate pain. Is it not why some countries’ social security subsidize sex workers for disabled people / the chronically ill? It costs them less than the medication.

        3. SMH*

          If you knew any addict (really knew and worked with them not just saw them on Facebook), you would know that if they could control their actions they could control being an addict and most likely wouldn’t be.

          1. Statler von Waldorf*

            I’m actually a former heroin addict who spent months on the street, and I strongly disagree with you SMH. I made some horrible choices, but I MADE those choices and I controlled my actions. Part of my recovery is owning that fact and making reparations to those I harmed along the way where I can. The junkies I’ve known who don’t accept any personal responsibility for their choices don’t tend to stay sober for long.

            Bringing this full circle, blaming the drugs for an addicts bad choices is like blaming the third party for your spouse cheating on you. It’s a lot easier than facing the reality that someone you care about made a choice that hurts you, and it also does nothing to help the situation.

          2. Mazzy*

            I’m in an addiction recovery group and you’re definitely being too lenient, based on the hundreds of stories I’ve heard. I’m guessing you’re playing devils advocate but I don’t think it’s helpful to get pretend addicts have no control over their behavior. Usually they have control but use it to manipulate others, and part of recovery is making amends and analyzing the people you hurt. It’s not reallly a total lack of control.

        4. Karen from Finance*

          Listen, doctors often don’t need to prescribe medicines as agressive as they do, but they are heavily influenced by lab companies who incentivize them to prescribe their drugs. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a well-known fact.

          Opioids aren’t prescribed in my country unless it’s a very severe case, only time I took them was when I had cancer but hadn’t started chemo yet. But I’ve heard people in other countries (yes, mainly USA) talk about taking codeine for minor to mid grade injuries. It’s insane.

        5. Cheesesteak in Paradise*

          This is getting off topic but it’s a double edged sword for the docs. There are some bad apples but most docs don’t get any extra money for prescribing any particular thing.

          You have decades of culture in medicine telling you to take people’s pain seriously then you get blamed for causing addictions. But those same patients sure aren’t happy when they don’t get pain meds for their herniated disc or broken arm because you don’t want to cause addiction.

        6. neeko*

          Do you think that people enjoy being addicted to things that make them sick but also it makes them sick if they don’t have it? Addiction is an illness. And opioid addictions more often than not start from a prescription.

          1. Winifred*

            There is a wonderful blog called This Appalachian Life which discussed how many (overworked and under-resourced) doctors in that area prescribed pain pills repeatedly to people in genuine pain, because there were absolutely no other resources for these patients, no physical or occupational therapy, no other job choices, and certainly no rehab.

            1. neeko*

              I’m not saying that the doctors are the villain here. In most of the cases that I personally know about opioid addiction coming from prescriptions, it started from a legit reason. I’m just urging people to have a more nuanced idea of what an addict looks like and where that addiction may have started.

          2. Indigo a la Mode*

            I agree with all the respondents here, but I agree with Perpal that it’s not reasonable to 100% relieve addicts of accountability for their addiction. It’s their responsibility to not abuse a prescription of to get help if they do–just like it’s their responsibility to seek treatment for any other disease. We can’t solely blame doctors for introducing the drugs or renewing prescriptions when addicts manipulate then into believing they’re still in pain.

      3. Jenny*

        There is a crucial differemce between being upset though and how you react. Social media is very public and you should always, always think before you post. The texts using language are one thing but, it was triggered based in the mere fact that her husband texted with this person, of which OP had no clue.of the content, meaning it could have been innocuous and so very easy for the.coworker to flip the script “She went nuts just because I texted her husband but here’s the texts and it’s him doing X normal thing”.

        Op’s anger is understandable given what happened with her Dad, but it sounds like from the letter OP’s spouse may be upset or in trouble at work (and the trigger could be innocuous texts).

        Think before you text/post, particularly on a public/identifiable platform.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          This. LW could have gotten all these feelings out over coffee (or wine) with a friend. That’s understandable. The friend will say “tsk” “that’s shocking” “so terrible” and in this case likely be sincere. Verbal expression, to someone who doesn’t work with her spouse, with no public written record for her spouse’s employer to blanch at.

          1. puppies*

            Yes. I was betrayed terribly years ago by a friend/former coworker but posting about it on social media, or even private messaging mutual coworkers of ours, was not an option. It would have made ME look bad, unprofessional, and unstable. Instead I cut her off, vented to personal friends and family, and fantasized about what I’d say if I ever saw her again.

            1. Falling Diphthong*

              The fantasy is key here. Make a little playdough golem, make sure no one is in earshot, and let them have all your best devastating zingers. “So there!”

              Just don’t try to play it out in real life, where the other person probably isn’t going to follow your script.

        2. Bee*

          Yeah, these are all good reasons to kick someone out of your house and cut them out of your life. They are NOT good reasons to call them slurs on social media.

      4. Ms Cappuccino*

        You can go lower than having sex with married men. You can be the married men. They are the guilty part and if someone has to be insulted (not that it would solve anything), it must be them.

          1. RobM*

            I’ve never understood the gender politics of this. It *does* always seem to be the female’s fault when people gossip about infidelity.

            “X stole Y’s man” vs “Y obviously couldn’t keep her man happy”. I’ve heard both versions. The man concerned should maybe be held responsible for their choices at some point. In any case, I can see why the OP would want her husband nowhere near the lady concerned… but that’s between the OP and their husband.

      5. Jaz*

        Let’s reframe your first sentence: she’s having sex with a married man in a position of power over her, and she had sex with someone in exchange for a highly addictive substance.

        I’m worried for this woman and wonder how much, of any, of the sex she’s having is really consensual on her end. When I first saw the note to OP’s husband mentioned, I actually wondered if she was asking for help.

        1. Catcat12*

          She also got a TEENAGER drunk and pressured them into sex. There’s no framing there that doesn’t make her an abuser.

          1. ella*

            I don’t think the LW is a reliable narrator when it comes to who the coworker has actually had sex with.

            1. Cat Fan*

              Right, and I question the judgment of anyone who posts personal issues like that online for the world to see, no matter who may be right or wrong in the situation.

            2. Zombeyonce*

              I’m still wondering how OP knows her father slept with this woman for pain pills. Did the woman tell people? Did the father tell her? Either way, super weird.

          2. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

            18, 19 are legally adults. They may not be able to buy liquor in the US but they are adults. They can join the military, sign contracts, etc. (And many can drink legally in a private home, etc.)

            1. Observer*

              Yes, she probably hasn’t done anything legally actionable. But, knowingly getting someone drunk is despicable. And pressuring someone to have sex is despicable.

              Assuming that all of this actually happened as the OP describes. I have no doubt that the OP believes it, but there seems to be a level of jumping to conclusions that makes it hard to know whether she’s actually right about it.

            2. Emily K*

              I wondered at this too, especially with the framing of 69-year-old dad as an “old man,” if LW and husband’s coworker are perhaps very young. If the teenager in question is 18 or 19 and coworker is 22 or 23, well, it wouldn’t be the first time a college senior bought alcohol for a college freshman or fooled around with one. It still may not be a good look, but without context it’s definitely hard to know how to judge that offense when we don’t know whether it was a 36 year old getting a 14 year old drunk, or a 24 year old having a flirtation/hookup with a 19 year old.

              1. Emily K*

                Also something about this whole scenario gives me restaurant/retail/call center vibes, where teens and 20-somethings work alongside each other as peers, supervisors are often also in their late 20s/early 30s, people tend to marry younger than in other professions, the pay rate is low enough that having roommates is common, and casual sex between coworkers/drug use are not exactly rare.

                If I imagine this story playing out with 30s and 40s year olds working in a b2b sales office in career jobs it feels very different than if we are talking about people in their mid-20s working in a service environment. The bar for what’s really shocking is not the same in both of those contexts.

            3. Phoenix Programmer*

              Yes but getting a minor or from alcohol perspective I’ve drink before sending is rape.

              Intoxicated people cannot consent. And teens should not even be drinking.

              I feel very different about say, just minors partying together and everyone is drunk. Once you add a legal alcohol buying adult that makes them the responsible parties.

              1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

                Eh. I disagree about the teens should not be drinking. Plenty of other cultures than the US allow teens and younger to drink and they’re fine. It’s the ‘drink until blacking out’ that’s the issue. nd I see a lot of issues with teens getting drunk together–many, many rapes have occured in such circumstances. And we have no way of knowing if the co worker bought alcohol, simply allowed the younger person to drink in her presence, etc.

          3. Karen from Finance*

            This is a good point. Abused people can be abusers as well. I don’t think anyone is saying that the woman is 100% innocent here, just that *most* of the anger from LW is misdirected.

            1. Jaz*

              This. Most of the addicts I’ve known have also done a number of objectively unacceptable things. A person doing something wrong does not justify unrelated mistreatment of them. If she did in fact pressure someone into sex while drunk, by all means, get the police involved. She and the supervisor should both be held accountable, as that is sexual assault. But if people are using a chemical dependency or financial power to pressure her into sex, that is also wrong. There is nothing she has done that makes that treatment acceptable.

          4. RVA Cat*

            Getting anyone drunk to the point they can’t consent is rape.
            Having sex with a minor below the age of consent is rape.
            This person has possibly done both. That said, putting it all up as dirty laundry online helps no one. If the OP was concerned about the minor she should have reported it. But then she’d probably get her father arrested for the drugs and prostitution.

            1. TootsNYC*

              and if the teenager is the victim of rape, it’s not very nice to plaster her name all over the place!

          5. RUKidding*

            I concede on the alkegedly getting them drunk part. However “teenager” could be 18/19. Age of consent laws vary.

        2. Observer*

          He’s not in a position of power over him. And, there is actually no evidence that he’s having sex with her.

          *IF* he’s having an affair with her, that’s a problem with his behavior, of course. But, to be honest there is not a lot of evidence here and the OP’s judgement is not the best.

        3. Uhm*

          “she’s having sex with a married man in a position of power over her”
          It’s a bit disingenuous to frame it like this because you remove all the other context, including the many coworkers who aren’t in a position of power.

          You’re doing a lot of leaps and assuming/projecting about this woman’s situation for the sake of sympathy, but not giving the same focus to where non-consent is actually mentioned – the teen she got drunk and involved in activity with the boss and herself, both adults.

      6. Aveline*

        Sigh. It’s entirely possible that coworker is both a victim and a perp. So many people who go through trauma end up doing drugs and doing a lot of damage to people around them.

        This isn’t a situation where we know anything about this coworker. She might be a vile person. She might be a victim who is trying to help herself work through trauma. She might be both.

        We don’t know.

        Anyone stating anything definitive about her is just speculating.

        I’ve worked with many, many victims of CSA and other forms of trauma and PTSD. Some of them are also pretty vile, dangerous, manipulative people. Some are gentle lambs who would never hurt another soul.

        One can be a victim of trauma, drug or alcohol addiction, etc. and be a great person. One can also be these and be an absolutely selfish jerk.

        1. Orphan Brown*

          I agree with this. The amount of people defending the woman is surprising to me. Everyone’s actions suck all around, here, and there’s not enough info to defend anyone.

        2. Aveline*

          Within the last week, I terminated parental rights on a woman who had herself been a victim of CSA.

          Her pain and trauma are real. Her pain at loosing her children are real.

          That doesn’t justify what she did to her own kids or mean we don’t take them from her.

          There’s a huge difference between having sympathy for someone and excusing their actions.

          Far too often, we as individuals and our collective society cannot differentiate between sympathy that will allow nuns to help someone and sympathy that allows us to justify horrible actions that the perp CHOSE.

        3. mcr-red*

          This exactly.

          Also, addicts do a lot of damage, whether they mean to or not, to everyone around them.

      7. Observer*

        The two things are not mutually exclusive. Ex-friend sounds like a piece of work. But, Dad’s behavior is certainly questionable, at best. And *IF* OP husband has something going on with her, that’s on him just as much as on her. And while the OP is perfectly justified in kicking her out, beyond that, her focus needs to be on her relationships – with her father and her husband, not on this woman.

      8. JamieS*

        Re: married men, they’re responsible for not breaking their vows. Someone’s marriage doesn’t create an obligation for people outside their marriage. The sooner the rest of society catches on to that fact the sooner people will stop marrying people they know (or are pretty sure) won’t be faithful.

        Re: pain pills. That makes OP’s dad a drug dealer who obtained the pills under false pretenses. It also indicates addiction and desperation on part of coworker.

        1. mcr-red*

          “The sooner the rest of society catches on to that fact the sooner people will stop marrying people they know (or are pretty sure) won’t be faithful.”

          And just then you put the blame on the person that was cheated on because “they should have known better.”

          If we’re gonna take a hard look at language in this thread, then we’re gonna look at all of it. As often as I’ve heard, “it’s not the other woman/man’s fault, you shouldn’t be angry with them, be angry with the spouse” (I have never known someone who was cheated on that is NOT angry at the spouse) I have also heard in practically the same breath, “People in happy marriages don’t cheat” (puts the blame on the cheated on and numerous studies have shown is also factually inaccurate) or some form of the ‘the spouse had to have known/suspected,’ which again, puts the blame on them and not the cheater.

          1. JamieS*

            Yeah, that’s not what I said. I said if people stopped assigning responsibility to third parties they’d stop agreeing to be in relationships with people who are unlikely to be faithful. I didn’t say a person always knows or is always at fault.

            Although even if they legitimately believe their partner will be faithful then they need to blame the partner and only the partner if they wind up being wrong. It’s nobody else’s responsibility.

            1. Jasnah*

              I doubt many people get into relationships with people who are unlikely to be faithful. I think at the time, they genuinely believe their partner wouldn’t cheat. I think the partner themselves probably thinks they won’t cheat too. Yet it still happens.

              I think people who knowingly couple with married or partnered people also bear some responsibility. It’s like accessory to cheating. If your partner cheats on you with your best friend, you’re still allowed to be mad at your best friend.

          2. Crazy dog lady*

            Same! And like, yeah be madder at the person who cheated obviously but if you know someone is in a monogamous relationship and decide you don’t care, you thus know you are hurting someone and…don’t care. The “the other man or woman has no obligation to the person getting cheated on” argument makes no sense, like sure I don’t have an “obligation” not to hurt someone but if I decide to deliberately that’s pretty crappy. Its not the same level as the person who cheated but its not just “oh well” either. Obviously if the person is unaware of the relationship that’s totally different.

            But this is all over text messages? Could be innocuous. A 10 min conversation with my friend can easily be 26+ messages.

        2. A Girl Has No Name*

          It’s more nuanced than what you’re making it out to be. Yes, the spouse commits the betrayal to the person they’ve committed to. But the affair partner isn’t blameless. By knowingly entering into an affair with a married person you know you are likely engaging in an action that will hurt that person’s spouse (and family). Society isn’t a free-for-all, we don’t go around doing whatever we want whenever we want simply because we don’t have individual commitments to each person we encounter or may encounter.

          What’s more, it’s not fair to paint the situation as the cheated on spouse having made a decision to marry someone they knew was likely to cheat. I don’t have stats and studies to share, but I can speak from personal experience that never in a million years would I have thought my husband would cheat. And I’d wager that most/all of our friends and family would have never thought he’d cheat. In fact, I don’t think HE would ever have thought he’d cheat. But more than 10 years in and he did. It wasn’t my fault that 10+ years prior to it happening I didn’t think he’d cheat. The only way to guarantee that people don’t marry someone who may cheat is to dismantle marriage as an institution (sidenote: I’m not opposed to this concept, especially as a woman who has the perspective that, as a construct, marriage often benefits men more than women. But I feel like that’s a debate for another time.).

      9. RUKidding*

        So it’s her fault that her supervisor committed adultery and that OP’s dad committed a felony?

    4. Ginger ale for all*

      OP 1 – I understand why you want to share your opinion of this woman with the world but how in the world would the text and post solve anything? That other woman isn’t going to read those and have the sudden realization that her life has become a one woman soap opera plot and turn her life around. She needs to come to that realization herself instead of being handed a ‘everyone is picking on me’ excuse to continue to play her games.
      The one person to speak to about your husband’s involvement with that woman is your husband himself. If that doesn’t work then it you might need to think about going to marriage counseling to get some help rather than using social media to vent. Good luck with this.

      1. CommanderBanana*

        I’m also confused that out of all the possible ways to reach to this, the LW skipped “actually ask spouse what’s going on” and went straight to “blast vitriol onto Facebook.”

        LW, I’d advice you to take a big step back and look at how you use social media and maybe consider pulling the plug.

        1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          “I’m also confused that out of all the possible ways to reach to this, the LW skipped “actually ask spouse what’s going on” and went straight to “blast vitriol onto Facebook.”

          +10000 to this.

          Personal story: back when I was married (and our marriage was permanently on the rocks), one of the kids went through his dad’s dresser drawers for some reason, found an empty condom wrapper, and brought it to me. I had an IUD. I had always had one. He had zero need to use condoms with me. You can imagine what went through my head. I was lowkey puzzled, because, while my now-ex-husband had a lot of flaws, cheating was not one of them. But here was proof staring me in the face.

          After a week of stressing out, no sleep, and wondering what to do next, I did what I should’ve done right away, and asked him about it. He was as puzzled as I was: “I don’t do that…” but it took him a moment to remember where the wrapper had come from. A few months earlier, we had both attended a costume party, where another couple that we were friends with came dressed as Pain and Pleasure. The person dressed as Pleasure had literal condoms stitched to their outfit. Another friend, who considered himself a great prankster, was ripping condoms off Pleasure’s costume, opening them, and sneaking empty wrappers into all the guys’ pockets. My then-husband had a bit of the hoarding tendencies, and kept the wrapper. That was all. I was there and saw it happen. End of story. So many things suddenly become a lot less sinister if you actually TALK to the person about it.

          And, yeah, to your second point, my FB page is 90% pet photos and I plan on keeping it that way. I have too many coworkers, managers, relatives etc on my friend list to share anything remotely personal without all hell potentially breaking loose in my circle of friends/family/coworkers. Much less something like this.

      2. Safetykats*

        If the other woman does read the posts, I hope she takes them straight to HR, along with the text message in which OP called her names. (Although that may have already happened – and maybe was the thing that prompted the question.)

        1. Uhm*

          Why? To do what? OP doesn’t work there. I don’t think HR would want to touch that after hearing all the drama. At best I see it backfiring and taking down the woman, the supervisor, the coworkers

    5. Cat wrangler*

      There is also the possibility of being sued for slander by any of the people ‘outed’.
      I appreciate your anger and hurt from the events described but this isn’t the way to address it.

        1. Aveline*

          Yes, but there are other torts at play, depending on the jurisdiction.

          Further, one of the parties is a “teenager.” If she’s legally a minor, that’s a problem. If she’s under the age of consent, that’s an even bigger one.

          Just because it might be true and therefore not libel*, doesn’t make it legally ok. Or morally so.

          *It’s libel in most of the US b/c the original form was written. Libel v. Slander is typically whether the original statement was written or spoken. Though that also varies by jurisdiction.

          I generally prefer to use defamation as it covers both.

          There’s also “public disclosure of private facts” in some jurisdictions. That means you can sue someone for doing so even if the disclosure is true. But you’d have to show some form of monetary damages to prevail unless it’s in a category of fact that is “per se.”

        2. Observer*

          The OP is going to have to prove that, which may not be all the easy. And even if she can prove it, the cost could be devastating. If she’s worrying about finances now, the fallout of a lawsuit like this could make this look like a walk in the park.

        1. Aveline*

          Unless it’s libel per se.

          It really, really depends upon who the victim is, who the perp is, and what the nature of the statement is.

          Defamation is a very tricky area.

          1. Aveline*

            “libel per se. n. broadcast or written publication of a false statement about another which accuses him/her of a crime, immoral acts, inability to perform his/her profession, having a loathsome disease (like syphilis) or dishonesty in business.”

    6. Perpal*

      Uhh, sorry, I think it is wrong to get a teenager drunk and then talk them in to a threesome (sounds like several types of rape there, though depending on the age maybe only one). Similarly, diverting pain medicines, also very serious problem.
      Not saying a social media campaign is the way to go but I would seriously consider calling the police; harder to do though if it’s far in the past though.
      Why is your husband texting her? If LW is worried about him messing with her, LW has a husband problem, not a coworker problem.

      1. Zombeyonce*

        I really wonder how many stories about this woman that OP has heard and is repeating are true. She seems to be collecting a lot of gossip about someone, and very intimate gossip at that. I highly doubt she’s heard it directly from any of the people involved so the veracity of it all should be in question.

    7. Temperance*

      Eh, I think it’s pretty fine to be pissed off that the person you let live with you is having sex with your dad for pills and trying to have sex with your husband, or maybe have sex with your husband.

      1. Les G*

        This. All the folks above trying to out-do each other with their compassion for this woman aren’t coming off as very compassionate to the OP.

        I’m sure the OP realizes that this woman is an addict, yes. And she has no doubt heard all the cliches about blaming the other woman. All this is helpful how?

        1. Observer*

          Well, it might help her to focus her attention where it needs to be, and help her to keep from doing further self destructive things.

          In short, I hope that all of this helps the OP realize that she needs to focus her attention on her husband and father not ex-friend, and she needs to take her issues OUT of the public domain and keep it private (to the extent possible.)

        2. Jadelyn*

          I wasn’t aware that voicing the same opinion as someone else meant you must be “trying to out-do each other”. That’s an awfully condescending way of referring to people sharing the same take on the issue.

        3. Emily K*

          Because OP should realize that while in her own mind she has done no wrong and the woman she’s pissed at is an amoral piece of trash, based on what she’s shared here there’s a strong possibility that neutral observers will not see it that way, which changes the risk calculation of whether it’s a good idea to put the other woman on blast on social media.

          The bar for publicly dragging someone is different than the bar for privately hating their guts. You need to have a really clear, indisputable moral high ground to be able to make a Facebook post announcing what a shitty person someone else is and not come out of it looking at least a little bit shitty yourself.

          It’s kind of the same reason we tell people not to badmouth their employers in job interviews. When the person you’re talking to isn’t a best friend or loved one, they aren’t going to blindly accept everything you tell them at face value. Especially when the story is, “This amoral psychopath did half a dozen terrible things and I did absolutely nothing wrong.” Conflicts are so rarely that one-sided that a lot of people will immediately wonder what has been left out of the story that might provide a more plausible explanation than one person being completely wrong and void of decency and the other person being completely innocent and victimized. And if/when they discover that there’s additional context that makes the story sound a lot less awful than how OP originally told it, OP looks petty and her credibility takes a hit.

          For all we know, coworker is even worse than OP described here and OP really was just a victim in the situation and coworker was a one-woman wrecking ball through her life. But we don’t know. What we do know is that it’s unlikely that sharing this story on Facebook is reflecting well on her, and there’s a not-insignificant chance of blowback if she, like many people who are feeling wronged, massaged the story in any way to make herself come out of it looking better.

          1. Emily K*

            You can see how this plays out in plenty of posts on this blog, too. When the LW admits they made some mistakes and share some of the blame for a bad interpersonal situation, the commenters here tend to be less likely to start speculating about details that might have been left out. It’s the really one-sided stories that make people suspicious of whether they’re getting the whole story.

        4. RUKiddingMe*

          Well it could be helpful if it helps her remember that who anyone else has sex with (excepting OP’s husband of course) is just *not her business,* this includes her dad, and if the teenager is of the age of consent it would also include him/her. This is just not her concern. The only concern she should have at all, as an interested member of the public is that an adult got a minor drunk (allegedly). That and the fact that her dad committed a felony.

      2. Aveline*

        Yep. We need to separate

        (1) OP’s frustration and anger/whether or not it’s justified from her actions/reactions to coworker
        (2) The reasons for coworker’s actions (justified or not) from their impact on OP
        (3) The impact on OP from the impact on her husband, father, etc.
        (4) Our feelings about the OP’s actions and the corker’s actions form actionable advice
        (5) Our feelings on infidelity, sex work, drug addiction, etc. from our feelings about how wrong OP was in her texts/postings

        OP didn’t ask if her frustration was justified. She didn’t ask if she should have sympathy for the coworker. That’s all beside the point.

        The reasons for coworker’s actions are unknown to us. They may be unknowable. It’s also highly unlikely that OP can have any sympathy for coworker at this point in time. So what purpose does our potential sympathy for coworker have wrt to speaking to OP?

        What impacts have coworker’s actions had on OP? Can we give any advice on how to deal with them constructively?

        Can we give any advice to OP on how to undo the damage she has done to herself by the text and the posts?

        One good thing this site does is to constantly ask us whether or not we are derailing b/c we want to discuss the reasons people, say hate black cats, when what the OP is asking for is advice on dealing with her dirty white kitten.

        Far, far too many people are focusing on sympathy for the coworker and saving none for the OP.

        She screwed up. She created more drama. She made this public. She said some misogynistic things.

        So, what now?

        What advice to we have for her? Or is it all judgment?

        Reading this site has made me much more aware of how I and others derail and judge in responding to advice columns. Both Allison and Captain Awkward are very good at trying to shut down derailing and in trying to focus people on being kind to the OP. Sometimes I think they are both too kind to OPs who don’t deserve it, but it’s not my place to make that call.

        1. WellRed*

          Her question was not, “what should I do?” It was, “can my husband be fired for this?” She seems not to have realized the seriousness of what she’s done.

          1. Czhorat*

            And this leads to a clear, “What should I do?”

            Delete the social media posts, hope that nobody shared them, and apologize to her husband for jeopardizing his job. Then go get some couples’ therapy.

            1. fposte*

              Signal boost. Yes, do these things. And be aware Dad might be heading for trouble if he runs out of his prescription early, either when he tries to get an early renewal or when he tries to acquire his medication other ways.

              None of this means you approve of everybody here. It’s just what you do to make your life less disrupted rather than more.

            2. OhNo*

              Succinct and helpful – I think this is exactly the approach the LW should take. Hopefully she sees this response in the sea of judgement.

              As much as I understand the impulse to lecture the LW on compassion, or internalized misogyny, or what-have-you, it’s not going to be terribly useful. Particularly if it gets overwhelming, because then the LW might not read any of the comments at all.

            3. Michaela Westen*

              Work on cooling off before taking action. If upsetting things happen again – and they probably will – take some deep breaths, some calming tea, wait, say, 1/2 hour+ before doing anything. Focus on what’s the most constructive way to approach the problem.
              In this case it would have been to calm down, then find out what the husband and coworker were texting about either by asking him, or reading them on his phone (she would have to judge whether that invasion of privacy was justified).
              If she and/or her husband want to take action about the coworker’s destructive behavior, consider whether there’s someone at the company – maybe husband’s grandboss? – who would handle it with responsibility and compassion if they were informed. If so, suggest that the husband inform them – but it would be his decision whether to, not hers.
              Also consider/discuss whether maybe the husband should look for a job in a less toxic workplace.

              1. valentine*

                If she and/or her husband want to take action about the coworker’s destructive behavior, consider whether there’s someone at the company – maybe husband’s grandboss? – who would handle it with responsibility and compassion if they were informed.
                I hope you don’t mean they should report all of it to her employer. Even if policy forbids sex between supervisor-supervisee, she’s the aggrieved party there, so it’s her story to tell.

                1. Michaela Westen*

                  If I was seeing something like that, I would want to tell someone because it shouldn’t be allowed. Maybe tell someone informally and let them investigate, etc.
                  What’s the alternative? Sit back and wait for the situation to get even worse? Imagine all the drama and disruption that will happen if this isn’t handled. Maybe even lawsuits.

        2. mcr-red*

          Yeah, people who have wronged us or hurt us are NEVER going to get our sympathy. OP is never going to care why that woman did all the things that upset OP, whether she did it because she’s an addict, mentally ill, or is just plain a selfish narcissist. No amount of “Oh this woman might have something wrong with her” is going to change her mind. And I think that is completely normal human behavior.

          OP1 – As you can see from the comments here, no one is really going to care what this woman did. Personally I get why you are mad, but your post isn’t going to do anything but possibly get your husband in trouble if one of his co-workers see it and share it to his supervisor. No one is going to see it and shun her/fire her/etc. If you don’t want your husband talking to that woman again, that’s something you need to hash out with him. If he still does anyway even though he knows that it upsets you, in my experience, that’s a huge red flag.

          1. Michaela Westen*

            I think OP is fully justified in not caring what’s wrong with this woman. The most a person could do in her place is wish her well and stay away.

            1. valentine*

              Yeah, people who have wronged us or hurt us are NEVER going to get our sympathy.
              Not so. Do you cut off everyone who ever hurts you or do you manage pain-free relationships?

              1. mcr-red*

                People who have wronged me or hurt me badly in the epic way that we are talking about in this situation, yes, are cut off forever. I do not want toxic people in my life.

                1. Michaela Westen*

                  I agree. There is no benefit to OP continuing to associate with coworker.
                  One day coworker might get the help she needs, spend the time in therapy and get her life together and be a decent person. If so, that will take many years.
                  If that happened, OP could revisit associating with her then. Not now.

                2. TootsNYC*

                  then again, I can cut someone off forever, be flamingly angry with them, and still have some sympathy for them.

      3. Sandy*

        Agree. OP made some baaaad choices. She is approaching the wrong people about the legitimately bad things that have happened. Her husband and her father are the ones she presumably cares about and have been hurt by most in this awful situation and it’s the two of them she should be concerned with. But it is ok for her to be angry with this woman she allowed to live in her home. It’s a pretty big violation. Also, I understand that addiction is a chronic disease but it’s not different from a mental health issue. People who have it have to claim responsibility for the bad things they do. It’s not a pass to be an asshole.

        1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

          How in the world are her husband and dad hurt? Dad had sex for drugs–he consented and is at fault. Husband may have had sex with co worker and he’s a supervisor while not her supervisor–that’s still bad. Husband I’d only be concerned with because OP lashed out and screwed up and work may be upset–not at husband or dad but at the woman . OP doesn’t say what her spouse texted–he may have been discouraging to his co worker OR very encouraging. I’m leaning towards encouraging because he didn’t block her.

          1. Sandy*

            I think if you will read what I said again, I’m saying THEY are primarily the ones that hurt her, not the coworker. They are the relationships she should worry about repairing, not airing her grievance with the coworker.

            1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

              OK, I thought you were saying her husband and father have been hurt by (this) the most. Sorry.

          2. Emmie*

            I don’t think 26 texts prove that her husband was intimate with anyone. It is possible, but it may also be a stretch that a few texts mean anything abnormal. It could be the same volume as his other acquaintances, coworkers, friends, former roommates, etc….

            1. TheFacelessOldWomanWhoSecretlyLivesinYour House*

              That’s certainly possible. If I text more than once a week, that’s a lot for me. I email or IM.

      4. Observer*

        I think that most of the commenters don’t have so much compassion for the woman as trying to get the OP to see that as objectionable as ex-friend’s actions are, she shooting for the wrong person. There is no doubt that unless Dad is in mental decline, his behavior is equally objectionable to ex-friends (and if he IS in mental decline, OP should have been managing his medications better anyway because that stuff is not safe to play with.) Same with whatever MAY be going on with Husband and ex-friend.

        Like I said elsewhere, she sounds like a piece of work. But that’s not where OP’s focus needs to be.

      5. Jadelyn*

        You can be pissed, absolutely, but that doesn’t absolve you of blasting that shit out onto Facebook for everyone to see. Being pissed is fine. Acting out like that is not. There are appropriate ways of dealing with that kind of anger at that kind of situation, and throwing misogynistic slurs at someone on social media is not one of those ways.

    8. Kathleen_A*

      Here’s what I don’t get: Why – why why why whywhywhy whyyyyyy? – would anybody post anything so ridiculously personal on Facebook? I mean, I get that people do, but what in the world are they hoping to achieve? People in my own life have at times gotten too personal, IMO, but nobody’s gone anywhere near this far, and I’m just trying to wrap my head around it. The OP seems to think this is a totally normal and understandable thing to do, and I’m trying to wrap my head around that as well.

      1. Ginger*

        This! Like, of course she posted on social media but wait, could there be a consequence to that??

        Remember a time before facebook? Can we go back to that? And yes, I’m a millennial who hates most social media (gasp). It’s craziness like this that is a plague on society IMO.

        And OP, if you believe she coerced a minor, why didn’t you report it? You need to take a hard look inward – at your actions, at your father and who your husband associates with. Maybe he needs to consider moving on to a healthier workplace.

        1. agathafan*

          you know what? millenials who dislike social media aren’t that rare. what millenials do dislike is people disparaging them for their like of social media.

          focus on the letter and not on seeming like a sunflower in a wildflowerfield.

          as to the rest of your comment: there might be serious implications to reporting coerced sex with a minor. and i don’t suggest advising people to look closer at who their spouses associate with. that’s getting into a whole new territory fraught with peril.

          1. furloughed fed*

            Anybody who knows about and doesn’t report coerced sex with a minor is an asshole. Coerced sex is rape.

      2. fposte*

        I think it’s mostly emotional; it feels like a way to punish the person we’re angry with by trying to demean them in the eyes of others. Sometimes we can even tell ourselves that we’re doing it to warn other people, so it’s a good and necessary deed.

        1. Kathleen_A*

          Seeing something like this posted by a FB friend would make me wonder about the friend, not the person the friend is writing about. It just sounds so, you know, hysterical.

          1. Kathleen_A*

            Clarification: I’m not saying the OP *is* hysterical – the coworker did some pretty nutso, awful and destructive stuff, and her reaction here on AAM sounds perfectly appropriate for that behavior. But that’s what I mean, really. For someone I know to specifically and publicly criticize the sexual behavior of another private person over *FB*…well, that just isn’t the sort of thing that happens in my world. It would cause me to feel concern for the person doing the posting, not the person who is the subject of the post. After all, chances are that I wouldn’t even know the person the OP posted about.

            1. fposte*

              I would agree that I’d be likelier to side-eye the OP than the person she was referring to. However, I think thestik raises a good point that there are some circles of friends where this is absolutely an acceptable maneuver and that this may garner her support from them even as it gets her husband into hot water at work.

      3. thestik*

        I’d put serious money on getting validation from her circle friends that she’s completely in the right here. When I read LW’s description, my first thought was that she did it to gain attention (as content farms have a tendency to lavish praise on these kinds of posts).

      4. Michaela Westen*

        I think it was to spread the word about coworker’s amazingly destructive behavior. Warning everyone, and probably hoping coworker would face consequences. I would feel the same.

        1. Kathleen_A*

          But what is the point – even the irrational, this-person-betrayed-my-trust-and-embarrassed-me point – of warning “everyone”? Everyone she’s FB friends with doesn’t know this person. In fact, I’m going to guess that most of the people she’s FB friends with don’t.

          So what I’m imaging is this: I am FB friends with the OP. I open up my FB account, I scroll through the photos of sunsets, cute kids and cute pets, and I scroll through the occasional political post, I scroll through family news, and I scroll through notices from my alumni page, and suddenly, there among the kitten photos and news about vacations and new grandchildren, this particular FB friend posts a rant about a coworker’s sexual promiscuity. What?

          I do not get that at ALL.

          1. Michaela Westen*

            If one of my friends posted something like that, she would get sympathy and suggestions for how to handle it.

            1. Kathleen_A*

              And you wouldn’t say or hint anything about how she reeeeeeeally shouldn’t be posting this stuff on FB? Really? You wouldn’t even think it?

              Because I totally would. For me, this would be a sign that my friend needed some help, and that help needs to go beyond “sympathy and suggestions,” unless the suggestion is “Oh, no. Please take that post down.” No matter the cause, it’s wildly inappropriate behavior – for goodness’ sake, she practically accused the coworker of child predation, and she outed her own father – and my thought would be that my friend needs help to find a better way to deal with it.

              1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

                If a close friend posted this on their FB page for all their friends to see, I’d reach out to ask if they are okay and if they need help, because of how uncharacteristic that would be of my close friends. If a casual FB “friend” posted it, I’d hide, unfollow, and keep my distance from this person irl, because that’s more drama than I can handle from a casual acquaintance, without having any way of knowing what really is going on there.

            2. Emily K*

              I see loose acquaintances post stuff like this on Facebook. They do get some sympathy. But it’s from their closest friends who in reality are a small percentage of the audience for the post. Way more people are scrolling by like õ.Ô without commenting or reacting.

            3. Michaela Westen*

              Yes, some of the suggestions would be for therapy, as well as some of the other suggestions here in this comment section.
              Friends who know her well enough to understand the details would reach out to help.
              I don’t know if anyone would suggest taking the post down. Would you tell an angry friend not to vent to you? Because that’s what telling her to take the post down would be doing.
              In fact one of my friends recently dealt with a big crisis and did post about it on Facebook and we her friends were and are supportive. She made some mistakes, but we still support her. It wasn’t nearly as toxic as this situation though.

              1. Kathleen_A*

                But an FB post isn’t “venting to you.” It’s venting to all kinds of people. It’s almost the equivalent of writing it in lipstick on a mirror in a restroom. Facebook is simply not the appropriate method for this sort of venting, and a friend who tries to use it that way needs to realize this. Helping her to this realization isn’t as important as dealing with a marital crisis, of course, but still…this is SO not a good idea. It will absolutely not make the situation any better, and will in fact probably make it worse.

        2. I woke up like this*

          I dunno… that’s a pretty generous reading. I think it’s important to note that, as awful as the woman’s behavior has been, the thing that set the OP off were 26 text messages to OP’s husband.

            1. pancakes*

              I can’t make out what you’re using these phrases as euphemisms for. Promiscuity isn’t contagious.

    9. LawBee*

      And just get off Facebook entirely, because she clearly can’t use it responsibly. Someone who sh!tposts and only THEN worries about the negative repercussions shouldn’t be on social media.

      1. Zillah*

        This is pretty extreme. The OP shouldn’t have posted what they did on facebook, but it’s not reasonable to make broad statements like that based on one bad decision in the face of significant emotional distress. Whatever else is going on, someone the OP seems to have considered a good friend has scorched the earth of their friendship, the OP’s father is trading sex for pain medication, and the OP is worried that their husband may be cheating on them (which isn’t that outlandish an assumption to make). That’s… a lot. People can sometimes make bad decisions in the face of that kind of stress, and the OP did. We don’t have to make it larger than that.

        1. LawBee*

          I disagree. I would be very surprised if this was LW’s first outburst on Facebook. At the very least, she should take an extended break and reevaluate whether she wants to use the service as a national bathroom wall.

          But hey. Odds are she won’t (not least because Facebook makes it VERY hard to leave their platform if you are a heavy user), so it doesn’t matter anyway.

          1. pancakes*

            It isn’t any harder for heavy users than it is for only occasional users—the process for downloading one’s data and deleting the account is exactly the same for both, and there are countless tech sites that posted easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

            1. LawBee*

              Mentally harder, not technically harder. Facebook’s addictive properties have been well documented.

        2. thestik*

          On the contrary, I think leaving FB (even temporarily) is a reasonable expectation in light of this level of stress if the LW is serious about mitigating damage. I do not see that in the LW’s message at all.

        3. pancakes*

          I don’t think it’s extreme at all. I think it’s perfectly sensible. Yes, people sometimes make bad decisions as a result of stress, or because they’re big mad. If they make egregiously bad decisions with regard to social media, they should probably consider not using social media.

    10. RUKidding*


      Moreover I woukd like OP to define “teenager.” If said teenager is of the age of consent for sex then it’s no one rlse’s concern. The getting drunk thing is a different matter.

      The wonan *is allowed to have all the sex she wants!* This does not make her “promiscuous” or any of the horrible misogynistic names OP used.

      She had sex with coworkers? Against their will or were they also consenting adults? Why no bad language directed at them? Oh…wait…

      Slept with OP’s dad for pills? Did she force him? Does he suffer “diminished capacity” or was he also a consenting adult? Where is the vitriol for his part in this? Oh…wait…

      1. Kathleen_A*

        The thing with her father really got to me, too. I mean, it’s hard to quantify these things, but while taking drugs in payment for sex is really bad, paying FOR sex with drugs is, IMO, probably even worse.

    11. B.Col*

      All this! It’s your husbands job to be faithful to you, not hers. She can sleep with who she wants, when she wants, as long as it’s consensual, and publicly shaming her for doing so makes you look bad, not her.

  2. Gaia*

    OP2: I usually take a hard stance on no-call no-show but if an employee can explain to me why they didn’t call (and for the record, most of the time they don’t “call” they text or email and that is just fine) then I would take that on face value unless there is something more to it. Life happens sometimes and it is always good to remember that.

    1. MassMatt*

      I am still giving side eye because the former employee didn’t call for 5 days. She couldn’t borrow a friend’s phone? Or a family member’s? Or he’ll, sent a letter? Most employers are reachable, otherwise how would they do business?

      her getting another chance would really depend on her explanation, plus her history.

      I am really curious if there was so much turnover in such a short time due to coincidence or bad luck or the many factors Alison mentioned.

      1. Stormfeather*

        Honestly I’m kinda wondering if there was some sort on Incident that made so many staffers run away while giving other excuses, plus made the employee in question no-call no-show until she realized she needed the job too much and made an excuse.

        I’d still probably give her the benefit of the doubt, especially since the LW needs all the possible workers right now, but the timing just seems coincidental

        1. Been There, Done That*

          I’m with you. If 50% of your staff bolts at the same time, I’m inclined to think it’s NOT the employees. Maybe there was an Incident; maybe it just worked out that everyone got another opportunity at the same time; or maybe one person bolted and that opened the barn door for the others.

          1. Triplestep*

            I don’t disagree, but some jobs have a higher attrition rate, and that needs to be taken into account.

            1. CmdrShepard4ever*

              Yes some jobs do have higher attrition rates but that can also usually be explained by factors of the job. Often time low-paying jobs with no vacation/sick time tend to have higher attrition.

              1. R.D.*

                Honestly there are some jobs where losing 3 people in one week without notice would be unusual, but not unheard of.

                While reading the letter, I was wondering if this was retail, fast food, or some other low paying, high turnover job.

                1. R.D.*

                  I totally missed the bit about working for a national shipping company, so the retail/fast food thing is clearly off base. :)

          2. MusicWithRocksInIt*

            I agree. Something is rotten in Denmark. There is a toxic something going on at that company that is making people flee. I just can’t imagine a situation where you couldn’t get your hands on a phone for five full days. Unless she just didn’t have a copy of the work number (who remembers numbers these days) and the company is not listed on the internet? Still – first thing I would look at is if there is a person that a lot of people complain about but no action is ever taken.

            1. Falling Diphthong*

              Some people are very low-tech. (My elderly parents were going to email when they returned from a long driving trip, while I was in another country and cell not an option. They didn’t. Turned out to be a computer problem, and other solutions (go to the library) did not occur to them.) And there’s the “I’ll be in trouble if I call and explain why I did it.”

              I go with the heart of Alison’s advice–you are allowed to consider how desperately you need workers–and the conclusion that there seems to have been an incident.

              1. Calledin*

                My former job made it impossible to call in and acted like the employees were in the wrong when they were unable to get in contact with someone. They did not have anyone actually at the phones and so they would ring endlessly. I remember being so panicked and sick trying to call in and getting no one. I actually went in very ill because I didn’t want to be told again that I had failed to call in when I had tried. Any phone number and extension that was given to us as the number to call would just ring. Like for 20 minutes and longer.
                To constantly get the run around is frustrating and to honest if I still worked there I would probably not spend an hour on the phone trying to reach my employer and just no call/no show because that is what they told me I did anyway. Luckily I resigned and moved on.
                Maybe (especially with the turnover mentioned) OP should take a look at how employees are told to call in and if the system actually works or if it is an issue.

                1. MassMatt*

                  Wow, that is some terrible dysfunction! They had no voice mail, or email, or even an answering machine? Bizarre.

                2. That Girl From Quinn's House*

                  Yes, I worked somewhere where you couldn’t call in!

                  If you were too ill to come to work, you were supposed to a) call the rest of the staff and b) call your shift manager to get coverage. But they did not provide a staff contact list, and they did not provide a staff schedule, so there was no way to know who to call and what their phone number was.

                  A few times I resorted to calling the main phone number or sending out an email to the blind mailing list (it was and got in trouble before someone bothered to send me the phone list.

            2. Rusty Shackelford*

              It *is* odd that she couldn’t call, but on the other hand, the LW said she works for a shipping company. Have you ever tried to look up the number of your local UPS office? It may be that she literally couldn’t find the number.

              1. MassMatt*

                In five days she couldn’t find any way to contact her employer? She could have mailed a physical letter in that time, even snail mail can get somewhere (especially locally)in 5 days.

                1. Totally Minnie*

                  Yeah, the post office can get a letter to the employee’s office in under 5 days. But what happens if you don’t have your office’s mailing address memorized and the phone you don’t have anymore was your only means of accessing the internet? I don’t find it difficult to envision a situation in which this employee really couldn’t get in contact. If your phone is your access to all your numbers and addresses, and is your primary or only form of internet access, and you don’t have someone in your life you can ask for help, this is a thing that could really happen to someone.

                  We don’t know 100% for certain that the employee really couldn’t get in touch, but I think if the OP wants to give them the benefit of the doubt, it’s not unwarranted.

                2. bonkerballs*

                  And in addition to what Totally Minnie said, her car was broke down. I have lived many places where my post office, work, library, etc were not within walking distance.

              2. OhNo*

                And even if she could find a number, there’s no guarantee that whoever it rings to would know who the LW was and/or be able to transfer or get a message to them. At some companies, those abilities are restricted.

        2. RandomusernamebecauseIwasboredwiththelastone*

          It’s the sign of a good economy.

          I’ve had to fill roles in positions like this and during good economic periods it’s tough. I used bring 10 temps if I needed to fill 3 positions. As far as my operation went it was a decent gig… good hours, standard pay, work wasn’t physically hard (light assembly equivalent), environment was clean, and we had a pretty relaxed atmosphere.

          I was paying somewhere in the $12-15 range for no experience, HS diploma/GED, and a clean criminal record. I couldn’t keep temps for anything. We had a small contingency of FTEs on staff and they were just as likely to flake on me for something better (no blame for that from me) but the turnover was unbelievable.

          1. TootsNYC*

            and I think this means that those jobs should have paid more. Not your choice, probably, but the corporation is doing it wrong.

      2. TooTiredToThink*

        She could have easily been too stressed out (or even depressed) over what happened that she needed a couple of days to decompress. It is an incredibly embarrassing thing to have a car repo’d – it tells the whole world you have money problems.

        1. ditzy in denver*

          but still…like there are consequences for not showing up/not calling/not doing anything for FIVE days from your job

        2. pancakes*

          Delaying telling people wouldn’t make the embarrassment go away, though—it would just delay it, and compound it by adding embarrassment about failure to communicate.

      3. valentine*

        Given her car was also repossessed, I’m thinking she was overwhelmed and felt stuck in the vicious cycle of needing the job she could neither get to nor call out from. Groceries or prescriptions might have loomed. When I was between mobiles, someone was so rude about not lending me theirs, I couldn’t think of anyone who would and it was days before I recalled I knew the location of a payphone. (I happened to have quarters. Now, I would have to go to the bank.) With the paperless push, maybe she didn’t have stamps, couldn’t get them delivered or get anywhere to buy them (I keep forgetting supermarket cashiers offer them) in those five days, or can’t afford them. Maybe she can’t afford home Internet and couldn’t email. When the obvious solution is money you don’t have (and can’t get), devastation comes easily.

        1. WS*

          Yes, I’m not proud of it, but in my early 20s I vanished from a job when a health crisis meant a money crisis meant I couldn’t get to work. As it turned out I was seriously ill and when I was able (almost a month later) I called and apologised, but they weren’t very happy with me. But at the moment, I was in such a panic that all I could do was lie down in bed and try to breathe.

          It might be a good idea, if you take her back, to put in a plan for if this happens again – remind her that it’s best to call in ASAP, even if “possible” is not straight away.

          1. Michaela Westen*

            Write the number she should call on paper and tell her to put it in a safe place where she can get it if needed.

        2. Alton*

          Agreed. I think it’s very easy sometimes for people to get overwhelmed and fall into a vicious cycle. Or they put off doing things like contacting their boss because they’re scared to admit what’s going on and that they don’t necessarily know when it’ll get better. It’s not a great way of handling things, but once someone gets caught in a cycle like that, I think it can be hard to stop.

        3. Sandy*

          Yes, I’ve had employees ghost for a week or not call in from leave to let us know whether they’d be coming back on schedule. Sometimes, people get in a really bad headspace when everything seems to be going wrong in their lives. They don’t think clearly. They panic and let their anxiety lead. I think it’s helpful to think of it as similar to the effects of poverty; studies suggest it effectively lowers your IQ because the constant stress of making ends meet takes up so much brain space.

          1. fposte*

            I think in a situation where a car’s being repossessed it may be concurrent with the effects of poverty, in fact. It sounds like the OP’s staff might be coming from a pool of people with little cushion and not a very high standard of living; if so, I’d factor that in to my expectations if possible when making decisions like this. An otherwise good employee who just couldn’t deal when hit with a financial and transportation crisis? I’d be inclined to cut her slack.

            1. Sandy*

              Whoops, you’re right; I forgot the employee actually lost possession of her car as well. It sucks for the rest of the staff ad the management when it’s shift work that HAS to be there, but that kind of work doesn’t always provide a lot of financial stability. A little understanding for a good employee can go a long way.

            2. Jennifer*

              I agree with her needing the days off and the difficult financial situation. I just don’t understand not contacting work for five days. I have been where she is. When you are in dire straits financially, that’s more of a reason to find a way to contact work so you don’t lose your job.

              1. fposte*

                Sure, but that’s the thing about the brain drain–it impairs your ability to make good choices. It doesn’t mean they can’t happen, but it makes them less likely.

                I also think there’s a phenomenon where those of us who’ve experienced a particular hardship to be less likely to be forgiving, and that’s a complicated thing built out of more than knowledge. When I see somebody who has one of the same disabilities as me who can’t do what I can do, it’s weirdly tempting to be hard on them as insufficiently trying; similarly, when I see somebody with those disabilities who’s doing *more*, I feel malinger-y. But none of us are definitive points on the right way to be or the upper or lower limits, because we’re all experiencing different pain, different emotions, different cognitive loads, and different cognitive abilities, so I really can’t use myself as the yardstick.

                1. TooTiredToThink*

                  When my car was repo’d back in my early 20’s I had someone straight up tell me that they could no longer be friends with me because clearly I couldn’t make good life choices (never mind that I had more bills than income coming in; I was just barely over the poverty line at the time). So yeah; I won’t judge someone whose car has been repo’d. Been there; done that.

        4. TootsNYC*

          and the phone number she needs to call is in her phone…

          Sometimes when you’re that stressed, especially with logistics, you lose the ability to creatively problem-solve.

      4. RobM*

        I do feel like the employee could have made more effort… *maybe*. We just don’t know their circumstances for sure.

        Equally, if the employer has a “if you don’t come in today, don’t bother coming in tomorrow” attitude in general, I can well see someone thinking “that ship has sailed anyway”. It doesn’t engender trust, shall we say.

        1. Zillah*

          That’s a really good point. The OP talks about personal responsibility, and while I don’t want to read too much into their word choice, my experience is that people who go in with that frame of mind (as opposed to “what happened?”) tend not to be super sympathetic and are likely to not really listen to me when I tell them what’s going on and what I need. I’m not saying that the OP is like that – but they do explicitly say that their perspective has changed some, which makes me think that they may well have had that sort of attitude in the past, and I wonder whether there’s something in their mannerisms that may not have changed when their feelings did.

      5. Frozen Ginger*

        I’m honestly confused as to why people so many people assume she could call if she had another phone. I don’t have any of my supervisors’ phone numbers memorized or written down. OP works for a large company; it may not be that easy to get in contact with her department from the publicly-available numbers.

        1. Nita*

          Agreed. It still leaves the question of why she didn’t email, but maybe she was just too shaken to think straight for several days. Or she could *gasp* not have reliable internet or a reliable computer. This isn’t really common where I live (worst case, one can use a public library), but if she’s struggling financially and doesn’t have any libraries nearby… who knows.

          1. SamC*

            I know someone who works for a shipping warehouse who does not have an email or know how to use it, so I wouldn’t be surprised if OP’s employee has the same issue.

          2. Namast'ay in Bed*

            Another issue is if you have two factor authentication (and you should!), you need your phone to log into your email from new computers. No phone, no new logins, no email.

          3. TootsNYC*

            well, to email, she’d have needed her phone. Plus the email address, which was probably in her phone.

            And without a car, could she get to a library?

        2. Adalind*

          This! If my phone died I wouldn’t have any way to reach my supervisors. My work doesn’t have a “main” line to call. I’d be at a loss. I could theoretically go through customer service but no guarantee they’d transfer me to the right place. The only option would be email and if you don’t have access to a phone or computer (it is possible) you’d be SOL. I’d hire her back but be wary of course.

          1. Elemeno P.*

            This happened to me when I locked myself out of the house once. My fiance worked nights at the time, and he’d told me earlier in the day (3pm-ish) that his cell phone was low on battery and would probably die soon. I locked myself out around 8pm, leaving my phone inside, and we’d just moved so I didn’t have a spare key hidden yet. I went to a neighbor’s house and they let me use their phone, but I didn’t know his office number by heart and the only publicly available number was for a customer service department in another state. I just sat outside for 5 hours until he came home.

        3. Dust Bunny*

          I keep a written list in my pocketbook of vital phone numbers: Parents, boyfriend, various work numbers, etc.

          1. Observer*

            Good for you. That doesn’t mean anything in this case because the person in question obviously doesn’t do that (assuming they carry a pocketbook.)

        4. Kathleen_A*

          That is a really good point and one I hadn’t considered. It wouldn’t be difficult for me to figure out how to reach *my* employer if I lost my phone, but I have for various reasons tried (with mixed success) to reach people at other companies that, apparently on purpose, make it difficult to figure to reach a specific individual or even just an actual human being. And Lord, is it *hard*. There’s a reason why we all recognize what people mean when they talk about “voice mail hell.” So yes, if the OP works for this sort of company and that employee lost her phone, that could account for most of those 5 lost days.

          1. whingedrinking*

            With respect to “making it hard to reach a specific individual”, yes, that is done on purpose, and for very good reason. It ranges from the trivial-but-annoying – customers who want to be “escalated” to the CEO of the company, for example – to the quite serious, what with stalking and threats and whatnot.

        5. Risha*

          Agreed. I have a desk phone that I have never received an incoming call at because, while the extension number is displayed, I don’t actually know what this office’s main number is. There’s definitely no general phone that I could call and ask to be transferred to my boss. Our company website only lists our headquarter’s number, and the internal email system lists my official work number as a extension at that location (where I literally have never been and am pretty sure no physical phone is set up for me).

          Now, I’m pretty sure I _could_ figure out a way to contact her by phone if I lost my cell and for some reason had no access to my email, with a little work and heavy reliance on both google and contacting someone at headquarters for help. But it’s not an easy gimme during an emergency.

          1. Kathleen_A*

            Yes, but if the main number just puts you into voice mail hell, that might not be all that useful. I have no idea how many times I’ve left a message on a general number, never to hear from anybody ever again, but the answer is “Lots of times.”

          2. Totally Minnie*

            The only phone numbers I have memorized at this point in my life are my mother’s and my own. Everything else is in my phone. And knowing the name of your company doesn’t mean you can find a phone number that will get you to the person you need.

      6. Dr. Pepper*

        I’d side eye the heck out of her but I’d give her another chance because if you desperately need coverage, well, beggars can’t be choosers. I’m sure there’s far more to the story than she told OP2, because 5 whole days? Really? In this day and age, it’s really difficult to believe there was ZERO way for her to get in touch for nearly a week. Oh well, what’s done is done. I fully understand being stretched to the limit because you’re seriously short staffed, and in those cases, sometimes the options aren’t great and you have to take what you can get.

        If this is the first instance of this employee being unreliable, it’s totally normal to cut her some slack. Consider it “strike one” and move forward. One event isn’t a pattern.

        1. LCL*

          This is my thinking also. She won’t share the reason she was unavailable because it was personal, we can imagine all kinds of scenarios. But she wants to come back and you need her. And the job may be a stabilizing and helpful influence on her life. And when she comes back, give her a couple of contact number options. It’s really easy to memorize phone numbers-when you are calling someone, dial the whole number a few times and it will be engraved on your brain whether you want it there or not.

      7. anon needs a new name*

        What if she had no one to borrow a phone from? If I was in her situation, I have no friends or family near me who I could borrow a phone from, and I don’t have the first clue where to go find a phone to use near me since pay phones don’t exist anymore.

        And letters might not work if it’s the type of place where no one checks their mailboxes. I’ve worked at my company for almost five years and have checked my mailbox maybe once.

      8. ISuckAtUserNames*

        She did say “national shipping company” so I’m guessing their employees are package handlers, so low-paid, unskilled labor, which tends to have higher turnover (see also: retail, fast food, etc.).

        It could be the company sucks, it could be the work sucks, it could be one of those jobs where high turnover is more common. It could be all three, and more.

      9. Danger: GUMPTION AHEAD*

        I had that happen with an employee once. She was relatively new in my office and one Monday after a long weekend she didn’t come in. We didn’t hear from her for a week, but when we did we learned that she had been medivacted from the rural community where her family lived to the city without her phone and wasn’t able to tell anyone to call us until she got out of the ICU. Sometime the reason for a no call/no show is pretty darn reasonable.

      10. Anonymeece*

        I’m inclined to give a little bit of leeway here. It was confirmed that her car was repossessed; it’s not a stretch to think that maybe there were other factors in this person’s life that were taking precedence. If someone is really in dire financial straits, they have a lot going on behind the scenes. Heck, who knows, this person may have lost their apartment too and had to find a new place to live before they were homeless.

        Do we know for sure? No, but it’s not speculation to think that getting a car repossessed is an indication that there may be some things going on in this person’s life that is causing a lot of stress and hardship.

    2. Fergus, Stealer of Pens and Microwaver of Fish*

      Life doesn’t usually happen for five days unless you’re in a coma.

    3. Triplestep*

      She emailed after five days because she had no other way to get in touch. OK, but why didn’t she email after one day?Or two?

      1. Rusty Shackelford*

        We can come up with all kinds of possibilities – without her phone, maybe she didn’t have access to email. Without her car, maybe she couldn’t drive to where she could use a computer. But yeah, it does seem like a perfect storm of bad luck, and that’s always a little suspicious.

        1. Observer*

          True. But in this case, not so much. Her car being repossessed says that her life is in a pretty big mess – remember it’s her means of getting to work which is something that people generally take pretty big pains to protect. And the OP indicates that she’s not a total flake. So things must be pretty overwhelming for her at this point – which definitely sounds like it could be that perfect storm.

          Keep in mind that the lower your economic status the more likely you are to be hit with a perfect storm, as well, since you don’t have the safety net that money and a good network with some disposable income provides.

          1. Rusty Shackelford*

            Yes, and in her shoes I might just have crawled into bed and hidden under the covers for a few days!

    4. Hey Karma, Over Here*

      Possibly: she was afraid to call until she could confirm reliable transportation. She was overwhelmed by her car being repossessed and panicked and thought she’d lose her job if she admitted she couldn’t get there indefinitely.

      1. WellRed*

        So instead, she risked her job by not calling? Also, if another employee was able to confirm the repo, why not communicate through him? Take her back but use it as a teaching moment on what NOT to do.

        1. TootsNYC*

          Or she figured the job was gone completely and just chalked it up as lost. Then she ran into someone from work and found out they were hurting for people, and she thought she had nothing to lose by calling and explaining.

        2. Sandy*

          I would say, rather, make it an opportunity for your employee to know that she can trust you and you will not judge her for life struggles. Only the LW knows this employee, the level of work she does, so she will have to be the best judge of whether this woman is honest and worth it. But I’ve had a fantastic employee with a lot of life issues outside her control do something similar. She was trying to keep her head above water, failing and heading into an anxiety spiral because of it. What I told her when she finally came back to work is that I just need you to talk to me. We will work it out. Just call.

    5. CommanderBanana*

      I’m suspicious because there are myriad other ways the employee could have gotten in touch with her boss and didn’t.

      A ton of people quitting at the same time could be coincidence, but it probably isn’t.

  3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

    OP#1, my first, second, and eighth reactions are all, “Well, wow.” I’m not sure how to help now that the horse has already gotten out of the stable. But generally speaking, people can be fired for their spouses’ public conduct. That includes social media posts, which are treated the same as if someone video-recorded you while you’d been standing on the street corner yelling out the same message (because the internet is forever).

    It sounds like you were frustrated by what sounds like the coworker’s alarming behavior (I’m not passing judgment on the behavior), but you were really angry at and feeling betrayed by your spouse… and took it out on the wrong person. Why was your husband texting her? Was it work-related? If not, then it seems like he’s the person you need to talk to.

    In the meantime, calling someone a skanky whore or slut-shaming her isn’t great on its face, but it’s also unlikely to get you what you want. What did you want the outcome to be? For her to be fired? For your husband to stop texting her? I would reconsider your strategy and tactics, and I’d do a gut-check about who’s the real target of your ire.

    1. Airy*

      That’s the question I wanted to ask, and that could be helpful- what did OP 1 hope or expect would happen based on those posts? It sounds like there were plenty of reasons to feel upset and angry, but making the reaction public could only exacerbate the drama without accomplishing anything good, like getting the coworker and (I guess) former friend to leave the family alone, or having an honest conversation with the husband about how to handle the situation together.

    2. Scarlet2*

      Yeah, also the letter mixes up things that are morally neutral or at least none of LW’s business (sleeping with coworkers) and things that are legitimately alarming or illegal (the dad and the teenager).
      Also, LW, did you think about the harm you can cause your father by mentioning him in this context? Him giving his painkillers to someone in exchange for sex is possibly illegal and he could get in trouble because you were in such a hurry to publicly insult this woman. And at the very least, did he agree to having his sex life publicly exposed? Is it so important for you to destroy her that you have no problem publicly humiliating your own father in the process? I DO hope you had enough common sense to not name the teenager, because that would be unforgivable.
      I won’t even get into the appalling misogyny…

      1. Amelia Pond*

        Giving away any medication (especially pain medication) is absolutely illegal. I have no idea whether trading the pills counts as prostitution, since he didn’t give her money, but I would think it is. I don’t know if the LW’s dad needs the pain medication for pain or if he found a doctor that just gives prescription to anyone who asks (I have yet to meet this mythical breed of doctor, nor have the dozens of other pain patients, but I know they exist) but either way, since you put that in public, your dad is at risk. If that information gets to his doctor, that doctor will not write him anymore prescriptions for pain medication, since that doctors license is on the line. And it will be damn near impossible to find another doctor that will prescribe any pain meds. So if your dad truly needs that pain medication and gets cut off, that will be catastrophic. (While the fact the dad gave away some pills suggests he doesn’t really need pain medication, that’s not necessarily true. We don’t know how many pills were involved, and it’s quite possible to end up with some extras here and there. I used to end up with a couple extra a month, up until the new government “guidelines”, which are actually mandatory. Then my doctor was forced to take me from 8 pills a day to 3, even though he didn’t want to, so no more extras for me.)

        I’m sorry about the tangent, but I wasn’t sure if I should’ve put as a normal comment and not a reply. I apologize if this was the wrong place.

        1. Michaela Westen*

          If there were doctors who were prescribing to anyone who asks, they’ve probably been scared straight by the government crackdown. I take one occasionally for severe headaches and they have no emotional effect on me, there’s no way I could get addicted.
          In spite of that my former primary was so nervous she made me keep a log of their use and almost went into a panic when I asked for a refill.
          I still have some from more than a year ago because I haven’t needed them often… I wonder what my new primary will say/do when I need more.
          The government making doctors so afraid to prescribe stresses everyone – what will I do if I need them and can’t get them because all doctors are afraid to prescribe them? Suffer, I guess, and have more sinus infections (which the pills prevent), and more doctor visits to treat the sinus infections, and more missed work, and more antibiotics in the environment…

    3. Gigi*

      It seems that OP wanted everyone to know of this person’s activities. I would be willing to bet that if she is as active as the OP states, people know.

    4. Dr. Pepper*

      It doesn’t seem like there was an intended outcome, other than making this woman’s activities known on a wider scale. Vindictiveness is often not terribly logical.

      I agree, the person OP1 needs to talk to is her husband. There’s a lot of misplaced rage here.

      1. Temperance*

        No, this wacko violated so many norms of good behavior while freeloading. It’s okay to be mad when people suck.

        Pretending that the sex-having freeloader did nothing wrong because she wasn’t married to OP is ridiculous. It’s not sex-shaming to be angry that someone messed with your own father, or that your dad traded pills for sex.

        1. Totally Minnie*

          I don’t think anyone’s attempting to say that the husband’s coworker didn’t do anything wrong. What I’m seeing is people trying to redirect the OP’s energy. I agree that it’s reasonable for her to be angry at this woman. But that doesn’t really do anything productive and it won’t solve what remains of the OP’s problem, and taking it public on social media has the potential to add to OP’s list of problems.

          1. Temperance*

            A whole bunch of people have actually said that she’s not accountable to anyone, so it’s fine. Which is bananas.

          2. Beanie*

            People are justifying coworker though! Claiming that she was abused by her supervisor, claiming that OPs’ dad took advantage of her addiction and is a john, blaming everything on addiction issues, or just calling OP misogynistic while minimizing the impact coworkers’ sexual choices have had on OPs’ mental health.

            OP did not call her husbands’ workplace. She did not email them, she didn’t threaten coworker, and she did not actively interfere at her husbands’ workspace. I am in the minority here, but unless she has a vast network on FB with husbands’ work, I say she can leave it up.

            1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

              Of course OP can leave it up. But they asked if their husband could be fired for the post, and the answer to that is yes.

              1. Beanie*

                Oh I agree, she can be fired. And if her network makes that a likely possibility, then she can decide that’s important to her. I think I just take issue with people telling her to take it down just because there are negative social connotations of her chosen insults. OP is human, she’s hurting, and she’s allowed to feel without other people coaching her on how she should express herself.

        2. biobotb*

          But most of what she did wrong has nothing to do with the OP. And she should be more upset with her dad’s morally reprehensible choices than the coworkers. I think people are trying to point out that by only being mad at the coworker, OP is ignoring other bad actors who are actually closer to her and whose choices affect her more (i.e., dad and (possibly, it’s still not clear to me that he did anything wrong) husband).

          1. Temperance*

            Actually, a lot of it DID have something to do with OP. Like messing with her dad and trying to mess with her husband (or messing with her husband). She should be pissed at everyone, but this woman is a menace who more or less threw a grenade into OP’s home.

            1. Beanie*

              I agreewith Temperance. And while it’s true hubby shares some blame if they had sex, coworker knew he was married, and knew personally who he was married too! She reaps what she sows. If she were a random coworker who maybe had no idea he was married, then I could see defending coworker but this is not the case. OP let her into their home!

              1. Emma Nolan*

                If my friend had sex with my dad, yeah I’d be angry. I’d be angry at both of them pretty much equally. Like, really, there are millions of dudes out there but you had to choose one of the very few who you knew I wouldn’t want you to sleep with? Our friendship didn’t mean a little bit more to you then a random sexual encounter?

                1. RUKiddingMe*

                  I would find it icky to be sure but being that much involved in others’ sex lives, including my parents just strikes me as…I don’t even know, just way too intimate I guess.

                  My sex life is my business and not the business of anyone I’m not having sex with. Likewise my parents, siblings, child, other family members…oh and friends. It’s something I wouldn’t even want to know about to be honest because it’s not my business.

    5. RUKidding*

      Thanks for pointing out that the husband was texting. Really that’s the only thing I read that she has standing to really be angry about.

  4. KoolMan*

    OP #1 WTF !! What has happened has happened, why the need to shame someone online, seems to be a trend nowadays, and then call your friend and abuse her. Her promiscuity is her problem none of yours. Your dad isn’t innocent either, he knew perfectly well what he was getting into. And why are women so hard on other women ?

    1. Nita*

      Well, at the dad’s age… there’s a possibility he’s cognitively impaired. Wouldn’t be the first time someone took advantage of an elderly person whose mind isn’t what it used to be. I’m only guessing since OP didn’t mention her father’s mental state, of course.

      1. Scarlet2*

        And yet a lot of 69 year olds are perfectly lucid. I think if he was impaired, the letter would mention it, because that makes it so much more egregious. (But then the letter seemed extremely focused on coworker’s “sluttiness”, so…)

        1. Jaz*

          Also, I suspect if he were that impaired, she’d have just taken the pain pills. Requiring sex as payment sounds more predatory than confused.

          1. Aveline*

            “Requiring sex as payment….”

            Unless this was a transactional matter that both agreed to knowingly and willingly.

            We don’t know one way or another.

      2. Lexi*

        You are out in left field on the one OP’s dad sold his pain pills for sex. Because he saw a target that was so desperate he knew he could get anything he wanted. If he was impaired she wouldn’t have traded sex for them, she would have taken them for nothing. OP’s father is not a good guy at all in this.

        1. Aveline*

          Pure speculation.

          We have no idea if he solicited her or if she went to him. For all we know, they are two consenting, fully capable adults.

          We only have OPs word on this. She’s also very biased.

          Scenario 1: Dad sees a mark and solicits her.
          Scenario 2: Coworker sees a mark and solicits dad.
          Scenario 3: They are both screwed up and use each other.
          Scenario 4: They are both fully consenting adults who make a deal.

          We have no idea which it is.

          I also don’t think we can resolve it here with the facts we have.

          Nor do I see a point in resolving it. I don’t see how knowing which of these it is would change our advice to OP.

          The only advice we can give OP on this is to tell her to ask herself if, objectively her father is really a victim in all this. Then, if he is, would it change what OP should do wrt to the coworker?

          Unless coworker did something that rises to the level of elder abuse, OP has no right or remedy wrt to what coworker did with dad.

          Unless she knows dad was the villain and victimized the coworker, she has no right to say or do anything about his behavior. If he was the bad guy, what can she do other than express her disappointment? ‘Disappointment that is likely already clear to him.

        2. Les G*

          I don’t see how litigating who of all these wretched characters was most to blame helps the OP one single bit, I’m afraid.

      3. Nita*

        Agreed, most are. My mind went there because I was thinking of someone who recently lost her mom to early dementia. The first symptoms showed up at 72, just three years older than OP’s dad. In hindsight, her mind had been impaired for some time before that.

        1. Workerbee*

          One side of my company’s business is dementia care, which comes with its full share of heartbreaking stories, as you can imagine.

          One of the things we learned is that early-onset dementia can start in one’s 40s, so there’s kind of a “what can we do??” at any age going on. :/

      4. Vinegarforever*

        If he was cognitively impaired, would he be in possession of painkillers?

        Why start speculating on this, when there are plenty of facts?

      5. Workerbee*

        Eh, 69 doesn’t seem elderly to me, and I hope I’m as sharp as my parents are (who are about a decade older) when I get there. YMMV, of course, but ageism doesn’t come with many favors.*

        *My mom loves getting her senior discount. :)

      6. Observer*

        Well, if Dad is cognitively impaired, the OP is putting herself in a bad position with her public posting.

        I don’t want to dump on the OP too much, because there is good reason to say that ex-friend is not a good person to be friends with, to say the least. But the OP is not handling things in a way that’s really useful and could have some fairly significant blow-back for her.

        If Dad is cognitively impaired there is an argument to be made that she should have been managing his medications – and public posting could get Adult Protective Services involved, which might be a good thing for him – or not. But I can’t imagine it’s going to be great for the OP. And, overall it’s going to be better for everyone if the OP could get this figured out and get whatever help is needed without being crowded by APS. So, she should be focusing there.

        That’s assuming that Dad is cognitively impaired. If he is NOT, then the whole deal is TOTALLY on the pair of people involved – Dad and ex. And the OP needs to realize that blaming only the ex is not a good look, at best.

    2. Susie Q*

      It impacted OP’s life. I don’t think she handled it well but she has every right to be upset.

      A lot of us would be equally mad at a man doing these exact same things.

      1. Rusty Shackelford*

        I haven’t read all the comments, but I don’t think anyone is saying she had no right to be upset. Just that she handled it poorly (as many of us likely would) and needs to do some damage control.

      2. WellRed*

        Of course she has a right to be mad, but if she’s made at the man, have it out with him! She did not do that.

      3. AnonEMoose*

        In the OP’s shoes, I would be really upset if the woman was having sex with these men in my home. Not because of the sex – that’s none of my business (with the possible exception of the teenager). But because she was bringing people I may not know into my space, thus potentially placing me/my stuff at risk if any of these guys happened to be less than upstanding citizens.

        I think she’d have standing to be unhappy about that. But telling her to leave is the appropriate solution. Posting on social media or sending nasty texts are not appropriate.

        That said, I think she should take down the post and apologize for the nasty texts. That’s probably about as much as can be done for right now, and if she sees this woman at a work function, chilly civility is perfectly fine.

    3. Gigi*

      I’d argue that if the accusation about the teenager is true then it should be her problem and everyone else’s who knows about it. But instead of the online blast she should have called law enforcement and had them investigate that.

  5. Diamond*

    #2, you’re not wrong to give her a second chance, it’s good to be empathetic. But she definitely could have let you know sooner than 5 days!!

    1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      I mean, even carrier pigeon would have been faster, no? (I’m being only slightly facetious.)

      1. SignalLost*

        Honestly, see my comment below – I worked at Amazon for a couple years and my best manager gave us cards with his personal email address because there was literally no other way to reach the facility. They’re good in my area about being on bus lines, but you can’t contact the FC from outside unless you know the number, which would be in the phone that was stolen. The one listed online has no connection to Amazon. (I don’t think the OP is at Amazon, I’m just saying this isn’t necessarily a type of business that wants Jane Random to be able to reach them.)

        1. MassMatt*

          Most employers are reachable, by phone, mail, and email. I think if the workplace were a Bond villain’s secret lair the OP probably would have mentioned it.

          1. $!$!*

            I used to work for a hospice that used a dead line when you called patients and when people called into our main hospice line you often couldn’t get through to the right person and were stuck. We would have a receptionist position with high turnover (probably because they were constantly screamed at by both patients and coworkers) so lots of messages were constantly lost.

            1. MassMatt*

              That hospice was dysfunctional. I have visited several people in hospice, the hospices were very much reachable. It is mind boggling to think that a hospice, where people go for palliative care at the end of their lives, would care so little about the ability of their patients’s loved ones to reach them. Shocking.

          2. Totally Minnie*

            It doesn’t matter if the employers are reachable that way if you do not have the contact information. If it was in her stolen phone, she did not have it and could not have used it to reach her employer. I find it totally probable that she didn’t contact her boss earlier because she couldn’t.

        2. AcademiaNut*

          And people don’t memorize phone numbers anymore, and tend to have their whole lives on their phone – so if their phone is stolen, it’s can be a real mess to rebuild all the information. If the employee is working two jobs and having a car repossessed, she’s less likely to be able to quickly replace the phone, or have a computer with back-up access to message apps.

          If the employee was otherwise reliable, I’d give her a second chance. Also, if half the staff has just quit without notice, the OP might be overestimating the pool of reliable replacement employees.

          1. OP2*

            In hindsight, I imagine she does not have my phone number or our desk phone number saved anywhere but her phone. However, our other offices, that we work closely with on a daily basis have public phone numbers and she could have called to speak to me or my boss at his office.

            The more I think about what Alison and others have said, the more I am worried that she didn’t contact us sooner. I still want to proceed one day at a time with her, but I think I want to stress her her needing to be upfront about what’s going on until she has a more permanent solution.

            1. Jasnah*

              As part of keeping an eye on her, you could ask what her backup plans are now in case her phone is stolen/broken. Does she know other ways to contact you (email, does she know those other offices have Google-able phone numbers?), does she need any other information in order to reach you if she has an emergency?

              Also, do you keep emergency contact information for your workers? This might be a good opportunity to evaluate whatever system you have in place.

              1. Dust Bunny*

                All she needs to do is keep a small card in her wallet with vital phone numbers written on it. Then she can access it without technology (as long as she can find or borrow a phone).

                1. A Reader*

                  I agree, and I would only add that a copy of the card should be kept outside of her wallet/purse, too, in case THAT gets stolen. You don’t have to get to the point where you have the information written down in 10 different locations, but you could just post it on the fridge at home.

              1. A Non E. Mouse*

                I think you also need to figure out why you have such a terrible employee retention rate.

                And really consider if it boils down to money. Like REALLY consider it. Secondarily, whether or not this involves non-typical hours working.

                If they are making at or below the “average” for your area, then there are probably many other opportunities around. $1 an hour more might not sound like a lot to supervisors, but to someone barely scraping by, it’s an extra $40 a week. That’s a LOT of money when you are broke. Like back in my broke days that’s more than I spent on my groceries for the week kind of money.

                As for the non-typical hours, if it’s shift work there could be daycare and transportation issues coming into play. Not really yours to solve, but the company could be a little more flexible and more open to discussing issues as they arise, rather than allowing the employees to believe it’s better to quit than deal with the blowback (if that’s occurring, just an example).

                1. TootsNYC*

                  $1 an hour more is a lot–my niece gets 25¢ an hour raises in her retail jobs. I was going to hire her to do something at my dad’s house for $25 a week, and I realized that was a bigger raise than she was getting at work!

              2. RandomusernamebecauseIwasboredwiththelastone*

                Have you ever worked in an environment like the OP is describing? The workforce is transient on a good day, add low unemployment to the mix and staffing becomes a revolving door.

                When I was trying to get employees in a similar environment we payed just shy of what my husband a certified EMT was making at the time and we still couldn’t retain people. They left for better opportunities if they could find them (I supported that) and/or we were only able to attract people who had a higher propensity for messy* lives.

                We were paying more than 2x the minimum wage which was in the competitive range at the time in question.

                In other words, it could very easily have nothing to do with the OP’s workplace and have everything to do with external factors.

                *messy was the best term I could come up with. Things like unreliable childcare and transportation, court proceedings, and a whole host of problems that lower socioeconomic standing will bring

                1. LJay*

                  I’ve worked in plenty of places like that.

                  I’ve never seen over half the workforce leave in one day over those same factors.

                  Yes, turnover is higher. Yes, the workers are generally dealing with issues that aren’t as common when you make more money.

                  But losing that large of a percentage of the workers all at once is still cause for alarm. If it were 3 out of 50 on the same day? Sure. 3 out of 6 over the course of a few months? Yeah I’ve seen that happen.

                  But 3 out of 6 pretty much all at once still screams out to me that there is an issue, even in those types of environments.

            2. Sam.*

              I agree that her not contacting you for so long is suspect at best, but if it seems like some uncharacteristically poor decision making, it’s reasonable to give her another chance. However, I’d consider her to be on a very short leash for the foreseeable future, and I’d make clear that if there are any problems at all with her communication, attendance, reliability, etc., she’s out.

              1. Michaela Westen*

                If this is emphasized too much, then the first time she’s going to be late or needs to call in sick, she’ll assume you’ll fire her and she just won’t come in or call.

            3. Frozen Ginger*

              OP, I’d look at this way: What do you have to lose/gain from letting her come back to work? You’re already in a lurch. I’d say risking another missed shift (and that’d be the final one) would be worth the relief it would give to your 2 remaining shift workers.

            4. RandomusernamebecauseIwasboredwiththelastone*

              One thing that you might do as a learning experience from this is to make sure as part of your onboarding process for new employees is to give them alternate ways to contact you.

              So you give them a card with your number on it, give them another card with your number and alternate numbers. You explain that in a pinch they can look up the numbers for the other offices and get a message to you that way.

              In other words, pepper them with ways to get in contact. They most likely will lose all the things you give them, but they might remember that they can call the other office and be able to look up that number.

              It sounds like you are making a reasonable decision based on circumstances. I explained up comments that I’ve been in charge of staffing in environments like yours. Sometimes for the right employee you can be a little more flexible than you otherwise would be inclined to.

            5. Sandman*

              It does seem ridiculous that she didn’t manage to get in touch for five whole days, but it also seems to me that you’re in something of a “beggars can’t be choosers” situation. You need the staff, and she’s potentially unreliable but already trained. Until you have your open positions filled, I think you’re shooting yourself in the foot to take a hard line with her. In a month or two, if your staffing situation is more stable by then, it would be a different story.

            6. Observer*

              One day at a time makes sense. Do keep in mind that given the turmoil in her life, thinking the situation through may just have been beyond her ability to handle for a few days. But stressing what she needs to do and giving her some explicit information about alternative ways to reach you or your boss is an excellent idea.

            7. TootsNYC*

              she may have been unable to reach you on the first day, and then just figured she was fired automatically for no-showing, and there was no point.

              More time goes by, and maybe she even eventually hears about the staffing problems, and she figures she has nothing to lose; the worst you can say is, “no, we hired you on Day One.”

              So she calls to explain.

        3. Gen*

          Yeah most of the customer service type companies I’ve worked for have no behind-the-scenes phone numbers or emails listed online because some customers think they’re the secret to bypassing the queues. You definitely should write down your supervisors number and keep it somewhere safe in case your phone gets stolen but how many people actually do that these days? In an emergency I’ve had to call the HR number on my spouses paperwork and try to get transferred through to his department at the other side of the country because his supervisors number isn’t online.

          I can see someone taking five days to get in touch, especially if they were trying to sort out new transport first so they had something concrete to tell their supervisor. It’s embarrassing to not know when you’ll be able to return. Obviously they should have called in but I can understand how it might have spiralled

          1. valentine*

            especially if they were trying to sort out new transport first so they had something concrete to tell their supervisor.
            This is a good point. I would dread calling to say I can’t work if I don’t know when that’ll change and it’s only in the last five years I’ve learned not to monologue all the facts, to leave it at “I’ll get back to you by date.”

            1. TootsNYC*

              and if I assumed I’d been fired halfway into Day One, I might not bother calling in on Days Two through Five.

              But if I finally had a car, and I was feeling really desperate, I might figure, “What have I got to lose? I’ll call and explain.” Especially if I’d been looking in the job listings and seen that the company needed people.

        4. Snow Drift*

          This post inspired me to add my phone contacts to Gmail, so thanks for the idea! Now I’m having an old-person moment about when we all kept paper address books…

          Back up your back ups, people!

          1. Robin Bobbin*

            Wow! didn’t know that was possible. Now I (hopefully) have my phone book backed up on my gmail account. Thanks!

          2. Michaela Westen*

            I still have a paper address book. I always will. What if the whole internet goes down? You can still buy them. :)

      2. Bostonian*

        If GoT is any indication, a dragon-gram could’ve gotten there overnight.

        I agree that a conversation needs to be had about why she was unable to call sooner. Given all the circumstances, it makes sense to keep her on, but be prepared to not be as forgiving of another misstep.

    2. MommyMD*

      She could have called. She does not exist in a vacuum. I’d give her one more chance but I’d make sure she knew it was her last one.

      1. Diamond*

        Right? I’m sure she had contact with other humans during those 5 days, she could have borrowed a phone, or even just asked a neighbor. Or gone to a library to send an email if she doesn’t have her own computer. I’m struggling to think of any realistic reason why she would be literally unable to make any contact for 5 days.

  6. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

    OP#3, if you dedicate any more time to this, it’s going to look too much like sour grapes. I say this as someone who was hired in a two-person team with someone who had lied about their credentials and then no-showed for over six months (but somehow stayed employed).

    The amount of time you’ve already invested in proving that Allan is lying about his work history is… not healthy. If he lied about his history, it will come out, but you’re not well-positioned to be the one sleuthing and exposing the alleged lie. You’ve got to let this go.

    1. Willis*

      This. Plus, the OP said the job is entry level, so maybe Allan did get it based on a communications internship. Honestly it doesn’t sound like he had much experience either way (either an internship or a one-year position) so I don’t think it would be really off to call the org to point out a potential discrepancy. Obviously it’s bad if he lied on a resume or in an interview, but OP has no way of knowing that other than vague suspicion based on Linked In.

    2. valentine*

      I don’t know if it’ll come out, but I otherwise agree with Princess Consuela Banana Hammock. OP3: I was raised to report, but that path can’t end well for you because it begins, “When I didn’t get the job, I investigated the person who did.” His employer presumably could’ve found out all you did and more. That they may not have is not yours to know or to influence. Even if you hadn’t applied and Rob said to you, “They hired Allan, the title from org,” you said, “There was no Allan among the titles” and, curious, you both looked at a few webpages, it shouldn’t get much further before it seems (and hopefully feels) weird, and it should never get as deep as nailing down his true org title/credentials. You can let this go.

    3. Triplestep*

      What’s more, we don’t really know that Allan was hired because he was considered more qualified. We only know that’s the reason that Ron gave to OP#3.

      I have occasionally looked on Linkedin after having been turned down for a job to try to figure out who the successful candidate had been. Several times I’ve discovered they’d hired someone with completely different credentials than mine, even though I had the perfect credentials on paper to apply for the job and be interviewed. I am trained as an architect, and in one case, I was edged out by a Finance MBA with zero building trades background. In another case they’d hired someone with a Masters in Public Health who had previously only worked as a Dental Hygienist. When I see this, I come away relieved that I wasn’t rejected due to something I said or did while interviewing, or anything about me personally. They were just not above board about what they were looking for and possibly have bad hiring practices. (As in “Hey my friend a Dental Hygienist but I bet she could do this job an architect might do!”)

      TLDR: OP#3, let it go.

    4. SMH*

      This is so far out of OP’s lane, this isn’t investigating if I heard OP talking about investigating I would think they were stalking the new hire. Doing this makes you sound like a nut, sit back and let the new guy drop the ball anything else makes OP sound crazy.

    5. Czhorat*

      It’s possible that the only puffery is on his LinkedIn profile to look better to peers online.

      Sometimes you get the job, sometimes you don’t. There’s not always a reason that makes sense to you, and there isn’t always closure. Unless you have reason to believe you are the victim of illegal discrimination (based on race, marital status, national origin, religion, etc), then the only thing to do it let it go, polish off your resume, and apply someplace else.

    6. $!$!*

      Maybe I’ve been watching too much house of cards, but is it really that strange that OP looked up who was hired over him? Of course he shouldn’t mention it but I understand him wanting to

      1. Bostonian*

        Nope. It sounds like the intention wasn’t great (to discern whether the candidate who was hired was actually better qualified), but the action itself isn’t that bad. I have checked in (albeit, years later) on LinkedIn at companies that I interviewed with but didn’t get the job to see who they did hire; it helps to see what kind of background/education/experience a successful candidate in that role does have in case I ever want to apply again for a similar job.

      2. Observer*

        It sounds like the OP did a bit more than “look it up”. The comment about “opposition research” was kind of telling to me.

        It’s one thing if the OP is just trying to figure out what made the other guy more attractive to the employer – although it’s really hard to know from these bits and pieces of information. That’s not THAT odd, but it is still going to look odd and off to a prospective employer. Going further to try to figure out if the guy lied? DEFINITELY sounds way over-invested. And whether that’s really the case or not, that’s almost certainly how it’s going to sound to Ron.

      3. Sushi*

        looking the new guy up is normal I think we all do that. Checking up on the new guys credentials is going over the top.

    7. What's with Today, today?*

      You should start a blog. You have such varied job experiences and seem to have so many different things in your career. It’s really interesting.

    8. Linzertart*

      I disagree. I always look to see who got positions I didn’t get. It helps me see where I could strengthen my resume and skills. It also often makes me feel better! If I didn’t get an interview and the person hired had loads more experience, that’s a good sign of where I’d need to be to get that position in the future. Also, I like to see where the hire came from, as that’s now a job open and clearly a path to the job I wanted. Maybe I’m connected to the new hire in some way and can meet them to talk about their career trajectory for some professional advice. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing this kind of sleuthing. That doesn’t mean OP has any recourse except maybe mention it to someone she’s close to at the company he’s lying about since they might want to know, but chances are it’ll bite him in the butt at some point and she is unfortunately not in a place to report to the new job.

      1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        I don’t think it’s inherently bad to look up the other person, but I think it’s an overinvestment of time to then try to figure out if the person lied, double-check their credentials, etc. And I think disclosing that you fell into an internet hole looking up the other person will not play well with the person who did not hire you.

    9. Pete*

      I dunno – I think there’s a middle here. Especially if the relationship is friendly (which is how I read it, but not guaranteed”) . On one hand, I want to say that if OtherPerson is really not qualified, that’s going to come out when they crash and burn, or through the grapevine. That said, Op3 kinda IS the grapevine. Presuming there’s an ongoing relationship, I think there might be room to say –

      “Hey Ron, thanks for reaching out. I really appreciate the feedback and I’m glad you found someone you liked for the role. I’m trying to figure out where I need to beef up my resume, since it looks like you hired an intern out of Linda’s shop. What would you recommend is the best area for me to focus on with my development right now? I would love your perspective as I look at possible opportunities and training. Thanks – OP#3”

  7. Nursey Nurse*

    OP #1: you should delete those posts ASAP, if for no other reason than that they will make everyone who reads them think your husband is having sex with a subordinate. Even if he’s not her direct supervisor, many companies frown on that kind of thing. If your posts don’t get him fired, that could. Also, your anger would more appropriately be focused on your husband and your father, who had obligations to you, rather than this woman, who did not.

    OP #3: I understand this instinct, I really do, but it’s going to come across as sour grapes if you report “Allan,” especially if your conclusions prove to be untrue. Keep it to yourself. If he’s unqualified for the job it will become apparent eventually.

    1. Juli G.*

      YUP. This post is a big ol’ signal that your husband (a supervisor) potentially engaged in some behavior that may be against company policy or the law with an employee. That may or may not be true but if his company takes sexual harassment allegations seriously like they should, they’ll definitely look into it.

    2. epi*

      Yes, this was my take on the first letter. The OP obviously knows details about her own former friend and those texts that led her to feel angry rather than worried– perhaps just being done. She’s entitled to feel hurt and angry regardless of any reason her friend may have had for her actions.

      But if there was anything sexual about those texts, it looks way worse for the OP’s husband than for the friend. He’s senior to her. The friend’s relationships with coworkers don’t send like they were every exploitative on her part– they were all with peers or those above her.

      It isn’t in the OP’s best interest to call attention to this, especially not by harassing the friend online.

  8. Just another Intern*

    OP 1, I’m sorry for what happened in your family, but exposing other people’s sex lives on Facebook won’t bring you anything good – ever. Remember that she didn’t force people to have sex/interact with her. They chose to do it. Don’t let this person ruin your life or your relationships with other people, but focus on having a frank (but mature) conversation with your husband, if you fear for your marriage.

      1. Mystery Bookworm*

        I think if OP had written in because she filed a police report on her husband’s colleague for having sex with teen-agers, people would be responding very differently.

      2. Jenny*

        Yeah, there were definitely some sketchy things, but that doesn’t mean the reaction was appropriate (and since it was seemingly triggered by the mere fact that this person’s husband also texted her (without OP knowing if thr content).

        If there was teen/elder abuse there were avenues to report it. They had kicked out this person already. If OP wanted to post my guess is that one done in a rage spiral about texting her husband (again, of which there is no indication of content).

        It is okay to be upset, this person sounds like a tornado of bad choices and someone to cut out of your life. But allowing your rage to control you, particularly publicly, can have negative consequences, which it sounds like OP’s husband (who, again, may be a cheater but may be totally innocent here) may be facing.

        1. Tiny Soprano*

          Exactly. And no matter the content of the texts, the best thing to do is to have a frank conversation with him directly. Seeing he works with the other woman they may well be work-related (at least from his end, and if so he may have had grounds for harassment claims against her before the ol’ facebook tirade), in which case it’s fair for OP to express her concerns given the woman’s past history of initiating affairs. If he’s been… less professional, well that’s on him and that’s a conversation OP needs to have – with him.

          In fact, a few frank conversations might ease some of the rancour that the facebook post has generated.

      3. Just another Intern*

        3rd hand information is all what we have. If the OP is 110% sure this happened, a rant of Facebook isn’t the answer. Go to the Police! The point that maybe I missed to expose is that unlashing the rage on a social network won’t bring anything good to anyone.

      4. TootsNYC*

        the drunken teenager didn’t consent to have her own sexual activities described online by someone else, either.

        Even if a name wasn’t given, people who know them may figure it out. And having it broadcast will motivate many people to either snoop and speculate around ot find out, or people who know/guess will give details.

        That grossly unfair to the teenager, whom even our OP thinks was a victim.

  9. LadyCop*

    #1 While I dont support what the OP did…I feel like it’s worth pointing out that there’s clearly more going on here than her coworker having sex with a lot of people…

    Other than the pain pills are a high indicator that the coworker (friend? Former I suppose) has a drug problem… I imagine the OP is upset with her husband and possibly feels taken advantage of and has lashed out in the wrong way.

    This is about a lot more than judging someone.

    1. MassMatt*

      I agree, the OP’s friend sounds like a disaster but misogynistic slut-shaming on social media winds up making the OP look bad.

      In many cases in the US employment is “at will”, the employer can terminate anyone at any time. If someone doesn’t have a contract specifying duration of employment and pay there really isn’t much recourse for someone getting fired. Which makes it all the stranger that employers are afraid to get rid of problem employees.

    2. Yikes*

      Yeah…the whole “had sex with my dad for his pain meds” was o.O – that could potentially be elder abuse if they are necessary pain meds. Not to mention I don’t think you should sleep with your roommates’ dad in any situation. This just got all kinds of weird. Hopefully OP1 will talk to a therapist about what’s going on and delete the social media posts. If they need support they should talk to a therapist or trusted friend offline. It sounds like they need it.

      See also: reasons not to be roommmates with coworkers.

      1. Dust Bunny*

        The LW doesn’t say he was impaired. My parents are older than that and perfectly functional. It’s just as likely Dad saw a desperate woman and used her for sex.

        1. SS Express*

          Yep, 69 isn’t that old. Of course some people at that age could be susceptible to elder abuse, but many are extremely capable and even still working in successful careers. Bill and Hilary Clinton, George Dubya and Bernie Sanders are all in their 70s and if you heard any of those people gave prescription pills to someone in exchange for sex, you would probably think the other person was the one taken advantage of.

    3. Awesome Possum*

      Agreed. OP1, I’m sorry for what you’re going through. Taking what you wrote at face value, this is clearly a woman who has no problem taking advantage of others. You have a right to feel hurt, but your current actions won’t get you what you want, and might backfire. Employers can fire for almost any reason. His employer won’t want the drama of a public shaming at work. Once things become public, they won’t care about details, just damage control. And they may consider a vengeful wife too much of a liability.

      My advice:
      1) delete all salacious/accusatory social media posts.
      2) treat this as a marriage issue, not a work issue. Seek help from trustworthy personal sources outside of work.
      3) do not seek revenge/justice against him or her thru his job. You will just engender sympathy for them (note the amount of people defending her on this blog).
      4) if all you want is revenge against her, let it go. She is gone, the deeds are done, and it’s more important that you work on your own family relationships.
      5) you didn’t state the age of the teenager or the mental state of your dad. I’m wondering whether she took advantage of a kid and an elderly disabled person. Speaking as a professional caregiver, that would make me furious and ready to call the police, altho I’m not sure what help they could be at this late date.

      Best of wishes to you, OP1. Here’s hoping you take a step back and find a kind, experienced, capable professional to give you the advice you need, cuz this situation is all kinds of banana crackers.

      1. TechWorker*

        Agreed – OP needs to delete the stuff, talk to her husband about the texts and avoid using sexist slurs.

        On the other hand I also don’t really understand the comments claiming the coworker has done nothing wrong and is just owning her sexuality. ‘Promiscuity’ is fine but maybe best to avoid your married boss or your roommates elderly father – that’s *not* to absolve either of them of responsibility (the married boss in particular obviously not coming out well of this) but c’mon, she has choices too.

        1. Scarlet2*

          Sure, but the “married boss” is none of LW’s business. LW should worry about her father, but that does NOT include mentioning his sex life in a FB post. I haven’t seen anyone so far claim that coworker “has done nothing wrong and is just owning her sexuality”, I think you’re strawmanning a bit there.

          The letter is just lumping together things that are none of her business with things that are shady and possibly illegal, as if having sex with a drunk teenager was on a par with texting her husband. It also seems to be focusing on shaming coworker for her sexuality in general, hence the use of misogynistic slurs.

          1. Susie Q*

            I disagree. Clearly the coworker told them about the affair with the married boss. The minute someone finds out, it becomes their problem too and impacts them too.

            1. Scarlet2*

              1. The letter does not mention that the coworker told them about it, there’s nothing “clear” about that.
              2. Still none of their business, unless they’re married to the boss. Sure, there’s a possibility of drama, but drama is a possibility as soon as you share living quarters with a coworker.

            2. Falling Diphthong*

              While I’m normally of the position that other people have no obligation to keep your affair a secret, blasting about your spouse’s coworkers on Facebook is not the correct venue in which to fail to keep your mouth shut.

              OP should have told the drama magnet to move out (earlier, but so often these things accumulate a massive pile of straw before The One Thing that flips someone from understanding to so done with you forever), then gotten together with a friend (preferably one who didn’t work with her husband) to verbally pour her heart out about her frustrations.

          2. Aveline*

            That depends upon whether coworker brought the drama into their home.

            If she was carrying on the affair clandestinely off-site, I’d feel very differently than if she were doing it in OPs living room when OP was home.

          3. TechWorker*

            To be fair that was pretty much a direct response to a comment further upthread which used the exact phrase ‘owning her sexuality’

      2. Lehigh*

        I agree, and I think this is great advice!

        OP, it sounds like you went/are going through something awful from someone who behaved really badly while living with you. You have my sympathy! But please heed the above advice about how to handle it without hurting yourself.

    4. Marthooh*

      Yep. Ms Coworker is clearly a bad friend and a bad roomie. Maybe she’s also a sad addict, maybe she’s being taken advantage of by predatory men, maybe she’s a free spirit caught in a cage of hypocritical misogyny. I still get why the OP is furious.

      And OP #1 should take those posts down and stop communicating with her.

    5. Dr. Pepper*

      Agreed. I get the desire to lash out at this woman, I too would be furious with her. It’s normal to feel that f it wasn’t for her, none of this would have happened and everything would be fine! The problem is that blasting people on social media is NOT the way to resolve anything. I know it’s been a trend to “call out” famous people online for bad behavior, but for us normal people it really just makes the “caller out” look bad. You appear vindictive and unstable; just look at how many people on this site are wagging their fingers at *you* in this situation. Take how your actions have been received here as an indication of how a lot of people, including your husband’s employer, will view them.

  10. SignalLost*

    OP 2, one factor in your consideration should also be of its possible to contact your workplace without a specific phone number. I recently worked for Amazon at one of their fulfillment centers (no, I never saw the bathroom thing, yes, there are a billion other problems there) and there is literally no way to contact the FC if you don’t have a badge card with the phone number. The number publicly posted on the internet does not go to anything at all, and definitely not to the FC. I’d be surprised if you were at an Amazon facility, and you need to decide how you feel about her situation, but if it literally would not be possible to contact the workplace, that should be a consideration.

    That said, people do dumb things when their lives implode, and if you don’t have other reservations, I would strongly agree with Alison’s advice. Your employee may have just been inexperienced enough or stressed enough to not think of contacting you.

    1. Been There, Done That*

      You make a good point about the imploding. Two major losses (phone and car) and having to pick up the pieces, financial and otherwise, like pulling together all the information she lost on her phone–she might’ve hit the wall and been too overwhelmed at first to find her way through. Especially if she was very young.

      1. pleaset*

        All this.

        The OP should keep an eye on this – and be strict for the future, both in a way that benefits the work and helps that employee be better able to deal with any future disasters.

    2. Parenthetically*

      Absolutely right in your second paragraph. “I need to take a few days off to handle this major personal crisis” is often a middle-class luxury, and it’s very understandable to me that someone would spin out for a few days over a double-whammy like that. At least she came back.

      1. Blarg*

        And after being late … then missing the whole day … then another day, I can see the shame starting to pile up. My gut was to say “no way, shoulda found a way to get in contact.” But the more I think about it, so long as this really is isolated, I think it’s brave to come back. To be able to conquer that embarrassment takes some guts.

  11. Rachael*

    Op #1: It’s obvious that you shouldn’t have gone on Facebook, but she was your friend and lived with you, not just a coworker. I think a text to tell her off was within normal behavior, but because she is a coworker the fuss should be kept at a minimum to make sure people aren’t looking at you as the person in the wrong. Places of employment legally have to protect employees from harassment no matter the relationship. Yes, the friend/coworker shouldn’t be judged for her sexuality but she sure can be judged for sleeping with a friend’s dad and talking up her friend’s man (in my opinion). Also, get the full story from your guy because he’s doing wrong too.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          That doesn’t make it okay, and it’s important to recognize it. Would you say “a lot of people use all kinds of racist words when betrayed by a friend”? Some reactions are not okay and should spur serious introspection.

          1. Rachael*

            The focus should be on the FB post since that is public and shouldn’t be used to shame anyone due to the size of the audience and mob mentality, not the text. I understand what everyone is saying, but the above letter says the misogynistic language (sl*t, wh*re) was done via text, not on her FB post. I think that everyone is piling on her for language used in an exchange between two people of the same gender. To me, it is more understandable for her to angrily use that language in the text and I’m surprised at the hard stance that everyone is taking as if they never use any such language, or any inappropriate language at all to a friend. She is not just a coworker, she is a friend and it is understandably that the language is less formal than if a random coworker acted as such. My point is that whether or not people agree with the language, it is coming from a place of pain and the LW deserves some empathy instead of people telling her why she has offended *them*.

            1. biobotb*

              A lot of people don’t use that kind of language among friends, and I don’t see how it being between two people of the same gender excuses it.

            2. pancakes*

              This is disingenuous. The problem with the letter writer’s language isn’t that it was informal but that it was misogynistic. And no, not everyone uses misogynistic language with friends, or behind closed doors. Regressive gender politics aren’t universal.

            3. pancakes*

              I want to add, I think it’s similarly disingenuous to characterize the volume of people advising the letter writer to delete the Facebook post as doing so because they’re “offended” rather than because they think she’s only making an arse of herself if she leaves it up.

          2. Le Mur*

            Whoa. I take issue with this, Allison. Racism/racial slurs is NOT an appropriate comparison to make here. It’s a point of white privilege that you think they are. The history/pain behind it all is too different to do this, and really insulting to those of us who are both.

              1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

                I am a different minority, who had both kinds of slurs thrown at me in my life, and I made the same comparison before I could even see Allison’s.

                What makes me upset about OP’s use of the words she used was that, out of all the, accurate, things to say to that woman, e.g. “you are a terrible friend”, “you’re an awful roommate”, “you betrayed my trust and brought your personal messes into my life as a thanks for letting you stay in my house”, “this is absolute garbage behavior”, she bypassed all of those and went straight for the one she thought to be the most insulting, which was… “you have sex with men”?

  12. Mel*

    Op1. Just no. If your husband had an affair or behaved improperly with this woman, it’s his fault, not hers. He’s a grown arse adult and responses for the choices he makes. There are also probably a few steps between finding and note and going nuclear on facebook.
    Find someone to talk to who can help you process things and respond in a more appropriate fashion.

    OP3. Just no. Let it go. This is not your business. Focus on being the best candidate you can be for this and future opportunities. Approaching anyone about this will make you look very unhinged.

    1. Temperance*

      Uh, this woman was living off of OP and her husband. It’s okay for OP to be angry with her! If a supposed friend of mine chose to bone my dad, for literally any reason, I would not be okay with it and I probably would gossip about her.

      1. valentine*

        She was living with, not necessarily off of, them. Why gossip about the friend instead of the gross dad?

        1. Piper*

          I mean, I would definitely gossip about both but I would say the coworker is way more gross for wanting to sleep with the old man dad (especially for what? a $5 pill?) than the dad is for wanting to sleep with the younger coworker…one person is getting a much more appealing deal than the other methinks.

  13. YB*

    Hi, OP3 – I’m a political staffer myself. It sure can be a terribly dysfunctional environment, and is far from your typical job. At the risk of sounding like a hackneyed “those clowns in Congress have done it again”-type comedian, the ability to inflate your credentials and successfully convince someone you’ve done stuff you haven’t done can actually be an *asset* in some political jobs. It’s also been my experience that political hiring is almost always, almost exclusively, about rapport with the boss. If Ron wanted to hire Allan, if Ron felt like Allan was the person for the job, it may not have been due to Allan’s qualifications; it may have been due to the way Ron felt about Allan, which Ron might have felt whether Allan were purporting to be a communications expert, the Pope, or a chicken farmer.

    If you were to act on your concern, you could look like an embittered ex-applicant; worse, you could look like you don’t understand the norms of the field. I’ve gotten Allan’d many, many times. It sucks. You have my sympathy. This *shouldn’t* be the norm in any field, especially in a field like this where the difference between good work and bad work has life-or-death repercussions for so many people. But it often is. I’m sorry.

    1. Stella70*

      This makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve done a lot of hiring – though nothing in the political realm – and I bet there were a few times I made choices that weren’t outwardly logical. Sometimes, you have to trust your gut!
      And isn’t it possible that the politician or others on his staff did the same cursory research the LW did, and discovered the same info?

    2. GRB*

      This is correct.

      And if Allan isn’t qualified, that may get noticed quickly. If you maintain a good rapport with the elected and their team, you could be in line if something opens up.

      But if you go around bad mouthing the politician by saying he is making bad hiring moves, you look like someone who can’t be a team player and, as YB says, don’t “get it.” And that word gets around political circles, which are small.

    3. Elle Kay*

      Hey OP3 & YB-
      I am now, thankfully, an ex-staffer and I totally get the idea to check on your “competition” and very normal since, as you mention, politics is a smaller world than people realize-particularly if you’re working in state/local circles instead of national.

      Here’s the thing: it is a small world. If Allan says he “worked” for this other group that’s involved with politics, then it is *very* unlikely that no-one on Ron’s staff has a connection there. If Ron/Ron’s staff didn’t check on that then that’s on them & questioning it will only make you look bad.

      As an example: the *worst* intern I’ve ever had worked in a Senator’s office with me in… 2014ish. 2+ years later I got a call from a former co-worker from that office who’d just gotten his resume for a position. (My ex-coworker now works for the party at state-level.) He straight up lied in exactly the way that you think Allan did. Let me tell you: every. one. of our staff from that office knew about the blatant, and ridiculous lies in his resume in about… 2 hours. And ex-coworker ensured his name is black-listed for ALL state party positions.

      So there are 2 options here: either Ron’s staff didn’t do a decent b/g check or call references (unlikely when they were presumably comparing him to you as a well-known and favorable candidate) OR Ron wanted to hire him. In either case, pushing the issue will be worse for you that it will be likely to impact Allan.

      If he lied he’ll be out of there pretty quick and you’ll be in good standing to swoop in. If he lasts then your reputation is still good and Ron might help you if anything else comes up

  14. Maggie*

    Look OP 1, you’re going to get a lot of backlash here about how you did the wrong thing, but not from me. I would have a lot of scorn in this situation as well. But more importantly, get yourself a good counselor already if you don’t have one. Because the issue isn’t A, or B, or even event C. It’s that you had all kinds of your personal boundaries crossed over a 5 month period but weren’t able to express your anger until it bubbled out in this less healthy way. This might be catastrophic–this time or in the future. Learning how to enforce boundaries helps you address the issues when they come up, instead of when they get to allowing someone you think doesn’t meet your moral standards to stay in your own house.

    1. Casper Lives*

      +1 You said what I wanted to in a more eloquent way. Allison’s answer and most of the comments so far condemn OP1 for “slut-shaming,” but the former friend’s behavior is way more egregious. It’s not slut-shaming to say she probably took advantage of her older father by sleeping with him for pain pills! There’s a lack of empathy and sympathy in the responses that concern me. No, OP1 didn’t react in the best way, but I can’t say I would react the in the most professional way in such a stressful, emotional train wreck of a situation.

      1. Grande*

        Yeah, shaming is not always a bad thing, if you do shameful things, it’s normal and necessary for society to shame you. Sleeping with married men, having sex for pills, etc, that’s actually shameful, that’s not a woman just enjoying her sexuality with her preferred partners ethically. That’s a dumpster fire.

        1. JR*

          Eh, I’d say that having sex for pills isn’t nearly as shameful as paying for sex with pills. That’s just taking advantage of someone who likely has a drug problem.

            1. TechWorker*

              I would sort of imagine that OP is either a) very ashamed of her father in this situation or b) feels, rightly or wrongly, that he was taken advantage of. Which in the situation, is not exactly impossible. There’s not really enough information in the letter to know that though, and they may have thought it irrelevant to the work related bit of the question.

          1. Asenath*

            Or someone who wants some easy money by selling the pills to someone with a drug problem, and is taking advantage of both the father and the person with a drug problem.

            Sure, OP shouldn’t have gone ballistic on social media, and by doing so might have caused problems for her husband at work. But the ex-friend is, based on the information given, a danger to people around her – I’m surprised how few responses mention the teenager “persuaded” into sex after being gotten drunk. I don’t know what I’d have done in such a situation. Thrown the ex-friend out to protect my elderly father and the teenager, excluded her from my life, and started work on trusting my husband again, I hope. But maybe I’d have been so enraged I’d have gone for the nuclear social media option and thought about the consequences later.

            1. Nita*

              This. I wonder if, at least on some level, OP wanted to shout from the rooftops: “watch out, don’t let coworker into your life like I did, she has no restraint and may take advantage of the young or the old to get her way”. Which is sort of understandable if there’s some overlap between OP’s work and friends (yikes!)

              Not the healthiest way to respond, though. OP should really be taking this up with her husband – hopefully he stayed away from coworker, but who knows. Possibly with the police if she knows a crime took place (the teenager thing). Not with random people on Facebook.

              And OP, I’m sorry about the tornado of toxicity that had entered your life. I hope you’ve got nothing to do with her now, and that she gets help and develops some boundaries.

          2. Grande*

            How about… They’re both shameful? I have no sympathy for men who take advantage of women and men who cheat. They’re a******s. They deserve to be shamed publicly, too. None of this means that the lady in our story is blameless or the victim.

        2. Sunshine*

          Whereas paying for sex with pills and taking advantage of your subordinates is morally neutral and deserves zero shaming. /s

        3. Jasnah*

          I’m not sure if ranting on Facebook with the language OP used is part of “normal and necessary” social shaming. It comes across like someone tweeting about how they were robbed by a (racial slur). You may have been wronged but how you deal with it says something about you too.

          The reason people are reacting strongly to the slut-shaming language is because that makes it sound like the woman’s shame was sleeping around in itself, not whatever happened with the minor (! this is worrying). And it sounds like OP is more concerned about shaming this woman than she is about consequences for her husband.

          1. Scarlet2*

            Exactly. If your reaction to being hurt is resorting to misogynistic (or racist) slurs, you definitely lose the moral high ground.

          2. Parenthetically*

            Yep, this right here.

            OP1 is justified in her outrage at being taken advantage of. But how she has chosen to express that outrage indicates a very serious problem with understanding consequences at minimum. (Also, damn girl, prioritize your anger, if this lady did a shady pills-for-sex deal and possibly raped a drunk teen while under your roof, the correct response is to call the police, not blather about how promiscuous she is ffs!)

            1. RUKiddingMe*

              I keep re-reading the letter and I’m not sure how OP is being taken advantage of. She doesn’t like how the coworker behaves, but that doesn’t mean OP was taken advantage of. What am I missing?

              Almost none of what this woman did is OP’s concern. She only has a couple things to legit be aggrieved about:

              Woman allegedly has lots of sex, with coworkers…not OP’s business.
              Woman allegedly has sex with supervisor…not OP’s business.
              Woman allegedly has sex with “teenager” of undefined age (so potentially able to consent)…not OP’s business.
              Woman allegedly has sex with OP’s dad…not OP’s business.

              Woman allegedly gets teenager drunk…society’s business, so OP is allowed to be concerned. If true, call the police.
              Woman asks OP’s husband to text her, Husband texts…sort of OP’s business.

              OP puts woman on blast all over Facebook about things that are almost completely not her business.
              OP called woman all kinds of misogynistic slurs, even in her letter to Alison.

              This commenter thinks OP thinks Husband and woman are doing the deed.

              No blame for Husband.
              No blame for drug dealing father.
              Doesn’t care enough abl=out the allegedly drunk teenager to call police in the moment, or else it’s hearsay and OP is just using it as an additional cudgel.

              1. Parenthetically*

                Like one million days later, but — I think the issue is that it seems like she did those things under OP’s roof. It’s just… bad roommate manners to use your friend’s otherwise quiet home as a place to bring a string of one-night stands when you’re there very temporarily, and, to put it very mildly, really extremely bad roommate manners to shtup your friend’s dad while you’re crashing at that friend’s place.

        4. Scarlet2*

          But the married *supervisor* who slept with her AND participated in a threesome with a drunk teenager isn’t worth shaming? Funny that there’s no hateful language directed towards that person, while coworker is a “whore” and a “slut”. I wonder if married supervisor was also named and shamed in the FB post.

          1. Perpal*

            Shame for all! Seriously, I don’t think anyone said the supervisor’s behavior is A ok. Right now the focus is on this former roommate because that’s who OP asked about and is apparently at the center of several shenanigans.
            But, social media blitz is not the way to go. OP needs to 1) talk with her husband about the texts 2) (perhaps already done) make it clear former roommate is totally banned from her life 3) ?? marriage counseling? Husband changing jobs away from this dysfunctional workplace? Divorce? Call police about this teenager? I dunno.

      2. Sunshine*

        You could also argue that OP’s dad took advantage of a vulnerable drug addict and used her for sex. There’s a lot of ‘blame this woman who is clearly going through something. But not the supervisor who is sleeping with a subordinate, the man who paid for sex with drugs or the other supervisor who is flirting with her. Op’s husband could lose his job because hello, supervisors aren’t meant to take sexual advantage of their direct reports. There are a dozen posts on Askamanager about it.

        1. Traffic_Spiral*

          I don’t think it’s an either-or situation. This woman is obviously a raging dumpster fire, and so are a lot of the people she associates with. Personally, I sympathize with what LW did, but I think that LW was being very unwise. She’s started a feud with what is looking like a mentally unstable pain pill addict who is good at charming people at the start (otherwise she wouldn’t have weaseled her way into their house).

          LW needs to stop acting like a middle schooler having a spat and start acting like a sensible adult that needs to get a dangerous person out of her life.

          1. Sunshine*

            Oh, I sympathise massively in terms of her making the post. One of the worst parts of social media is how instant and easily regrettable it is and none of us make sensible decisions when in pain.

            I think I’m just seeing this in a bit of a different light. Did she ‘weasel her way’ into the house? Or did OP’s husband invite her because he thought she might be an easy mark? I also don’t see her as a ‘raging dumpster fire’. I see her as a vulnerable person who needs help and support, and is being consistently taken advantage of by older men who have power over her living situation and income.

            Also there are gradations of bad. I personally think a married person in a position of power trying to take sexual advantage of a homeless drug addict who works for them is far, far worse morally than the vulnerable person going along with it.

            1. Aveline*

              We don’t know either way. We don’t have enough facts or an objective opinion.

              It’s possible coworker is a victim. It’s possible she’s a villain.

              We can’t know.

              It also doesn’t matter to the advice we need to give LW. Either way, she needs to get this woman out of her life, enforce boundaries with her dad and husband (or tell them to GTFO), and work on her own emotional torment. That is all the same irrespective of whether or not the coworker is a victim or the creator of these situations.

                1. Aveline*

                  No they are not. You are reading into that. Or confusing me with someone else.

                  The point of my posts is to have sympathy for the person who wrote in and to give them a advice.

                  What part of “It’s possible she’s a victim” is unclear to you?


                2. Traffic_Spiral*

                  Yeah, I think Aveline was pretty clear that 1.) we really don’t know the full story, and 2.) the point here is not to blame, but to find a way out of trouble.

            2. Traffic_Spiral*

              > I also don’t see her as a ‘raging dumpster fire’. I see her as a vulnerable person who needs help and support, and is being consistently taken advantage of by older men who have power over her living situation and income.

              These aren’t 100% mutually exclusive situations. Sometimes people who make shitty life choices have something or other that’s sympathetic in their situation. You still gotta get away with them though, because until they make the tough steps necessary to chance their actions, there’s no amount of help that will be enough – they’ll just drag you down with them.

              1. Aveline*

                Yep. I work with a lot of victims of abuse and other traumas that give nightmares just hearing about them.

                That does not mean that those people don’t also do a lot of wrong. Some are even emotionally abusive narcisstic jerks.

                So, so many victims of certain types of wrongs turn out to be perpetrators themselves.

                OP is a prime example. I think she is a victim of the coworker’s wrongs. But she’s also committed a wrong hereself by posting and the texts.

          2. Aveline*

            I agree.

            I think that one tendency on this site is to “take a side” on issues like this. So many people have already been very unkind to OP because she did something morally* and legally** wrong and are completely glossing the fact that the coworker, father, husband, husband’s boss, and many associated others are in the wrong.

            This sounds like one huge dumpster fire of dysfunction.

            If OP were a friend or a client, I would tell them to delete all the posts, have a long talk with dad about his behavior, an even longer one with husband, and then detach from anyone and everyone who doesn’t own up to their behavior and their role in making this situation worse.

            Also, we all need to remember that we aren’t passing moral judgment on anyone, we are trying to give OP advice. So taking her “side” or taking the side of the coworker (which some people above are doing, IMHO), isn’t really useful.

            OP can’t control the coworker or her dad. Probably can’t control her husband. All she can do is set boundaries and consequences. Boundary for dad: no more sex in exchange for pills with someone with that potential to blow up my life. Boundary for husband: no more contact with coworker. Boundary for coworker: don’t contact me.

            Boundary for self: don’t air dirty linen in public, don’t allow justifiable anger to fuel hateful speech.

            We don’t, as a culture or as the human race, do well at teaching people to set boundaries, to deal with boundary violations, or to work through hurt, anger, and trauma. OP needs a counselor or a learned ear to help her work through all of this mess. This isn’t just an issue for AAM, it’s a Captain Awkward type issue. It’s something that OP needs to work through emotionally before taking action.

            *misogny, publicly disclosing poeple’s private drama and trauma, outing the sex life of a teen, outing sex of potential victims of abuse (the teen, the dad, the coworker – We don’t know enough to know who’s a victim and who is a villain, if it breaks down that simply).
            **potentially libelous posting (depends on what she said) and also potential other tortious action (depends on the jurisdiction)

            1. Sunshine*

              > We don’t, as a culture or as the human race, do well at teaching people to set boundaries, to deal with boundary violations, or to work through hurt, anger, and trauma

              Extremely true.

            2. 1.0*

              I just wanted to say your advice and posts here are consistently compassionate and empathetic, and I’m always glad to see your posts

              1. Aveline*

                Thanks! That made might night.

                (Which has been rough b/c I’m working on another termination of parental rights. A young mother I really, really wanted to see succeed).

                I’m not always right and I often learn things here, but I do try to be kind.

            3. fposte*

              I think this is really well summed. I suspect this is a pretty complicated family situation here, too–maybe Dad needs a lot of help and can’t get out much to meet or see people, so that’s a layer of strain, and maybe they needed a roommate for financial reasons and that’s why the co-worker moved in in the first place. It’s possible this woman is the railing the family car hit but not the reason the car was out of control in the first place.

            4. Sandman*

              +1. The only amendment I’d make is to the idea of putting boundaries on other people, because we really can’t control them at all. What we can do is make our expectations clear and be willing to follow up with consequences that protect ourselves if our expectations aren’t met. Is the OP willing to kick her dad out (was he living with her? maybe I should re-read) if he has sex with a roommate again? If husband contacts co-worker again, is she willing to stay in relationship with him? There’s a great book called Boundaries by Henry McCloud that might be helpful for the OP to read, because dealing with mess like this from people we love is really, really hard (it does have religious overtones, FYI). You deserve to be treated better than this, OP, but that’s probably not something that’s going to happen by itself.

    2. Jasnah*

      I can’t say that I would react perfectly to OP’s situation if I were in her shoes. But on the other hand, that doesn’t absolve OP of criticism for how she reacted. She may have a very, very good reason for making the decision(s) she did. But that decision still has effects, like her husband losing his job and being criticized for what she said. I hope OP follows your advice and sees a counselor or otherwise gets the support she needs.

      1. grace*

        Yeah, I agree – the decision definitely has repercussions, and I don’t know that I would have been any better (though perhaps in a different way). But I think there’s a middle ground here – we don’t have to beat a dead horse (with piling on re: the Facebook posts) or go overboard in consoling her, but we can realize that she’s hurting, dealt with it poorly, and is seeking advice. Like, idk, that seems like general basic human decency there.

    3. Shannon*

      +1 I mean, OP1, you need to speak with your husband ASAP but I completely understand your reaction.

    4. Falling Diphthong*

      If people can be empathetic to Houseguest for perhaps having a drug and alcohol addiction that is spiraling out of control, they can be empathetic to OP for wanting to lash out after 5 months of boundary trampling.

      Also fair to point out that neither of them is choosing a healthy or productive way to act out, whatever stress underlies it: since OP is the one who wrote in, she gets the advice.

    5. Blunt Bunny*

      But it seems the LW posted on FB to get her coworker fired but then realised her husband may also be fired. It also puts your employment at risk as you are not exposing rumours and information that puts the employer in a bad light. How would a prospective client or candidate view the company after viewing this.

      Also since the coworker lived with you, the texts could have been hey we’ve ran out of milk, I’ve forgotten my key or I have a parcel coming etc

  15. Knitting Cat Lady*


    1. What your dad does with his bits is none of your business.
    2. How many people your former(?) friend sleeps with is none of your business.
    3. If your husband is unfaithful to you be mostly mad at him.

    Points 1 to 3 are stuff to write in your hard copy diary or talk to your therapist about.


    1. Shannon*

      #2 I think it’s a little naive and false to say if a coworker in cohabitating with you and sleeping with multiple coworkers and some of them are married that it’s “none of your business.” There are all sorts of power dynamics and situations to roommate/coworker put her in by doing this, especially by having an affair with her supervisor. I had a roommate who I didn’t work with but who did this and it greatly affected my life with the *drama* (cops were involved, angry wives were involves, threats were involved) and it’s even worse since they’re coworkers.

      1. Knitting Cat Lady*

        The problem here is the drama, not the sex.

        Roommates can drag you into all kinds of drama, even with cops involved, that don’t involve sex at all.

        The sex here is a red herring.

        OP1 can be annoyed at drama spillover. What the drama is caused by is irrelevant.

        1. Traffic_Spiral*

          Definitely, but I don’t think that angry facebook callouts are a good way of reducing drama.

          1. Aveline*

            Yep. OP wants to “win.”

            So many times, that instinct takes over when we are hurt.

            All the lawyers on here who have dealt with domestic issues or estate issues can tell you that one.

            But, in the end, the most frequent thing I tell clients and friends, is that they won’t “win.” They won’t get justice. What they need to decide is what the minimum they need to be able to walk away.

            In this case, OP is so blinded by her anger that she’s setting herself and her husband on fire with it.

            She needs to use it to make changes in her life, her marriage, and her relationship with her father.

            What she’s done in the posting and text is only going to make this worse for everyone.

            No one will “win.”

            She’s ensuring that they all lose.

        2. Yorick*

          I don’t think it’s exactly a red herring. I’d be more mad about someone carrying on affairs in my home/bringing sex or relationship drama into my home (whichever is the case here) than I would if they, say, constantly hosted a board game group and that caused drama that I had to deal with.

        3. Bawab*

          The sex is not a red herring. Noting happens in a vacuum. There is only drama because of sex. Take out the sex and there’s no drama. We regularly hold people accountable for bad things they do that aren’t illegal. Somehow, sex has become the one and only arena where we pretend the person has done nothing wrong, and/or we come down on the injured party for having strong negative feelings and expressing them out loud.

    2. MuseumChick*

      I agree Knitting Cat Lady. Regarding #2 – if this person was bringing people back to the OPs home to sleep with she had every right to shut that down: “Friend, on of the boundaries for staying here is to not bring strangers to the house and/or if you have a guest you must clear it with us first.” That’s perfectly reasonable. The number of partners, frequency etc is none of the OP’s business as long as it is not happening in her home.

      Regard #4: HOLY BALLS YES. OP, I am really, really, really hoping you are talking about an 18 – 19 year old (that still doesn’t make the situation ok, just not criminal) but I have a gut feeling you are talking about someone under 18. Why have you not called the police???

      1. Aveline*

        Yep. The promiscuity of the coworker is not OP’s business. How it impacts her life is.

        It wouldn’t matter if it were sex, drugs, or Tupperware. If coworker brought it into her home and it caused issues for OP, then she can shut it down.

        Also, wrt to reporting it to the cops, it depends upon the age of the alleged victim. In my state, EVERYONE is a mandated reporter of child abuse. If OP lives in a state where that is also coupled with a higher age of consent and the teen is below that age, OP must report it. Otherwise, I’d say not her cows, not her pasture.

        If the teen was victimized, but she’s old enough to decide whether to report it or not, then reporting is up to the victim.

        If 14, report it. If 17, probably not unless legally required.

      2. Falling Diphthong*

        I suspect the teen was old enough to consent to sex but not to purchase alcohol. (And Houseguest wouldn’t qualify as a family member allowing an underage ward to have alcohol at a family gathering, which is legal in the US.) Of course, they could be somewhere the teen is old enough to purchase alcohol, and it’s skeezy boundary trampling with a bunch of alcoholic lubrication but not technical law breaking.

        I doubt the police would feel they had a case if the teen went to them, much less if some third party wanted them to investigate a Tale Of Underage Drinking.

  16. Jennifer Juniper*

    Alison, I’m surprised you missed this. If OP1’s husband’s coworker is in the US, she committed a crime by getting a teenager drunk. She could have also committed statutory rape if the girl was under the age of consent.

    OP1 should have called the police on the child-abusing coworker instead of blabbing this all over the internet. That way, the woman would have gotten in legal trouble, not OP and her husband.

    1. valentine*

      There’s no consent, regardless of age: It was premeditated (getting her drunk) and coercive (talking her into it after getting her drunk, age and power differentials).

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        We’re making assumptions based on thirdhand information here and this could easily take us down a rabbit hole that doesn’t change the answer to the question the OP is asking.

        1. Nena*


          And while I know it’s the site policy to take LW’s at their word, a lot of people wouldn’t be 100% reliable narrators when as angry and volatile as the LW seems to feel right now (with good reason if she believes her husband may be cheating…)

        2. Aveline*

          There’s going to be a lot of derailing on this that doesn’t help OP.

          I don’t see how speculating about the consent of the teen, playing the blame-assigning version of pin the tail on the donkey wrt to coworker/husband/dad, or diving into whether coworker is a victim or a villain really helps OP.

          As I see it, we have two questions for OP (1) Can husband be fired? and (2) What can’t/should I do to remedy my error in posting this publicly?

          You’ve already answered (1). I think all we can do is add insight into (2).

    2. pcake*

      The teenager in question could be 18 or 19, which – while not legal drinking age – is above the age of consent.

  17. Teeth Grinder*

    OP 3
    Since you’re short-staffed right now, it makes a lot of sense to keep her FOR NOW. At the same time, it isn’t something you can afford to ignore, because of the precedent.

    FWIW, my contact list is backed up to the cloud, which I believe is a standard feature for my cellular company. (Don’t know if they all do it, or if she might have turned it off.) So it’s not impossible that she could have accessed her contact list through their website, on a library computer or a friend/relative’s device. And was there no possibility of public transportation or getting a ride to work from someone? Just saying…

    What I recommend is that you document the incident in her personnel file. It gives her (and others, if your company’s gossip mill works like most) warning that this was NOT acceptable behavior, even though you’re giving her a second chance this time. Then, if there are future issues with this employee, there’s a record of the prior incident to bolster your justification for disciplinary action.

  18. OP2*

    Hi. OP #2 here. Some clarification for the curious… The employee in question was #3 to “quit without notice” until we realized what happened. The other two were different. One had worked about two weeks and said “due to unforeseen circumstances ” she found another job… we were just a side gig for her, so I imagine she has nothing to lose.

    The other is more complex. He is young, 21, and we were his first “real” job. As it’s entry level, there is some turnover…but he felt the grass is greener on the other side. In short, the usual dysfunction one can find in a family run business that’s doubled in size in three years became too much for him. He had worked about 7 months with us. My other employees are different tenures from 6 months to 17 years, and some are part time, some are full.

    We do have trouble finding the best fit as we are a non traditional job, and it is certainly not the best employer ever, but this particular employee was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of how many hours I can absorb.

    1. Sherm*

      Yeah, unlike a movie or a video game, sometimes there aren’t amazing options to choose from. Perhaps if you tell her, “hey, I get it, life happens, you need to find a way to contact me, though,” she’ll appreciate your understanding and will follow through in the event of a future misfortune.

    2. Willis*

      If she is otherwise a decent employee and going MIA was an anomaly, I’d give her another shot. It sounds like it would be a welcome relief for both of you.

    3. Traffic_Spiral*

      If I’m getting this right, you’re basically not paying people enough to live on, so they have to have a second job? Because if that’s the case you really can’t ask for too much stability from them, as you aren’t giving them any stability in return.

      1. straws*

        Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see a reason to assume this. We’ve had plenty of employees that used us as a side gig and/or had one. We pay pretty mid-range for our area. Some examples: One employee ran a blog and worked for us part time until the blog was up and running. She then left. Another employee works for us for stability and insurance while she works her passion gig on the weekends. Yet another had massive debt and worked part time until that was paid off and is now just working with us.

        There are plenty of reasons why an employee might work more than one job. Not being paid enough is certainly one of them, but it’s not the only one.

      2. alma from Canada*

        I’m leaning towards traffic spiral’s thinking too. Everyone she mentions has other jobs. If there are irregular hours and/or pay, then workers are going to tend to return that. Add in other hinted at dysfunction and it sounds like a job for people who can’t get better/more reliable work. Sorry OP, you may be a great manager, but the situation you hint at does not sound great in and of itself.

      3. LQ*

        It sounds like OPs job is the side gig. Though it doesn’t clarify if part time or not. But I assume by use of we were the side gig that the “real” job, the one that employee wanted, was something else. In which case leaving makes sense, sort of regardless of pay.

      4. OP2*

        We pay a fare and competitive wage. Why do people just assume all job problems are about/solved with money?

    4. Falling Diphthong*

      The usual dysfunction one can find in a family run business that’s doubled in size in three years.

      I literally have no idea what this would be, and you might want to take a step back to evaluate what you’re writing off as just normal for any (insert business category).

      1. Coffee Bean*

        This sentence struck me too.

        OP2 – even if it is usual dysfunction, I think it would still be worth your while to step back and see if you can put any procedures/fixes in place to help mitigate that. With such high turnover, I am thinking there may be more than just a normal amount of dysfunction, and fixing some of the low hanging fruit, or adjusting how you react and approach your team about these issues may help.

        I am at a loss for what you are referring to when you say “usual dysfunction”, but I still think that you should look at remedying or shielding your team from this.

      2. RandomusernamebecauseIwasboredwiththelastone*

        Any company that doubles in size in a relatively short time is going to have some growing pains. Off the top of my head here’s what I would think could be happening:

        1. loose processes are being discovered- Nobody knew that Fergus just knew to do this weird thing because he’d been doing it quietly for the last 10 years, when we added 4 people to his team it was missed because it wasn’t obvious that it was part of the job.
        2. Non Scale-able processes. Huh… Fergus used to hand off this order to Jane who would take it from there. Now we have to find a way for the 5 people in Fergus’ team to get the multiple orders off to the 3 people in Jane’s team without the order getting lost or dropped.
        3. More people = more problems. Increasing staff is going to increase everything that staff brings, more HR issues, more discipline/non performing issues, more formal rules and policies, more training, more hiring, culture changes.
        4. Increased workload… generally companies expand with the workload and hires generally lag behind work peaks

        1. OP2*

          Basically all of this. I realize there is dysfunction, but it seems the commentators think I can wave a magic wand to fix problems that stem from 3+ levels above me.

          The position I am managing didn’t exist barely a year ago so a lot of this is learning as we go.

    5. Observer*

      the usual dysfunction one can find in a family run business that’s doubled in size in three years

      Yes, you need to rethink your management. You seem to be dismissing dysfunction as something that’s normal and there fore pretty much acceptable. Your job as a manager is to reduce the dysfunction where possible and mitigate the impact where it’s not possible. And when you can’t do either, at least be cognizant that BY DEFINITION this is a problem.

  19. M R*

    OP 1 –
    Depending on the age of the teenager who was “talking into” the threesome there may have been a crime committed by this woman, and you may have an obligation to report it.

    1. Elizabeth Proctor*

      IANAL but there’s likely no obligation to report a crime (in the US) unless OP is a mandatory reporter and we have no evidence that that’s the case. Also in states where there is an obligation to report a crime the reporter typically has to witness it, not just hear about it.

  20. beth*

    OP1, I think you might need to examine why you’re so bent on calling your husband’s coworker gendered insults. I understand that you’re upset with her, but using a woman’s sexuality to insult her doesn’t just hurt that one woman. Using a woman being promiscuous or visibly sexual as an insult inherently suggests that her sexuality is bad or wrong–and turning female sexuality into a sin ultimately backfires on every woman who engages with her own sexuality, aka almost all of us.

    The problem with her behavior isn’t really that she’s promiscuous. It’s that she took advantage of her access to your dad to abuse his pain med prescription, that she has poor boundaries between work and personal relationships (not really your problem, since you don’t work with her), and that you think your husband is cheating on you with her (which, remember he’s the one who made vows to you, not her). If you have to try to knock her down, use the things she’s actually doing wrong–it will strengthen your argument and also not reinforce patriarchal ideas about women’s sexuality.

    1. Susie Q*

      This has nothing to do with a woman’s sexuality and entirely having to do with her terrible behavior.

      1. Crivens! (Formerly Katniss)*

        The point still stands that using misogynistic slurs based on sexual behavior hurts more women than just the one being insulted.

        1. Jennifer*

          No, it doesn’t. She didn’t call her names because she is sexually active. She called her names because she possibly slept with her husband, knowing full well he is married. Yes, her husband is very much in the wrong here too, but she is far from blameless. Her anger at both of them is justified.

          1. Aveline*

            Doesn’t matter the motivation.

            Intent isn’t magic.

            Using those terms hurts women in general even where the specific woman deserved it.

            I’m sure there are despicable black men. That doesn’t mean that I should get to use the N-word against them. Why? Because no matter what they’ve done, that term is harmful.

            I’m sure there are horrible gay men. That doesn’t mean I should get to call them a slur. Because those slurs hurt everyone in the group.

            There is a HUGE difference between an insult and a slur. Had OP merely insulted the coworker by calling her trash, that would be very different than using slurs specifically aimed at women, particularly promiscuous ones.

            There is a long history of those words resulting in harm to women. Sometimes rape, torture, and death. So they should be relegated to history books and sociology classes and villains in books and movies. They should not be something thinking people direct at others.

            Context and history matter.
            All slurs are insults. Not all insults are slurs.
            Slurs have no place in the mouths or on the keyboards of any decent human.

            *I’m in no way equating the harm of slut and the N-word.

          2. BuildMeUp*

            It sounds like the two of you might be arguing past each other a little bit. I don’t think Crivens is saying the OP isn’t justified in being angry; they’re saying the OP shouldn’t use misogynistic slurs to attack the woman.

            And Jennifer, even if she’s calling her names because of a specific action, she’s still using misogynistic language to do it. This isn’t a situation where the intent behind or cause of the words makes it okay to use them.

      2. beth*

        Insulting someone by calling them a whore or a slut is saying that their sexuality/promiscuity is the problem. That’s what those words mean–they’re words used to insult women for engaging in sexual behavior.

        My entire point is that if OP wants to call their husband’s coworker out on her terrible behavior, they need to say things like “You took advantage of my dad to abuse his prescription meds” (assuming that’s what OP thinks happened there, of course). Defaulting to misogynistic insults doesn’t actually get that across, and it does tear down women in general by reinforcing the idea that women’s sexuality is wrong.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      I don’t understand people focusing in on the use of a Mean Name like it’s the only thing out of the whole stew of drama and poor life and professional decisions worthy of note. I would get providing a pile of advice to OP re not ranting about her husband’s work on her social media (oh hells no) and maybe a side note about Houseguest maybe being in the grip of a drug and alcohol addiction (and hey, just because you acknowledge the possibility doesn’t mean you want it sleeping on your couch), and maybe as a final point noting that misogynistic insults are never a good look. Focusing on The Bad Word seems like a close cousin of tone policing, if the only problem here is the word used to describe it.

      1. Aveline*

        There’s a huge difference between tone policing of marginalized persons and community’s (e.g., black women not being allowed to be angry) and someone using a misogynist slur or two and being called out for it.

        We aren’t policing her tone or her anger, we are calling our her word choice.

        The context of tone policing matters. There’s noting here to show it’s being used as a cudgel to silence or diminish OP.

        1. BuildMeUp*


          Isn’t tone policing more of an, “oh, if only you spoke in a different tone of voice, people would believe you about those microaggressions” type of thing?

        2. Falling Diphthong*

          But the blog explicitly bans nitpicking word choice. With good reason. So if all people are doing is nitpicking word choice, they should cut it out.

          I view tone policing as “You have a point, but you haven’t said it in EXACTLY the right way and so I’m going to focus solely on how your words were not 100% the best words to use while ignoring all other aspects of what you wrote.” Which would include your example but be a lot broader.

          1. Falling Diphthong*

            Also–tone policing does not, and should not, apply only to people who can point to their belonging to a marginalized group. And then the tone policing is only bad if they can prove that the policing is happening because of that group membership and not some other reason.

            1. Falling Diphthong*

              I don’t normally argue, but here I don’t think it’s at all the crux.
              I posted on Facebook about her activities with my dad and her coworkers having sex with her and about her getting a teenager drunk and talking her into having a threesome with her supervisor. I also texted her and called her a skanky whore and a slut.

              If you remove that last line altogether, or change it to “I also texted her and called her a stupid and destructive moron whose carelessness was going to trash her life and other people’s as well” then the misogynistic slurs are gone, but the toxic FB posts about husband’s coworkers are still there. And the more minor point of an angry text to a spouse’s coworker, which might conceivably show up in a complaint directed at him at work. Someone can be hard-wired to never use the word “skank,” and still be outraged at their boundary-free houseguest and vent that outrage in a really bad primal scream way that may rebound on them or their family.

              1. Belle8bete*

                Agreed. No matter what language used, that post is going to come across as problematic. And if the behavior stated is accurate (or is the reality of the writer) then I see why they selected words like “skanky” because the writer is insulting the (seemingly extreme) sexual behavior.

                I don’t think the word choice is the big issue! And also, if this is even partially true, some compassion is due to the writer.

                Right now it feels a bit like…. “Hey your world has apparently imploded. Don’t call that other person a whore because that’s sexist.” Really, the answer is “yes totally could get him fired. Don’t do this, it’s not a good idea.”

                To the OP: don’t post things like that! Get to counseling either by yourself or with your spouse.

      2. beth*

        There’s a difference between a mean name (asshole, jerk, etc.) and misogynistic (or racist, homophobic, etc.) insults. The former are rude and hurtful to the individual, sure, but sometimes that’s exactly what you’re trying to do! And they don’t generally hurt anyone else beyond the person you’re insulting. The latter do–they end up reinforcing the bigotry that powers them even when the individual using them doesn’t really intend to do that. That’s more than a bad look, in my opinion; it’s something we should all keep in mind when choosing our words, and that I hope most people will choose to avoid when they stop and think about it.

        1. Belle8bete*

          “A bad look” is this entire thing. Also, did I read that she sent this insult personally to the other person?

  21. periwinkle*

    OP5 – Yes, ask your boss!

    She might want you to continue attending for internal political reasons or just to keep tabs on the project. In that case, you just have to grit your teeth and carry on. Hopefully she will realize that this is not a value-added use of your time and you can escape.

    I’ve been attending a 1/2 weekly meeting for nearly a year. I’m still not entirely sure why, but I have to be there. Once in a while I answer or ask a question. Sigh. It’s a good time to think through my other projects, or plan dinner, or plot revenge against the creators of PowerPoint.

    1. Stella70*

      Removed off-topic reply about Powerpoint here and the off-topic replies it was beginning to generate.

    2. FTW*

      This is a good point.

      The OP might also check if there is a way her department could be contributing more in the meetings.

      1. valentine*

        OP5: Your reprimanding colleague proved you only need a one- or two-line report in lieu of attendance. Are there minutes? Can you suggest to your supervisor that senior coworker go or be the point person?

        1. Yorick*

          Agreed. And if the senior coworker is the one who needs the information/can answer questions but refuses to go, the answer isn’t to send OP, it’s to have someone send minutes/questions from the meeting to the senior coworker.

  22. Jen S. 2.0*


    A LOT of people get a job and immediately start looking for the next one, or just in general go into every job knowing they won’t stay forever. Sometimes it’s a drive for advancement, sometimes it’s because they have short attention spans (…or unrealistic expectations…), and sometimes they just fear career inertia. I know four separate people with whom I’ve had a conversation in which they’ve casually commented that they’re “always looking.” One of those ladies has had at least 4 (progressively more responsible) jobs in the 10 years I have known her. Another recently started her own business. So, even if you’re not that person who changes jobs every 2.5 years like clockwork, be aware that they exist, and companies know that. I mean, the culture where you find a company and stay there until you die at your desk has evolved greatly (and I don’t say that lightly; I’m a federal government employee).

    So, what you’ve described sounds like you might be there for 3-4 years, tops. Could be a little less. That’s normal. It’s even on the high-ish end of normal. People will come and go at your office in that time frame, for a raft of reasons both great and questionable.

    You don’t need to announce a thing. When asked, you describe what would happen in your job at that organization in an ideal world … even though we all know the world is not ideal. That’s not a lie.

    1. OP #4*

      Thanks Jen! I know a lot of job hoppers too. This is my 3rd job in 4 years, but I’m hoping this one clicks a little longer than the last few. I agree that the “gold watch” 25 year days are over but I’m still hesitant about how to talk about my 5 year plan when asked point blank. I think I’ll be general about where I want to be in my career and leave out what state that might be in. Thanks for commenting :)

      1. learnedthehardway*

        If this is the case – you’ve had frequent job moves previously – you definitely do not want to inform your employer that you’re thinking of moving. That’s not their business, and you need to retain your job as long as possible to establish your stability as an employee. In fact, if asked about your 5 year plan, I’d give a version of it that entails progressing within your current company, right up until you have bought a house / signed a lease, and gotten a job elsewhere.

        1. OP #4*

          I understand what you mean by waiting until my plans are firm. That makes sense. I’m not worried about my stability as an employee. I’ve had other jobs that have been longer than the last couple. It’s common in my industry to move on quickly because there are a lot of opportunities fir specialization and salary bumps.

  23. Rvv*

    OP#1–If I’m understanding correctly the friend (or ex-friend) slept with your 69 year old father? Is he incapacitated, threatened, not of sound mind? If not, I’m missing something.

    1. Pomona Sprout*

      I wondered about that, too. If Dad is not of sound mind, she took advantage of him in an egregious way, imo. Otherwise, they were presumably consenting adults. Eithet way, sex in return for payment with drugs is gross, but Dad’s mental status could have a significant bearing on just how gross.

    2. McWhadden*

      His age made me question how truthful the LW is being. But if it’s legit it’s not even that old for 2019.

      1. Scarlet2*

        It’s absolutely possible that LW’s father is 69, but you’re right that his age in itself does not scream “frail and being taken advantage of”. A lot of 69 year olds are perfectly lucid and quite capable of making their own decisions (and mistakes).
        Now, if the father is incapacitated in some way, that’s elder abuse and that calls for a police intervention, not an angry FB post publicly exposing the father’s sex life.

        1. londonedit*

          My parents are both 69 and are perfectly lucid, active, capable of making their own decisions and generally normal and healthy individuals! I agree that some people may be less so, but that’s true at any age. If the dad was 89 rather than 69, maybe this would be more of a concern, but to me 69 doesn’t immediately scream ‘doddery old fool who doesn’t understand what he’s doing’.

          1. The Original K.*

            Agreed. I know it’s possible to be cognitively impaired at 69 (or earlier!), but I actually don’t know any cognitively impaired 69-year-olds. My friends’ and my parents are mostly in their mid-60s to early 70s and all are lucid – most fall into the “active retirees” category, and there are some who still work. My best friend’s mother continues to run her real estate business at 70.

          2. YourEthicsConfuseMe*

            Everyone on this thread is screaming “but my parents are 70 and so HEALTHY it’s probably not true/it’s not that old/he’s probably lucid” while people are forgetting that a TON of people die in their late fourties and fifties and that the average age of death in the US is 78 and dementia starts many many years before death occurs. But everyone let’s their own experience, and the fact that we often forget people who die ay younger ages, color their views of others’ situations. For many, living into their 50s is a miracle because they weren’t thought to make it past 45 while some people keep kicking until 90. For those with healthy parents/grandparents it’s unthinkable for anyone to be frail at the young age of 50, but for those who’s grandparents were old and frail at 50 and died at 55, it’s hard to imagine a healthy 70 yo. For me I had one of each and it still makes my brain confused.

    3. Jennifer*

      69 is not that old. I would be horrified if a friend of mine slept with my dad for a variety of reasons, don’t get me wrong. But many people that age and older are still in the workforce. A bit ageist.

      1. Rusty Shackelford*

        Michael Douglas is 74 years old. Richard Branson and Bill Murray are 68 years old. Bruce Springsteen and Jeff Bridges are 69 years old. Would anyone who had sex with any of these men be accused of taking advantage of a doddering, incompetent old man?

    4. Falling Diphthong*

      When a drama magnet is sleeping on your couch while supposedly getting their life together, I think it’s normal to recoil if they have sex with either your parents OR any young people living in the house who are technically above the age of consent but 20 years younger than coworker OR in exchange for drugs with anyone at all–the plumber, the neighbor, the UPS driver.

      Or to switch the perspective: Your life has gone off the rails and a friend is letting you crash with them while you pull it together. You should not spend this time looking for ways to involve their family members–or UPS drivers–in your super exciting world o’ chaos.

  24. MommyMD*

    OP 1, keep personal battles OFF social media. It makes everyone uncomfortable, makes you look bad as well, and now you’ve put your husband’s job in peril. And you gain absolutely nothing by doing this. Resist the urge to vent to the public.

      1. EPLawyer*

        No they are not. When people get all personal drama on Facebook I mute. Not that everything has to be sweetness and light, but I do not want to hear about someone’s coworker sleeping around and maybe, possibly having an affair with their spouse. Keep your private life private. Do not put anything on social media you do not want out loud in court to a very angry Judge.

        OP1, you posted on social media. You texted the co-worker. You did everything BUT talk to your Husband. You needed to talk to him first. The problem is NOT the co-worker it’s whether or not you can trust your Husband. Only you and your Husband can figure that out. Not the co-worker, not Facebook.

        1. Tinker*

          Yeah, I can get to being Extremely Online but also super uncomfortable with the sort of dumpster fire thing implied in the comments — I’ve muted / moved to lower visibility / sometimes unfriended people for doing that sort of thing in the past. Thinking of the unfriending — the one I can think of, there were aggravating factors present where I thought the person ranting was not on the correct side principles-wise, and also the person they were ranting about is a good friend of mine.

          Which — those points are things to keep in mind before unleashing the entire can of Epic Drama, really. You don’t necessarily know who knows who, or how they interpret the set of facts you present (like: dang, this person has a lot of stuff going on, and in that situation is clearly in no way a voice of calm), or what they know about the circumstances involved that you don’t.

      2. Snickerdoodle*

        Lol. That would be a swift unfriend from me. I make a point not to associate with people who post that kind of thing.

      3. Observer*

        Her actual friends are NOT “loving” it. And anyone who is, is not a friend. And those people are also quite likely to think considerably worse of the OP – regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation.

  25. AbsentMinded*

    OP5: Miss the meeting next time. Be unavailable at the time for some reason. See if anyone notices.

      1. Exhausted Trope*

        Actually, that was my thought when I read OP5’s letter. It’s a technique I’ve employed in past jobs and it never came back to bite me. Unfortunately, in OP’s case it did. Bummer.

  26. beth*

    LW2: It sounds like your employee had an emergency, which justifies you giving some leeway on their unexcused absence if you want to. And frankly, given the level of understaffing in your department, I think you probably want to!

    Hopefully they really are a generally reliable person and you’ll feel like you did the right thing by giving them a second chance. But even if it turns out that they consistently cause problems and didn’t deserve the second chance…well, an employee who’s that unreliable will probably give you more opportunities to let them go in the future. You don’t have a lot to lose here, and you do have a fair bit to gain from keeping them on at least short-term.

    1. froodle*

      Also, if the employee is generally hard working and reliable and you cut them slack on this five days, you may well reap the benefits in increased employee engagement, loyalty and morale. I think you have.More to gain than to lose by letting this employee come back.

  27. Rez123*

    #2 I agree that not calling/texting/e-mailing shouldn’t automatically mean that they should not be allowed to come back. Yes, there was an emergency but this type of emergency is not worthy of excusing 5 days. There wasn’t anyone within walking distance that could have borrowed a phone to text/call/email? No libraries/cafes with free wifi and using old phone? PP’s are giving a lot of potential reasons but it’s 5 days without any info. I understand that the employee has it really rough right now but still 5 days.

    I’m not suggesting that she shouldn’t be allowed to come back especially since you have a situation. But I don’t think it should be just accepted and brushed off.

    1. Ceiswyn*

      I’m wondering whether lack of phone also meant lack of contact details. I could email my manager without my phone, because my company has nice easy email addresses, but I couldn’t text him because I don’t have his number memorised…

      1. Rez123*

        Of course it is *possible* I’m just a bit skeptical of not knowing anybody’s email address in the company or not having access to any public numbers/email in the company that could connect to the manager. Then suddenly finally finding an email address 5 days later and letting them know…I’m having hard time with this.

        Well, this wasn’t really the question OP has. but I stick to my answer of taking them back but not letting them get away with it too easy unless upon discussion they are able to provide some additional info.

        1. Someone Else*

          I think possibly what happened was:
          Car repo-ed. Employee bummed and distracted.
          Phone stolen. Employee realizes has no one’s number or email. Possibly also has no other means of internet access/ isnt familiar with library possibilities.
          Misses work without calling or showing up. Assumes has lost job.
          Flails some more/tries to get self organized in other ways over next few days, new phone, figuring out transport, etc.
          Speaks to friend/family/trusted person, relays the tale and trusted person is all “Why’d you do that! Talk to them! They might be fine to have you back! Don’t assume you’re fired and get yourself fired because of it!”
          Reappears to OP and events of letter transpire.

          Now if that’s true, I’d have sympathy for the person and probably let them come back given the office is short staffed anyway. But they’d be put on notice that this isn’t cool, won’t fly again, etc, clear expectations. Then if they flake, they’re probably done, but if they continue to be reliable, it’s fine. It’s done. Shit happens.

      2. Jennifer*

        Google the main phone number and ask to be transferred to your boss. Every company has a website.

        1. Musereader*

          I am in a call centre, the internal numbers are not advertised or googleable and the customer number goes to a network of call centers across the country, there are at least 5 offices that will answer the calls and a any where from 50 to a few hundred people in each call centre if I get though who may or may not believe that I am a staff member and need to speak to a manager. No I couldn’t just google it

          I have a card with emergency numbers on and my managers number instead

        2. bonkerballs*

          If I didn’t have my phone I wouldn’t have access to google. I don’t have a home computer, only my phone. Maybe she could have gotten to the library, but her car was repossessed. My local library is across the street from me, but is currently closed until July for remodeling. I cannot tell you a single other place within walking distance from my house that would allow me access to a public computer. It’s easy to say what we would have done when we still have access to our phones and google and transportation. Not as easy to problem solve when all that’s taken away.

          1. Jennifer*

            I’m pretty sure I would have figured it out in five days. I do have compassion for her financial difficulties. I have been there.

          2. Rez123*

            This is not conductive to the letter, but I still keep going eventhough I propably should stop. I’m just really struggling to imagine a situation where there are no friends, family, neighbours, local busniesses that I could ask to borrow google or to call someone (through a number service if not remembering number) who could contact the work place. Or give an access to facbook etc. to send a message to a colleague etc. for 5 days. Unless ofcourse it was not a priority and the employee is indifferent about the job or have some other huge thing going on (besides what was said in the letter).

            She propably has a lot goign on and therefore making an extra effort was not something she wanted to do. But I do think in general peoople would have been able to let the manager know earlier.
            My initial vibe was that she was promised more hours in the other job and then it was taken back and she is now trying to make it up. But that is just speculation

  28. Cat wrangler*

    There is also the possibility of being sued for slander by any of the people ‘outed’.
    I appreciate your anger and hurt from the events described but this isn’t the way to address it.

  29. Jasnah*

    #5 Definitely bring this up to your boss. Unless your boss explicitly states otherwise, I would move this meeting much lower on my list of priorities. If they already take meeting notes, can you just follow up with those action steps afterwards? And since your colleague has already refused to attend the meetings (to you), can you pass that to the meeting participants or to your boss? i.e. “Sorry I have to miss today’s meeting! If you need someone from (your dept) to attend regularly to address (issue your colleague handles), then please talk to (colleague)!”

  30. Richierich*

    @OP1 : Maybe you should put the cursor on your partner, he is the one sharing a committed and exclusive relationship with you and who owes you an answer. Not the girl.

  31. GM*

    OP#4: Do not say anything to anyone until absolutely necessary! A former colleague informed her complete plans for her wedding and subsequent move to Australia to our manager. Though the visa process and move would take time, our manager completely took her out of the running for any new projects or travel opportunities that came up. She left in frustration a year later even before her Aus visa was done.

    1. OP #4*

      Wow GM I definitely don’t want that to happen to me. I agree I definitely don’t want to be shut out of long term projects. Erring on the side of less is more here. Thanks for commenting!

  32. Namey McNameface*

    LW2: You’d have to have a lot of capital to be given a second change after pulling a no-show for five days. Missing out on work without calling is a big deal. Five *days*? I understand stuff happens but she couldn’t even borrow a phone from someone? Or email you from her computer/ask someone else to email you?

    Even if you assume the best in this situation it suggests she lacks basic common sense. I wouldn’t have her back unless she already had a strong track record of reliability and built enough capital.

  33. LGC*

    With #2, I feel like I could have written this letter.

    I think that…if this is the first time this has happened, give her another chance. Her explanation is plausible enough that I’d believe it – and it would be reasonable for someone to be so upset they forgot to contact you for a week (or couldn’t figure out how to contact you for a week). That’s not so much a reliability issue (yet), it’s that she didn’t handle this crisis flawlessly. I’m really hoping (mostly for her) this is a one off.

    (And I can totally understand why you feel put out! Her actions affected you a lot when you were already down a bunch of people! But…to be honest, it did seem like you glossed over her issues. For what it’s worth, I would be annoyed…and then I’d let her come back.)

    1. Mrs. Fenris*

      Fenris had a very reliable employee who just…vanished for three days. Fenris started out annoyed and then started to get worried! He called the employee’s brother, and the family hadn’t heard from him either. It finally turned out he had gotten pulled over for a broken headlight. He had an outstanding parking ticket (oops) so he got arrested on a bench warrant. Something about the timing (Friday afternoon or something) meant that he couldn’t call anyone, not even a lawyer or bail bondsman. Guy was mortified and not a little pissed off. Needless to say that was the only time that ever happened.

      1. LGC*

        Oh man! I don’t think I’ve ever had THAT happen, but I’ve had some stories of people just…you know, not showing up. (In our case, it’s often people ending up in the hospital.)

        I’m really glad everything worked out well, though!

  34. Foreign Octopus*

    OP1 – unfortunately, yes, your husband can be fired for something you do online, particularly when it involves another co-worker. The best course of action would be to remove the Facebook posts now (and I mean now) and then refuse contact with this co-worker. I understand that you don’t like what she did but, putting it bluntly, she had no responsibility or commitment to you. Your husband on the other hand does, and that’s something that you need to work out with him: talk to him about why there are all those text messages/calls on his phone to her. He’s the one that made a commitment to you, not your co-worker.

    I get that your mad and you want to scorch the earth but it’s really a case of cutting your nose off to spite your face here. Focus on what you can try and fix, and that’s your relationship with your husband.

    Good luck.

    1. Drax*

      This. I’ve been going through the comments and seeing a lot of speculation but not a lot regarding the actual question, and trying to figure out how to word this. And this is it right here.

      The woman isn’t the issue, the issue is that your husband may face professional consequences due to your actions against this woman, while the real problem you have is with your husband.

      Remove the post, wash your hands of this woman (cut ties, she is not your circus and not your monkeys) and deal with the issue relating to your husband.

    2. Observer*

      I disagree with you. It’s true that the OP is handling things in a way that could harm her. And that*IF* her husband is having an affair with this woman, her primary address is her husband,not the woman.

      But there are two things here. One is that common decency is that you keep out of other people’s relationships. Sure, the primary responsibility is on the person who is in the relationship. But that doesn’t mean that a decent person goes after someone who is in what should be a committed relationship.

      In this case, it’s several times worse. This woman was living in the P’s home! When someone offers you shelter you absolutely DO owe them something – and that something includes respecting their marriage (or otherwise committed relationship)!

      1. Drax*

        The note literally was asking if the husband could “find her or text her”. That’s what the letter writer said. I leave notes for my coworkers like that all the time when I can’t find them. I also routinely text my coworkers if I can’t find them and I need something but not important enough to call, or worth emailing. Leaving notes like that doesn’t automatically mean I’m doing anything inappropriate with my married coworkers – it means I need to talk to them when they get a second.

        Based on what the letter writer said, there is nothing that says she is being inappropriate with the husband which does mean she’s not the problem. I can speculate like crazy based on the other information provided about her, but there is a lot of information lacking – maybe this woman is in payroll and the husband the warehouse supervisor where there is a lot of completely work related things they would have to interact about. LW needs to talk to the husband instead of assuming just because this woman did X and Y that obviously means husband is cheating with her with this woman. There is literally nothing in that letter that has any fact that this woman is encroaching on LW’s relationship with the husband – a simple note is literally the only reference to interaction with the husband, along with him being a supervisor but not hers.

        1. Observer*

          I agree that we don’t really know what, if anything, is going on between and and Husband. My point is that *IF* there is something romantic going on there, you simply cannot excuse her because “she isn’t the person who is married.”

  35. McWhadden*

    OP3 since they didn’t even interview you I think Ron’s excuse is kind of BS. I doubt they only interviewed one person. Possible but unlikely.
    He wanted to hire Allan. Maybe Allan has connections or other personal ties to Ron. You could just be hurting yourself if you go after him. And if you get him fired (unlikely) the job will likely go to someone they actually interviewed. There is no upside for you.

    1. Elle Kay*

      Yes & no.
      Every political staff position I’ve had, I was the only interviewee– but in all cases I had previous connections to the electeds and/or to current staff so the positions were mine to loose.
      I agree that it sounds like Ron wanted Allan for some reason but it’s not that uncommon to only interview 1 person if you’ve got a candidate you know you want

  36. OP5*

    Thanks Alison and everyone! In fact the reprimanding B colleague brought it up to my boss before I had a chance to.
    I did ask about my attendance going forward and was told I am required to attend ‘in case something relevant comes up’ that I then report back to my team, as they’re never things I can action myself. Boss suggested I could make the meetings relevant by doing research on competitors’ similar projects and presenting this back. I am not really keen to extend these already overlong meetings – and my overlong to-do list! – with unnecessary presentations. But also this is probably symptomatic of my generally feeling utterly done with this role.
    I also don’t have a work laptop, so the opportunity to get things done is sadly diminished.

    1. Project Manager*

      60-90 minutes a month in a meeting you have to attend because something “might” come up is actually really low from my perspective. I spend probably 4-5 hours a week in similar meetings. But there are times when something surprising does come up, like people think my office is doing X when we’re doing Y, and now we all need to figure out who’s doing X. Or – my personal favorite – someone is requesting a change which will have significant impact on my office, but they have not contacted us for an estimate, and this is the first time we’re even hearing about the issue.

      A laptop was going to be my suggestion. Barring that, what about a printout of a document you need to review, or take the time to plan out your schedule for the next month?

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      It would be unprofessional of me to suggest that you emulate the woman who couldn’t keep up with her assignments because she was busy doing jigsaw puzzles and painting still lifes at work.

      You could maybe think of her throughout the next meeting, though?

    3. Kathenus*

      Hi OP5 – not sure if your boss would go for it or not, but maybe you could propose a compromise. Let them know you understand their wanting you to be there in case something relevant comes up (and to be fair, since in the one you missed something did, it’s a real possibility), but also want to make the best use of your time. Suggest that you go to the first or last 30 minutes of these meetings, instead of to the whole thing. That way you are representing your team in case there is something that applies to you, but you’re not spending as much of your time on things that are unrelated by limiting your time in the meetings. Good luck.

      1. A. Schuyler*

        If it’s only a 60-90 minute meeting, leaving halfway through “just because” (i.e. not because of a schedule clash or urgent matter) would seem weird to me. I would say that tolerating a single meeting once a month is just part of being in a cross-functional environment where not everything is always relevant. Maybe the best use of the OP’s time might be to engage in it, so she can become more well-rounded and build those relationships.

        1. Jasnah*

          I agree, but this combined with other factors might signal some general mismanagement (not knowing what projects to put people on, not working efficiently, etc.) that might make this a bigger deal to OP. In that case I think it’s fair to say “hey can we do my stuff first so I can hop out”. I’ve experienced this sort of thing several times and as long as they’re not a main player and the excuse is important/vague, it doesn’t seem weird to me.

    4. HappySnoopy*

      Maybe if you present it in terms of metrics. It may be best if you do it after next meeting with your minutes and timing on topics (20 mins by lucy on therapy, 20 minutes by sally on baboos, 35 minutes by charlie on kites, 30 seconds on us).

      Then go to boss:

      You’ve asked me to go to these meeting “in case”. In the last 12 months, Ive spent 24 hours in the meetings. In those meetings, they have actually addressed our dept 4x for a total of 15 mins, times involving questions only Schroeder could answer and had to be followed up by Schroeder or me outside the meeting. In that same time, I’ve been delayed on Linus’s blanket project by 2 days. Even the meeting I missed involved questions on Schoeder’s beethoven report, not my expertise.

      If you want me to continue to attend and even do more research beforehand to communicate with other depts, that’ll be an investment of x much time, and I may need to repriortize other work. I am thinking blanket color research but let me know if there is something else.

      Otherwise you may be just paid to go to the irrelevant meeting.

  37. Bookworm*

    OP1: Think at this point it’s less about your husband’s job security and more about getting therapy (couple, family, for yourself, etc.) I get that you’re angry and I would certainly be too, but you’ve added another element to the mix that might make your husband’s supervisors lean towards firing him rather than if you didn’t (although his conduct towards her could already be a fireable offense depending on what else happened).

    I’m sorry you’re going through all of that but I would also urge you to step back.

  38. Not a robot*

    OP1…you have been dragged enough here and I understand the pain you are going through. Honestly if someone I welcomed into my house did these things, and I found my SO was having multiple texts with them, I would be heated. I would also curse like a sailor and start inventing new words for both parties. But avoid posting it on social media as nothing good comes from it. All it does is makes the person posting it look bad, like an attention grabber.
    As for those who said the co-worker I’ll s an addict and doesn’t know better… I say bull. Addicts know what they are doing, will using any tactic necessary, and are master manipulators. T

    1. Yorick*

      And we don’t actually know that the person even is an addict, just that they wanted pain pills once.

  39. From One gutted person to another*

    Op#1 I feel terrible for you and I understand you have been gutted by everyone close to you. Your husband potentially is cheating on you with a drug addict, your father is helping your drug addict friend get high for sex, and the world around you is collapsing. I’ve been cheated on and am watching my sister and her husband go down the Opiod rabbit hole and am having to cut friends and family out as they are profiting in some way or another by providing my sister and BIL with drugs.

    I don’t know the right response but I know the wrong ones, and posting anything on social media is a wrong one. Work people screen shot that stuff and pass it around it never goes away. If you have to stop your accounts to keep from posting then do it, its terrible now but when it comes back up when you are picking up the pieces of your life its so much worse. And the personal guilt over the things that you will assume from what you do know is really bad too, let Karma get them but never trust anyone involved again.

    1. froodle*

      As someone who is right now watching a sibling get sucked back into heroin use, can I offer you an internet hug? It fucking sucks.

  40. Jennifer*

    LW1 Is it misogyny to insult a woman that is likely sleeping with your husband? She has the right to be angry and disliking one woman does not mean you hate all of them. Just a pet peeve. But yes Alison ultimately is right. If you want to stay in this marriage, you want your husband employed. This certainly doesn’t help. Take a deep breath and figure out what you want to do next.

    1. Nita*

      Employed, but possibly not at that company! If the stories about the coworker sleeping with a boss and multiple coworkers are true, that workplace is a dumpster fire of people taking advantage of each other, abuse of power, and lack of boundaries. The husband getting fired and looking for a new job may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

      1. Observer*

        True. But these posts are likely to make it hard for him to get a job anywhere. The op should delete her posts – and then delete her facebook account.

        If she wants to stay on facebook, she should start a new account, using a variation of her name.

        Facebook keeps archives of your account even when you deactivate your account. So, you want to wipe it first and then delete it and never reactivate it with your name. This makes it less likely that anything you posted will come up on a search (unless someone else screen shotted it, in which case good luck.)

      2. VelociraptorAttack*

        I’d say there’s already a lack of boundaries based upon the husband, a supervisor, living with coworker. Whether she is in his direct chain of command or not, that’s something that would raise some flags most functional places I’ve worked.

    2. Peridot*

      It’s misogyny to use a misogynistic insult, yes. Intent doesn’t matter, even though LW1 has a valid reason for being very angry at this woman (among others).

      1. Jennifer*

        I don’t know what words would come from my mouth if I caught a woman I’d allowed into my home having an affair with my husband. I don’t think the words used are that outrageous considering the circumstances. People seem hyperfocused on shaming her for using some bad words instead of expressing empathy for the fact that she’s hurting.

        1. MuseumChick*

          I think we can all understand her frustration and hurt. But her reaction was inappropriate even given what we know about the situation. We also don’t know what the text message to her husband said, just that this ex-friend sent text messages to the OPs husband. Here is how I see it:

          1) This friend was hooking up with a lot of people. If the hook ups were happening in the OPs home she could have told the friend to not bring people to the home. If she continued, the OP could have kicked her out.

          2) The friend sleeping with here dad. Well, here dad is an adult and can choose to sleep with whoever he wants. The OP could have also chosen to kick the friend out at that point.

          3) The text messages to the OP’s husband. That is a conversation between her and her husband, not something for social media.

          The OP is hurting. What I think a lot of people are pointing out is that were numerous appropriate ways to handle this situation. The OP chose to respond in a inappropriate manner.

          1. Jennifer*

            I understand that her actions were not appropriate for many reasons. I don’t understand heaping scorn on her for having an emotional reaction in the moment. If my husband had an affair with a woman that knew me well and was very aware he had a wife, I’d be furious at both of them.

            People seem to feel sorrier for the coworker than for her, which I just don’t get. It’s like the bird phobia letter all over again.

            She may very well be a drug addict but that doesn’t excuse this kind of behavior. I don’t know if she’s a bad person or not but I know you can be a bad person AND an addict.

              1. MuseumChick*

                ^ This is where I stand. No sympathy for any of them. But the OP is the one who wrote in so of course we are focusing more on her behavior than the others. If the husband wrote in I’m sure the tone would be, “Dumbass, why are you texting with this woman that is not your wife and clearly makes poor choices? Of course your wife is pissed at you.”

                1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*


                  If the husband wrote in, we’d give advice and feedback focusing on him. If the coworker wrote in… hoo boy, I can’t even imagine.

                  But the OP is here, so we give her advice on the things that are under her control, starting with “calling your husband’s coworker a whore on Facebook does not preserve your standing on the moral high ground.”

            1. Snow Drift*

              Agree with everything you’ve said. People are lining up to slam the politics of LW’s language, while this woman burned down her life and p1ssed on the ashes.

            2. mcr-red*

              “If my husband had an affair with a woman that knew me well and was very aware he had a wife, I’d be furious at both of them.”

              To be perfectly honest, Jennifer, that happened to me and “slut” was probably the nicest term I used to describe my ex-husband and the woman he cheated on me with. (And before anyone asks, NO RACIAL SLURS WERE USED.)

              1. Jennifer*

                This happened to a friend of mine and I ran into the mistress at the store. She knew all of us and knew full well my friend’s husband was a married man. I bit my tongue but I’m surprised she didn’t freeze from the icy glare.

                I guess I should have invited her to lunch and gotten her into therapy instead. I been doing feminism all wrong. (that’s sarcasm)

                No racial slurs needed and my friend’s husband got the bulk of my fury.

            3. Gabriela*

              Mentions of the bird phobia letter gave me flashbacks (my LEAST favorite controversy on this site ever), but it IS interesting that people can have SUCH different reads of a situation while still mostly agreeing on standards of decency and human behavior.

              1. Jennifer*

                Lol! Same here. I come to the comments expecting one thing and am completely surprised. But it keeps things interesting.

        2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          People are hyperfocused, as you say, on these words, because both of these terms basically mean a woman who has sex with one or more men that she is not in a committed monogamous relationship with. Which I would imagine describes a lot of the people reading this blog (myself included). It’s not just words that randomly came out of her mouth when she was hurting, it’s how she sees a number of people in her life, that she only hadn’t said to any of them before because she wasn’t in a situation where she could not control herself.

          A bit of an extreme analogy, but if someone is hurting and the first thing to come out of their mouth is a racist slur at the person that hurt them, then you know what they’re thinking the rest of the time.

          1. Jennifer*

            She didn’t call her that because she slept with a lot of people. She said it because she possibly slept with her husband. There’s nothing to indicate she goes around calling every woman she dislikes those names. I think that’s the difference.

            As a minority, the comparison to racism irks the heck out of me so I’m going to disregard that.

            1. BuildMeUp*

              But the intent or reason behind saying the words doesn’t change the fact that they are inherently misogynistic. Even if she would never use those words in any other situation, ever, in her entire life, that doesn’t change the fact that she used them in this situation, and they’re still slut shaming and misogynistic.

                1. BuildMeUp*

                  Wow, yeah, we’re going to have to agree to disagree about whether using misogynistic slurs is ever appropriate.

                2. fposte*

                  Sure, but that doesn’t mean you use bigoted slurs. People upthread are keen to note that even in rage in similar situations, they didn’t use racial slurs. So if you have control enough to avoid one kind of slur, you presumably have control enough to avoid other kinds.

                  I mean, I get that in anger we often go for the most primal, hurtful insults we can find, and misogyny and racism are right in that deep well. But this is a bit like those discussions about men who can control their intrusive impulses when it comes to other men but apparently can’t with women–then the issue isn’t control but choice. Misogyny provides a lot of weight that makes such terms satisfying to hurl, but I think using sexuality to demean women hurts all of us, and I’d prefer we choose to control that too.

                3. Jennifer*

                  @fposte We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I think calling a woman who dresses provocatively or that has had a lot of sexual partners a slvt is slvt-shaming and misogynist. Some people use that word to describe any woman they dislike for any reason. Also misogynist and sexist.

                  When she’s potentially sleeping with your husband, I think it’s an entirely different situation.

                4. bonkerballs*

                  @Jennifer, misogynistic language doesn’t stop being misogynistic just because you’ve made a moral judgement on their character. If I call a gay man a f** just for being gay, I’m being homophobic. If I call him a f** when I’m angry because I just found out he slept with my husband, I’m still being homophobic however justified my anger. A person’s anger or moral judgement against someone doesn’t change the misogyny of the slur.

            2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

              I guess an explanation is in order. The comparison came from personal experience. I was a discriinated-against minority in my home country, and married a man of the mejority ethnicity. My parents were very worried about it, because, they said, “the first fight you two have, he’s going to call you a (slur)”. But, in the almost 20 years of marriage, during which we had so many fights I lost count, he never did. He called me some pretty awful things, but never that. Why? because it wasn’t how he saw me. It was not something about me that was at the front of his mind, that he had to make an effort not to say.

            1. Justin*

              Yeah it’s not quite the same, if only because, sadly, those slurs are much more common in our discourse than the n word. You really have to be READY with that n word for it to come out, but I think a lot more people would find “slut” easier to say. (Which is a societal sexism issue, I think.)

              I’m not really saying either of you is wrong so much as “let’s not with the racism comparisons.”

              1. Jennifer*

                Agreed. This is what I was having a hard time explaining. If the n word just rolls off your tongue whenever a black person offends you, that’s a very different issue.

                1. bonkerballs*

                  If the words slut and whore just roll of your tongue when you’re angry with a woman, it’s not a different issue at all.

              2. Czhorat*

                That we use misogynistic slurs without thinking about them is a very large and very serious societal problem.

                Allison is absolutely right to call it out as a misogynistic slur, and the OP needs to think about her choices in language and what they mean about her attitudes.

                1. Aveline*

                  I know I’m late to the party, but in case you read this:

                  It’s a very, very unsettled question among POC feminists I’ve worked with as to whether one can ever decouple racism and sexism.

                  I know some black women feminists who think racism is always worse. I know several who don’t.

                  I’ve worked closely with a handful of First Nations/Native American/Indian feminists who would absolutely go toe-to-toe arguing that sexism is historically more pervasive because it occurs even in communities that are homogenous in race.

                  I know others who say that, at least in their bands/tribes/nations, sexism didn’t really exist until white people showed up.

                  This is not a settled issue either way. It’s something we need to examine and re-examine.

                  But they don’t have to be the exact same in heft to compare them.

                  Homophobia and misogyny don’t have to be always equally bad in each and every case for us to draw comparisons.

                  What happened during the internment of the Japanese wasn’t the same as what happened to the Chinese on the railroads or the reservation system. But we can use them all as examples when talking about structural racism and other issues in our culture.

                  When the subject matter is the use of slurs, talking about use of slurs on other groups is appropriate, even if it is not the same.

              3. sourgold*

                But isn’t that the point? That sexist slurs are so ingrained in our language that we tend to go ‘oh, it’s not that bad, it’s acceptable in x cases’, even though we should be as intolerant of them as of any other kind of -ist slur?

        3. Czhorat*

          What if it was a racial slur? Would it be OK with you if she used, say, the n-word because she was justifiably angry? It wouldn’t with most of us, and understandably so. There is a tendency to treat gendered insults and slurs less seriously than racial or religious ones.

              1. Black Targaryen*

                Oof. I’m reaaallly gonna need people to stop equivocating racism and misogyny especially when talking to black women on these threads. We experience both, and we’re telling you they are not the same thing.

                1. Czhorat*

                  Fair point, and I differ to the life experience of you and Jennifer.

                  I DO maintain that using sexist slurs is not a good thing, but I’ll find a better way of making that point in the future. Apologies.

                2. Namey McNameface*

                  Agreed. White people making this argument need to stop harping on about something they do not experience. It’s like a man mandplaining sexism to women. Stop it.

          1. Jennifer*

            That is the implication but no, she didn’t say she caught them in bed together or anything like that.

        4. Lady Phoenix*

          I have a word, “Awful.”

          There is also “terrible”, “disgusting”, “betrayal”, “backstabber”, “manipulative”, “vile”, “jack@ss (and any variant of @ss)”, “d0uchebag”, “jerk”, and also “a very bad roomate”.

    3. Labradoodle Daddy*

      Yes, she could have just as easily called this woman an a$$hole or a jacka$$– both of which carry the same fire but without the heap of sexism.

    4. SandrineSmiles - France (At work)*

      She might have a right to be angry, but that still doesn’t excuse the slurs, period.

  41. Jennifer*

    LW2 I understand that excuse for one day of a no call no show but five? Not one person in the world could loan her a phone? She didn’t call or text anyone in all that time? I find that hard to believe. Sounds like you can’t afford to lose anyone right now so let her come back if you must. I have a less than generous interpretation of what happened.

    Also take Alison’s advice regarding the number of people who are quitting without notice. That stood out to me too.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        Probably trying to figure out how to solve her lack of transportation and the general total implosion of her life.

        If OP had lots of other options, then she’d have every reason to treat this person as having quit. But if you really need trained warm bodies, someone who didn’t cope that well when their life went off the rails and is trying to get back on might be a reasonable risk.

    1. Foreign Octopus*

      I agree. Five days is just too long to be incommunicado with work without the best excuse in the world, and those that the employee have given aren’t. There are ways around being without a phone and a car: bus journey, walking, going to the library to send an email, social media, etc.

      But it does sound like without this employee, the team will be well down on staff and maybe that’s a thing that can’t afford to happen. Have a serious conversation with this employee and if they seem apologetic, sincerely so, then let them come back but on their last warning.

    2. Yorick*

      It seems that she did talk to a coworker (the confirmation that her car was repossessed), so I’m guessing that she could have contacted the manager too.

      I really think 5 days is more enough for anyone with basic problem-solving abilities to figure out how to make a call/send a text or an email.

  42. Labradoodle Daddy*

    I could see myself in the absolute worst moments of my depression doing what the employee in #2 did. I’m not at all trying to armchair diagnose, btw. Unfortunately this situation is not as odd as you’d want to believe it is.

    OP2, hear what your employee has to say. Was it truly extraordinary circumstances? Is she a young person who made a mistake? There are a lot of mitigating factors that will affect your answer. Listen, and trust your judgement. Good luck.

  43. Jennifer*

    Yes! I don’t get some of these replies. I hope I would have the restraint not to post anything on social media but I don’t know what words would come out of my mouth if I saw this woman. She’s hurt and angry and made a bad decision. Have a heart, people.

    1. Jennifer*

      Oops was meant as a reply to someone above. Not digging through the comments to figure out who lol

      1. Stardust*

        Sure, but people on this thread are behaving as if the sexist language was the worst thing about this letter when IMO it’s about the least egregious thing happening in this whole clusterfudge of a situation.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I don’t think it that it’s the worst thing about the letter. It’s that the OP is reporting the very problematic way in which she lashed out without seeming to realize there’s anything with her own actions (by which I mean not just her words, but her choice to publicly attack her husband’s colleague on social media).

          1. Parenthetically*

            It comes across to me as very Internet Freedom of Speech people, who don’t seem to understand that, while you can SAY almost anything you want, freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.

        2. I woke up like this*

          Yeah, but the person who posted a public misogynist rant wrote in for advice, so of course Alison and the commenters are focused on what the OP did.

    2. Observer*

      You’ve gotten some good responses. But also, this is not about the first words that came out of her mouth, but her ongoing behavior – which she doesn’t seem to see as an issues. She saw a note and then took the time to look up the cell phone bills – counting the number of texts actually takes a fair amount of time, especially if someone uses their phone fairly heavily. It was AFTER all that the she wrote both an apparently long facebook post and a text.

      The OP is not a child, and needs to stop acting like one. Of course she’s furious – even if her husband is not having an affair with this woman, things in her life are NOT going well at ALL, and this person is a large part of it. But being furious does not mean that it’s ok to *continue* to spew things that are inappropriate in fundamental ways.

    3. Lady Phoenix*

      This isn’t likes catching her in the act and the first thing that comes to mind is “Slut”. That is still wrong, but also brain scrambling to find meaning.

      Op had to sit down at a computer/pull up her phone, open facebook, think of the message, type it word for word, and then send it.

      And same with with calling her a slut.

      When there are more steps between you thinking about the word and then you expressing it, then you kinda lost credability.

  44. MichelleS*

    IDK . does anyone have any scorn for the morally bankrupt father who is seemingly OK with giving an addict pills in exchange for sex? I sure do.

    1. AvonLady Barksdale*

      I think a lot of us do, which is why we take issue with the OP acting like the co-worker is some kind of Mata Hari figure who manipulates men with sex. The father is absolutely culpable here.

      1. Justin*

        And the husband. But she probably can’t do anything about her dad.

        She and the husband can work on things, and she can work on this for herself.

        But she asked for advice and mostly we’re just choosing where scorn should be.

        1. Nita*

          “choosing where scorn should be”. Ouch. You have a point. A lot of the discussion here is just about that, and doesn’t really help OP. Whether or not her outrage is justified/directed at the right person, angry rants on Facebook don’t help resolve sticky situations.

      2. fposte*

        Maybe? We don’t even know who initiated the suggestion, and I may well have some sympathy for the dad too. Is he physically impaired enough to be stuck at home unless he has somebody else to help him get out to see people? If he had access to better health care, would he have more options? I think this whole thing sounds like it might be people in a crappy situation juggling a ton of plates, and it’s all too easy for a small ripple to make the plates start falling.

        1. Ain’t Miss Behavin’*

          Yes. A lot of judgment is being bandied about here without full knowledge of the facts.

    2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      The father gets the most side-eye from me in this story.

      As others said, OP does not even know what the husband’s texts with the coworker were about, and as someone pointed out, her slipping him a note most likely means she is not able to text him anymore, because he blocked her texts.

    3. Yorick*

      That story is the only mention of drugs (that I recall), so I think it’s a stretch to say the father was exploiting an addict. It’s certainly possible, but it’s also possible that someone who likes to have a lot of sex with different people decided to trade sex for something this time.

    4. Temperance*

      I think a lot of people behaved really badly, but I don’t see the freeloading dad sexer as a victim in any way.

    5. Lady Phoenix*

      I dunno if exroomie is an addict, but I am pretty sure selling perscriptions is a crime? Especially for sex?

  45. Angelinha*

    Did LW1 get fired already? Seems weird that the question and responses are all about how this will affect the husband’s job, when it sounds like the LW works there too?

  46. Delta Delta*

    I feel like OP 1, OP 3, and OP 4 all have the common thread of needing more information before acting. OP 1 was unhappy that her husband texted the co-worker, but didn’t know the contents of those texts (could’ve been about sexytimes; could’ve been “get your crap out of my basement”). OP 3 doesn’t know why Ron hired Allan; could be any number of reasons. OP 4 may or may not move in several years. (confidential to OP 4: Mr. Delta and I planned on moving. then we paid off our mortgage. We don’t love where we live, but our monthly expenses are almost nothing and we LOVE it. Life changes and you can’t always predict where you’re going to be)

  47. LQ*

    I feel like the theme of today is “Human beings are not rational creatures.”

    To which end, #5, ugh, I understand. But it’s also likely going to be just go as the easiest solution. Hopefully it’s a big meeting and you can sit on the edges and do a crossword puzzle or review another document or make a grocery list or write the sfw parts of your fanfic. Whatever.

    1. Rebecca*

      Even better would be to be able to phone in remotely and listen in, with phone on mute, while just doing work at your desk. I do this with meetings I need to attend “just in case” someone has a question for me, which is very seldom. I just listen for my name, but 9 times out of 10, nothing happens, and at least I can still get my work done.

      1. Antilles*

        This is really the best solution if it’s technically feasible. You’re still there if they need you, but you can mute the phone and actually work rather than wasting an hour.
        I’d just add that don’t hesitate to specifically ask for this. I’ve had multiple occasions where nobody had specifically *offered* a call-in option, but then when I suggested it, there was an immediate “oh yeah, sure I’ll get that set up”.

    2. Czhorat*

      I’d advise very, VERY strongly against this.

      Being at a meeting and doing a crossword puzzle is much, much worse than not attending at all. You make it seem that you’re checked out, that you don’t care about them or their time.

      This isn’t nice, but OP already tried to back out of attending and was rebuffed. As such, they need to attend and should appear attentive and engaged. Listen. Make eye contact with people speaking. Ask questions if you can. BE part of the meeting. Anything less comes across as unprofessional.

      At the very, VERY least pretend to care and listen for an hour a month.

      1. OP5*

        “At the very, VERY least pretend to care and listen for an hour a month.”
        I’ve been doing that for a year – but I’m at a point where I’m trying to step up my responsibilities and continually being the departmental ‘short straw draw-er’ is hindering my ability to do that. There are no questions for me to ask. I have tried to think of them for a year. No one is speaking about anything that concerns me or my job. I have listened for a year.
        But I think my frustration is probably symptomatic of being done with the job as a whole.

        Not having a laptop – and having an office culture where the senior management travel across London between two offices rather than call in to meetings (I think we’re just not set up for that) – are two major hindrances here. I think what I’ll end up doing is, suck it up, and wait until there’s someone else in the department that I can dump all the short straw jobs like this onto.

        1. Czhorat*

          I know it’s more work, but your boss’s suggestion that you research and prepare something for the meeting is a good one – the others at the meeting will see you as a positive contributor rather than a seat-filler watching the clock and waiting to leave.

          It’s a pain, but that’s life sometimes.

          If you aren’t willing to do that, I agree with your instincts: you need to keep acting “checked in” even if you don’t want to be. Bringing your novel-in-progress, crossword puzzle, knitting, etc is going to be bad for your reputation.

  48. Justin*

    I… I am surprised #1 wrote in. Writing is in usually a calm thing, and that response wasn’t calm. So….

    Yeah, couples counseling, individual counseling (that’s a lot of anger, and I don’t say this with judgment, I used to have anger issues myself, just manifested differently), and your husband might want to job search even if he doesn’t lose his job because he’s going to be on thin ice.

    1. Justin*

      For the people saying, SHE HAS A RIGHT TO BE MAD, yeah, sure. But this is not the way to handle it.

      I used to be Mad Online a lot, and it never solved any problems. It just made them worse.

      1. Not a robot*

        +1000….OP 1 does have a right to be super mad. She is feeling a normal reaction to a very horrible situation. I would be pissed if someone I alowed to live in my home did this. I would also be pissed at my SO and father.
        Being upset is the normal reaction for something like this. However; as you mentioned, putting it out there online does not solve anything. In the end, it only makes OP1 look like the bad guy.

        1. Dolorous Bread*

          Yes, this is where I stand on this. I’m seeing SO MUCH naysaying directed at LW1 and telling her it’s not her business who her dad sleeps with etc, and focusing on the language used in her outburst. I’m sorry, but if my destructive coworker crashed on my couch and was a total trainwreck for about half a year, and the cherry on top was sleeping with my father, I’d be absolutely livid and horrified.

          HOWEVER, posting a giant personal rant airing all this dirty laundry on facebook was not the solution. Neither was going off on her via text, though I totally understand why she would have done that. Kicking her out of your house and never speaking to her again, and venting about it over wine with friends is more the way to go. Keep the social media for pet and brunch photos, and let your husband deal with her in his job.

      2. Ain’t Miss Behavin’*

        Agreed. I’ve been on the verge, but I knew in my heart it would be wrong and vented to a good friend, who luckily talked me down off the ledge.

    2. Lady Phoenix*

      I think because she got all the boiled up rage out in the facebook post and text, so she can cool off when writing to AaM?

  49. Dr. Pepper*

    #4: Don’t say anything! The problem with telling people about nebulous plans that are months if not years in the future is that they often take you LITERALLY and SERIOUSLY. People will respond as if your plans are set in stone and guaranteed to come to fruition, which of could they are not. A lot can happen in a month; a lot more can happen in a year or two. If you go into your new job saying you plan to leave in X amount of time, or any amount of time really, you will be treated as completely and totally temporary. It’s silly, because staying at a job for 2-5 years before moving on is totally normal, but if you TELL people that’s what you intend to do, it’s highly likely you will be treated differently than if you keep those plans to yourself.

    I made this mistake myself. I divulged my plans to move out of state far too early and was subsequently replaced. In the end, I did NOT end up moving so I had an unpleasant scramble on my hands that would not have happened had I kept my mouth shut.

      1. That Girl From Quinn's House*

        One of my bosses got burned this way. Myself and another employee were her seconds-in-command, and individually, at each of our performance evaluations, she said she was looking to train a replacement and see if either of us were interested. I was, the other person wasn’t as she was still a part-time student.

        Well, Other Employee took the news that Boss was retiring poorly. She went and got another job, and virtually ghosted us. She didn’t formally resign, but she did the bare minimum of her assigned work and reduced her hours to the bare minimum allowable, on off-days when she did not have to see anyone in management. We’d need her to do something and she wouldn’t answer phone calls, emails, or texts; she’d submit her paperwork, but it would be incorrect and then we couldn’t get in touch with her to fix it or clarify. Because it was so bizarre and uncharacteristic of her, she got away with this for way longer than she should have before she was forced to resign.

        My boss had trusted her, and she got badly burned.

  50. Actual Oppo Researcher*

    LW3, as an actual oppo researcher, please let me assure you that LinkedIn should not be your basis for verifying information. It’s self-reporting, as is most social media, and Allan isn’t required to put everything he’s done professionally in his profile. You don’t have the full picture and therefore can’t make any assumptions based on what is available.

  51. agnes*

    LW #1 why are you angry at the woman? It’s your dad and your husband who made a decision to play her game. A simple no from either of them would have made this a non issue. It’s kind of like getting mad at the ice cream truck for coming through your neighborhood and forcing you to cheat on your diet.

    LW #4 Dont’ make decisions based on things that haven’t happened yet. 5 years is an eternity. There is so much that can happen between now and then. I know a friend who turned down a fabulous promotion because she “planned” to go back to school in a couple of years and they really wanted a three year commitment. Well, she didn’t get into grad school. And she didn’t have her dream job either.

    1. Jennifer*

      You are comparing knowingly sleeping with a married man to cheating on your diet???? I agree the husband deserves much of the blame here but that is a HUGE reach.

      1. Rusty Shackelford*

        I think the point is that when someone is tempted, you have to blame them for their actions, and not the thing/person that they found tempting.

        1. Jennifer*

          But an ice cream cone is not a sentient being. It doesn’t have a choice as to whether it is eaten or not. Those are the weirdest sentences ever typed, lol. The coworker knew he was married and is responsible for her own actions. That’s why I think it’s an unusual comparison.

          1. Rusty Shackelford*

            Eh, it’s not a bad analogy at all, to me. I can see why it wouldn’t work if you think the other woman has some kind of control over the man and can force him to do something he doesn’t want to do. But I don’t think that’s true. So as far as I’m concerned, being tempted by a woman isn’t too different from being tempted by an ice cream cone. She’s not responsible for his actions any more than the ice cream is.

            (Now, let me clarify that I think sleeping with a married man is a pretty reprehensible thing to do. But all of the responsibility to honor his commitment is on his shoulders, and none of it is on hers.)

            1. Yorick*

              She isn’t responsible for the man’s actions, but she is responsible for her own. I think a person has a lot of responsibility not to hurt their friend’s feelings, which sleeping with her husband would surely do.

              1. Rusty Shackelford*

                Yep. Like I said, she did a bad thing. But he is still 1000% responsible for his own bad actions.

          2. Yorick*

            An ice cream cone also doesn’t come around and say, “hey, I know you’re on a diet, but do you want to eat me anyway?” If an ice cream cone were a sentient being, you could be mad at it in that case for not respecting your diet.

    2. e-nonymous*

      Um, LW #1 stated that she and her husband were friends with this woman. That was why they allowed her to live with them in the first place. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations of my friends, but I generally expect that they won’t sleep with my husband. Or try to sleep with my husband. Or father. So while LW’s father and husband definitely deserve their share of ire, I’m not sure why this woman (supposedly LW’s friend and a guest in LW’s home!) is getting compared to passive, inanimate objects, as if her choice to betray her friendship with LW wasn’t an active choice on her part.

      1. Jennifer*

        I have similar “unrealistic” expectations of my friends.

        Not to mention, with all this talk of misogyny, it IS misogynistic to compare an attractive woman to ice cream.

        1. Rusty Shackelford*

          The woman is not like ice cream, but the *temptation* is like a temptation to ice cream. It’s not the ice cream’s fault. You can’t succumb and then say “I’m partly responsible for what happened here, but you also have to blame the ice cream for being so desirable.” The ice cream does what it does, the enticing woman does what she does, and if you fall for their charms, all the blame is on you.

          But what if we didn’t talk about ice cream? What if the LW’s husband was tempted by literally anything else? What if he wanted to gamble his paycheck away, even though he knew it would break his wife’s heart? Would we shake our fist and say “oh, those naughty casino operators, how dare they tempt a man who has a wife at home who deserved that paycheck!” Or would we say “dude, control yourself?” I mean, I know what I would say.

          1. Observer*

            Actually, lots of people do consider casino operators and the like morally bankrupt. Same for vendors of cigarettes and “recreational” addictive drugs.

            Don’t get me wrong, people who cheat on their spouses are fully responsible for their behavior. That doesn’t excuse the people who they cheat with – they are responsible for THEIR behavior. And it’s reprehensible.

          2. Jasnah*

            I really disagree with this framing because it treats the coworker as entirely passive, inactive, and most importantly, /inherently tempting/.

            There is no temptation to sleep with your roommate/coworker. If the coworker was a man this situation probably wouldn’t have happened. So this means that the dad (and husband if he cheated) made a choice to act. Unless it was not consensual, the woman also made a choice to act. But her living in their apartment does not inherently make her a “temptation” like ice cream when you’re on a diet. This is really gross framing that sounds pretty misogynistic and rape-culturey to me.

            To your casino example, yes, people absolutely blame casinos as well. This is why gambling is so regulated, to keep gamblers from preying on people. So not sure if this supports your argument.

      2. Rusty Shackelford*

        I do have expectations of my friends. I have much, much higher expectations of my husband. My friends did not take an oath to be faithful to me forever.

        And yes, she did choose to betray the LW. She gets full blame for that. But if the LW’s husband cheated with her, HE gets full blame for THAT.

      3. mcr-red*

        My problem with every time people say “it’s the cheating spouse’s fault, they made the commitment, not the other person, why be mad at the person?” is that it’s excusing the other person’s also $h1tty behavior. The cheating spouse 100 percent gets the blame for cheating on their spouse/SO. Absolutely no denying that. They are a terrible $h1tty person. Full stop.

        Now the other person in this equation is a terrible $h1tty person because they knew that person had a significant other and went ahead and had a relationship with them anyway. As much as the cheater had the power to make this stop, they did as well. Do they “owe” the spouse anything? No. But they are a grown up and live in the world and know how relationships work!

        1. Rusty Shackelford*

          Yeah, I don’t think “why be mad at the person?” is appropriate. You absolutely should be mad at someone who slept with your spouse. But I still don’t think it’s that person’s responsibility to stop your spouse from cheating. And saying the other person “had the power to make this stop” is still attempting to make it the other person’s responsibility.

          1. mcr-red*

            Other person is still responsible for their choices. They are not helplessly swept away by the married person. We are each responsible for who we get into sexual situations with (Unless we’re talking about assault situations which we are not.) That’s what I mean about “having the power to make this (illicit relationship) stop.” They know that getting involved in that isn’t a good situation/good taste/whatever. But they didn’t NOT sleep with the married person.

            I know that Jeff Bridges is married. If Jeff Bridges shows up right now and asks me back to his hotel room, I know that I should not get involved with someone who is married. I am responsible for my part in a bad thing if I have an affair with Jeff Bridges. And if Jeff Bridges and his wife divorce because he had an affair with me, then yeah, I think some of the guilt in being party to the cause of their divorce goes to me. Without me saying why yes Jeff Bridges I will go back to your hotel room, Jeff Bridges wouldn’t have had this affair and his wife wouldn’t have divorced him. If I had turned him down, could he have tried again with someone else? Absolutely! But that’s not what happened. I enabled Jeff Bridges’ terrible decision and made a terrible decision myself.

      4. I woke up like this*

        Did OP’s husband cheat? All I see was that the woman texted her husband and left him a note. But so many OP defenders are talking about the cheating (with OP’s husband) as fact. If I suspected my husband of cheating, I’d ask him about it rather than posting a misogynist rant on FB about the woman I suspected of sleeping with him.

    3. OP #4*

      Hi Agnes! That sounds terrible what happened to your friend. I can’t imagine turning down a promotion especially for a nebulous plan. Don’t want to change my career path like that! Thanks for sharing.

  52. LaDeeDa*

    The only place I link myself to my job is on Linkedin. On Facebook the area for Workplace is blank, I don’t use my real name on Instagram and Twitter. If you link your social media accounts to your company’s social media, then you are inviting them to have a say and a stake in what you post. Keep your personal life and your job separate, or you know you can not call people names and have a nasty fight on the internet.

    1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      Completely offtopic, but I remember a letter on AAM a year or so ago, from an OP who had the same setup (I do too), and someone they’d gotten into an argument with on Facebook had used their name to search for them on LinkedIn, and *emailed their manager* about the Facebook argument. I’ve been worried about the possibility of this happening ever since.

  53. What's with Today, today?*

    While I work in a family owned media company, my direct boss, the VP, is also a state senator (which is why he is gone so often). While his staff at the Capitol are usually Political Science grads and the like, his local staff, like the District Director, is very often someone that has no political experience, but they have incredible people skills and the ability to be incredibly flexible. Organization is key. In my experience, he’s not looking for the most experienced political applicant, but the applicant with the best soft skills and capability to learn the political aspect. Obviously, this would vary for which position was available and how high the political office is. His campaign manager and Chief of Staff (same person) has serious political experience.

  54. shouldbeworking*

    I understand the people who think #3 will look like sour grapes, but I do wonder if the fact that this is politics changes things. First of all, if this is a politician, there’s a chance that a lying staffer could turn into a bigger issue for the campaign. Maybe Allan’s too unimportant, but I think that politicians have a reason to be a little more serious about an employee misrepresenting themselves. In addition, OP might still be a supporter of this politician and want him to do well, making “not my circus, not my monkeys” a little trickier.

    That said, I would not recommend that OP let them know directly. I think it looks bad for her and is unlikely to be taken as seriously. But if she knows other people that have worked with Allan, she might be able to ask one of them to confirm her suspicions. Or if she’s out for drinks with another person still in the campaign office, she can let them know, maybe phrasing it as a question/confusion.

  55. Utoh!*

    LW1, next time ask us *before* you do anything so we can talk you down :) Hopefully there won’t be any fallout on your husband because of this but as others have said, definitely take down the Facebook posting about her, and don’t post any more. Adding fuel to the fire never solves anything…

  56. drpuma*

    OP4, I bet you can be selectively honest in ways that are comfortable for you while still keeping all your options open. When you think about relocating, what specific things do you have in mind? Being in a role where you can really capitalize on a particular skill or two? Leading a smaller or larger team than your current one? Living closer to a park so you can walk your dog there all the time? Volunteering for a specific cause? I bet you imagine some things you plausibly could do in your current city, that you should be able to share freely with coworkers.

    1. OP #4*

      That’s an interesting point. I hadn’t thought of that. I could for sure focus on the career goals that I have rather than if I’m doing them at my organization or not. I’m interested in specializing in a specific part of my job so I could definitely talk about that. I’m mostly worried about what to do if they ask me point blank if I see my self at my org in 5 years. But this could be a good way to pivot. Thanks for the idea!

  57. Sad that I know how to deal with this one*

    OP #1: I’d be talking with a divorce lawyer — just to have the info, you don’t need to act on it. And a marriage counselor. Your spouse is not behaving in a trustworthy way, and needs some righteous anger, I’d say. In addition, check all bank accounts and credit card accounts to make sure that your husband is not throwing money at her (cash, gifts, restaurants, hotels). If you don’t already have your own checking and savings, you should. You should have your own credit card/s (not just joint cards w your husband).

    I think you should not have anything to do with this woman, should not contact her, should not say anything about her to anyone (except a lawyer, a marriage counselor, and your husband). It’s perfectly reasonable for you to be angry at her but you need to take care of you — emotionally and financially, and getting your husband fired is not good for you. Not while you are married for sure, and not even if you get divorced. Be smart for you.

  58. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

    1. Well, OP, you’ve had… a lot of provocation. A lot of provocation, and while I think your Facebook post was pretty ill-considered, I can’t say I wouldn’t also do some pretty ill-considered things in your place.

    That said, to get to the heart of your question: yes. Yes, your husband can be fired because you made harassing comments about his coworker in a public forum. Even if you were provoked, the fact of the matter is that the spouse of a supervisor making ugly public comments about an employee is something a business can and should be concerned about, but an employee having an active sex life is not.

    Take the Facebook posts down. If this person did something illegal — and you have proof of that, and the actual victims of that are willing to report — then go to the police. If you don’t have sufficient proof, or if the victims do not want to press matters, then simply step back, cut this person out of your life as much as you can, and deal with the people who are still in your life: your husband and your father.

    1. Lady Ariel Ponyweather*

      Well said. I’m surprised at how vicious some of the comments are. Nothing to add, this is a great comment and I hope the OP sees it, although I don’t blame her for keeping away. If she does, hope things work out for you, OP.

  59. Workerbee*

    #1 On the one hand, yeah…I wouldn’t have been happy knowing this friend/coworker had sex with my dad in exchange for pain pills. A big “ew” was my first reaction.

    On the other hand, unless this person has Loki-like powers and/or there was coercing not mentioned in the letter, a lot (not all! I saw the mention of the teenager) of this behavior looks to have been enacted between or among consenting adults. Perhaps a little gross if it all happened in your home and you could hear/see/stumble over it. But this ‘friend’ (whose friend, anyway?) was by no means the sole participant.

    It is, of course, easier to target / disassociate onto the closest known person than the other participants or your husband if he had a larger part to play in this drama. I hope he isn’t held accountable by these public domestic disturbances, and that you get yourself to a place of peace and healing, as probably none of the emotions you’re feeling right now are doing you one bit of good. Good luck to you.

    #5 I agree: Yes you can!

    When I first started at my company, I was inserted into a long daily meeting where one person would read off a list of tasks from a printed-out 11×7 spreadsheet. My role had zero to do with any of those tasks and never would have anything to do with those tasks.

    It took me a bit to get up the courage to tell my boss the above; I balanced it with how I could use the time to do X and Y that pertained directly to my own job. I think that’s key to include.

  60. From the High Tower on the Hill*

    To LW3, do NOT under any circumstances try to end this kid’s career. I work in politics and have for many many years. It is all about relationships and you do not want to burn any bridges with this person you know, Ron, and whomever was responsible for hiring him. This kid is going to crash and burn if he was lying about his experience and even if he doesn’t there is an obscene amount of turnover in political jobs. Just wait it out, keep your name out there, and go to party events and fundraisers so that others keep you in mind.

  61. Works in IT*

    With regards to OP 5, I often get invited to meetings that have nothing to do with what I am doing, but that’s because a general knowledge of other department’s current action items is vital for me to do my job properly. I end up sitting for an hour with nothing to contribute, but then when someone asks me to push through a request to get phone equipment set up immediately I can tell them that will probably not happen because they chose the day the telecom people are moving three offices to make their must do now request. No one can argue with “sorry the people who would do this are on the other side of the county and won’t be here today”.

    1. Quickbeam*

      True and sometimes it is simply “work as assigned”. I’m in Teapot Medical and am required to attend meetings for Teapot Sales. These are painfully unrelated to my work. I’ve tried through the chain of command to get out of them and have been told no. So I go, try and look attentive and figure it’s their dime to pay me to sit in an irrelevant meeting.

  62. MaryAnneSpier*

    When someone is ticking you off, why is social media the place to put it? That’s middle school behavior.

    1. Lady Phoenix*

      Because I honestly think this whole group didn’t geow up past middle school. /shade

      But in all seriousness, I don’t ANYONE is looking good. The OP, the roommate, her dad, her husband, the company, no one is coming up smellig anything more pleasant than a rotten fish. This all aounds like everyone is trying to audition for one of those trashy “Reality TV Shows”.

          1. TheDreadnoughtDarsie*

            Phone companies used to have two options for land-lines: an expensive option if you wanted your calls to be private or a cheaper option if you wanted to share a line with other people in your neighborhood – a “party” line. I never had one, but my husband’s family did in the late 60s – early 70s. The way he described it is you would pick up the phone and could listen in on the call of whoever was using the line at the time. Sometimes people wouldn’t announce themselves and just keep listening, if the call was interesting.

  63. Lady Phoenix*

    LW 1: Yes, your husband can get fired for how YOU act. Slut shaming and generally harassing one of his coworkers is not gonna do any favors except cause unnecessary drama.

    Also, as cargartic as it is to get at the girls who “steal your mon”, I would be thinking twice about how you see your father AND your husband. Your dad is a drug dealing pimp, and your husband is at least an emotional cheater. Do you really wanna trust these dudes with anything after this?

    Just saying. You don’t have a “bad coworker” problem, you have a bad husband problem.

    1. biobotb*

      I agree with almost all of this, although I don’t know if there’s enough evidence to point to the husband actually doing anything resembling cheating. Given that the coworker was a good enough friend for them to let her live with them, it seems like he’d have plenty of reasons to send her the occasional text. So just having texts isn’t enough to definitely point to any kind of cheating. But maybe the LW knows the content of those texts.

  64. MattKnifeNinja*


    People have been fired for less regarding social media posts. Even if you delete your posts, rest assured some loon has at a minimum screen shots.

    Where I used to work this went to the level of sport. Screen shot with an email to the higher ups AND snail mailing the screen shots were par for course.

    Your biggest concern is the “getting a teen age drunk and having sex with her.” I would run this past a lawyer. You sure do not want to be called up as a witness, and questioned why you did zip about. I don’t know if this woman ran her mouth for shock value, or actually did it. Since you blared it out on Facebook, I would hit up a lawyer/legal aid. I’m guessing if the hammer gets dropped, this woman is going to throw everyone under the bus. You, your dad and your husband.

    Your father is an adult. This is probably not his first time pain pills for sex rodeo. Even if it is, his sexuality and diversion issues are none of your business. People can trainwreck their lives right in front of you, and you have no control. Your husband? Same thing. Don’t know why he handle the texts/calls the way he did.

    This coworkers sexual behaviors outside your marriage are none of your business too. If she is leaving your husband alone, who cares?

    Listen, I would not be high fiving anyone if it this was me. I would have tossed her to the curb too. Mostly because of the drunk teenager threesome. Now I know and have to do something about it. Flames. Flames on the side of my face. If the drunk teen age sex thing is real, your husband has a good chance of being punted for that alone. He knew and did nothing.

    What felt good right the moment of posting, may have unleashed the Kraken in your life. The spotlight will be on you, your husband, co worker and hopefully there is no drunk teenager that allegedly was taken advantage of.

    Good luck.

  65. Equestrian Attorney*

    OP#: Five (!) years ago, I told my husband that was it, we were moving back to my home city. For various reasons, that still hasn’t happened, and I’m really glad I never brought it up with my job. Do not mention anything until you have a set move date or new job. If you company has an office in your new city or you think you could work remotely, you can always enquire about that once you are serious about moving. Otherwise, just never bring it up until you are ready to quit. It could hurt you and won’t do much good.

      1. OP #4*

        Thanks for sharing! Yes, anything can happen and until I have firmer plans I’m going to keep it to myself. I’m glad you did too :)

  66. Lady Phoenix*

    Just gonna say that no one in LW 1’s letterbis smelling anything better than dead, rotting fish

    LW – Obvious reasons
    ExRoomie – Obvious Reasons
    LW’s Dad – Exhanges drugs for sex (Illegal? Or just icky?)
    LW’s Husband – Emotional Cheater (Possibly physical)
    Supervisor – Power abuser and possible sex offender (if threesome with drunk teen is true)
    Company – Power Abuse, Boundary Stepping, More Sex Happening than in a P()rn()

    This sounds like something you’d see on a trash tv show (Kardashians?). This whole entire thing is filled with so many bees and wasps.

    LW, I think you are in a toxic environment full of toxic people, and you should be making the steps to get out. This whole place sounds garbage, and I would sooner scorch everything and anything about this situation than to stay another second in this place.

    Delete the facebook post, block exroomie, divorce husband, get out of this area, and get thee to therapy because NONE of this sounds the least bit notmal.

      1. Lady Phoenix*

        LW saw her husband did text with Exroomie and was upset, so I can infer that rhey were texting each other romantically.

        1. SS Express*

          Or maybe the texts were “I’m so sorry about everything that happened! I’m homeless and being pressured into sex by my boss, who knows I won’t say no because I can’t afford to lose my job right now – when your wife’s dad told me I could sell those pills for $20 each on the street it seemed like the only way to get back on my feet but I’m so ashamed it turned out like this. The thing is, now she’s telling everyone about that 19 year old I met at a bar and that girl isn’t actually out to her family, so can you please please find