update: my coworker had an affair with a colleague’s husband, and now is treating her badly at work

Remember the letter-writer last year whose coworker, Angela, had an affair with their colleague Jane’s husband and then started treating her terribly? Among other things, after having an affair with Jane’s husband, Angela then lied to block Jane from a promotion and then applied for the job herself. Here’s the update.

After reading all the advice, I decided I needed to go to my manager. I had my script in my mind, had role played the conversation, and was walking in knowing I was doing what was right. She was a new manager (in general and in the company) so I didn’t know her all too well, but the moment I sat down my intuition started sending up red flags and I stopped. I left beating myself up for not following through but what proceeded was one of the worst years of my professional life and I am so glad I didn’t confide in her. My manager was hyper-critical, micromanaging, came in late, left early, bullied staff (I don’t use that term lightly), made unfounded decisions that left everyone scrambling and then would change her mind back and forth in days’ time while leaving her supervisors to deal with the fall-out, poisoned relationships with clients, and started metaphorical wars with other departments over her perpetual need to power trip. She also hired three completely inept employees in higher positions, including Angela.

Angela got the job over Jane. She is not in the right position for her skill set but was able to thrive in a way only her type of personality could under the manager who completely blew up our department and rained hell for just over a year.

Jane continues to work at the company, but I think with everything that happened and with being passed over one too many times, she’s peaked at her role and I can’t see her turning it back around. I’ve encouraged her to find a position elsewhere but she seems complacent in being marginal and remaining here, although bored and under-performing.

I’ve heard Fergus is on his third performance improvement plan in his department and hopefully will be let go soon.

Fergus and Angela did have a short affair after everything came out, but lo and behold, Angela moved on quickly and has since been through many, many partners, all of whom did not work out. I try to limit my interactions with her as much as possible, and keep them only work-related.

The manager who came in has since left and been replaced with another who has their own set of difficulties but I think is seeing Angela for who she really is, which is good, but I don’t foresee bringing this whole situation up to her. Also, because the last couple of supervisors hired by the old manager were so terrible they ended up being let go and investigated, one by the police and one by our internal compliance, as sad to say as it is, their situations make this all look a bit “small potatoes.”

I wish I had a better update, but I think maybe this is just the way workplaces run? (Alison here: It’s not!) I’ve been doing a lot of work recently on digging in to my own feelings of imposter syndrome, self esteem, wanting to protect my team of direct reports, and feeling indebted to the company that moved me into a leadership role, plus not wanting to be the person that moves companies every 2-4 years only to find the same set of issues at every company and how that all relates to me not being willing to leave an environment so clearly toxic. All the while combating my own feelings of burnout and outright fatigue that make the thought of looking for work elsewhere almost impossible.

If nothing else though, it was great to read all the comments, feel the support, and even now looking back to see people so passionate in their responses leads me to believe there are workplaces out there that don’t seep this kind of toxicity into your soul that you can’t see that there would be an alternative! So thank you again for everyone who took the time to respond and offer suggestions! Sorry I didn’t write sooner though, but at the time I just really couldn’t bring myself to!

{ 264 comments… read them below }

  1. Stitch

    Good lord, LW, get that resume out today. That place is a dumpster fire. Staying is way worse for your mental health than being seen badly for leaving a couple places. Get out of there!

    1. EH

      Thiiiiiisssss! Read up on red flags to spot in interviews and get the hell out of there! You deserve so much better and there are really good companies out there.

    2. Velo Ciperaptor

      YES !

      “All the while combating my own feelings of burnout and outright fatigue that make the thought of looking for work elsewhere almost impossible.” You made an error there — it should read, “All the while combating my own feelings of burnout and outright fatigue that make the thought of looking for work elsewhere absolutely necessary.” (or alternatively, “urgently demanded.”

    3. GreyjoyGardens

      Agreed. This place is a toxic wasteland. It’s NOT you, it’s THEM, and there are a lot of thems! I promise you not all workplaces are like this stew of drama and dysfunction.

      1. SunnyD

        Oh my gosh yes.

        OP, do you know about Captain Awkward? She writes a blog and talks a lot about abuse and how to build a life full of healthy self-loving boundaries. She and Alison and Lundy Bancroft have changed my life.

        On her blog, they talk about a house full of evil bees. It’s relationship focused, but, I mean… you have freaking evil bees and bathtubs full of flowers of despair at your work.

        I’ll link below, but here’s the original (a comment from one of her posters):

        “Oh man, it really does feel that ridiculous when you look back on it. You watch one of those horror movies, and the sinister voice says, “LEAVE NOW” and the characters are like “What was that? I’m sure it was the cat. Everything’s cool,” and you’re like HOW CAN YOU BE SO STUPID the house actually told you IN WORDS that it didn’t like you and you’re all me and this house, BFF.

        And then you remember your ex-husband who was like, “You’re fat and ugly and I hate you” and you were like “Even though he hates me and told me so, that is just how he shows love. I should live here forever, we are so happy,” and now you can’t make fun of bad movies without thinking about serious social issues.

        Of course in this particular horror movie, the cabinets open and shut and the sinister voice says “LEAVE NOW MORTAL” and you’re like, sure, okay, I’m out of here, and then blood comes out of the windows and the house says “WAIT I WAS HAVING A BAD DAY” and you walk back in the house and it says “BECAUSE YOU’RE UGLY” and bees come out of the ceiling, and you leave again and the house is like “NOOOOOO WAS IT THE BEES? I FILLED THE BATHTUB WITH FLOWERS” and you get in the bathtub and the house is like “FLOWERS MADE OF DESPAIR HA HA HA.” Abusive relationships: they are this dumb (in retrospect).

        I don’t think there is a language that expresses “I don’t like you” more clearly than the one abusers all seem to share, and yet, when it hits our ears, that “I don’t like you” somehow turns into “I can’t leave or they would be sad.” Even though they can’t seem to stand you, and have told you so, repeatedly. Because maybe we did something to make them not like us? And that somehow means we’re obligated to hang out with somebody who doesn’t like us? Until they like us again? Even though they seem to hate every fundamental part of our personality? And yet they don’t want us to leave, even though they hate us fundamentally? Because that makes sense, right, all the time I am hanging out with people that I hate, and feeling sad if they are not around to annoy me. No. The house wants you to leave. It is full of bees. If it didn’t want you to leave, it wouldn’t be full of bees. It would be full of you.”

    4. Sleepytime Tea

      Holy balls, yes! Get out! I mean, these issues come from the top down. It’s not a problem of one manager hiring a few bad supervisors. Someone hired that manager as well.

      I commend the LW for seeing the red flags right away when they went in to have the conversation about Angela, and deciding not to share anything. It’s hard to build up the guts to do it and then feel like maybe you’re chickening out or something like that. Way to trust your instincts!

      1. Librarian of SHIELD

        Not only did somebody hire that abusive manager, but whoever the manager’s boss was didn’t do anything at all to make sure the manager was doing her job correctly. Either they knew how she was treating her employees and they couldn’t be bothered to make her stop, or they didn’t know because they couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to what was happening in their company. Neither of those options says anything remotely good about the people at the top of this organization.

    5. Collingswood

      Right? While I’m underpaid for my region, I’m reluctant to look because I like my coworkers so much. Doesn’t seem like you have much to lose here. Go for it!

  2. Dragoning

    What the actual eff. I don’t even know what to say other than that most workplaces don’t have supervisors investigated by POLICE.

    1. Alton Brown's Evil Twin

      Absolutely. Having somebody you work with investigated by the police for something they did on the job happens maybe once in your career, not once every year.

      1. Lady Librarian

        I work in public schools and I’ve had colleagues not get renewed at year end, colleagues on PIPs, colleagues resign mid year for personal issues, etc. but the ONLY time police got involved was when someone had LITERAL CHILD PORN on their WORK COMPUTER. That’s how seriously dysfunctional your workplace is, OP—the *police* only get involved when actual personal welfare (or significant financial impact) and safety is involved. This is not normal. Good luck getting out—we’re all rooting for you!

        1. Busy

          Not every place I have experienced or known about that was extremely toxic (think doing consulting work, so I have seen a lot of businesses) had to have the police involved, but every place that had to have the police involved were toxic places – if ya get what I am saying here.

          The reason for this, at least in my theory, is that places that are not toxic have actual effing oversight over people. They create situations where unethical behaviors thrive and unethical people are quickly cycled out/not given opportunities where being unethical could be extremely damaging.

          With that said, I am wondering if my most recent experience could help you? For the past 2 1/2 years I worked for one of the most toxic bosses I have ever had. Just very passive aggressive, avoidant of handling bad employees, sexist, you name it. And he also has a lot of employees who report to him that are very toxic. I recently laid things out for him around all of this, and in his classic aggressive manner, assigned me to someone outside of his department lol. Well my new manager so far has been great! And the fog has lifted! And I look around me now at him and his reports and holy cow I feel bad for past me. These people aren’t worth it. That job wasn’t worth it. Don’t let them take you down anymore then they have. What helped me to get out of the funk you are feeling funk confront my boss (reality not matching what was promised about the job – they hired me to do a job they didn’t even have tools for me to do) and get out of that awful situation was to confront myself. I started to remind myself that this isn’t normal, the world is full of jobs, and if they are going to continue to be this toxic, then I am going to continue to tell them to stop until they fire me or just stop. And I got moved to a better manager as a result hahaha. But, I had to work to change my own mindset. All of what you are experiencing is not normal. It is particularly not normal to happen all in one place like it is.

      2. Anon for this one

        Haha, not at a big enough public university. Police and/or the state legislature and/or NCAA
        and/or the feds are always investigating someone.

        1. Hapless Bureaucrat

          … of course, having worked at such a university, I’m not sure that’s a sign that functional organizations also have police issues. PLENTY of dysfunction in that place.
          It’s true it wasn’t spread out evenly. You could work in a perfectly functional college. Or, you could… not.

    2. Fortitude Jones

      Right? When it got to that part, my eyes almost popped out of my head. WTH was she doing that she was investigated at work by the police?!

    3. Heidi

      We do tend to focus on putting out the biggest fires first. But the fact that some of the wrongdoing has yet to rise to the level of police involvement doesn’t mean that you all need to put up with it. This is not how workplaces are, OP. This is exceptionally bad. The place that excludes women from golf weekend is probably better than this. The haunted office is better than this. The place where the boss dumps urine in the sink is….okay, not better than this. But the bar you’re setting is way too low. You deserve better. Good luck.

      1. Observer

        You know that you are pretty close to rock bottom when you wind up comparing your workplace with the the boss who dumps urine in the kitchen sink on someone’s dishes.

        1. SunnyD

          Urine is pretty bad. But this is just shy of poops from the catwalk / makes IEDs / permanently deafens someone.

      2. Oranges

        IF the sink urine was the only thing bad (it usually never is….) then I’d work for urine boss over this dumpster fire.

      3. Seeking Second Childhood

        Me, I was thinking it sounds right up there with the Hellmouth Housing Complex of Squirrels and Wall Wasps.

      4. JSPA

        I’d take pee in the sink over this. I mean, I’d rinse my dishes without letting them touch any part of the sink, and take them home for proper washing after. But we all deal with pee, regularly (and while conceptually super gross in the sink, it probably contains fewer bacteria than your average kitchen sponge). We don’t all deal, daily, with people who reward nastiness, penalize humanity, celebrate incompetence, and engage in malfeasance or random criminality.

    4. The Man, Becky Lynch

      Exactly! Most places do not have criminal activity going on or even near-criminal activity that requires you to have law enforcement sniff around.

      Police involvement is incredibly rare and I’ve worked in a lot of weird dank places. I had one cop show up looking for someone with a warrant but it was BS small town nonsense unrelated to business. I had the sheriff called due to a fight that broke out and the police didn’t even show up for a couple of days because it was such a ridiculous situation [the person who started it wanted to try to get the person who responded in trouble because Starter got fired and Self Defender didn’t, we had witnesses and cameras, man.]

    5. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2

      The only time I’ve ever been in a workplace where the police / law enforcement had to do an investigation was when a manager decided not to pay an employee what he was owed in wages.

      Here in Massachusetts – non-payment of wages can be a criminal offense.

  3. Why isn't it Friday?

    Oh man, OP, this sounds rough. I absolutely think you should leave as soon as possible. This is not how good workplaces run! You deserve to work somewhere that’s a lot less toxic.

  4. your favorite person

    NOOOO. This isn’t LW fault, but this is a terrible update. LW, this is NOT NORMAL. You are at a toxic workplace and it is manifesting in your acceptance of this behavior. Leave soon, and take Jane with you!

    1. Goya de la Mancha

      Ditto! Even in my own dysfunctional work environment, I know this is NOT normal!

    2. L Dub

      This this this this.

      I really hope you get out, OP. I also really hope Jane gets out. I don’t think I could have handled seeing the woman my husband had an affair with on a daily basis or coped with having her run me out of a promotion. My heart goes out to both of you.

  5. AKchic

    Oh honey… please please *please* brush up that resume and start passively looking. You (and Jane) both deserve better. Jane may not want to confide in you and she may be looking passively, but you need to be looking out for yourself.

    That place is a dumpster fire and it’s not going to change anytime soon. If at all. The entire place is not only bees, but cockroaches and fleas. I’d suggest active, hard-core job hunting, but you seem so despondent that I’d rather ask you to passively look while you also start looking at personal development in the form of therapy. You need to be able to get this all out. Find a neutral 3rd party, a professional one, you can vent to. Who can help you work through your imposter syndrome, your feelings of doubt, and help you work through some of your hesitancies about leaving.
    Angela leaving won’t make that company sunshine and rainbows. Fergus leaving won’t make the past wrongs right. The ship has already hit the rocks and is sinking. Find your life raft and get to shore.

    1. RUKiddingMe

      Perfect except I would encourage OP to look aggressively while doing everything else. Thoroughly, and carefully, but aggressively nevertheless. She needs to get the hell out if there ASAP!

      OP this is so beyond normal that it’s circled around and cone back again just enough yo make you believe that all work places are lije this. They are not!

      1. Mama Bear

        Agreed. Fear of the unknown is legit, but it shouldn’t keep you in a terrible job. I encourage OP to look at what is really keeping her at that company. Is it that OP “knows the dangers of the fire swamp” or is so personally beaten down that she no longer recognizes what’s toxic?

        We so often What If ourselves into terrible imaginary situations, but What IF the next job is better? OP should take a serious stab at getting out. Better workplaces do exist.

        1. RUKiddingMe

          And something I forgot yo say before, everyone (mostly) had imposter syndrome.

          Even if we can step aside and look at ourselves critically (not easy) and assess ourselves the way others see us as competent, skilled, and accomplished, we still have an inner voice screaming “fake!!!”

        2. Norémon

          I left a job because of a toxic boss, even though I was terrified of finding work in the field after. I still am looking for work, but after leaving there are so many things I put up with I’m like “Hell no” now on. I’m much less stressed now, and feel more empowered being able to look back at how shit the boss was and detrimental. No matter how much I cared about the organisation or how hard I worked could save it from said boss.

    2. MissGirl

      While I can’t yell enough to get out, get out, get out; please also continue digging in as you mention to your psyche. I hope you have someone professional and good to do this.

      It also sounds like this isn’t your first toxic workplace. If so, it would be good to dig into that as well. Humans choose that which is most familiar, and if toxicity is familiar, you may get out of this to find yourself in another bad place. Figure out what are the commonalities between jobs beyond the obvious bad stuff and see if you filter for those as you apply.

      Another thought, you mention you have imposter syndrome. Do you subconsciously stay in or choose bad situations because that’s what you think you deserve? Are you afraid of going somewhere good and finding out you’re the problem? Until you feel you deserve better, you won’t get better.

      1. Not So NewReader

        So totally agree. OP, I have done a couple toxic places. We have to teach ourselves to look for cues. We can start on the interview level with looking for cues. If we guess wrong we can vow to extract ourselves sooner.

        Another thing you can do is check with people whose opinions you respect to find out what employers in your area are the better employers.

        I worked at one place and for many reasons it was very hard to leave. Notice there are always reasons why it is hard to leave. I got sick of having my stomach in knots all the time and sick of being exhausted by the mere thought of having to go to work. I had numerous promotions but the last one was Not Good. At All. I did it for about a year and then I gave my notice. The boss did a victory dance. So did I. We were both very happy. The place had many similarities to what you describe here.

        When a person or place tells you who they are, it’s okay to believe them. This place is telling you, “We are dysfunctional and we thrive on upset and chaos.” It’s okay to believe that. The problem with upset and chaos is that it’s not a long term plan. The place will eventually unravel themselves. You could be job hunting in the future anyway, because the place imploded.

        However, if you stay you can assume your discretionary money will get used up on health care. (I marvel at how the costs of health care are totally disconnected from how employees are treated at work. Our society needs to wake up.)

        Build yourself a support team. This does not have to be a lot of people but they do have to cheer for you. You can include professionals such as a therapist or a employment counselor. And support can come in odd packages. This is because where we need support is unique to each person. I paid someone to mow my lawn, because having someone else do the lawn was of high value to me. It freed me up to think about other things. Think about what would actually be supportive to you. You have a quality of life issue here. Life can be better so start thinking about what it will take to get there.

    3. Una

      Agree that OP should definitely get out. For OP’s feelings of exhaustion regarding job hunting, I can give a few thoughts related to my leaving a toxic job.

      First of all, it’s not going to get better. You’re not going to one day wake up full of energy and ready to job search, because this workplace is sucking the life out of you. If anything, it’ll only get worse. That’s depressing as hell, but it means you should start as soon as you can. You can start small! Poke around on job boards, make lists of jobs that seem exciting, start brainstorming for cover letters. Even if it takes you ages to write a cover letter and that job posting expires (happened to me many times), that’s now a template for your next cover letter. Eventually you’ll have a decent working copy and it’ll get easier, you just have to chip away at it.

      Secondly, I found it very useful to have a goal. Mine was, “I don’t want to spend another winter in New England.” (I was planning a career change). I actually did end up spending another winter there, but was consistently working on goals that would get me out of there, like taking some classes, researching the field I was going into, etc. Do you want to be there another year? I don’t think you do. Start figuring out what you need to do to not be there another year. That’s a lot of time! You should start working on it now, but you have a lot of time to finish working on it. I hope that might help to motivate you. Honestly, burnout and exhaustion are terrible, and sometimes all you can do is accept the terribleness and do what you can to struggle through to a better life on the other side.

    4. Liane

      “The entire place is not only bees, but cockroaches and fleas.”
      AND the fleas are carrying bubonic plague bacteria!

  6. I'm A Little Teapot

    OP, that place is beyond insane. Seriously. GET OUT. Find a new job, get out.

    No, nothing is perfect. There’s always something. But this isn’t minor imperfection – it’s the entire building is on fire and everyone is sitting around like it’s no big deal. Your sense of normal is so screwed up that you are going to have to completely relearn what’s ok and what isn’t.

    1. The Original K.

      This office is 100% that “Everything’s fine” dog meme with the room burning down around him.

      1. Mid

        I was coming to say exactly that. Or a bunch of lobsters in a slowly boiling pot. Basically, run, OP, run!

    2. PB

      Yes. This reminded me of the “I bit my boss” update, where the OP’s office was so dysfunctional that no one noticed or cared that she’d literally bitten her boss! She’d stopped looking for a new job because “no place is perfect,” and we all said, “get out!!!!”

      Same goes for this OP. This is not normal! It’s not okay! I hope you’ll resume the job search.

    3. smoke tree

      I think it’s telling that the LW wrote in about her friend rather than herself. Sometimes it’s harder to see a friend in this kind of situation than it is to realize how much you’re being harmed by it yourself. LW, if a friend told you the kind of things you wrote about in this letter, don’t you think you’d be telling them to get out as soon as possible?

  7. Lynca

    OP- You’ve been through a lot. But Alison is 100% right that this is not how workplaces are run. You deserve a better job than this. So does Jane.

    1. I coulda been a lawyer

      My ex husband may also deserve a better job than this. Jury is still out though.
      Seriously OP – RUN!!!

  8. Clarinet

    You know how Alison talks about how bad workplaces can skew your norms in a really bad way that can hurt you down the line? That’s totally happening here in my opinion, and if you want to use “I can’t hurt my professional future by picking up horrible norms here” as a reason to leave guilt free, please take it. I hope you’re able to find a better job soon; this sounds awful!!

    1. Hapless Bureaucrat

      Yes, this. And I think it’s one of those things, too, where you then hear other people grumble about their jobs and think “oh every job is like this then” when no, no it isn’t. I was grumbling about not getting to have a fans at our desk, not supervisors so bad they’re getting investigated by the police.

      LW, even if all companies WERE dysfunctional (they’re not) moving to a merely dysfunctional company would be a step up for you. And a step that you would deserve even if all your insecurities were true (they’re not) because all human beings deserve a healthy place to work.

  9. The Original K.

    I wish I had a better update, but I think maybe this is just the way workplaces run?
    Me: OH NO. No it isn’t! It’s the way DYSFUNCTIONAL offices run. There are lots of functional companies out there. Dust off your resume and go find one, because this one is broken. I think there are posts here about how to recognize red flags at companies when you’re interviewing – do a search for those and keep them in mind as you job-hunt.

    1. Parenthetically

      I’d even say this is a couple standard deviations out for dysfunctional offices!

    2. MassMatt

      This to me was the saddest part of the update–the LW’s mind has been so skewed by the dysfunction she thinks this is the way most workplaces are.

      LW thank you for writing in and I appreciate that you are in a terrible situation but why, when it became apparent that your new boss was NOT going to be receptive, didn’t you go to HR? The terrible actions you describe about Angela are definitely things that even a very mediocre HR department would see needed to be dealt with.

      1. Engineer Girl

        I came here to say the same. If you can’t go to your manager you need to go to HR.
        Just look at all the things that have spun out of control since the first incident! They didn’t get better, but worse! That trend will continue because no one is attempting to stop it.
        Please tell HR.

          1. valentine

            Can some of you who are managers say what you would do in this situation, so OP can see there are good alternatives?

            1. Seeking Second Childhood

              First off I would NOT badmouth the wife of my affair partner and tell her not to apply to a job because I want to…
              No that’s second. I wouldn’t be having an affair at the office (ATHE THE OFFICE) to begin with.

            2. RUKiddingMe

              After investigating and finding it was true… Angela would be gone.

              Primarily a couple of things:
              1) Preserve Jane’s anonymity and 2) protect both she and OP from any kind of retaliation.

              Actually firing jane would come directly on the heels of 1 and 2 but only by literal seconds.

              I have to think about the rest because I’ve never encountered this type of thing.

        1. Matilda Jefferies

          Yeah, I don’t feel like we need to second-guess OP on an action she took (or didn’t take), eighteen months ago. Her gut told her not to speak to the manager about Angela, and it turns out her gut was right – that place is an actual dumpster fire. Going to HR wouldn’t have changed anything.

          1. SunnyD

            I’m gonna guess HR is one giant evil bee, with a pulsating abdomen. Or maybe, like, 3 medium giant bees zooming around menacingly.

  10. CatCat

    Oh OP, you have been through the ringer here!

    I am so sorry you are in this toxic place. I know when you’re burned out, the thought of looking for a new job is itself exhausting and the task monumental. But it can be broken into small, discrete chunks and time limited. “On Sunday, I work on job search stuff from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. This Sunday, I will be using that time to read Alison’s book.” Stuff like that. Start small, but just start. I found working on escape plans from toxic jobs really helped keep me going.

    I hope your next update is a positive one!!

    1. Mid

      I made a spreadsheet that helped me break down job hunting into something more manageable to me.

      The spread sheet had a link to the job posting, the posting date and closing date, salary range, etc. Then when I applied, I wrote down the date I applied, and my application status (applied, interviewing, negotiating, rejected, declined.)

      I had it sort by my own priority level (1: apply immediately, 2: apply, 3: apply if I have the time/energy), and then I grouped jobs by type of work (admin, outreach, etc) so I could use roughly the same cover letter for each type. (Not the exact same one, but for jobs that all specify needing customer service, attention to detail, and clerical experience, I used the same examples for all.)

      This helped me keep track of where I was applying and feel less overwhelmed by the process, and helped me spend less time worrying about hearing about positions I’ve applied for. YMMV, but I personally find spreadsheets a really good way to help me feel less overwhelmed.

      I did it so one day a week, I’d buy myself a fancy coffee, wear something comfy, and apply to all Priority 1 jobs of type X. Or all Priority 1 jobs of type Y. If I was extra efficient that day, I’d move onto Priority 2 jobs, then 3. I never did it for more than 4 hours at a go, usually 2 hours or so at a time.

      I’d update the spreadsheet every other week or so, deleting positions that closed before I applied or I no longer was interested in, adding more positions I was interested in, and changing priority levels as needed.

      Like I said, YMMV, but I found breaking something that felt insurmountable into smaller, color coded steps helped me a lot.

      1. Not A Morning Person

        This is excellent advice for anyone who is job hunting! Thank you for sharing! (I will be hunting soon as my spouse has had a job offer that requires relocating and we know we are going to take it once it is confirmed.)

        OP, everyone and everything is telling you to RUN, RUN FAST, RUN FAR, and get away from this place. It is already messing with your sense of what is normal. This place is NOT NORMAL! It is so far from normal that you won’t be able to recognize it until you get somewhere else. Be prepared for occasional PTSD fr0m having worked in this place. Get counseling. Pay attention to the messages from the commentariate here on AAM. Get OUT!

      2. Parenthetically

        I LOVE this and I’m going to bookmark it and send it to my husband when job searching time comes up again.

      3. Matilda Jefferies

        I love this! My only suggestion would be to make a PDF of the job posting, rather than relying on the link – you never know when the company is going to remove it, and you may want to refer to it after the posting period is done.

        Otherwise, yay for spreadsheets!

        1. Jennifer Thneed

          I do this. Well, not a pdf, but I copy the text of the job posting into the spreadsheet. It’s ugly, but I only need to refer to the content and nobody else sees it. My spreadsheet gets built as I apply to things, and I break it up by day applied (change highlight color, or just a thick line between days) so I can easily see, eg, I applied to 3 things each on Mon, Tues, Thurs of this week. It can really help me keep my spirits up when that kind of thing is needed.

      4. M&Ms Fix Lots of Problems

        Mid,
        I did something very similar when I was last job searching. It really helped me prioritize what I wanted and what I didn’t with my next job.
        I have to say taking something that seems huge and breaking it into smaller pieces can be really helpful. It’s like I can’t do all of this so I don’t even try. The smaller pieces can make it a whole lot easier do anything.

      5. NeonDreams

        I saved your comment to a Word document, Mid. I’m job hunting at the moment and this spreadsheet idea is brilliant! Thank you for sharing.

        OP-I feel for you. You sounds pretty resigned that things aren’t going to improve. I’m going through a similar mindset for different reasons. You’re not alone in this.

      6. Cat Meowmy Admin

        Great idea, Mid, thanks for sharing! This helps anyone feel more In Control during a job search! (I added a comment separately by mistake when it was supposed to be a reply to you.)

    2. Radio Girl

      Yes! Start the job search in small increments and gradually increase them.

      Meanwhile, treat yourself well, get some exercise and focus on hobbies and non-work friends in your spare time.

      And please, LW, update us again! We are here for you.

  11. Wannabe Disney Princess

    LW – I get it. When you’re burnt out and feel stuck (both because you don’t want to let your team down as well as feeling indebted) a job search feels like a monumental burden. So. Start small. What can you do today that will move it forward? Just look at a few job descriptions? FANTASTIC. That’s a start. If you can do more, do it. But don’t force yourself too. Once even looking at jobs doesn’t feel so overwhelming, pick one to apply. Just one. You don’t have to go bananas with it. Again, if you can do more then you should do it. But don’t overwhelm yourself. And if there’s a day (or twelve) where even just looking at jobs is too much, then don’t. AND DO NOT beat yourself up over it. Eventually, all these teensy baby steps will get you closer and closer to the door.

    1. StaceyIzMe

      This seems like a GREAT option in terms of how to break down moving on into smaller, more manageable pieces without literally breading down in the process!

    2. SunnyD

      People here were talking about the app Habitica, which gives you fun game reinforcement when you do things. Could that be used to break job hunting into manageable chunks?

      1. Wannabe Disney Princess

        Sure, whatever works for you! I know for me, personally, I get bogged down in getting started. Coming up with the perfect way to keep track and all that. Which leads to more paralysis by analysis. So I do better by just starting.

  12. SheLooksFamiliar

    Oh, OP, I’m so sorry – what a mess! But this is NOT the way companies are supposed to run. I hope you can begin a search, if only to get into the rhythm of job searching again. Sometimes, reminding yourself you have options can get you into a better frame of mind.

  13. Close Bracket

    OP: maybe this is just the way workplaces run?

    Alison here: It’s not!

    CB: Those exceptions prove the rule.

  14. Stanley Nickels

    Yikes. Please start your job search today before this job warps your sense of what is acceptable any more! You deserve better than this.

  15. The Man, Becky Lynch

    No! No! No! That’s not normal and how places run, please I’m begging you to leave so that you can readjust your expectations of workplaces. That’s so toxic and sad, it’s breaking my heart into a million pieces.

    You’ve found yourself within a dumpster fire of an organization and you’re experiencing Stockholm Syndrome, I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with that nonsense!

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch

        Only if there are squirrels and armadillos, otherwise it’s just a trash barge!

  16. Banana

    OP please, please, please, please get out of there as fast as humanly possible. Alison is 100% right – this is not normal and you beginning to think it is shows that it’s warping your sense of what’s normal. Also, definitely therapy is a great idea

  17. DBGNY

    OP – yes, you need to get out. No doubt about it.

    That being said – I want to offer my congratulations. You did the right thing by trying to address it, and that’s a hard thing to do, especially in a workplace. I know things didn’t go the way you hoped they would (or hell, even they way they should have!), but you. did. the. right. thing. in the whole mess.

    That’s worth more than anything else these days – someone who will stand up and say “No, this is wrong”. You should be commended for it.

    1. Matilda Jefferies

      YES! OP, you absolutely did the right thing – and in fact you did two difficult things here. One, you made the decision to talk to the manager about Angela, and you actually went into her office with the intention of doing that. And two, you pulled the plug as soon as you realized that the conversation was not going to go well. That’s huge, honestly. So many people would have thought to themselves “well, I’ve already worked up my courage, and I’ve gotten this far, I need to keep going,” or just written off their instincts and carried on.

      It took courage for you to both of those things – both to have the conversation, and to stop it mid-stream. When you get to your next job interview – which I hope is soon! – you’ll have some great examples for a time you had to have a difficult conversation or make a difficult decision at work.

    2. Ellie

      Absolutely, yes, you did the right thing by backing off at that point – there’s no shame in knowing when you’re about to lose. Advising Jane and protecting your direct reports is really admirable, and you are not to blame for all the problems in this workplace.

      Is it possible for you to take a vacation, and get away from the place for a couple of weeks? It might change your perspective and allow you to start the job hunt with a fresh pair of eyes.

      Either way, I wish you luck.

  18. Dust Bunny

    Please don’t dog on Jane for being “complacent” and “marginal”. She’s been through enough and she gets to have her own reasons for staying, even if they’re just that this workplace is familiar and she can underperform while she decides what to do next.

    1. AKchic

      I really do think that Jane has been so burned that she is not telling anyone her plans. She is probably passively job searching, looking for the *perfect* job while keeping an eye on everything with feigned clinical disinterest, biding her time. She probably trusts no one in the office at this point, expecting that everyone is only interested in her as a curiosity after what happened, or what Angela has said and after what she and Fergus have done.

      When she leaves… oh, it will be spectacular. Hell, she may very well be gathering evidence for more investigations, or be the reason why the police and internal investigations were able to do their jobs. Jane is not complacent. She is not marginal. Jane is playing the long game and doing it beautifully.

      1. jamberoo

        Yeah I could not imagine Jane trusting anyone at work with anything not strictly work-related.

      2. Not A Morning Person

        Or Jane has Stockholm syndrome. That’s what toxic workplaces do to you.

      3. Kalros, the mother of all thresher maws

        I certainly hope that Jane finds better soon, but given what she’s been through, complacency would be totally understandable. It’s highly possible that she’s just burned out by having both home and work life blow up in the same emotionally traumatic situation and doesn’t have the energy left to do much of anything. Which is fine. It’s not a moral failing to not have an epic “you’ll be sorry when I leave” revenge plan. Jane deserves compassion either way.

        1. SunnyD

          I barely dragged myself out of abuse. It wears on everything – self esteem, confidence, understanding of normal. That all happened to OP… who was actually promoted instead of stuck like Jane, and didn’t have to deal with a vindictive guilty boss directing extra attention (on top of vomiting evil in all directions).

          If Jane only starts to recover in a few years, that would be normal.

          OP, expect several years of recovery, yourself, after you find a new job. Often our brains can’t process trauma till we’re safe, to protect us from lions and such.

          1. SunnyD

            Oh, and OP – the other thing that helped me, other than lots of wonderful self-care therapy, was antidepressants. It wasn’t forever, but it helped me get up and get away. I’m no doctor, just sharing my experience.

          2. Kalros, the mother of all thresher maws

            Yep, all of this. A toxic workplace grinds you down and messes with your head like nobody’s business. I wish her everything she needs to recover, but nothing about Jane’s apathy is surprising, nor does it reflect badly on her. Sometimes you just don’t have any energy left over to find something better. I can’t imagine the wear of going between work and home in Jane’s situation without any emotionally safe place to land.

      4. Not Sayin'

        “…she may very well be gathering evidence for more investigations, or be the reason why the police and internal investigations were able to do their jobs.”

        As long as we’re writing fantasy, I vote for this one. So much for this one! Go, Jane!

        1. AKchic

          If I have to live in my head while doing boring work – I gotta have my fantasies. I’m 100% Team Jane and hope she succeeds where Fergus and Angela fail in all aspects of life.

    2. Rebecca

      After going through my own emotional roller coaster life for the last 27 months, I think Jane is probably taking this opportunity to regroup, heal herself, and look for something else, while having the stability of a paycheck and perhaps health insurance, and doing a job that she doesn’t have to think much about or stress herself over. I don’t blame her. I’ll freely admit doing much the same, people tell me I should be doing something else, working for a better company, but the pay here is adequate, I have great health insurance, and I don’t have to think much about what I’m doing, so the stress level is low, so I can focus on more important things in my personal life.

      So yeah, don’t ding Jane for being complacent. Good for her.

      1. Jules the 3rd

        Totally hoping that Jane and OP get out of this place soon.

        OP, it’s been 18mo since your first letter. That is a reasonable amount of time for you to have held a job, esp if you’re in manufacturing. It’s ok for you to start looking, career-wise, and a good idea to start looking, mental health-wise.

  19. The Man, Becky Lynch

    Re: Feeling loyalty to a company due to the advances you’ve been given

    Yeah, they gave you a “chance” but guess what, if you hadn’t succeeded, they would have tossed you out on your butt. You paid your dues already and you don’t owe them your displaced loyalty. Not when they don’t even protect their own employees or run the place well. You owe them decent work while you’re there but you don’t owe them your soul or your lifelong commitment to them, that’s not fair to you. You’re not their dutiful servant that should be cool with scraps and sleeping at their feet [you’re not a pet!]

    You will not be taken advantage of in other places, that’s the scary monster under the bed we tell ourselves about to make it feel safer to just stay put and take the abuse that we’re dealing with at any given time. Those chains are imaginary and you can just get up and leave, I promise.

    1. Nessun

      THIS. OP they gave you a job, and in return you did that job the best you could. You owe them nothing now! Take what you’ve learned (the skills, and the examples of how not to manage!), and find somewhere better for your career and your mental health.

    2. SunnyD

      Hear hear!

      For those crippled by misplaced gratitude and loyalty (like me), what if you owed a DUTY to *yourself*, to maximize salary? A higher salary grants you freedom and choices, and the ability to care for yourself when older. Would that work for your particular brain squirrels too?

      I think that job hopping every 2-3 years is an excellent way to build salary, and doesn’t ding your professional rep. 3 years is the average job tenure!

  20. Seeking Second Childhood

    You’ve been there plenty long enough. Go. Get a great management position at a sane organization, and hire Jane away from the toxicity!

  21. Librarian of SHIELD

    OP, this is not how offices work! You and your coworkers have been abused and manipulated for so long that it doesn’t even seem unusual anymore, and that’s an enormous red flag. I agree with all the other commenters who have encouraged you to look for work at a different company. You deserve so much better than this.

  22. 99 lead balloons

    Holy Dysfunctional Workplace Culture, Batman! I echo everyone saying you should get out – there’s plenty of articles/anecdotes here about how staying in a toxic culture can warp your sense for what is and is not ok. Your intuition re your manager was spot on – don’t let this place gas-light you into believing this stuff (police investigations?!) is normal!

  23. Traffic_Spiral

    Wait… I’m confused. How does the manager being bad at her job mean that you were right not to tell her the truth about Angela?

    1. Close Bracket

      The new manager would have done nothing to rein in Angela and would probably have marginalized OP for trash talking (in the new manager’s eyes) one of her favorites.

      1. StaceyIzMe

        Exactly, THIS. Management-by-Chaos doesn’t include enforcing appropriate professional norms and the wisdom of LW’s decision seems fully vindicated in Angela’s promotion and in the hiring decisions that subsequently occurred.

    2. Lance

      Because a bad manager can’t generally be trusted to handle things appropriately. Because a bad manager might have turned it around on the OP, which then would’ve made the situation even worse. All in all, I don’t fault the OP for doing what they felt they had to do; as it is, I don’t think anything they could’ve/might’ve done would’ve changed anything for the better.

    3. Dust Bunny

      Backlash, I suspect. Or that she might tell Angela that somebody tattled, and Angela might come after LW.

    4. The Man, Becky Lynch

      She wasn’t just bad at her job, she was an awful person who bullied others and caused mass chaos. So expecting her to take control over a bad interpersonal issue could have gone all sorts of messy directions.

      That’s my read at least. If she was just inept, whatever it’s not going to hurt to tell her stuff but if she’s a backbiting, bullying beast of a person, that could have been unleashed on the messenger or Jane.

      1. Daniel

        Exactly this. I’m confident OP would have been the one punished by Angela’s transgressions.

    5. That Girl From Quinn's House

      The manager was a toxic person herself, and would have used the LW’s involvement or information against her in the future.

      1. Observer

        It actually does – what the others have said is true. And what do you want to bet that this person would not use the information to bully Jane?

        1. What's with Today, today?

          I disagree. LW is in a supervisory management role. She should have gone to the person in charge, full stop. She’s no better as a manager by not doing so, and she failed Jane. IMP, LW is a part of the problem.

          1. Observer

            She is / was not Angela’s supervisor. And the person in charge was a person who could not be trusted to do the right thing, at best, and at worst could be expected to do the wrong thing. And apparently, the people upstream are no better. Blaming the OP for things that are really not in her control is neither kind nor helpful.

          2. Lance

            Could we please not blame LW for this? It’s not their fault this company is apparently terrible from the top down; nor, indeed, is any of this their fault. Sure, they could’ve done something — it’s not necessarily an unfair argument to say that they should’ve. But I still remain completely unconvinced, in light of everything else, that anything they might’ve done could’ve made any of this any better. Angela thrived under the management they had, as OP said; OP’s own string of new bosses have been far less than stellar. What, really, could possibly have changed?

          3. Close Bracket

            She should have gone to the person in charge, full stop.

            Well, she did. And discovered that person was a bigger dumpster fire than Angela. Being a supervisor doesn’t mean you have All the Power to Fix All the Things. Supervisors are as hampered by their own toxic management as anyone is. It’s just like how parents or teachers can’t fix everything for their kids bc the world we live in sucks. Supervisors can’t fix everything for individual contributors bc the company they work in sucks.

          4. Arts Akimbo

            Whoa!! Wayyy harsh! LW, don’t listen– you did what you thought was best and kindest.

          5. Ask a Manager Post author

            No. We talk here all the time about the need to know your manager and how reasonable they are, so that you can judge whether it makes sense to take things to them. The OP made a judgment that talking to the manager would make things worse for Jane. Sometimes that’s the reality of a situation.

            1. What’s with Today, today?

              I still disagree. She’s in a supervisor role. I read the letter twice and never saw where she thought telling would make it worse for Jane, that’s never said. She immediately launched into how the manager treated her. We’re gonna have to agree to disagree here.

              1. Close Bracket

                the moment I sat down my intuition started sending up red flags and I stopped

                LW didn’t launch into how the manager treated her—LW launched into how the manager treated *everybody*. I wonder if perhaps your own workplace intuition is not that well developed. You have a number of very experienced people telling you the most likely outcome of complaining to a manager like the one LW describes. You should listen to what they are telling you. Supervisors are not super heroes. Sometimes the dysfunction is too deep to fix even from their level.

          6. The Man, Becky Lynch

            So then what does the OP do when she does just go and tell the cruddy good-for-nothing supervisor what’s going on and they use it against Jane to bully her and make her life harder than it already is?

            So you go and tell the old tyrant abusive “one in charge” that there’s an issue with this worker-bee down there, then you wash your hands of it? Why?

            The OP decided to protect her from further damage, that’s a sad choice to have to make, it’s what happens when there’s nobody “above” that gives a flying crap about taking care of employees.

  24. Psyche

    You will not find these issues everywhere. Most companies are not perfect, but something is fundamentally wrong at your workplace. You should leave before you normalize it (which seems to already be happening)_.

  25. bunniferous

    You have no obligation to stay at this hellmouth any longer than you can throw a resume together to find a place to land. Run! Run like the wind!

  26. Anonymous Poster

    Please consider searching for another job. It’s a wonder to me that this place is still in business, since I don’t see how much of anything valuable gets done at this place. This is incredibly abnormal business operation. For reference, the worst place I’ve worked at had:
    – People using racial slurs rarely, but common enough where it was somewhat well-known
    – People literally sleeping at their desks, though they were subject to discipline when this happened
    – Only one affair that blew up and led to the gentleman finding another job outside of the company
    – HR run amok
    – People with severe drinking problems not being adequately addressed when showing up for work after clearly drinking heavily

    But honestly, while I think it was bad, it doesn’t sound nearly so bad as what you have to deal with. It’s not normal, and it’s incredibly freeing to get out.

    1. Anonymous Poster

      Oh I forgot that place had a person that also drew on the bathroom walls with their own human waste. And the person who would try and pilfer abandoned office furniture to sell on eBay. And the other person that refused to talk to the other person sitting literally 3 feet away from them for years.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch

      The sick reality is that as long as there is capital in the business, businesses can run in such a disorganized awful fashion for a long-long-long-couldbeforever time. Heck even if there isn’t capital since sadly we hear about the people who still work for places that withhold paychecks or bounce them [whyyyy whyyyy whyyyyy *sobs*].

      So barring eviction and foreclosure in a lot of situations, places can run on less than fumes it turns out [once they’re established of course, if it’s in the starting phases, then yeah they fold a lot quicker of course!]

  27. Superstats

    This is not “just how workplaces run”. This is how toxic, messed-up, terrible workplaces run. Fortunately most places are nowhere near as poorly run as this. Get out. This is not a good place for you to work, it is already warping your sense of how things should be, and this will damage your career in the long term. Get that resume polished up ASAP and start applying. Your second last paragraph, while completely understandable, is a flashing red light for how badly this place is screwing with you. The longer you stay, the harder it’s going to get!

  28. Veryanon

    I’ve worked at bad companies and I’ve had toxic managers, but I’ve never worked with someone who was investigated BY THE POLICE. Sometimes you just need to move on! I hope you get out of there, OP, and take Jane with you. Neither of you deserve to work in a hellmouth, and Jane especially has way more pain tolerance than I would have had (if I had to see the person my ex-husband cheated on me with EVERY DAY at work, I think I’d get a little stabby).

  29. animaniactoo

    OP, I thought it would take a lot to beat out a former version of my former company – where they promoted one of the Art Directors to Studio Manager and told her that her first job was firing a bunch of her colleagues.

    But congratulations. You have managed it. Your workplace is farking insane and if it can’t be untangled with a firm hand by the current manager, you need to plot your escape.

    And yes, even with the investigated employees, this should still be brought up to the current supervisor as “one more piece of aftermath” that could potentially be addressed. But only if your spidey-senses aren’t tingling, because man does it sound like they served you well last time.

    1. Lance

      Good lord. When you’re promoting someone in part to have them get rid of loose ends/carry out upper management’s whims (depending whether they were actually bad workers or not), you know you’ve got issues already.

    2. Mama Bear

      I had a situation like that. Bread and butter client didn’t like someone so the decision was made to fire that person, and then the replacement’s first week they were told to fire 3 or 4 more people. But then a year or so later, the replacement was themselves fired and replaced. I got out of there shortly thereafter. I did not need a Sword of Damocles over my head.

  30. Suzy

    GET OUT! RUN! Leave as soon as possible! This is like the airplane metaphor – you have got to put that oxygen mask on yourself before you will be able to help anyone else. RUN AWAY from this place!

  31. smoke tree

    This update is a good illustration of Alison’s advice that the longer you stay in a dysfunctional workplace, the more you start to normalize it as a coping mechanism and the harder it is to adjust to a normal work environment again. LW, I’m sure you’re extremely burnt out at this point, but even if you can’t think about leaving yet, it might be helpful to just look at other job postings, go on some interviews, if only to see that normal, boring, non-dumpster-fire workplaces still exist in the world!

  32. Shrunken Hippo

    As soon as anyone in a leadership role is investigated by anyone (yet alone police) yet the ompany still keeps hiring/promoting the same types of people that is a sign that your company is toxic and you need to run. I don’t mean walk, I mean run like a rabid animal is after you. It is not normal for these sorts of things to happen, and for it to be so prevalent I have to assume that the rottenness goes all the way up to the top. In normal companies people who throw entire departments into chaos are fired and replaced with someone better, and have someone you could talk to if you were felt your manager was not taking you seriously or if you are afraid of retaliation. I have had to leave toxic workplaces before and a majority of the time the interviewers (at least the good ones) looked into my former workplace and discovered their bad reputation. In fact I have had some interviewers see my former workplace listed and just ask if I left because of issues that they had heard about and then moved on.

  33. Moose

    Please run for the hills, LW. Nothing about this is normal or “the way workplaces run.” It seems like a series of toxic workplaces have messed with your norms, but you (or poor Jane, or anyone else for that matter) should not have to put up with this. I understand looking for another job while already feeling exhausted and overwhelmed seems impossible, but think about how much better you’ll be in the long run if you can get out of there and find a job that doesn’t make you feel so burned out all the time. My fingers are crossed for you!

  34. BRR

    I was thinking of exactly this. My last job skewed me. I thought I would be immune, or at least it would be dampened, by identifying how it was not normal when I started and now that I’m in a new, awesome position I’m noticing how much it affected me. To the LW, this is now just how offices work.

    1. BRR

      Nesting fail, that was to Clarinet and their comment on workplaces skewing your perception of normal.

  35. Serin

    How on earth is any work getting done at this company? OP, one of the reasons this isn’t “just the way workplaces are” is that normal workplaces can’t function with all the energy being drained off by drama — they need that energy for whatever their core function is.

    1. OlympiasEpiriot

      Yeah, I read that letter and this update and wonder the same thing…when do they have time for whatever their core function is??

  36. Daniel

    “I’ve been doing a lot of work recently on digging in to my own feelings of imposter syndrome, self esteem, wanting to protect my team of direct reports […]”

    All of which are very good things! Definitely, take a breather and think about how we got her.

    “and feeling indebted to the company that moved me into a leadership role, plus not wanting to be the person that moves companies every 2-4 years only to find the same set of issues at every company and how that all relates to me not being willing to leave an environment so clearly toxic.”

    Yeah, you absolutely have to leave this place. Between Angela, the new manager, and the disastrous supervisor hires, this is a place where integrity counts for nothing. You’re better than this.

    Finally–don’t be worried about leaving too quickly from this job. Between your old post and this one, it sounds like you’ve been there for 4 1/2 years. No one will consider that job hopping.

  37. StaceyIzMe

    Thank you for the update. It seems clear that you need to get out of that organization and that you’ll need to abandon supporting Jane other than giving her a “heads up” that this is not normal behavior in the workplace. What a mess! Get yourself some external support in the form of leaning on your network outside of the company, a coach, a mentor and (if you’re comfortable with the idea) a counselor. When you have more than ordinary stress within a system, bringing in external support can really buffer you in terms of not feeling isolated, disempowered or stuck in your current context. A counselor is sometimes less expensive than a coach through the wonderful reality of copays that are generally lower AND they have the advantage that they can be directive and implement specialized or clinical skills when dealing with trauma, anxiety and prior baggage. (I am a coach and I use both a coach and a counselor, it’s a good combination that can help you to reconnect with yourself, see big picture context and troubleshoot strong negative feelings/ blocks/ other difficulties). I sincerely hope that you, Jane and others who’ve been impacted by this situation are all able to find resources, recovery from the impact and resolution to the challenges that have been left in the wake of this very-very-very-bad management.

  38. RJ the Newbie

    LW, I feel your pain. It’s hard to see the water when you’re drowning. You have to get out. There are good companies out there. There are better companies than this.

  39. Meg

    OP, your job sounds horrible, the workplace sounds toxic, and you and Jane should leave. That said, this update reads like you’re slut-shaming Angela and her “many, many partners” and it’s not needed with everything else happening.

    1. Clay on my apron

      Do you think so? I don’t see it. There’s nothing wrong with having n² partners but it’s not something that your workplace should have visibility of.

    2. Peacock

      I agree. The word choices of “been through” and “many, many partners” are so judgy. It’s totally irrelevant how many partners Angela has been seeing. She might be a horrible employee but she doesn’t deserve to be slut shamed so blatantly!

      1. Close Bracket

        Plus “lo and behold.” I really got the sense of, “gee, I am unsurprised that a terrible person is also promiscuous.” I mean, maybe Angela is treating her partners terribly, but just having many partners is not part of being a terrible person.

    3. Perpal

      Meh, i read that more as a hint at how Angela chews people up and spits people out. It’s ok to have lots of partners; not ok to have a trail of broken relationships in your wake while at it

      1. Oranges

        That was my take on it also. Because if you’re promiscuous that wouldn’t be a “thing” but if you’re “going through” people with all the attendant drama… then it becomes a “thing” that people talk about.

        1. Perpal

          Um, no? Hurting sexual partners is still hurting people? Also not appropriate to share with the office? I don’t think it’s “slut shaming” to say it’s generally not professional to share sexual exploits with coworkers? That is more like a hostile work environment.

    4. Seeking Second Childhood

      I had thought by the context that Angela’s partners have been visible because they were intramural affairs like she had with Fergus. I have to hope she’s not targeting her subordinates for dates they are afraid to turn down because that would add sexual harassment to the already long list.

  40. A Simple Narwhal

    Thank you so much OP for sending in an update. I was hoping it would be more along the lines of “Jane got the promotion plus a 10000% raise, Fergus and Angela both got fired and also they were stung by bees as they left the building”, but I understand that life doesn’t work like that.

    I really hope both you and Jane get new jobs and soon, this is NOT how offices are supposed to be. I’m rooting for you!

  41. Observer

    OP, please think about something. You have encouraged Jane to leave and are kind of side-eying her because she doesn’t seem to be taking that advice. Why does it make sense for her to find a better employer, and not you?

    Take the clarity you have about Jane, and apply it to yourself.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch

      This is a good comment.

      However I can see why the OP wouldn’t take their own advice because I think they’re focusing on the fact that Jane is readily being held back from promotion and the OP isn’t, which means OP may feel that they’re “paid” to “take the sh*t”. I’ve seen that with managers who stick around a lot longer than they’d expect their reports to for the amount of nonsense they have to put up with.

      That said, OP still needs to reevaluate the loyalty aspect and bounce on out of there. In reality the management position and experience they’re getting is tainted and so skewed. You’re going to have to re-train yourself when you leave to shake off the bad habits and attitudes you’ve been subjected to and normalized =(

      1. Lance

        As far as reevaluating the loyalty aspect, a thing to consider: loyalty, like many things, goes both ways. LW, this business has failed you and Jane in many ways by now; would you really be able to say that they are loyal to you?

  42. Tinybutfierce

    I know I’m just repeating what others have said, but oh no, LW, this is NOT how every workplace runs. This is incredibly dysfunctional and toxic, and I can’t imagine it’s doing you any professional or personal favors (paycheck aside). I’d seriously, STRONGLY encourage you to polish up your resume and look for a job elsewhere. You owe this company nothing just because they gave you a leadership role. Please look out for yourself and your own well-being and get the heck outta dodge if you can.

  43. MicroManagered

    Angela moved on quickly and has since been through many, many partners

    Angela sounds awful enough without the slut-shaming.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch

      It doesn’t sound like slut shaming, unless you want to read so deep into it like that and are looking for a reason to be offended?

      It reads as “Fergus threw away his marriage to Jane when he cheated with Angela. Only Angela wasn’t interested in an actual long term relationship like Fergus seemingly was…ha-ha sucks to be Fergus!”

    2. Hmm

      I can see how it reads that way, but also maybe it is somewhat relevant to the update. Perhaps one of the things adding to OPs terrible workplace was Angela coming in and telling people about her many, many partners. Thus putting OP, Jane, and other coworkers in an increasingly uncomfortable position.

      1. MicroManagered

        Maybe. I think it was the “many, many” that stuck out to me. We are so used to it being normal to comment negatively about a woman’s number of sexual partners. The fact that she’s had other relationship that have “failed” presupposes that a woman is only “successful” in a long-term monogamous relationship. To be clear, I’m not saying Jane sounds like a great person. I just don’t think that statement was relevant or necessary.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch

          I don’t see where they say anything about her relationships failing…they’re just short. That’s not a failure. I think you’re reading into it, which is normal because of the kneejerk reaction aspect and yes, we do deal with a lot of slut shaming as women at times.

          I come from a very liberal area and am the child of hippies, so I wasn’t raised to shame women for anything in general and all about free will and doing what comes natural to you. So maybe that’s why I’m reading it without that POV?

    3. Ask a Manager Post author

      I assume she included it because she was illustrating that Angela’s affair with Fergus wasn’t a deep soulmates situation.

      Regardless, I’ll ask that we leave this here. It’s been called out as potentially problematic and we don’t need to derail on it.

      1. MicroManagered

        Whoops! I replied to someone a little upthread before I saw this. That was really my only intention: to flag that it’s not really relevant, but I can see the “deep soulmates” angle too, now that you mention it.

    4. M&Ms Fix Lots of Problems

      I don’t read it that way at all. Angela seemed to look at people in a case of what can you give me that I want/need and then how quickly can I make you go away (at least that was the impression I got from the original letter).
      Sort of like some people live in their own little world that is inhabited by themselves and cardboard cutouts in human form that they use and discard when done. Sounds like there were many people who were/are takers at OP’s job.

  44. Hey Karma, Over here.

    Fergus has had THREE PIPs? Angela has been promoted. OP, Jane is your object lesson here. This place has broken her. She is complacent and accepts being marginalized. No. She has abandoned all hope.
    Leave now. Leave now. Leave now.

  45. Catsaber

    OP, this is not how most workplaces run. Most workplaces do not get investigated by the police.

    Also, you will not look like a mercenary job-hopper for leaving a few places after 2-4 years. And even if someone did have that concern, you could just say, “My workplace was investigated by the police so I decided to leave,” and they will COMPLETELY understand.

    I wish the best of luck to both you and Jane. I know from personal experience how hard it is to summon the strength to job search after burning out in a toxic environment, but just making the decision alone and applying for a few jobs helped me feel less “buried alive” and able to find the momentum I needed to get something better.

  46. Falling Diphthong

    Because the last couple of supervisors hired by the old manager were so terrible they ended up being let go and investigated.

    There’s a certain glory here. “Yeah, we can fail. But how can we fail BIGGER?!!”

  47. GreenDoor

    Lots of people pushing the OP to find a new job here. But I just want to say kudos to the OP for listening to their gut and not reporting anything to the new manager when it didn’t feel right. Sometimes the best thing you can do is let karma take care of things. It might have been worse for OP had they reported this anyway – sounds like the new manager would have just used it as ammunition against people unfairly.

    But yes, your workplace is not normal and you need to get out!

    1. Observer

      Both things are true. The OP *needs* to start the process of getting out of there. And one of the reasons is because the OP was right to decide not to talk to the manager. That should NOT have been the correct decision. The fact that is was is a sign of the problem.

    2. WellRed

      Yes, she read this correctly. Glad to know her spidey sense hasn’t been totally warped yet.

  48. OlympiasEpiriot

    Oh my. I am SO sorry! This is dreadful and, no, not all workplaces are like this. Mine isn’t, for instance.

    Please get on the job hunt.

  49. Clay on my apron

    Actually I had a colleague (briefly) who was “visited” by the police one day when I was not in the office. I believe it was a domestic violence charge. He was still at work the next day… And the next… And the next. Our manager (who hadn’t hired him) was terrified of him – he was rumoured have been released from prison shortly before our CEO hired him. Something gang related and violent. He finally left after we all arrived at work on a Monday morning to discover that 3 of the desktops were gone. When security checked the swipe card access records, they saw that his card had come up from the basement parking to the office and back… 3 times. He was politely invited to leave before they called the police. He sauntered off with a grin on his face.

    Actually, someone else I worked with at my first job was arrested for stealing boxes and boxes of printer paper – caught in the act of loading them into his car boot one weekend. Naively I protested his innocence. I was convinced it was all a mix up. (I’d had a bit of a crush on him which thankfully hadn’t gone any further. Possibly his amateur tattoos must have triggered an alarm bell somewhere in my subconscious.)

    Now the thing is that both of these were very, very ordinary workplaces, and nothing like this ever happened before or after. So the police investigation doesn’t really concern me. But hells bells OP, the rest of your story is extremely worrying and you need to get out of there, pronto! Your workplace is totally messed up and dysfunctional! Run, run, run!

    1. Observer

      Well, the fact that the supervisor was “terrified” of an employee and was afraid to take action on a criminal investigation does not speak well of the place.

      1. Clay on my apron

        Yes, admittedly that was dodgy. I wrote this late at night and didn’t think about how that came across.

        This was a very large multinational company and I worked in the IT department at the time. The CEO had decided/been persuaded to hire this guy as part of a social responsibility/”help ex cons find gainful employment” initiative.

        Obviously it wasn’t thought through very well and he probably wasn’t very well screened for suitability/likeliness to reoffend.

        Why my manager at the time didn’t take it up with her manager/HR I don’t know. But the whole thing was over in a matter of weeks and everyone was relieved and carried on as before.

        Hopefully this explanation makes me sound less like a lunatic with dysfunctional workplace norms *grins*

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch

      What? So they didn’t do any background checks or they just didn’t care if someone had a violent record!?

      We hired people from prison work release programs before and with assorted checkered background but yikes, we have a threshold!

      WHY COULD HE ACCESS THE OFFICE ON THE WEEKEND?! We have our keycards restricted to the time we’re supposed to be here, nobody who isn’t ownership or executive has free-range like that.

      I had someone visited by the police once but it was because he had a boring old arrest warrant out for an old pot possession charge back before it was legalized. He was back at work as soon as he was released because it’s frigging pot ffs.

      1. Close Bracket

        WHY COULD HE ACCESS THE OFFICE ON THE WEEKEND?!

        Working outside of standard opening hours isn’t that uncommon.

        1. Clay on my apron

          It was a very large multinational company where people worked all kinds of hours and we had people on night shift doing system support.

      2. PSB

        I’ve worked a number of places that used keycards of one kind or another and none of them have restricted the times the cards are active.

  50. LSP

    I’ve worked in some toxic workplaces, but OMG GET OUT OF THERE!

    I sympathize with your impostor syndrome and overall feeling of despair, as if this is just work life, etc. but this is NOT what all workplaces are like! Every job has good and bad aspects, people you like and people you don’t, but this level of dysfunction FAR from the norm and no one is going to look at a 2-4 year stay with a raised eyebrow.

    Polish your resume, dry-clean your good suit and read Alison’s interviewing advice! And try to encourage Jane to get out as well. That place seems like a cesspool of toxicity if ever there was one.

  51. GreyjoyGardens

    I want to add my voice to the chorus of THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Unless you work at an actual police station, it’s NOT normal to have the actual COPS drop by your workplace to “investigate.” Not to mention all the interpersonal drama is a flaming tire fire of awful, bad and dysfunctional.

    Polish up that resume and job-hunt like nobody’s business. You want to leave before the dysfunction of that workplace causes YOU to become dysfunctional and affects your career because you’ve developed bad habits. (I’m reminded of that letter where the OP *bit* her coworker and seemed to think it was no big deal.)

  52. LKW

    Get out. Just get out. They obviously don’t care if people are incompetent so stop stressing yourself out at your job and get busy finding a new one. That’s your new job.

  53. I Like Math

    I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if this was mentioned, but I used to work at a place like that and the reason I stayed so long was because the environment was so much like the one I grew up in, I understood how to navigate it. (This is not a good thing, BUT it felt so familiar that I didn’t really understand how toxic it really was…) I just wanted to say that ‘out loud’, because it took me leaving (and therapy) to even understand why I stayed so long in the first place. And it took me a while to adjust to a healthy work environment where chaos was appropriately handled and not encouraged.

    And I just want to clarify, I’m not saying this is your situation. Forgive me if I’m totally off base. But either way, start looking for another job. Your work environment should NOT be this toxic. Take care.

  54. Linzava

    I usually don’t recommend therapy online to strangers, but I recommend therapy. It’s something you can do now, it will correct your judgment of “normal”, help you with the effects of working at a toxic job for what sounds like years, and give you healthy coping skills for your current situation. I know I’m overstepping, I’m sorry, I just had to day it.

  55. I WORKED on a Hellmouth

    Oh OP, please leave! The fact that you got a management position on their watch does not mean that they own you or that you owe them–you have already repaid them by DOING YOUR JOB. You’re free to go and do great work elsewhere, where you will probably be recognized with new growth opportunities, too. You owe New Future Job. You owe… well, yourself! You do not owe these jabronies anything.

  56. Quill

    This is honestly worse than all the dysfunctional places that people in my life have worked – and at one of them, the boss kidnapped the custodian, forced her to attend a fish fry, and then dine-and-dashed and left her with the bill!

    1. Matilda Jefferies

      the boss kidnapped the custodian, forced her to attend a fish fry, and then dine-and-dashed and left her with the bill!

      Wait, what? You can’t just drop something like that into the comments and then leave! We need to hear the story of the forced fish fry!

    2. Seeking Second Childhood

      If Quill tells the story on Friday, I’ll bring enough virtual popcorn to share with everyone. (This is actually why I came back to read more, hoping to see the story.)

  57. Undine

    One thing to remember: They didn’t “give” you a promotion, you earned it. It sounds like you have managed to maintain a professional attitude, get your job done, and be a valuable employee despite everything. Even in this maelstrom, your qualities stand out.

  58. Wing Leader

    I just feel so bad for Jane. :( To have her husband cheat on her with a coworker, and now all of this.

  59. Rachel

    Really interesting to get an update on this letter. Just thinking though, maybe mentioning ‘many, many partners’ is verging on slut shaming?

    1. WellRed

      I suppose it could be slut shaming. If she’s had many, many partners though, and a co-worker who’s not a friend and avoids all nonwork contact knows this, I’d venture to say Angela is being wildly inappropriate at work. Keep your sex life out of the office

  60. Exhausted Trope

    Oh. My. Word. What a major hell hole for a workplace! Letter writer, you have all my sympathy and then some. But, yes, get thee to a better place as soon as possible. Your mental and career health depend on it.

  61. Cat Meowmy Admin

    Good Golly Miss Molly! LW, I remember your original letter, and my jaw still drops even now with your update. This is definitely NOT a “normal” workplace! You need to GTFO as soon as you’re mentally and emotionally able to – before it consumes you further. Easier said than done I know. (I’m also in a toxic work environment and looking for another job.) It’s very common to rationalize and your perspective can become skewed. Be kind to yourself. You deserve so much better, and I wish you well. Your karma bank is full and you will be rewarded!

  62. Cat Meowmy Admin

    This is an excellent idea, Mid, thanks for sharing! Concrete steps to help anyone feel more “In Control” and organized during a job search! I’m going to incorporate your methods as a first step to my own tips, which are: keep a master version of your resume and cover letter, with as much info as you like. Then use those templates to create specialized versions based on the positions you’re interested in, and edited to the job postings. I keep an electronic and hard copy of the master and each version, together with a printed copy of the job posting, specific resume and cover letter clipped together in a neat folder or binder. Organized chronologically by date applied, or alphabetically by company name. When they contact me, I can readily pull the info from my folder to refresh my memory about the job and jot down notes. I bring those copies from my file with freshly printed resume(s) to the interview, where I can add to my notes on my own copies. Then I have a complete reference for my thank you letter and any follow up calls (and hopefully offers!).
    Thanks again for sharing your great ideas!

    1. Cat Meowmy Admin

      Oops sorry! This was obviously meant as a reply to a comment further upthread.

  63. Noah

    Why does OP know about Angela’s many, many partners? It seems like OP might feel better if they stopped paying attention to this stuff. I’m sure my coworkers are sleeping around because, y’know, they’re people, but I blissfully don’t know anything about it.

    1. Seeking Second Childhood

      Perhaps Angela can’t not brag inappropriately… perhaps thereally is PDA at the office.

    2. Observer

      but I blissfully don’t know anything about it.

      That’s kind of the point. People will do what they are going to do. But they really don’t need to share it in the office.

  64. TheRealGratefulOP

    OP here- thank you all for your kind words and comments! I think one of the reasons it took me so long to email back in was because I was so embarrassed knowing how bad it was! I think I’ll take the advice of going slow but making some measurable, consistent goals weekly and get myself to a place of moving on. When you have 250 strangers tell you it’s bad… how do you argue with that?!
    To clarify a couple things in case it matters:
    – I absolutely did NOT mean to slut shame Angela although I do see how it would read that way. In my head what I was saying was “she’s cold and calculating and she blew up Jane’s marriage over something that meant nothing to her, and she continues to use men for what she needs in the moment (I.e. arm candy to show off in the office, money, revenge, jealousy, free workout sessions because they are a personal trainer, etc) and then dumps them and moves on when they start realizing she can be manipulative”. One time she bragged in a meeting about how even though she dating someone at the time and told him they were exclusive, she was still using Tinder to find men to take her on dates so she would get free dinners, because she finds it funny how much she can get “lonely losers” to pay for her, even though she makes a better than decent salary. I honestly don’t care how many men she sleeps with, but I see for someone who doesn’t know her or me how it can read that way, so I apologize
    – this for sure has made me realize how much I project onto Jane. I think in my mind when I’m screaming “pull it together and get the heck out” to her I’m probably saying that to myself. And where I’ve become Hyperreactive of going into overdrive and being The Best I Can Be For My Staff, she’s gone Hyporeactive and shut down, both being a reaction to constant stress and toxicity, but really I need to be listening to myself on my wishes for Jane and wish those for myself. And also get out and bring her with me!
    – I could do a whole book on the supervisor who had the police called on her but for those of you curious it was due to a sexual assault complaint. Very sad situation where at mid 40s she was constantly having young, sometimes underage, staff over to her place to drink and would often promise them raises, and threaten firing if they told anyone about their “secret friendship” and one night allegedly locked one of the male workers in a room and took advantage of his drunken state, only to then threaten his job if he told anyone. His friends contacted the police but ultimately he didn’t feel comfortable coming forward due to gender based biases and judgements so it didn’t go further. What it did do though, was have her let go when I can honestly tell you that might not have ever happened otherwise
    – last but not least, I cannot tell you what in that moment made me turn around when I was about to disclose the truth to my manager, pretend a reason I was talking to her, and leave, but to illustrate the best example of how in hindsight I knew I did the right thing: we had an employee who had been with the company for 15 years and was a good worker, stable, clients loved her, no issues. Her husband had a heart attack one day and she was contacted. She came to me crying, told me what happened, I immediately drove her to the hospital in her car, waited until she was with family, and took a cab back to work. My manager tore a strip off me for leaving work for “personal reasons” and put me in for a half day vacation for time lost, and then when the staff member came back a week later (her husband recovered thankfully) she tore into her for “disrupting the office and being unprofessional for bringing her personal problems into a workspace”. When the staff member disagreed, she put her on a performance plan for insubordination. That staff member quit. So although I don’t know for sure what would have happened if I told her about Jane and Angela and Fergus, I pretty well know. Also, while I’m typing this all out I’m just feeling rather ashamed I have even had to question whether or not I should leave…
    But to those of you who also mentioned it- I’m not opposed to therapy and that’s exactly what I meant when I said I would be exploring those feelings! Ironically today my executive called me in to his office and gave me a $10k raise since I’ve been “doing such a great job and having the highest staff engagement scores staff having given a leader this company has ever seen” which is obviously so great but sent me in a spiral of thinking that again, this is really all not that bad and they value me, my staff need me to protect them, so I was grateful for this to be published today so I could see this all for what it truly is. Hopefully the next time I send an update I’ll be in a happy, healthy place, also with no urine-dumping bosses lol! Thanks again!

    1. Clay on my apron

      Hi OP! Thanks for the update. I really was curious about why you didn’t tell your manager, but the example you shared makes it pretty clear that you were reading her correctly.

      Congrats on your increase and your achievement! Now, *use those to find a better job*.

      “my staff need me to protect them” – seriously, this worries me. As long as you believe you are responsible for your staff to the point where you can’t leave a toxic dump of a workplace, you will never get out of there. You are not responsible for staying in any job to look out for other people. (Believe me, I’ve had similar feelings myself. And in by no means comparable situations, literally, “who will mentor the junior designers if I leave?” So I understand your impulse to be there for people.)

      But you need to think about the advice you’d give someone else in this situation. Would you tell when to stay, because their staff need them? No! At least I hope you wouldn’t. You’re clearly a caring person, but don’t allow that to distort your view of your responsibilities to yourself and others.

      All the best in your job search.

      (Btw, the age of the sexual abuser is irrelevant. It would be wrong whether she was in her 20s or 60s.)

      1. TheRealGratefulOp

        Oh for sure- the age is irrelevant just trying to paint the picture of the other power based dynamics at work between potentially a 22 year old supervisor and 18 year old staff (I’m Canadian so underage means 17 or 18) versus a 42 year old and 17 year old. But for sure, wrong is wrong.

    2. Quandong

      OP, I encourage you to use money from that raise to get to therapy for support.

      You don’t deserve to be stuck in this horrific workplace. The way they are rewarding you sounds like part of the cycle of abuse, trying to get you to forget the bad times and reinforce your loyalty.

      I found this article very helpful in the past http://www.issendai.com/psychology/sick-systems.html

      This is a great list of resources from Captain Awkward (her site is excellent, I highly recommend it!) https://captainawkward.com/2017/10/03/guest-post-14-free-and-low-cost-mental-health-resources/

      Best wishes for getting out of this dreadful place very soon!

    3. Perpal

      OP you sound so wonderful, sorry your workplace is not :(
      Let us know when you get out!!!

      1. Lance

        Yes, please do. Good luck sorting through all your feelings surrounding this; hopefully you feel much better when you can get somewhere better and detach yourself from this place, and all its toxicity.

    4. bluephone

      “…but sent me in a spiral of thinking that again, this is really all not that bad and they value me, my staff need me to protect them”
      No, your office/employer really is THAT bad, your staff are adults who can look out for themselves, AND–at the risk of sounding cold/cruel–your company doesn’t actually value you. If they really valued you/their employees, they wouldn’t be as actively awful as they are. It’s great that you got the raise but the best thing to do would be to bank that as much as possible because the time for “quit this job without having another one lined up b/c it’s just that bad” is quickly approaching.

    5. Observer

      I want to reiterate what BluePhone said. Bank your raise, and as much other money as you can. Because you really may have to walk out with no job lined up.

      EACH one of the things you described is a trash fire on its own. All of it together? It’s not “that bad” – it’s WORSE.

      And, yes, you were 100% right for not Angela’s behavior to her. She would definitely have punished Jane.

  65. EngineerMom

    Having worked for several different companies, from small ( barista -> nursing assistant -> stay-at-home-mom -> barista -> engineer, and while it certainly wasn’t “typical”, it’s been worth it to gain perspective on who I am apart from my job title, and the ability to set healthy boundaries around work.

  66. EngineerMom

    For some reason, this part of my comment. It should have read:

    Having worked for several different companies as an engineer (in addition to several non-engineering jobs), from small (less than 200 total employees, 20 in the office) to very large (one of the GE subsidiaries), I can tell you: There are LOTS of companies that aren’t toxic!

    And even if you ended up working an hourly job to pay some bills while figuring everything out, it’s not the end of the world. My career path after college went engineer -> barista -> nursing assistant -> stay-at-home-mom -> barista -> engineer, and while it certainly wasn’t “typical”, it’s been worth it to gain perspective on who I am apart from my job title, and the ability to set healthy boundaries around work.

  67. 867-5309

    I’m late to commenting so OP might not see this, but… Angela sounds horrible. And also, I’m not sure the fact that she’s had, “many, many partners” outside of work since Fergus is a necessary addition to any story. It’s form of slut-shaming to use something like that as a way to justify someone’s horribleness. It would be different if they were other employees at the company, as this would show a pattern of poor leadership but even then, the number isn’t as relevant as the fact she’s doing it all.

  68. Artemesia

    Re the anniversary gift. Ours were like a pin and sometimes a fancy bookmark. I longed for a nice pen. BUT your workplace is about to stop giving nice gifts because this ridiculous woman is causing such a fuss about it. The first response of a workplace when nice things are done and then people complain or abuse the privilege is they stop bothering with it. Free pizza on Fridays and Fergus takes 4 full pizza boxes home; no more pizza. Work from home and then a couple of people are spotted at the ball game; no more work from home. Lovely anniversary gifts and someone fusses that they don’t get nice things too; everyone gets a lovely certificate or a tiny 5 year pin from now on. This is why we don’t have nice things in the workplace.

  69. Rust1783

    So and so has since been through many partners. . . I mean, this is all so judgmental and gross sounding. I can’t believe people have these kinds of interactions and relationships with their coworkers.

  70. Washed Out Data Analyst

    “Also, because the last couple of supervisors hired by the old manager were so terrible they ended up being let go and investigated, one by the police and one by our internal compliance, as sad to say as it is, their situations make this all look a bit “small potatoes.””

    What kind of a workplace is this?!!

    ” Angela moved on quickly and has since been through many, many partners, all of whom did not work out.”
    I WONDER WHY.

    Also, I tend to be on the non-confrontational side of things, but wow, Jane is excessively complacent.

  71. Tom

    To quote the famous wizzard Rincewind: Run.
    It doesn`t matter where to, as long as you run FROM.

    I believe others also mentioned this.

    Polish the CV, read up on AAM – and for your sanity – run!

  72. Meredith

    Weirdly, I’m not surprised by this letter. I’ve worked at a company where any of this would have been run-of-the-mill. I’m elated to no longer be there!

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