update: my coworker responds to everything I ask him to do with profanity and “your mom” jokes

It’s a special “where are you now?” season at Ask a Manager, when I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

Remember the letter from the person whose coworker responded to everything she asked him to do with profanity, name-calling, flat refusals, and and “your mom” jokes? She updated earlier here and here and here and here, and here’s the latest.

It’s Addison from the Rude Name-Calling Clerk saga. I know I sent a lot of updates but since it’s the year anniversary of ME LEAVING THAT HORRIBLE PLACE I WAS AT a week or so ago, I thought maybe it might be nice to share? I always kind of felt dumb about my last submission that was basically “hey guys, still here at this abusive job but I enjoy my work so hopefully it gets better someday, ha ha happy ending!” and the commenters, bless them, were like “this… really isn’t a happy ending at all.” OH HOW RIGHT THEY WERE.

How I left is a long story but it basically goes like this: the position I had been waiting for finally opened up, which would have freed me from that dead-end crap department I was working in for six years (and actually would have made me Rude Clerk’s direct supervisor… hahaha). Our receptionist was interested too, so I helped her with her application and resume and said, hey, if you get it instead of me, I’ll offer to take your spot at the front desk because I enjoy doing that too. I thought any move would be a good move at that point. New file clerk gal who I thought was cool said she didn’t want the job. So I applied, had an interview with the Important People, smashed it, thought I had it in the bag. Excitedly came back and told File Clerk all about it. She asked me a bunch of questions but didn’t seem super excited for me. Thought nothing of it.

Next day, File Clerk goes in for an interview for the same job. Used everything I told Receptionist and also her to blow it out of the park. I also happened across work-IMs (left up in plain sight, I took screenshots) between Receptionist and File Clerk calling me horrible names and sharing info specifically to oust me from getting either job. I blocked and removed not just those two from social media but also everyone at the entire company that I had added and posted something mean about File Clerk on Instagram … dumb but I was so crushed. Receptionist made a dummy account to look at my stuff and screenshotted it, showed Horrible Boss, who got together with those two and told the big bosses that I had tagged File Clerk in this post and was bullying and intimidating her in a show of poor sportsmanship. What’s funny is shortly after posting this mean post, I went to Horrible Boss and gave her a brief account of the situation and asked her, “Do I have cause to feel upset that this is happening? I’m being used and betrayed and it’s not even the job, I just feel hurt personally, I thought we were friends” and Horrible Boss basically said to just get over it. So I did and deleted the post. That was all in the span of an hour. So yeah.

Anyway so they let me go the following Monday (they kept pressing me to give them the evidence that I said I had of being bullied myself, or to prove that they would have go way out of their way to see what I had posted/that it wasn’t tagged and I refused, why take a parting shot? I just wanted out of there) and it was the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! I cried for like, an hour? And then my beautiful amazing best friend said “dude, you’re free. Celebrate” and we got super tanked and partied all weekend, it was amazing. Then a few weeks later I flew out east to visit my crush that I’ve been friends with for 10 years, we Made It Happen, and I moved out east a month later. I had been wanting to leave the west coast basically since I got there, never liked it, missed home so much. I found a place and a job (call center, nothing fancy, but I could write novels to you about how incredible HR has been treating me and how beautifully they’re handling the Covid-19 crisis, they transitioned us fully to WFH and god, it’s like night and day, I’ve already been given growth opportunities and they just… treat me so well, it’s a shock to my system) right away and now I’m renting my own place for the first time in my life, live with an amazing partner (tragically we’re quarantined apart at the moment but both healthy), got a super fluffy orange kitty, have great neighbors, and it’s beautiful here. Also like a week after I left that crap job I met my real dad for the first time thanks to 23andme, never knew him, and he has this beautiful amazing family and welcomed me as his kid and is amazing and it’s just. Wow! Life is so good and it’s just so INTERESTING, isn’t it, that all this seemed to come to me once I finally got free of that toxic cesspit I was working at.

So yeah, success story. Thank you and everyone who gave me advice and support during that wild time and I hope all of you are doing well during these crazy times. I wish all the love and safety in the world for you all.

{ 156 comments… read them below }

  1. Ray Gillette*

    It sounds like that workplace had designated you the official scapegoat. Glad you are finally out of there. The people who remain can have fun tormenting each other.

  2. Dee-Nice*

    I am CRYING. OP. Please find someone to buy the rights to your story and make a movie so I can give my money to watch it.

    1. Lilian*

      (I have a feeling people would think it unrealistic. But reality is unrealistic. I am so glad for the happy ending.)

    2. Shramps*

      Lol if you think this is juicy Work Place Drama then watch Vanderpump Rules. This drama is a blueberry on the scale of juice.

  3. Analyst Editor*

    What a great update! Sometimes I think life is like that, change one thing and everything changes.
    Congratulations on uniting with your dad as well!

  4. IrishEm*

    I’m so happy you got out of there, OP! But damn it sucks that Awful Coworkers didn’t get any karmic retribution. May they walk barefoot on legos for eternity.

    1. LilPinkSock*

      I’d like to think that at some point that crappy behavior will catch up with them, but my racist boss is still going strong four years after I peaced out, so who knows.

      1. Anonymouse*

        Whilst I don’t think that posting on Instagram was the smartest move, it sounds as though you could have posted a picture of your fluffy cat and your employer would have claimed that cats and all that associated with them were evil scum who should be eradicated.

        Congratulations on getting out. Only thing to do now is intermittently check in with the company on social media and await the eventual fire.

        It’s worked for me every time,band usually fairly quickly.

    2. Lynn*

      I am a bitter and vindictive person. I hope that that company is now out of business and all the terrible coworkers are unemployed and LW is actually all the better for having left ><

      1. AntOnMyTable*

        I have that kind of bitterness in my heart too. Haha. I use to work at a convenience store in which I was super taken advantage of in a variety of ways. It made me so happy when I left and a former coworker told me things just totally fell apart with me gone. So often we hear “you aren’t that important” but if it is a small enough place you might be the one thing making it run well. It was nice to know there was repercussions even if only temporary.

      1. SweetestCin*

        “May you walk barefoot on Legos…on hardwood floors!” ups the curse level to epic evil. Not that I’ve ever done such. Or used exact curse over some ridiculous before.

        We have a metric ton of Legos in this house (shrugs).

    3. MoinMoin*

      Having to live with themselves and work with each other sounds punishment enough. Even if there’s never a conscious awareness of the effects, I really believe most of these people receive justice via living a lesser life rife with petty drama and misdirected anger, attracting only similar people into their orbit of influence long term. For the people like this I’ve had the misfortune of encountering I really just try to think, “live happily, or don’t, just do it away from me.” It makes me feel better at least, and that’s all I care about.

      Congrats, OP. Live your awesome life and don’t waste any energy even thinking of them again.

      1. Archaeopteryx*

        People that awful self-select into having only awful friends, become normal great kind people are like “no thank you”. There are whole little cliques of grown adults who think it’s normal to gossip and detract behind people’s backs… and don’t really get why they’re miserable inside.

      2. Hapless Bureaucrat*

        Frequently I’ve noticed that once the focus of their negative attention has left, people like these will often turn on each other.

        So yes, you’re exactly right.

      3. Tidewater 4-1009*

        I used to want to punish people who mistreated me – still do at times – and the first time I thought through what would happen to a miserable person I walked away from I felt so much better, because the end result of their behavior was to make their life much worse. Try it, it works!

    1. Not So NewReader*

      That was very cool about dad.

      It’s always interesting to me, people decide to make a huge jump like OP did and all of the sudden a bunch of other things change, too.
      OP, it sounds like this might have felt like jumping the Grand Canyon in one bound, but you got some Serious Improvements in your quality of life here. I am so happy for you, congratulations.

      1. shhhhimhiding*

        My mother always quotes one of the laws of gravity about things like this. “An object in motion tends to stay in motion.” She’s always viewed that as advice, once you really get the ball rolling it’s going to keep going until you stop it, so roll it in the right direction.

        So happy for OP who definitely rolled the right way, talk about a fascinating journey. With how rough it started that super KO happy ending was the most cathartic thing ever.

  5. Rainy*

    I’d put that IG post back up now, but I’m petty as hell.

    Seriously though, the second I saw an update I thought “please let her have gotten out of there!” and YOU DID! YAY! :)

    1. Hey Nonnie*

      I really wish there had been an EEOC investigation at some point in that saga, but I’m glad it’s over and things are better.

  6. Dragon_Dreamer*

    SO happy you’re free and that your life has taken a turn for the better! May it continue to do so!

  7. Myrin*

    My goodness, OP.
    There was! A lot!! Happening!!!
    I’m so happy for you that your life basically turned around completely once you left this strange place – what a wonderful ending but really, it’s just the beginning. I wish you all the best and am especially glad to hear you have a job you like with apparently reasonable people around you.

  8. Emeemay*

    You know, I thought “we got super tanked and partied all weekend” was gonna be my favorite part of this update, but really I love all of this update. AND FLUFFY CAT???? I know photos aren’t usually a thing here but I really, deeply, truly wish to behold the floof.

  9. juliebulie*

    I just read through the original letter and all the updates, and I’m stunned by how badly you were treated… and how long you stuck it out in that awful place. Congratulations on your awesome new life!

    1. designbot*

      Super fluffy orange kitty is best part!
      Not that the rest isn’t good, but floofs.

  10. learnedthehardway*

    I am glad that the OP is in a much happier place, but I think there is some learning in here for people in similar situations:

    1. Remember that coworker friendships aren’t the same as personal friendships, and be judicious about what you share. This is important for internal interviews, but also for a lot of other work situations. (Even as someone self-employed, I am careful about what I share with former colleagues who I do consider close friends.)

    2. Bullies are really good at pointing figures at other people. If a colleague is slagging you online/in instant messages, get a screenshot and bring it to HR / your manager, rather than sounding off at them online in return.

    1. Sara without an H*

      Good points. Bullying needs to be treated like any other form of harassment — thorough documentation is vital to making your case. Of course, OP’s organization was so messed up that I’m not sure it would have made a difference, but the principle is generally sound.

    2. Aquawoman*

      To be fair, the LW had zero reason to believe that management would do anything about the comments, given that they seemed to think being called vulgar names at work was something she should shrug off.

      1. TardyTardis*

        But you have to understand, they were ok with her being called vulgar names but she was horrible if she did anything back. It’s the standard victim is evil bullying handbook.

    3. Bella*

      I had a friend post something at the beginning of COVID on FB saying she felt scared to go into work (private school teacher). Someone saw it, told her boss and she got in trouble, so she took it down and then was really upset @ the unknown co-worker and was trying to explain that it wasn’t directed specifically at her employer (though it did sorta seem that way) – then she was let go a couple days later.

      It really sucked even just to see it happen from afar because it seemed like a great role for her but even in dire circumstances, be really careful about what you put out there if there’s even a passing chance a co-worker could see it and read it differently than you intended.

      1. Kathlynn (canada)*

        Honestly I made one comment sorta related to work on facebook, and was paranoid I’d get into trouble for it. (l’ve mentioned before that I have dentures, people make a lot of comments about it when I wear them (doing so makes me gag randomly. Not a good thing to happen while dealing with customers). A lot of the comments coming from my coworkers. In the post, I asked people I know IRL not to mention it if I was wearing them as I was finding it upsetting.)
        I don’t regret the post, but I also know I risked getting fired for asking people not to trigger me (“don’t post about your job online”)

    4. lazy intellectual*

      Am I the only one that got the impression that OP is one of those people who is too nice and trusting? If I was applying for an internal position, I wouldn’t tell anyone unless I got it, even if everyone I worked with is nice.

  11. Sister Michael*

    Holy cow, now *that* is a happy ending!! Congrats to you, the new partner, the newfound family, and the fluffy orange kitty :)

  12. Mama Bear*

    Sometimes you need a big shove from the universe. Sounds like things are going really well. Glad to hear it.

  13. Jedi Squirrel*

    Oh my god, that was the wildest roller coaster ride, ever.

    Thanks for the update, OP. Glad you are finally out of there and in a great place now. You deserve it!

    (And congrats on the fluff ball. That’s my favorite part here.)

  14. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    Good riddance to a toxic waste dump & welcome to paradise! Thank you for this update.

    The ending has tones of what happened at my only toxic workplace, so I’m getting a few flashbacks and shivering at it. But your success and happiness at this point right here and now is all that matters.

    But you broke the rule. NO MENTION OF KITTY WITHOUT PIC OF KITTY CAT grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    1. Quill*

      I always say about my job at the pig lab from hell that the best thing they ever did was fire me.

  15. CM*

    Omg, OP found their biological dad too???
    My takeaway is that I too want to get super tanked and party all weekend with my best friend. But alas, back to work.
    Glad this OP had such a happy ending!

  16. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    Now patiently waiting for this same glorious turn events to happen for our friend who used to work with the demon squirrels on the Hellmouth.

    No. It’s not too much to ask, universe, don’t even start.

    1. Broomhilde*

      Hellmouth OP should make big bucks as a screenwriter. Neither is this too much to ask from the universe.

      I also wonder if there’s a happy end for the lady who bit her coworker.

  17. Addison (OP)*

    OMG you guys are totally right, I am a monster for mentioning kitty without sharing kitty. I’m not sure if I can link to a picture on here? If not please feel free to remove/alternatively I hope this even works but here is the little slugger, his name is Mango :)


    1. GrumpyGnome*

      Thank you for paying the cat tax! The orange fluff is glorious :) Also, THIS is the update I was hoping for from your saga, and I’m so excited it was about life in general, not just the job.

    2. Paralegal Part Deux*

      *squee* What a precious kitteh! Love the name. I had an orange once and named him mustard. :)

    3. CatMintCat*

      Oh, he’s a beauty! I love gingers and have had several over my life. My current one is named Leopold.

    4. Amy*

      Aw, he is wonderful! I had an orange cat named Tomato back in the day. Congratulations on all you’ve got going for you! Enjoy your happy life and don’t think about those turds ever again.

    5. That Girl from Quinn's House*

      Your fluffy orange kitty is just like my fluffy orange kitty!! So cute!!

    6. Lucien Nova*

      *massive squee*

      He’s glorious and I must request you give him all the pats. :D

  18. Empress Grandma*

    So glad you are well and healthy! So much good in your update. Yay for you!

  19. Djuna*

    Yay, this is phenomenal news!
    Adding my voice to the chorus seeking pics of the orange floof.
    Also, even when things were terribad with the rude clerk, Addison’s letters have been great reads – so glad this one has so much happy content!

  20. Director of Alpaca Exams*

    WOW, ADDISON, SO HAPPY FOR YOU! That was one h*ck of an update. Amaaaaazing. Thanks for sharing your wild ride with us.

  21. Clorinda*

    I went back to read the original and all the updates and . . . . wow. That was a real saga and a warning to everyone. If your workplace allows one colleague to bully another, nobody is safe. Addison, I’m so glad you’re out of there. Congratulations on new family and fluffy orange kitten.

  22. 'nother prof*

    Alison, did you mean to leave her name in the letter?

    Glad to hear the update.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I know — when people said they wanted updates because they’d be uplifting right now, part of me worried about what if there weren’t many great ones (would I just end up bringing people down further?) but for the most part they’ve been really nice to read. Not all of them are good news, but most of them.

      1. Mouse*

        I think even the less happy updates are nice because if LWs are updating, it means they know they have support in the community here. A little evidence of human kindness and connection is so helpful right now.

        1. Jedi Squirrel*

          Oh, Mouse, you have absolutely nailed it. When we most need to reach out and touch each other…we can’t. This is the best we can do. AAM comments and updates are a huge lifeline right now.

  23. Youngin*

    I HATE that those girls and Clerk got away with bullying you, but soooo happy for all the other positives! Thats AMAZING! Welcome to the East Coast, we are mostly great! loll

    I cant help but wonder if OP could have had some type of lawsuit against her company for allowing a male colleague to bully, harass and berate her. I am obviously no lawyer, but doesn’t your company legally have to protect you from a toxic coworker?

    1. Beigen*

      OP probably couldn’t have maintained a lawsuit for a lot of different reasons. Hostile work environment claims are way harder to win than people think. The behavior that plaintiffs have to endure to be successful can be really shocking.

      I would say that what your company legally “has” to do is take reasonable care to prevent and stop harassment that it’s aware of. And that’s only harassment that is really bad and/or really frequent and motivated by your protected characteristics–so no, your employer doesn’t have to protect you from someone who’s “toxic” in the sense that they’re generally rude and disrespectful, occasionally call women b*tches, or even display nooses in the workplace and call their coworkers the n-word from time to time (seriously! so many published cases with this exact scenario!). It’s very depressing. If by “toxic,” you mean your coworker is a sexual predator or constantly subjecting people to a barrage of racist, sexist, or other-ist abuse and the company knows it, then yes.

  24. anonymous slug*

    I’m not sure I understand why OP would be fired for a single Instagram post but HR wouldn’t do anything about File Clerk’s repeated, documented years-long harassment? I don’t get it at all. Am I missing something?

    1. lazy intellectual*

      If you read her previous letters it will make sense. The company is full of horrible people.

      1. anonymous slug*

        I did read all of them, that’s why I am baffled that they were so indifferent previously versus taking such immidate action over one post.

        1. GrumpyGnome*

          My guess is that the difference is the Clerk (male, with a mother, I believe, that works in the company that no one wants to cross) vs. female that is not well connected in the company. It’s easy to turn someone like that into a scapegoat, particularly someone that is ‘making waves’ by asking that her boss and HR do their job by reigning in an abusive toxic coworker.

          1. GreyjoyGardens*

            That would also be my guess. Someone needed to be the sacrificial victim, and it was the not-connected OP instead of the well-connected male with a Very Important Parent.

            OP is well and truly better off without that place dragging her down. It sounds like being fired was actually a GOOD thing for her; she has a better job, a more congenial geographic situation, and a floof. It sucks to be fired, but it’s usually not the end of the world, especially when one is fired from a cesspit.

          2. That Girl from Quinn's House*

            I worked with someone who was a terrible bully. Her MO was to bully people behind their back and disrespect them to their faces. Then when the person changed how they interacted with her due to her behavior, she’d go crying to the boss that they were bullying and disrespecting her.

        2. NotMonkeyNotMyCircus*

          Once a workplace demonstrates that they have no policy in how they treat people, it means that they will randomly act on some things and dismiss others. When the OP was being called names by her co-worker, she downplayed them, she didn’t raise much of an issue, so HR took the lead and poorly did nothing. When this other co-worker raised a stink about it, and HR just took the lead. The problem with when you work in cesspool of idiots and jerks, people have trouble differentiating the real a++holes with people just trying to survive the idiots around them. I think her bosses attitude sums it up, they say her and her co-worker not getting along, and thought both of them was the problem and didn’t really care to get down to the issue of it. I once had to work with a really toxic person who I had to supervise, and my new boss at the time said, he saw conflict, didn’t care for it, I had to resolve it, or one of us had to go, and at the time he didn’t care which one. Many months later, the true evil that she was came through, and he apologized for that comment and wanted to see her find employment elsewhere (this is government so firing is a two year process, transferring is much faster).

          1. Alternative Person*

            Yeah, I was at a place where the manager treated any interpersonal issues as ‘not getting along problems’ rather than ‘this person is being a jerk and the other person is standing their ground problems’. Unfortunately for me, the some of the staff were embedded like ticks so I basically had to wait it out while I finished my diploma, but once I had it, I was out.

  25. glitter writer*

    I once had an incredibly terrible job at an incredibly toxic workplace. When they finally fired me, I walked out the door, called my mom, and said, “Great news! I got fired! I’m so happy!” Two weeks later I had a better job, that was better work with better people (even if it was only fractionally more money), and six months after that I finally started dating an old friend who eventually became my spouse. It’s AMAZING how much better you feel, in every aspect of your life, when you stop dealing with a toxic trash fire workplace. Just turns on fountains of confidence you didn’t even know you could have. Congratulations!

  26. lazy intellectual*

    Reading this was an emotional roller coaster. The horror at how those people treated you, and pure joy at everything that happened to you since then!

  27. W@H Works Pretty Well*

    Great update, OP!!! Sounds like you might be working at the same company as me, which if that’s the case, that’s a much better spot for you!

  28. LSP*

    THAT is the happy ending we were all waiting for! Thank you for sharing!

    Also, just want to mention that my husband’d father found out about 10 yrs ago that he had a son he never knew about who had been put up for adoption. He’s about 10 years older than my husband and has a wonderful wife and 2 kids. My husband’s whole family, including my mother-in-law’s side of the family, has welcomed all of them as family — no question! It’s amazing to see, and I am so happy to hear you’re experiencing that as well.

    Best of luck in all things!

  29. HugsAreNotTolerated*

    I’m glad that OP is doing well and is now at a company that is treating her well. Truly, I am.
    This may not be a popular opinion, but I’m going to put it out there. After going back and reading the original post and all the subsequent updates, I don’t think that the terrible workplace and horrible co-workers were the only problem. Yes, they were in fact terrible, but I’ve seen soap operas with less drama than this LW seems to have going on in her life, (bad boss, betrayal of a supposed friend, long-time friend turned lover, mystery dad). I truly have to wonder if OP might have been contributing to the drama either consciously or unconsciously as a way of keeping things interesting. We’ve all got that one person in the office who just takes the slightest whiff of gossip or drama and then just runs with it until it becomes a big thing. In my early 20s I used to be that person, until I had a ‘calm the f$*k down’ talk with a trusted mentor. OP mentioned being younger, so I’m throwing it out there that might have been in play. Given that the original letter was posted a couple of years ago, and the tone of the newest update is much more mature, it sounds like OP has not only removed herself from a toxic environment, but also matured herself. Which is awesome, and good for her!

    1. GreyjoyGardens*

      A lot of times (ok, almost all the time), in these kinds of situations, the drama-mongering is learned at home. Mom and/or Dad are big drama queens or kings and the child grows up believing this is normal and how the world works. Remember that letter from the person who bit their coworker and then acted bewildered when we all said NO THIS IS NOT NORMAL?

      People who are raised with dysfunction start to become like fish who don’t know that they swim in water. So when they get to a dysfunctional workplace they don’t have the tools or the awareness – because this was the water the family swam in – to say “something about this is not right.” But, the good news is, many people – like this OP – DO learn what is normal and what is not, and take that new knowledge to work.

    2. Mediamaven*

      Removed. This is a perfectly valid opinion but people don’t send in updates — especially happy to them updates — to read this kind of thing in response, nor will they continue to send in updates if it happens. I’d prefer we err on the side of kindness and give people the benefit of the doubt. – Alison

  30. RagingADHD*

    I just don’t understand the whole thing of screenshotting IM’s for evidence and then accepting being fired for cause. Because future jobs are going to ask you if you were ever fired for cause. And future jobs can always check references, including this place, even if you don’t list them as a reference.

    If you didn’t care about burning bridges or getting references, you could have quit. You could have just walked out and not come back. You were not a hostage.

    I’m glad the new job and the family / relationship stuff are going well. Wish you the best, and I hope this doesn’t a) become a pattern or b) come back to bite you later.

    1. Courageous cat*

      Yeah, I’m inclined to agree, I would have shown them the screenshot. I hadn’t read any of this saga until now but honestly this whole thing comes off a bit juvenile/makes me feel like OP is quite young, so hopefully all of this is a good learning experience if nothing else?

      1. Courageous cat*

        Which, to clarify, is not to say that OP was at fault for a lot of the other behavior, certainly not the asshole clerk, but sometimes you gotta manage your way out the door as best you can.

    2. J.B.*

      A toxic workplace can really skew your attitudes of normal. In which case you are best off getting out.

      1. Quill*

        Especially a workplace that tolerates such blatant misogyny as Clerk demonstrated the whole time. Like, the whole junior level of that workplace had a toxic culture but their seniors were not, in fact, more mature.

  31. 30 Years in the Biz*

    So wonderful!! Congratulations on everything Addison! Remember the lessons you’ve learned and forget the bad people. You survived – success is the best revenge :)

  32. RJ*

    OP, that was an amazing update. Best of luck to you with everything – job, partner and super cute cat!

  33. Sparky*

    Ex-coworker is still responding to staff with profanity and yo’ momma “jokes”, but they can’t talk to OP that way anymore, so that’s good.

    1. Sparky*

      Oh, and congrats on everything, OP, especially the cat! thanks for the picture.

  34. Numbers*

    AAM, these happy updates are exactly what I need to keep from total despair. There are too many stories right now where the bad and wicked win. Thank you.

  35. raincoaster*

    Right from the start I knew they’d promote him and fire her, because that is how toxic workplaces behave. I’m glad she ended up in a much better place.

  36. Not So NewReader*

    OP, it’s tough to soar like an eagle when we are surrounded by a bunch of turkeys. May you find many more positive people and places as you journey on here.

    1. Jedi Squirrel*

      As a fan of the pre-Raphaelites, you’ve just scored a +10 charisma with me!

  37. voluptuousfire*

    YAYYYYYY!!!! To everything and especially to super fluffy orange kitty! I’m adopting a new kitty myself in a week or so. :D

  38. TipTop*

    Wow OP! Any advice for handling abusive companies? I’m at one now and your story has similarities to mine. I want to find a new job but my soul sucking job doesn’t leave a lot of energy.

    I’m happy for you!

    1. Loubelou*

      Not the OP but I’ve been there. I had no energy for anything else, and also was manipulated into believing there weren’t any suitable opportunities out there (because I was doing three jobs at once).
      I went for one job application at a time, putting a lot of effort into each one to increase my chances, while also not overburdoning myself. I looked into positions that looked like a step down, to give myself options. I ended up going from running-the-whole-tiny-company to a department manager in a more stable and secure company, and on the same salary. I now have a reasonable amount of work and I’m so much happier. From the outside it looks like a step down, but the fact is that I’m healthier and happier on the same money (and I would have taken less, but I was coached in negotiating and followed Alison’s steps and ended up much better than I expected!).

      One of the best things I did do was to take two weeks of sick leave, so I essentially left with no notice but had two weeks to rest and recharge rather than carrying all that toxicity into my new job. And I had CBT counselling to help me deal with the whole process.

  39. Tisiphone*

    Yay! Good on you for getting out of there and with so much good things coming after.

    Adorable kitty! (I had to give my own orange floof a hug. She was meowing at the door to the indoor office demanding snuggles. She must have known I was squeeing over your kitty.)

    1. Anonymouse*

      Whilst I don’t think that posting on Instagram was the smartest move, it sounds as though you could have posted a picture of your fluffy cat and your employer would have claimed that cats and all that associated with them were evil scum who should be eradicated.

      Congratulations on getting out. Only thing to do now is intermittently check in with the company on social media and await the eventual fire.

      It’s worked for me every time,band usually fairly quickly.

      1. Tisiphone*

        I’m not the original poster. I was commenting on how adorable the orange kitty is and how my own kitty was wanting attention, too. I’m not on Instagram, so no posting of my orange floof.

  40. Jennifer Juniper*

    Happy anniversary and congrats, Addison!

    What is your kitty’s name? Thank you for the pic.

  41. HonestKindness*

    I’m not able to respond to HugsAreNotTolerated above, but I wanted to say that I 100% agree with their reading of the situation. I’m very happy that OP has moved on and that life is looking better, but I also want to say, with kindness, that there is a lot of immaturity by everyone in this situation. I only hope that with time, everyone involved will learn to act more professionally.

    1. lazy intellectual*

      I disagree and think their comment was very unkind. What the OP went through is called bullying. Nothing justifies what OPs coworkers did or said – they behaved horribly. No one is perfect, but without additional info, there is no evidence the OP did anything to deserve such treatment. If she is guilty of anything, it is probably being overly trusting and tolerant of such shitty people. Bullies sniff out and target such people.

      (And seriously – using the good things that happened to her – finding a romantic partner and reconnecting with her dad – against her as “evidence” of her being problematic is terrible. The commenters on this site sometimes disappoint me.)

      1. HugsAreNotTolerated*

        Woah, woah. I think you’re taking my comment a little far there lazy intellectual. Like I stated, I am truly very happy for the OP, and I acknowledge that the situations she found herself in were terrible. I am THRILLED that OP is happy, content, and in a better place. What I do think we need to acknowledge is that almost 4 years have passed since the original letter was posted. It is very obvious when reading that letter and the subsequent updates that the OP has matured greatly and her handling of the rapid fire life altering events she encounters seems to have improved. As for ‘using the good things that have happened to her as evidence against her’, well, I can see how it comes across that way, but really the fact that other commenters have said her life should be made in to a movie kind of proves my point that from the outside and with limited information (like we all have), OP’s life is in fact kinda full of drama. Not all drama is bad, like new love and new family.

  42. Nicole*

    Oh LW, I am so happy for you! After all the shit you dealt with at that job you deserve all this wonderful news!

  43. Lindsay Geee*

    I’m so happy for you OP! It’s funny, I had a similar experience in terms of leaving a super toxic job. It felt like the minute I took tangible steps to leave, things just fell into place. I got my dream job that I’m still at 3 years later and my life got noticeably better in so many ways. I’m so glad you’re outta there!

  44. VALCSW*

    As I do with all updates, I reread your original submission and the updates. I kept thinking how NICE you seem & how much you were shit on. I’m so happy your story had a happy ending; I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. Congratulations on seeing your worth & making good things happen for yourself!

  45. Addison (OP)*

    Hey all! It’s been a few days so not sure if anyone will see this but it’s been busyyy. I just wanted to thank everyone for their kindness and I have also definitely given mr. floof (his name is Mango) many pets for you all. I kind of realized reading it over that this does honestly sound unrealistic and overdramatic but it’s all 100% true, the fact that it happened in such rapid succession was, uh… let’s just say that I spent that Easter Sunday laying in bed for about 7 hours just having a real big think. It was wild. 2019 was a year I was sad to see end, which… considering how 2020 has been going for most of the world… may have been a tad prophetic.

    I also want to agree with a few that said there was a ton of naivete and immaturity going on on my part as well — I actually didn’t even realize just how much time had passed since the original letter, almost four years, wow. I’m still what one would probably consider pretty young (not yet 30) and even just last year I definitely had some behaviors to learn from and unlearn. I don’t want to pass it off as not being on me to know better, but I think the environment I had worked in for so long really contributed a lot to the issues I was having with acting like a sensible person. Now that I’m working at a much, much better place, it’s really shocking to me how different it all is, including me. There’s been some petty workplace drama, as you do, but it was all quite manageable with simple conversations and also the intervention of a management/HR system that… I guess actually do their jobs, imagine that. Like, imagine just saying “when you did/said x thing, I felt y” and them saying “I’m sorry you felt y, I meant z, but I will try not to x again” and HR saying “yes please don’t x again, thank you!” and that’s it, that’s the drama, it’s done and we get along like peaches and cream and our team is one of the best performing ones, wow! I certainly don’t feel the need to do dumb things like post mean things on Instagram, and I probably… will never use the phrase “I thought we were friends :(” about a coworker ever again, haha. I didn’t take offense to those comments and they are totally valid!

    That was part of the main reasons I wanted to send my 9000th update on this, I just felt like I sounded so dumb last time. And I hope anyone who is in a toxic work environment (or any kind of toxic situation, really) might recognize some elements in this and start taking steps to get out of there. I was just so, I don’t know, hopelessly entangled in all that mess that I know I was never going to get out until I was forced out, and sometimes life’s like that. The comments, advice, constructive criticism and support on each of the updates I sent has stuck with me all this time so thank you all again for that. <3

    1. Loubelou*

      Congratulations on such honest self-reflection. It’s tough to admit that we’ve been influenced by a toxic place and even harder to unlearn those behaviours. You have such an opportunity to learn and grow here, and you’re doing it. Go you!
      Wishing you the very best with your new love, new kitty, new job and new family relationships.

Comments are closed.