updates: the married client’s mistress, the weird thank-you’s, and more

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are four updates from past letter-writers.

1. When a married client brings his mistress to dinner (first update here)

It’s been several years since my question appeared on AAM, but I finally have a happy update to share with you and the readers.

First of all, thank you for answering my question and providing great guidance.

A quick update to my story – about a year after I wrote to you, I accepted an internal role on another team. My former team has had many, many leadership changes and firings due to bad behavior. I can’t speak for the current culture but when I left five years ago, it was still quite dysfunctional. I won’t get into too many details but let’s just say the married client bringing a mistress to dinner was one of the more innocent things going on there.

This year has been transformational for me, as I’m sure it has been for many of your readers. Among the many realizations I’ve had was that it was finally time to leave my company. My enthusiasm for my work was gone and I was pretty much in BEC mode daily.

After several months of searching, I recently accepted a new role outside of the company and will be starting my new job (making significantly more money, I might add) in early 2021. I’m hopeful the culture will be a better fit for me and I’m very excited about the work I will be doing. I feel more energized about this role than anything I’ve done in my career.

Thanks again to you and the community you’ve created. Have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!

2. Manager insists on thank-you emails for routine messages (#3 at the link)

I wrote some time back and I thought I would provide an update. I’m going to call that manager Jill for this story.

I read what you and others said (thank you!) which made me realize that the emails were really a part of a bigger issue within our company which was Jill’s micromanagement and the need to be in constant control. I started to feel that the emails wasn’t worth fighting over but I felt strongly that there were too many other issues to ignore. I told my direct Manager (let’s call her Dawn) about the micromanaging. She brushed it off and just commented that it was the just “way she is.” My direct Manager never tried to stop it and at first I thought she was intimated by her. I later found out that they were close friends outside of work. I also suspected that while I was telling Dawn my concerns, she was telling Jill all along instead of trying to fix the problem. I believe this caused Jill to complain about me responding to those petty emails because there is/was no other issues with my overall job performance. I stopped telling Dawn how I felt even when she asked because I thought that I could be jeopardizing my career. I wasn’t the only one with these conserns, but I was the only person speaking up which always looks bad. The emails and micromanagement continued to get worse and to the point where she would send and email, a follow up, and a phone call within an hour if we didn’t respond right away. I would come back to long voice mails when coming back from lunch but I gritted my teeth and pressed on.

Months after my letter published here, my direct manager Dawn resigned and and I got a new direct Manager (Danielle). I was wary of telling her anything out of fear of my job. Danielle observed the dynamics of the situation as an outsider and started to ask me about Jill and the company before she came. I was hesitant to give her details but I took a chance and told her. Apparently Jill tried to micromanage my new Manager even though they are peers. She agreed that Jill’s emails were excessive and she was over reaching by trying to Manage me when she was not my direct Manager. She ended up talking to Jill and our VP about her conserns. Then the emails were non existent. While I liked the fact the over reaching and constant complaints on me were finally gone, I have to admit that I was concern on the overall impact.

It took some time but we are all finally doing much better. There are no complaints about me coming from Jill. I may get at most 2-5 emails a week versus the 5-7 a day from Jill which is so much easier to handle. I also have talked to Jill and our relationship is much better. I am really happy for this outcome because I enjoy what I do and now that we are working from home, even better! Thank you everyone for your feedback!

3. My coworker is trying to manage me — and she’s not my boss

I left the job! I’m in grad school now :) I was being mismanaged all over the place, and it wasn’t going to work out on its own. Last I heard, the person who was giving me a hard time was trying to move into my vacated position, so I guess she really did want my job!

4. When to ask about a contract going permanent (#5 at the link)

Good news! My contract was extended by another three months, with a possibility of being made permanent after that. Even if they can’t make me permanent at the end of the contract for whatever reason, I consider myself very lucky to have such a great opportunity. It’s incredible experience with great people and I still love it, so I’m glad to have a chance to continue in any capacity. Fingers crossed I’ll have more good news for you in February!

{ 16 comments… read them below }

  1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    #1 – yeah I had to work with a guy who always had “extracurricular” activity. We had to cover for him all the time, but there were a couple of occasions where we couldn’t, and he got caught.

    I could tell some funny stories on that situation, but I won’t. Most of the time the situations were pitiful. Being a one-woman man, I can’t fathom why someone would want to, uh, PLAY around. Yeah that’s the ticket, PLAY around.

      1. allathian*

        I don’t understand that either. I’m lucky enough that this has never happened to me at work, but I lost a friend once when I refused to cover for her dalliances. She got caught eventually and they broke up, although I had nothing to do with that. I was actually a bit relieved at no longer being even peripherally involved in her drama.

      2. NotQuiteAnonForThis*

        When he literally owns the company and signs your paycheck? And you don’t make enough to hire a lawyer/know enough to file a wage claim? And he literally can decide whether you’re employed or not?

        Short term: sucked it up
        Long term: found new position, watched his world implode spectacularly due to the explosives he placed and the fuses he lit.

        Even then, it was only due to him being the boss. A coworker? Eff that stuff. He or she’d have been on his/her own there.

  2. Pyjamas*

    Re: #2
    Maybe the Direct Manager was the problem and Jill was micromanaging (and possibly trying to get rid of OP) because of what her friend was telling her.

    1. BadWolf*

      Yes — You weathered the storm, OP2! I know a lot of letters here are “I quit and got another job” but it’s also great to hear, “I tried A, backtracked, tried B, gambled on C and whew, I made it!”

    1. Myrin*

      “Bitch eating crackers”. When you’re at BEC state with someone, it means you are so annoyed by them that every little, innocuous thing they do – like eat crackers – grinds your gears.

  3. Artemesia*

    #4 I am always dubious when I hear that the goal posts have been moved on ‘when you might be permanent’ — but during COVID it is hard to know when you are being strung along and it sounds like you are good either way. Hope it comes through for you in February.

    1. Quill*

      Yeah, as someone who has been a contractor forever… never assume that a company actually will make you permanent. It’s less likely than you think.

  4. Seeking Second Childhood*

    LW3 Do you mean that ‘Lucinda’ was moved into your position? If yes, it may be that when her job grew too big for 1 person the company split it by giving you all the parts she’d enjoyed and/or taken the job to do.
    (I have a dirty lens: That has happened to me. I left.)

  5. manders13*

    I’m so glad OP # 3 found another job! I have (and still am to a certain degree) in the same boat. The difference is she is 20 years older than me, with no degree. That didn’t stop her from acting like my boss, with the same job title as me, to the point 10 years into the position people STILL think she is my boss. But, lovely lady karma paid a visit. A manager position was created (we reported directly to the department director prior) I applied, but wasn’t selected (blessing in disguise) because the person who was selected is YOUNGER than me, and comes from my exact same background, another point of contention with the co-worker.

  6. La Triviata*

    In response to OP#2, we have had our CEO request that if she sends a message asking for something to be done that we respond, but this is only to let her know that it’s been received and will be acted on.

    In response to OP#1, a place I used to work had one person who’d started a relationship with someone we worked with on the other side of the country. Any time someone had a meeting over there, he – ad an upper-level director – would tack himself on to the trip and arrange for at least one night layover. This, of course, blew the budget for whoever was responsible for the trip (round-trip airfare, extra cost for breaking the trip and the hotel). To make it even more ironic, this was a person who had insisted that the organization pay for phone calls home when staff were on a business trip.

Comments are closed.