update: should I tell my bosses they need to work 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.

Remember the letter-writer wondering if they should tell their bosses to work more? Here’s the update.

It feels like so long ago since I wrote in about my boss (family-owned real estate brokerage in a major U.S. city) who was consistently ghosting clients and just… not working. As a young professional straight out of college I was genuinely confused and desperate to “fix” the disfunction. Thank you to Alison and the commenters who talked me down off my high horse and reminded me that not ghosting clients isn’t exactly a novel idea… so telling my boss they need to do their job would be, at best, completely pointless.

Eventually through painstaking trial and error, I learned that my boss Megan (name changed) would only take on clients that met the following three criteria: 1. Followed her social media and publicly praised her, 2. Were looking at homes $800K and above, and 3. Were able to find homes they wanted to look at by themselves and required little more than Megan’s signature. Anyone not fitting all three criteria was ghosted until they eventually moved on and found another realtor. This, of course, infuriated me since I was in charge of our marketing and was tasked with growing our business. Which, as an aside, I somehow still managed to do. We’ve more than doubled our profits despite a pandemic and my lack of experience. (I was hired as an executive assistant and shortly after found myself in a marketing manager position- but that’s a different story).

For every 20 clients I successfully brought in, only 1 would eventually close with Megan. But, since my income wasn’t based on commission, I decided to just keep my head down and do my 9-5 without getting personally invested. Cut to a few months ago when my boss and her family all fell ill with COVID-19. Unfortunately, they were Covid skeptics who also didn’t believe in getting the vaccine… and her husband got very, very sick. They all survived, thankfully. But a mere day or two after her husband was hospitalized with Covid, Megan messaged me saying she needed to meet up with me to film a Facebook video. I politely said that I wasn’t comfortable doing that since, at the very least, she had been exposed to someone positive for covid mere days before. She responded by asking me “how long I thought I needed to avoid her” and I said, simply, “I’m not a doctor so I don’t know exactly, but until you’re negative for Covid.” Later she posted a whole rant online about how having COVID-19 isolated her from people for fear of criticism (not from passing it and killing people???). And she admitted to seeing clients while still positive with the virus knowingly and without ever informing them. Needless to say, I started looking for a new job immediately.

Flash forward to present day, I found a new job and just turned in my 2 weeks’ notice and her response was… almost comedic in it’s absurdity. Turns out they were planning to fire me and she was LIVID that I quit before she had the chance. (Before people comment about how I should have waited and been fired so that I could collect benefits, my state doesn’t require employers to pay out vacation time or severance pay regardless of who initiated the termination…and I found a new job already so I was happy to quit asap). I met with her the day after I gave my notice and she told me that “covid changed things between us” and that “there’s no excuse for all the people who wanted to see houses with us that never did.” I’m not a licensed real estate agent. I legally can’t do showings – that is her ONLY job. But anyway, she went through her entire script that she had prepared to fire me (even though I had quit the day before?) and told me to just turn in my keys and then I could leave. Which means there’s no transition plan in place for the next person whatsoever. I also found out through the grapevine that they’re paying this new person so little it should be criminal. They’re giving her only half of my previous salary (unlivable in my city) and 2.5% of Megan’s commissions to do my entire job as well as all the showings and management for active clients. (On a $600K sale this new person would only make about 500 bucks while Megan would make $17,500 for just signing her name). I can’t imagine anyone would agree to a deal like that for very long…. but good luck to this new person. I’m just happy to be out of there.

P.S. I wrote in my original letter that I genuinely liked my boss personally. Please note that this changed very quickly once I actually got to know her.

{ 140 comments… read them below }

  1. idwtpaun*

    Just… wow.

    Good luck in your new job, OP. Frankly, this sounds like a traumatic first post-college job experience, but you navigated it as well as anyone could, so kudos!

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      OP I also think you navigated the toxic as well as you possibly could. Good job on recognizing that the job had turned toxic and getting out before they fired you.

  2. animaniactoo*

    LW turns it is not an accident that as someone new to the workforce, you were rather naive about your boss(es) for it. It’s very likely something they screened for because nobody who is thoroughly educated about them/normality would take such a job or last in it as long as you did.

    IMO, it would not be out of line to reach out to the new employee quietly and help speed up her education.

    1. pope suburban*

      You’re right. The worst job I’ve ever had selected for people with little to no workforce experience, specifically because those people would not know better, and could be groomed to accept the abuse with little to no effort. It was a terrible time working there, not just because the place was a hellmouth, but because I was the only person who’d had professional jobs before, and so the only person who knew just how bad it was. LW’s soon-to=be-former employer sounds exactly the same. I wish her replacement the best of luck in finding a wonderful new job as soon as possible, and I hope this person reads AAM so they can get their professional normal-meter properly calibrated. before Megan can do them too much damage

      1. it's me*

        The worst job I’ve had, which was also my first job out of college, also looked for eager-to-please nerds like myself at the time to staff our department. Yada yada yada I was fired for insubordination.

        1. Aerie*

          My boss at my first office job admitted a few years in that part of why they hired me was I was an impressionable college grad from the Midwest who wouldn’t complain. Now that boss was actually a very good boss, and said this partly in jest, but there was definitely some truth to it.

          1. anne of mean gables*

            I will just add to the pile, here – my first ‘boss’ (actually, PI advisor in grad school) also selected exclusively for just-out-of-college students (usually female) rather than those with any real-life work/lab experience. I will give you one guess as to how great of a boss/advisor he was (tl;dr of 5 very stressful/upsetting years – normalized drinking on the job, sexually harassed many students, generally refused to work and eventually was fired (yes, despite tenure) for egregiously horrific behavior over the course of a decade).

            I am at the point in my career where I would no longer be the young/naive employee targeted by this sort of thing, but I feel like it’s common enough, and a good enough predictor of terrible management that I would run as soon as something to the effect of “I only hire recent grads” came out of someone’s mouth.

        2. Cheap Ass Rolex*

          I too worked far too long at a worse-than-I-understood job that basically tricked new grads / eager trusting types. You’re far from alone.

          1. Liz*

            Same, aside from the far too long. I quit after 6 months. Had I had more experience in the workforce, I would have quit within a week. But being just out of college, I didn’t know any better!

        3. Laney Boggs*

          Oh God, I was fired nearly 5 years ago now at a similar place and this makes me feel much better

      2. Waving not Drowning (not Drowning not Waving)*

        Yes, 1000x yes! My worst boss (micromanager to the extreme) would only employ a. family members (which is a whole post on itself!), or, people with no experience, and who thought her behaviour was normal.

        She surprised us at one point by employing 2 older (as in late 20’s early 30’s) people, with significant experience, however, they didn’t last – we were told one asked too many questions in their first week (????), and the other asked for a small pay rise based on the elevated role they had been moved into (not the one they employed her for), so she was let go – which was hilarious, as the person was nominated (not by manager, but by VP), and WON a company wide award for innovation and quality in shaping and rolling out a new project.

        She decimated morale, was not open to suggestions …. except she would come up with the suggestion as an original one a week later. She wouldn’t let us change processes that she’d developed that were inefficient, but, then we were told off for inefficient work practices using the processes she made us use…..

        She moved upwards in the organisation, she was good at kissing upwards, kicking downwards, but, she bit off more than she could chew in her promotion – she was quietly moved sideways after less than a year, and there has been two consultants come in to try and salvage the project (one to get the project back on target, then a second one to get to the bottom of why the project didn’t work in the first place – blame laid squarely at micromanagers feet, which was…..good to hear).

    2. Casper Lives*

      Absolutely! My roommate in college worked for a company that heavily recruited college students. Not an issue on its own. BUT they targeted college students because they were illegally classifying them as contractors and other issues that more experienced workers would recognize as bad.

      Good luck, OP! You navigated a bad situation well, have tangible accomplishments to add to your resume, and (unfortunately) have experience in spotting a bad work environment.

    3. Constance Lloyd*

      My first job out of college was with a company that targeted recent grads (as well as other naive or desperate demographics) so they could bully us into ultimately illegal sales practices! I didn’t play along and bailed after about a year when I finally realized I wasn’t the problem. They, meanwhile, have since been fined millions by the federal government :)

  3. Gary Patterson's Cat*

    Jeez! What a jerk! I’m sure she is one of “those” people who piss and moan about how “no one wants to work….” too.
    It’s good you’re gone from that shitshow.

    1. Some dude*


      Also, imagine making people not wanting to be infected by a disease that has killed close to 800,000 in this country alone all about you….

      1. Candi*

        People like that are why my state has finally hit “hospitals are overflowing” status, even though we were doing well during the first year of covid due to the governor listening to his advisors and laying down emergency rules and what now from his office.

  4. sofar*

    Congrats, LW, on finding a new job and managing to ditch this nightmare of a boss.

    I hope you still follow her on social media so you can munch popcorn when her inevitable sequel to her “COVID is unfair to ME” post comes out. I’m betting it’s something along the lines of, “Nobody wants to work anymore.”

    1. pancakes*

      I hope not. It sends the wrong message. People with this little self-awareness or scruples don’t ever seem to consider that some of their followers are hate-following. It truly isn’t necessary, either – any social media platform account can be bookmarked in a browser, if you have a strong urge to check up on someone horrible.

  5. Momma Bear*

    I kind of love that you quit before she fired you, OP. Sounds like Boss wanted control over you that you took from her. Fitting, I think. You now have a 2 week vacation. Enjoy!

    1. Anhaga*

      This particular bit of the update made me SO HAPPY. I love watching unpleasant people get more uselessly angry because you took away something they were going to use to hurt you.

    2. Ama*

      Is it just me who thinks that Megan was lying about firing her? That felt very much like a “you don’t break up with me, I break up with you” type of response.

      1. NerdyPrettyThings*

        Not just you, especially since she forced her to hear the speech but didn’t deliver it until the next day.

      2. Bernice Clifton*

        Definitely possible, but I think it’s just as likely Megan made up her mind when the Covid thing happened and she was waiting to do so. (Like needing time to find a replacement or have the LW finish something high priority that she didn’t want to do).

        1. Observer*

          Needing to find a replacement. Having the OP finish something high priority? I doubt it. She doesn’t sound like someone with that much forethought.

      3. Elenna*

        Yeah that was my first thought too. And then I went “oh, Megan had a script, guess it was legit” but on second reading it looks like the script wasn’t read until the next day so, yeah, I suspect Megan had no plans whatsoever to fire LW until they quit.

      4. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        Oh I got very strong waves of “you can’t quit, I’m firing you!” as well. Megan sounds like a total peach – hoping the new person leaves before she gets too tied up in the toxic stew she leaves behind her.

      5. A Wall*

        Based on my experience with a lot of Megans in the past, I imagine she’d been telling people (or at least thinking to herself) all about how she needed to fire the LW for a long time without any actual intention of doing so. When the LW quit and snatched that little piece of control over the situation from her, she decided she was totally actually just about to fire the LW for real this time. She definitely wasn’t, but she’d been grumbling about it as a way to pin business problems on her employee and feel powerful, which she certainly thinks is exactly the same.

  6. Princess Deviant*

    People who knowingly carry covid into public spaces without isolating should be prosecuted. What an unbearably selfish woman.

    1. Susie*

      Absolutely agree. A local man that I know, but am not close with, posted he and his entire family tested positive for COVID, but I saw them out and about during the supposed isolation period. Drive-thru, supermarket, any place that was open, they went. I was so angry that they had no concern for anyone and hate to think of how many people probably got it from them.

    2. M*

      Agreed. I have a client who is currently hospitalized because she drives a bus and someone knowingly boarded the bus with Covid. I feel like there should be some sort of legal recourse for people affected by these selfish jerks.

    3. Dust Bunny*


      I spend a lot of time with my parents, who are both over 70 and one of whom is an organ transplant recipient who is on immune suppressants for life. This is kind of thing is not a joke.

    4. Emotional Support Care’n*

      100%. I got covid because I caught it from my husband. My husband caught it because a guy decided he didn’t want to quarantine and got into a fist fight with a high risk person at the store he worked at because the covid-positive person refused to wear a mask while fist-fighting anyone who came within swinging distance AND purposely coughing, refusing to leave the store, screaming about *HIS* “rights”. A year later and I still have lung problems. I’d love to do very violent things to that person…

      1. Some dude*

        I wonder if you could sue them….it seems like an act of biological terrorism on a small scale at the very least….

        1. tangerineRose*

          Suing them seems like a reasonable thing to do since they knew they might get people sick and went ahead anyway. But I’m not a lawyer.

    5. allathian*

      In my area, if you knowingly risk spreading an infections disease, you can get up to 4 years in prison for endangering public health, and in some cases, if it’s aggravated, you can get up to 10 years in prison. (In practice, for a first offense, people rarely serve more than half of their sentence.) Knowingly means you know you’ve tested positive.

      1. Candi*

        My state several decades ago (very pre-any-vaccine) passed a law that it’s a misdemeanor to be out and about in public places when you know you’re infectious.

        It went from “weird legal facts,” listed right after the law banning lollipops, to “existing thing we can use” very fast in 2020.

        (Everyone still ignores the lollipop law.)

  7. Murphy*

    WOW. I’m sorry you had to work with someone who was so cavalier about other people’s health and safety and I’m glad you’ve been able to move on!

  8. Gan Ainm*

    LW you handled this with so much more grace and professionalism than I would have straight out of college. So glad you’re onto better things.

  9. I WORKED on a Hellmouth*

    This sounds so much like my boss from the Hellmouth (who also had a real estate license, as does her husband) that I actually went and checked her LinkedIn just to make sure it wasn’t her. YIKES. Glad you escaped that nonsense!

    1. urguncle*

      I went through last night and read almost all of your Hellmouth updates. I am glad that you past tense worked there.

      1. I WORKED on a Hellmouth*

        Actually, I spotted some real strangeness with her LinkedIn! Both her fancy regional manager job and the company that she had it with appear to be no more, she has gone through and SUPER falsified her listed job experience to a “like, whoa” extent, AND she appears to now be working in a non-management position as a budget analyst for a company just starting to branch into our state. So… uh, not a bad job but it is definitely many steps down in responsibility and pay, and she isn’t anyone’s boss any more.

        1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          The best part of that is that she’s no longer managing people. The story of her firing was an epic and wonderful win.

  10. Jean*

    The most dysfunctional, personality-disordered boss I ever had was a realtor. Reading this post gave me flashbacks. Glad you’re out of there, OP.

    1. Artemesia*

      Good realtors are assertive, pushy, confident and energetic and social — twist those into bullying, aggressive and narcissistic and you have a really toxic mess. The positive element of those traits can make them successful but if they edge into the negative manifestations, ouch.

      1. Lucien Nova*

        This, absolutely. My aunt used to be a realtor – she was a very good one and she recognised that she needed to get out when she started seeing those traits twisted into toxic ones in herself. I might not look kindly on a lot of the things she’s done, but that was absolutely one I deeply respect.

    2. Elizabeth West*

      Not real estate, but I worked in a sales office a long time ago, and whoooooo, the DRAMA. Later at The Job from Hell, the Coworker from Hell was a salesperson too (carpet).

      I’m not saying all salespeople are like that. My brother is in sales and he’s really laid back. But holy frieze, Batman.

  11. Abogado Avocado*

    LW, your awful boss was terrible, awful, and no good. And congratulations to you for realizing that and getting out of her orbit. That said, anyone whose marketing actually doubled a business’ profits when that business had such absurd client requirements is a genius (!!!) who deserves to be in a job where she is appreciated and compensated accordingly. I hope your new job will allow you to be incredible marketer that you obviously are and that your new bosses understand what a jewel they have on their hands!

  12. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

    Isn’t it funny how absolutely crap behavior can make someone once liked as a person unlikeable? There might be a word for this….

  13. Introverted Type-A Employee*

    Wooooowwww. Just. WOW. I have so many thoughts but I can’t process them. I’m so glad you’re out of there! Here’s to a healthier job for you going forward – mentally and physically – congrats!

  14. learnedthehardway*

    Congratulations on your new role, and for avoiding catching COVID from your horrible employers.

    It just slays me that they were going to fire you for … what – not magically making showings Megan was blowing off happen?!?! How exactly were you supposed to do that? She sounds delusional.

    Good luck in your new role. If you ever get the opportunity, let the new person know how much you were earning before you left.

    1. Elenna*

      Honestly my strong suspicion is that Megan didn’t actually plan to fire her, but just reacted in the moment with “you can’t quit, you’re fired!”

      1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        Yes, OP was doing well in the job, and she waited until the next day to list all the reasons OP was to be fired – she needed time to cobble it together.

    2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Agreed – I’m glad OP didn’t get Covid from the former boss/superspreader Megan.

  15. generic_username*

    Sounds like LW is lucky to have gotten out of that job.

    I wish there was an actual punishment for flouting COVID quarantine requirements. I know personally of one person (a family member) who tested positive for COVID and then sent their kids to school so they wouldn’t miss sports practices. Whenever I complain about it or talk about quarantining when I know I’ve been exposed, my mom makes fun of me for being so principled (said in a mocking tone, obviously). Like, sure, I’m a stickler for rules and a bit of a square – make fun of me for it all you want; but let’s be real here, not knowingly exposing people to COVID isn’t about rule-following, it’s about caring for other people and valuing human life above my own personal freedom to see friends and go shopping

    1. Victoria, Please*

      Noses in public are like middle fingers to me, recently. One of my least favorite things about the pandemic is how much it’s made me hate my fellow humans and how generally angry I am at so many people so much of the time. I’m a rule-follower too — for the great majority of rules, I tend to think there’s a good reason that helps or protects other people. Mask wearing, vaccination, and isolation if at risk of spreading have VERY good reasons. So I’m generally low-level enraged with occasional spikes.

      I’m sorry your mom is being mean to you on purpose, generic. Sheesh.

      1. Artemesia*

        I live in a big city with excellent COVID protocol compliance — people all mask in stores and on transport and you only rarely see some jerk guy with his nose hanging out. BUT we also have a fair number of tourists and they are riding public transport and often not wearing masks or wearing them below the nose — makes me furious. Last Friday on the way to the opera a huge family with about 6 little boys got on the bus — kids were masked, but the paterfamilias had his below his chin. They were from Indiana.

        1. KaciHall*

          As someone currently losing any faith I had in humanity due to living in Indiana, I apologize. We aren’t ALL like that.

          But the schools around here quarantine one sibling but don’t allow (much less require) the others to quarantine. Even if they share a bedroom. I work with people who have left in the middle of the day to go pick their quarantined kid up from school and come back to work (all unmasked). They held a birthday party at a Mexican restaurant for one of my coworkers today and couldn’t understand why I volunteered to stay at the office. Area hospitals are posting pleas on Facebook to vaccinate and mask up because our hospitalizations are through the roof.

    2. Nanani*

      So many people think covid precautions are like detention and anyone who takes them is some kind of goody two shoes, and refuse to see public health for what it is.

      You are absolutely right and correct in doing what you do. Solidarity from an internet stranger who is also tired.

      1. Liz*

        this is such a good way to look at it, and I agree. I’m also tired of wearing a mask, tired of hearing of spikes, and especially tired of hearing all those screaming how their rights are being violated, and so on. I’m just done.

    3. pancakes*

      One way people who behave that way might begin to experience consequences is losing the companionship of friends and family who are disgusted by them.

      1. RunShaker*

        the Megans of the world burn me up, I’m spitting nails. One would think the social media rant about COVID precautions plus blowing off clients will sink her business. How can you be sooo sick from COVID & still act like this? It floors me. If I find out someone isn’t vaccinated, I no longer meet up with them. It’s not being square but I don’t want to be responsible for getting that person sick even if it’s on them to be vaccinated (not hating on people who can’t get vaccine but the ones who refuse).

  16. Dust Bunny*

    And she admitted to seeing clients while still positive with the virus knowingly and without ever informing them.

    . . . wow.

    I’m out of words.

    I’m glad your out of there with your sanity and your health intact.

  17. LizM*

    I’d consider reporting her to the licensing board. A good friend of mine was exposed COVID by her realtor early in the pandemic through his carelessness, and her husband almost died. It depends on the state, but our state has published public health guidance for real estate transactions, and the licensing board was interested to find that a realtor was ignoring them.

    1. Nanani*

      This is also a good argument for rent freezes and moratoria on evictions.
      NOBODY should need to be house hunting in a pandemic, and the fewer people are the better it is for those who really really need to be doing so anyway.

      1. Thanksforthefish*

        That’s not reasonable! Of course people have to house hunt – some, like us, signed a contract for a new job hundreds of miles away mere days before the shutdown in March 2020. The job could not be done remotely, so once we sold our house, off we went. Our realtors in both cities adhered to all safety protocols.

        1. generic_username*

          I think Nanani was referring to forcing people to house hunt because they’ve been evicted; I don’t think she was saying there was anything inherently immoral about house hunting during the pandemic.

          1. Nanani*

            yes, what generic said.
            The fewer people are househunting involuntarily, the safer it is for everyone who -has- to move, and for their realtors! Really, the fewer people are doing anything in a pandemic, the safer it is for those who still need to do the thing.

    2. I've Escaped Cubicle Land*

      Bought a house and moved during the pandemic. (April 2021) My agent always wore a mask. Every employee at the place we signed papers wore masks and they had those plexiglass barriers between us to. Provided everyone with their own pen which was wiped down before and afterwards. Even the very rural small town agents kept a mask on when showing around the inside of a house.

      1. RunShaker*

        Hubby just sold his home. It had been a rental but economically it worked out better for us to sell. If there was moratorium, it would have put us in huge financial bind so no that’s not reasonable.
        Our realtor took precautions, we took precautions which is key–getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, social distancing when meeting with people that’s not part of your bubble.

      2. Artemesia*

        We had some legal business during the pre-vax pandemic and had to sign at the lawyer’s office. He is clearly someone who is on the right and doesn’t ‘believe’ in the precautions BUT he nevertheless followed them and staff was masked as were we during the witnessing and signing process.

        1. tangerineRose*

          I’m at the point where I don’t care that much if someone believes in the precautions as long as they follow them.

          For my own sanity, when I see an uncovered nose, I tell myself “oops, their mask slipped”.

  18. Elenna*

    It’s interesting going back to the original letter and seeing how many people said stuff like “maybe they’re doing work that’s not obvious to OP” or “hey, if they want to keep it as a casual business that doesn’t take too much of their time that’s fine”. Which were reasonable responses to the original letter, but with this update (and some of OP’s comments on the first letter) it’s clear that, no, actually they’re just awful people.

  19. Librarian of SHIELD*

    I especially loved the nugget of “how dare you not do a job that is not your job that you’re not legally allowed to do” in Megan’s You Can’t Quit I Fire You speech.

    OP, you’re well rid of this job. I’m glad you found something better and I hope you have a wonderful experience in your new job!

    1. Candi*

      I think that part’s more “how dare you not do the job that you’re not legally allowed to do so I can take credit and money for it.” But either way, OP is well shut of them.

    1. Cheap Ass Rolex*

      I thought this too. Sure, the standard advice is “move on”, but when someone is not just underpaid (which they can figure out on their own eventually) but wasting time with a crazy Covid-spreader… maybe just an anonymous link to this article?

      1. OP*

        I’ve been trying to think of a way to make sure new-person at least has full information and this might be a good way for me to do it. Thank you for the idea.

  20. TrackingCookieMonster*

    Man, I just kept saying “eww” at increasing volume with every sentence I read.

    Glad you are out of that clusterf*ck, OP.

  21. VicePope of the Almighty Bunny*

    For folks saying that those exposed who still flaunt the mask/quarantine rules — aren’t there already laws in place about situations like this? Laws were passed during the initial years of the AIDS crisis, where someone diagnosed with HIV could get charged with deadly assault for deliberately exposing others to the disease. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_transmission_of_HIV) So there’s the legal precedent, and I’m shocked that no one’s tried to go after the COVIDiots on the same grounds.

    Someone who’s been tested positive for COVID & knowingly exposes others is no different from any other violent criminal. It’s just a matter of method.

    1. Aitch Arr*

      As if certain states / governors (I’m looking at you, Abbott and DeSantis) would care to enforce such laws.

    2. pancakes*

      There have been some prosecutions. Run a search for covid prosecuted for coughing (not in quotation marks) and several articles about these and other forms of assault should come up.

    3. Your Local Password Resetter*

      I’m assuming part of the reason it hasn’t been criminalized as much is because now it’s “normal people” doing it.
      AIDS was for the Evil Gays TM, but COVID deniers are often conservative, white, christian and generally heteronormative. And those people have a lot more political power in our society.

      1. allathian*

        Yeah, sadly I think that’s a large part of the problem. Covid is also a lot more infectious than HIV, so plausible deniability is a lot more likely with Covid. It’s usually impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt how someone caught it, if they are out and about in public at all.

        This happened before booster shots became available, but a notorious case here was a double vaxxed, bed-ridden 80 year old in a care home who caught Covid from an unvaxxed healthcare worker and died. The patient had been in isolation for months, so it was pretty conclusive that the one unvaxxed healthcare worker at that facility who tested positive for Covid was the carrier. The case is still ongoing. At the very least, they’re looking to change the legislation so that it will be possible for healthcare providers to require vaccinations from employees who work with vulnerable populations.

  22. Sara without an H*

    Turns out they were planning to fire me and she was LIVID that I quit before she had the chance.

    Of course she was livid. Here she had a dramatic script all worked out and you refused to perform your part. Did she imagine you would sob and beg to stay?

    You handled the whole mess with commendable aplomb. Congratulations on your new position and good luck in 2022!

    1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

      Actually she declaimed her dramatic script the next day, which seems suspicious to me. Why not do it on the spot? Methinks because she hadn’t written it at that point. It was written that evening. Megan wasn’t going to fire OP because OP was performing miracles despite her boss ghosting clients.

  23. Nanani*

    Does real estate have some kind of supervisory board or state agency you can report your ex boss to?
    because it might be worth doing that. What a tangle of YIKES.

  24. bunniferous*

    I am a broker agent. I am shocked beyond belief about her casual treatment of being what was more than probably a COVID vector. If you would like to discuss this with the local real estate association or perhaps the State real estate commission….it wouldn’t hurt my feelings.

    1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      Particularly if there is anything in writing about trying to force an unlicensed person to do work only allowed to be done by licensed people. If they don’t take COVID seriously they might take that seriously

  25. OP*

    First of all thank you everyone for all of your comments and support. This blog really helped keep me sane during my time in that office.

    As for a couple of common threads in the comments: I’m pretty confident Megan decided to fire me the day I said I wouldn’t see her when she had COVID because I had “betrayed” her. I think she was just waiting to fire me until she had found a replacement because otherwise the office would be empty every day. Their original plan was to keep me and onboard another person to act as Megan for showings. Aka me and new-person were to be a 2 person team- I find the leads and she shows the houses. But once the COVID incident happened they decided to throw everything on poor new person.

    As for new-person: I’ve tried to think of ways I could tip her off to the situation- but from what I can tell from the new-person’s Facebook she is very much all about Megan and it seems unlikely I would change her mind. Megan is very charismatic and holds a lot of weight in that community. And I would be genuinely concerned about retribution if she thought I turned new-person against her. I can only hope that when that fist commission check comes in new-person sees her 500 bucks and says to heck with this.

    As for reporting Megan to the board in my state for passing COVID knowingly to her clients…. she is on the board. So that’s nice. But I can try to look more into it. You’re right, I should at least try to report it. I was just so thankful to be gone I had unintentionally let it go- which isn’t acceptable. I’ll see what I can do.

    In good news, I actually have an update to the update since this was submitted to Alison awhile ago. I am loving my job and I actually got promoted. I’m now an International Marketing Manager for all of our English speaking clients. I even have a small team of my own. Plus I am living in Europe and make way more money than I did before. Turns out I’m pretty good at marketing. But more importantly I honestly really like it. So I guess at least one good thing came out of this experience. I was forced into a marketing job I definitely didn’t apply for and found an unexpected career path along the way.

    1. The Smiling Pug*

      Thank you for the update, OP! It’s not great that you had to go through the experience of working for Megan, but good that everything’s ok now.

    2. CatCat*

      Is she having an unlicensed person do work only a licensed agent can do? That could also be reported to the board and could get more traction. Mind, they might not do anything if she’s on the licensing board (how does THAT work, yikes). Could make for a juicy local news piece though. I understand though being concerned about retribution. She’s not your problem to fix if you ultimately decide it’s too risky.

      Glad you landed in a great new place professionally!

      1. OP*

        Ultimately I don’t have anything in writing where she explicitly told me “go do X showing” or anything that would be enough proof to cause any action to be taken against her from the board. It was all verbal and she’d have more than enough plausible deniability. But I may comment something on her business review page about her COVID actions. I kind of owe it to her potential infect-ies to say something.

        1. ...*

          I don’t know where you operate, but if you are in the US there is a Code of Ethics that looks like she is violating and can be reported to the National Association of Realtors:

          Standard of Practice 1-10
          REALTORS® shall, consistent with the terms and conditions of their real estate licensure and their property management agreement, competently manage the property of clients with due regard for the rights, safety and health of tenants and others lawfully on the premises. (Adopted 1/95, Amended 1/00)

          And, if you happen to have any evidence that she violated fair housing laws and/or discriminated against protected classes, NAR wants to know!

    3. LKW*

      Clearly you’re kicking butt and enjoying it – live well as the best revenge. Leave her in the past where she belongs.

    4. Trixie the Great and Pedantic*

      Their original plan was to keep me and onboard another person to act as Megan for showings.

      Hold the phone and stop the presses, you’re telling us she wanted to hire someone to impersonate her?!

      1. OP*

        Haha no not exactly. Megan is a broker and an agent so her plan was to always tell her clients “I’m too busy right now but my associate “new-person” can show you these 5 houses this week.” Somehow in that scenario Megan still keeps almost all the commission because she’s still the one who clicks the button to submit the offer paperwork. Real estate is a mess.

    5. works with realtors*

      I work Realtor adjacent – there are ways to report code of ethics violations regardless of their board status; you may be able to go local (if she’s on the state board) or state for vice versa; you may be able to even make a complaint at the national level or, if she has any designations, through their governing boards (since the designations often require the conferred to have an active Realtor membership).

  26. Bookworm*

    What. I think that’s my only reaction to this story and update. I’m sorry you went through that OP, but glad you’re out and in a new job!! Thanks for updating us.

  27. Happier Now*

    I had to read this twice to make sure it wasn’t my former real estate office! So much drama. Realtors are a different breed all together. Too many toxic people in one small space all trying to work/not work together. After almost 20 years in various support positions I finally found a job not in a real estate office. Glad to hear you found your way out sooner than I did!

  28. RunShaker*

    Thank you for the update to update. Congrats on your new job and living in Europe. That’s a dream for me & you’re living it!

  29. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

    Covid deniers, antivaxx people, people who knowingly go out while carrying this virus just enrage me. It’s like ‘how exactly do you figure this pandemic is gonna end if we’re not going to mask/vaccinate/quarantine?’.

    I’m very very glad you’re away from that plague rat.

    1. littlehope (formerly Blue, there were two of us)*

      Oh God, yes, I’m so tired and so angry. It’s murder. Not legally, I know, I know, but morally, it is murder. They are killing people, on purpose, because they are howling shitgibbons with the moral sensibilities of a bucket of bin juice. And apparently that’s normal, acceptable behaviour now. Because people have to live their lives, you know! If that means killing a few (million) people, oh well.
      OP, well done on getting the hell out of that! I’m glad you’ve found a way of reporting her.

      1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        I’ve never heard of ‘bucket of bin juice’ before and, man does that ever seem like a good description of them.

    2. londonedit*

      Absolutely! It makes me so angry. I saw another variation of ‘People who have been vaccinated can still pass the virus on, you know’, as if that means we should all just not bother. It means EVERYONE who can do should bother! At least then people are vastly less likely to get ill in the first place, or if they do, less likely to end up in hospital or worse. And then there’s the ‘This is all about control, they just want to shut things down and keep us all indoors, wake up people’. Of course it’s awful for everyone in hospitality, but for heaven’s sake, I’d rather just not go to that Christmas party if it means being able to a) see my family for Christmas and b) not run the risk of killing them.

  30. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

    OP, are you sure you weren’t an uncredited extra on a Real Housewives of Wherever series? :-)

    Glad you’re out!

  31. RJ*

    OP, I’m so glad to read your update. Congratulations on the new job and the move and I hope it continues to go well for you. My first job out of school was also at a toxic real estate firm and thirty years on, it still amazes me that I ever thought I was the problem. My boss was literally throwing phones across the room at her partner. In short, I had two Megans.

    The fee structure for how they are paying the new person doesn’t sound right to me as agents are legally only permitted to share/co-broke with a licensed RE agent/broker or salesperson. Unless the new person holds or is applying for a license, that may be something they can catch some fire for.

    1. OP*

      ……oh man, I’m just now remembering that they wanted to hire someone who didn’t have their license yet so that they wouldn’t have to pay them any commission during the training period… because commission can’t legally apply until they’re licensed….and getting your license takes 3ish months.

  32. Lobsterman*

    …is there a public health agency these people can be reported to, and/or an isolated island they can be banished to?

  33. Mina, The Company Prom Queen*

    There is a special place in hell reserved for people know they have COVID and still knowingly meet up with people in person.

    I’m glad you got out of there. Your former obviously has no moral compass. Best of luck to you in your new role!

  34. RB*

    I feel like the LW may have had a misunderstanding about the “benefits” issue. When people said that you may as well have waited to be fired so you could get the benefits, they would most likely have been talking about unemployment benefits, not fringe benefits like vacation payout. Unemployment benefits don’t usually go to people who quit. It can be quite a substantial sum, depending on how long you’re unemployed.

  35. Candi*

    “Turns out they were planning to fire me and she was LIVID that I quit before she had the chance.”

    Awwww, what a shame.

    Not. Too bad in many states you can’t secretly film their purple-faced reactions for uploading to Youtube.

    Glad you’re out of there, OP, and staying safe.

Comments are closed.