I kept my ex-boss’s affair a secret and now I work with her husband, my manager is upset about my new salary, and more

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

1. I kept my ex-boss’s affair a secret … and now I work with her husband

So long story short, at my previous job my boss (the owner of the company) had an affair (both she and the man she had an affair with were married, and he had three kids). This affair took place during the swing of the pandemic where I was already worried about being able to have a job. (I was a contract employee, so I wouldn’t get unemployment.) This place of work was a customer-based place so when he would come in, they would sneak off and do whatever they were doing. Three other employees and I knew about this affair. (No HR, small local company.) At one point, I brought it to my boss’s attention that although she can do what she wants, it was making everyone uncomfortable. She ended up saying to all of us, “If you bring my and Bob’s relationship to light, you will no longer have a job.”

I ended up leaving the company and started a new job. My ex-boss and her husband did get a divorce after he found out about the affair. But now, the ex-husband (who is the sweetest man) works at my new company! I did know he worked here but it being a massive place, I didn’t think I would see him. Should I reach out to him and explain why I couldn’t say anything in fear of losing my job? And just apologize and make the tension stop?

Don’t do that! It doesn’t sound like there’s any reason to think he knows you knew about the affair. But even if he does, it’s unlikely that he thinks his wife’s employees are at fault for not contacting him to tell him (that would be a pretty strange expectation). There’s also a high risk that by raising it with him now, you’d be forcing him to talk about something private that he doesn’t want coming up at his workplace.

Is the tension you mention something you’re sensing from him, or is on your side because you feel awkward? If it’s coming from you, give yourself permission to stop feeling guilty about a situation that you had nothing to do with (and in which your job was threatened!). If you do sense tension from him, it’s more likely to be about the fact that you worked for his ex than that you didn’t expose her affair. I suspect that if you make a point of being warm and friendly to him, things will feel more comfortable pretty quickly.

2. My manager is upset about how much I’ll earn at my new job

I recently accepted a job offer that pays somewhat more than my current salary. Prior to leaving my current job, my manager, coworker, and I were talking, and the topic turned to my new job. After we discussed the details of the role a bit, my coworker asked me what the job offered for my salary. I’ve heard that it can be both good and bad to discuss salary, but trusted my coworker and so told them what I was offered. They ended up being very happy for me.

I expected my manager to be happy for me as well, but the comments she made afterward indicated to me that the salary I was offered was comparable or higher to the salary she was making. Given her amount of experience, this surprised me, as I never considered that the amount I was offered was anywhere close to what she was making. I was previously on very good terms with my manager, and she supported me moving to a new role that would help advance my career. Since then, she has acted somewhat coldly towards me. I feel that it was a mistake sharing my salary, and that my doing so might have ruined our relationship, and effectively burned a professional bridge. Was I wrong to share my salary? Is there any way to repair my relationship with my manager?

You weren’t wrong to share your salary; taking openly about pay helps even the playing field between workers and employers (even across companies, because it’s helpful to know what a position like X pays somewhere else) and in particular can help women and people of color (who are more likely to be at a disadvantage in salary negotiations) negotiate better for themselves. Transparency is good.

Your manager’s reaction — being cold to you because a different company offered you a similar salary level as her own (or perhaps higher) — is bizarrely misplaced. That info might have given her some feelings about her own salary, but it’s very good info for her to have — maybe she’s underpaid and should do something about it.

Whether you can repair the relationship is up to her since she’s the one reacting badly. You can of course try being particularly warm, or asking if you did something to upset her (which might jog her into realizing her behavior is weird). And presumably if she’s not a horribly petty person, this won’t be a long-running grudge. But ultimately this is on her to deal with.

3. Using Invisalign at work

I am starting Invisalign, as in the teeth straightening, and I was instructed to wear the teeth covers at all times except when eating and drinking (water is okay). I am supposed to brush and floss after each meal. My office has weekly in person team lunches, usually at different restaurants each time.

How weird is it to brush my teeth at the office or at team lunches in random restaurants, and to take my teeth covers off and put them back on while in the office/restaurant?

Not weird! Lots of people brush their teeth at work. Don’t leave a mess in the sink and you’ll be fine.

The teeth covers are no big deal either; think of it like taking off a retainer before eating, just a normal and unavoidable thing that people do when dealing with the practicalities of being human. (Just don’t wrap them in a napkin and throw them away, like I did repeatedly with my retainer as a kid until my mother finally made me climb into and dig through a school dumpster to find it, buried in the remnants of other people’s lunches.)

4. Moving right after starting a new job

My partner and I need to leave our home state of Texas due to politics. Our ideal landing spots are very far across the country. We both have in-person jobs right now, and are job searching for remote, hybrid, and in-person options advertised in our selected locations. I’m also seeing and applying to a ton of remote jobs that don’t seem to be location dependent — great!

However! I’m not sure how to broach a move shortly after hire with a remote employer. When do I tell this to my interview contact of my intentions, and how? I know some remote jobs require you to live in certain state/s, which I’m taking into account when I search, but it’s pretty hard to ascertain those details from some postings. Should I ask about moving early on in interviewing, or wait til I have an offer?

What are your thoughts? I just want to a) move to a safe state, and b) not make it problematic for myself or future colleagues/employer.

Bring it up early — “I know this job is remote. I’m currently in Texas but am planning to move to NewState in the next few months. Will that pose any problem for this position?” There’s no point in going through the whole interview process if the new state is a no-go for them. (And if you you have a couple of states that you’re considering, it’s fine to say “planning to move to State1 or State2 in the next few months.”)

why it’s complicated for your employer to let you work from another state
my employee relocated and didn’t tell me

5. I interviewed, they reposted the job, and now they want to interview me again

I applied to a job, made it through the initial interview and then a skills-based project, and then didn’t hear from them for weeks. Yesterday I saw they had re-posted the job. I figured that was it, they weren’t interested in me (or anyone else in my pool of candidates). But then today they reached to have me do another interview!

Obviously they aren’t super impressed with me if they repost the job. Does this mean I’m a maybe? Why keep me hanging if they aren’t all that interested?

Also, would it make sense for me to ask what their hesitations are about me? I know some people ask questions about concerns in an interview. That definitely seems applicable here! Honestly, it really puts me off the company a bit. It never feels good to know they are only interviewing begrudgingly and don’t really like your candidacy. And it feels odd that they did not communicate anything about the job reposting. Should I be concerned?

Wait, you’re reading into this things that aren’t there! It’s really normal for companies to keep reposting their jobs until they’re filled. And if a hiring process slows down for some reason (higher priorities, someone on vacation, working out internal questions about the role, etc.), then that means that the job could easily be reposted multiple times while there are still strong candidates under consideration, even someone about to get an offer. The person in charge of reposting might not even be involved in decisions about candidates; they might have no idea who is or isn’t in the pool and how strong they are, and just reposts the job on a schedule.

Don’t ask your interviewer what their hesitations are about you! At least, not in a way that makes it sound like you assume they have hesitations. (It’s fine to say something like, “Do you have any hesitations about my fit for the role that I can try to address?” But that’s true of any interview; it wouldn’t be in response to the reposting.)

Aside from all this … it is possible that they aren’t at all sold on you and want to find other candidates. That’s always the case when you’re interviewing. That doesn’t mean they’re interviewing you begrudgingly or don’t like you. It’s reasonable to not be sure if a candidate is a strong enough match and decide to talk to them again to learn more; that’s what interviewing is, at its most basic. Don’t be insulted by that; you want an employer that’s careful about hiring the right person (as long as it’s not excessive, and two interviews are not excessive).

{ 324 comments… read them below }

  1. Jmac*

    Your manager being underpaid is in no way your fault. She needs to direct her anger at the company that have been taking advantage of her skills

    1. RangerFrog*

      Re: brushing your teeth at work, just don’t be like the guy I saw who *exited the bathroom stall* while brushing his teeth

    2. MK*

      IF she is even underpaid. The OP is moving to a new job, so it could be an upwards move for them, to a role that is more on the level with her manager’s role. That the manager is upset because she figured she is underpaid is possible, but it’s also possible it doesn’t sit well with her that her former underling has caught up with her and might progress more. Unfortunately, some manager’s do have that attitude, they are delighted for people who work for them to grow in their careers, as long as they remain “behind” them.

      1. Mina, the Company Prom Queen*

        This. Some people have weird ‘rules’ about money. It doesn’t mean you have to follow their rules. This is completely on your former manager and definitely not your responsibility. If she is upset about your new salary, move on and let her be upset. Stay professional and cordial toward her, only dealing with her when you have to, but put your time and energy toward people who are truly happy for you and not interested in keeping you behind or beneath them.

      2. Cthulhu's Librarian*

        This is a possibility. I have often seen a similiar reaction in non-profits, when someone leaves an organization over “mercenary” or “pecuniary” reasons – individuals who have invested their self-worth not just in the general type of work they are doing, but in the very specific community they serve through their organization, which they have decided (consciously or subconsciously) they will never leave, can get quite upset about someone who does leave the organization, especially if the leaver is improving their own situation by doing so.

        It’s like they need to feel self-righteous about the perceived betrayal to make themselves feel okay with their decision to stay where they are, especially when something (like this salary discussion) makes they realize that things might be better for them if they went elsewhere.

        1. Smithy*

          Yeah….the balance in the nonprofit space around how you align yourself to the mission and also just ‘have a job’ 100% can get out of whack. In particular some nonprofit niches/sectors pay less for the same jobs that are available at other nonprofits.

          Now, while everyone won’t want to work at every nonprofit, the openness some people have based on mission, location, and pay will vary. But that pay piece can make people really uncomfortable, which can also be a good instinct! Because I’ve also been in interviews with people where it’s like “I don’t think you know anything about us and are just looking for a job you perceive as prestigious”.

          1. Artemesia*

            And yet executive directors of non-profits are often paid very very well and many charities are essentially organizations crated to provide 6 figure incomes to those who found them.

        2. BatManDan*

          The psycho-social mechanism of folks needing OTHER people to conform to their behavior / standards / “rules” in order to reduce anxiety about their OWN choices is more widespread than most folks realize. It really is the primary dynamic in a wide range of interactions.

      3. Mockingjay*

        The manager just might need some time to absorb the shock. I think her reaction is a combo of things:
        1) a valued employee is moving on. While managers know to expect this, most have a few ‘favorite’ reliable employees that make their job much easier. It’s a bit of a blow when these people leave – it’s hard to find a ready-made unicorn to step into the role. So manager is looking at interviews, selection, and training, which certainly (albeit temporarily) affects productivity.
        2) manager just realized that her own pay is not commensurate with market. Of course there are things manager can do about that, such as advocating for a raise herself, pushing for the company to align itself across all paybands with market rates, job searching herself, etc.

        My advice: OP2, give manager some time to cool off. Reach out to her in six months or so. In the interim, focus on settling into your new role.

        1. Rutherford B. Crazy*

          This! Your manager is likely shocked about several things and going through a bad time after realizing they’re underpaid and undervalued and also losing a great employee. Please don’t take their reaction personally, and try to have a little compassion for them. I guarantee it’s not about you–they’re jealous and let down about their own circumstances here, and their gut reaction is a reflection of that and probably not how they’d like to come across professionally.

          Everybody processes bad news differently, and if they’re acting coldly it’s more a reflection of what’s going on with them internally than about other people. You’re the bearer of multiple kinds of unexpected bad news, and interacting with you is probably a constant reminder to your manager that they aren’t valued at your current workplace, so your manager is probably trying to keep their distance. Not the most professional response from them, but we’re all human.

          1. JustaTech*

            Yes to this. I was *pissed* when I found out that my peer who was leaving not only was going to get paid a *lot* more at her new job, but that she was already getting significantly more than me at her current job. But I wasn’t mad at her (I understood exactly how her salary had happened), I was mad at my 2x and 3x bosses who had been holding up my raises and promotions for years. (My direct boss had been pushing for years, he just wasn’t successful.)

            So I channeled that mad into making my case for a promotion and a raise (although still not as much as I wanted).
            (I was somewhat cool towards Betty in her last weeks, but that was about interpersonal drama, not her salary.)

            So, yes OP, it sucks your boss is being weird, but hopefully she’ll realize it’s not about you at all, it’s about her bosses, and will warm back up before you leave. (And Thank You! for sharing your salary! It’s a kindness to both your peer and your boss, even if the boss isn’t expressing it right now.)

      4. Antilles*

        IF she is even underpaid. The OP is moving to a new job, so it could be an upwards move for them, to a role that is more on the level with her manager’s role.
        Even if they now have the same level, you could still say that manager is underpaid. Sure, they may both have the title of Teapot Design Lead, but OP is brand new to it while manager has X years actually being a Teapot Design Lead.
        Of course, if you see “one of our competitors gave someone with zero experience the same salary as I’m getting here despite my additional experience”, the obvious conclusion is that maybe it’s time for you to start your own search.

      5. Mewtwo*

        I feel like this is what the manager is really upset about given her reaction. She isn’t just update she’s underpaid, she is upset the OP surpassed her.

        I think the manager’s disappointment would be justified if it were about realizing that staying in the same place was holding her back. If you only receive fixed annual raises and you started your job 10 years ago or something, your salary will inevitably be lower than the equivalent salary in today’s market (especially at the current inflation rate!) But then it doesn’t make sense to take it out on your direct report who is leaving.

    3. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      If nothing else, now the manager knows that she too is grossly underpaid.

      LW, I’m going to guess that her coldness to you will pass. You were the deliverer of some pretty harsh news because she just learned how little your current company values her work compared to others. Of course she is pissed! At first people direct it to the messenger, because no one likes to learn, “Remember how you thought the world worked? Whelp you are wrong”, but give it some time and just be cheery/professional/same as ever with her before you leave. If she’s on LinkedIn connect with her after you start your new job. I have $$$ on her eventually asking you if your new company is hiring

    4. The OTHER other*

      Yes, the manager’s anger or coldness is misdirected. But while I agree with Alison that transparent talk about pay is a good thing, it seems to have bitten this LW on the butt. Maybe it was not a good idea for the coworker to share this info with their boss?

      In general, it seems as though sharing info about when you’re leaving (prior to giving notice), where you’re going, why, what you’ll be doing, and how much you’ll be making has more risks than benefits. Maybe my perspective is skewed from having had a bad boss who would definitely try to sabotage people who moved on, but we’ve had many letters with this theme also.

      1. Mewtwo*

        The thing with the sharing salary advice is that it’s good to do in neutral situations or situations where it could materially help someone (which used to be discouraged under the guise of “it’s impolite”), but obviously it’s important to take context into account. If you know that it will upset someone, don’t share! Especially if they have power over you and could use it against you.

  2. Spellcheckrequired*

    #3-We had several people using Invisalign, and it was no big deal. They usually had containers they put the covers in, we ate, and then they excused themselves to go to the bathroom to brush their teeth. Then they put the covers back on. Good luck!

    1. Katrina*

      Exactly! I did it for two years and my teeth are great. Recommend not taking the slingers out AT the ranks though.

          1. Sally*

            I thought you meant not to accidentally fling the “slingers” AT your colleagues (the “ranks”)! I’m still laughing!

        1. Not Always Right*

          I knew you meant aligner not slingers, but it did give me a much needed laugh. Thanks for that

    2. Barbara Eyiuche*

      A coworker uses Invisalign, and he takes out and puts in the device right at the restaurant table. We could see lines of drool stretching from his mouth to the aligners. It was disgusting. If he had discreetly taken out the aligner, maybe by turning aside or covering his mouth, and had reinserted it in the washroom or back at the office, it would have been fine. He also just left it on the table for all to see – again, if he had put it in its carrying case, that would have been OK.

        1. Arrghhhhh*

          I was just at an extremely high end restaurant. The person at the table next to me had aligners. I know this because they wrapped them in their napkin. They left the table. The wait staff came along and snapped the napkin to fold it as is common in higher end places and proceeded to fling the person’s aligners onto the floor.

          1. fhqwhgads*

            When I got Invisalign, the first thing the dentist did was hand me the case and say “use the case. Do not put them in a napkin if you’re eating. They will get thrown away. It won’t be fun.” It happens frequently enough that it’s the first thing for a dentist to warn against.

            1. HBJ*

              Lol, not just an Invisalign thing. When I worked at a tourist trap, we had a man take out his dentures and leave them on a napkin. They were leaving when my boss comes in looking around. Me: what are we looking for? Her: teeth. Me: … teeth? We did find them and not in the trash either. The guy’s adult daughter just grabbed them barehanded out of the napkin we gave them to her in. Yuck!

        2. Sally*

          I was at our company’s summer outing event a few weeks ago, and one of my colleagues sat down at my table and just popped them out and put them… somewhere. She was so fast, I can’t remember where they went – probably in her purse. I was mildly surprised at first when she stuck her fingers in her mouth but it quickly became clear what she was doing. She was really fast at the whole procedure!

          1. Sally*

            She didn’t say anything about it. It was so matter of fact, it didn’t bother me at all. TBH, I was rather impressed.

      1. Lch*

        Ugh no. I also did Invisalign and definitely do all the taking out/putting back in private. Preferably near a sink.

      2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        A very important point. Everyone I know usually excused themselves from the table, went somewhere private, and popped their aligners into their kit where they had their toothbrush and paste. I’m guessing most had a container, but I never noticed one since they took care of all of that in private

    3. Everything Bagel*

      I also wore aligners. I wouldn’t take them out or put them in at a group lunch whether it’s in the cafeteria or at a restaurant. I would also wait to get back to the office if I’m at a lunch outing and want to brush my teeth afterward. I’ve brushed my teeth at the office bathroom plenty of times, but I would not bother bringing a toothbrush and toothpaste along to a restaurant to do it. That might just be me though.

      1. Everything Bagel*

        Ah, in case it’s not clear, I meant I would take them out and put them in away from the table at group lunches.

        1. Clisby*

          I’d be more likely just to take them out and leave them at the office, then put them back in when I returned from lunch. This is not because I think there’s anything disgusting about people removing / reinserting them in a restaurant bathroom – I’d just be worried that sooner or later I’d be sure to forget them, and if I’m going to do that I’d rather have it happen at the office where I’d have a better chance of finding them.

    4. RC Rascal*

      I had to go back into actual metal braces & palate expanders for medical reasons and it also involved multiple retainers. Was a Director level employee and traveling for work doing client entertainment. I had to carry a Waterpik on me as well as it was only way to clean the mess out every time I ate. Here’s the etiquette:

      Have lots of retainer cases. I had them everywhere—my desk, car, handbag, laptop bag. Shock Doctor makes mouth guard cases that are excellent for retainers when you are on the go.

      Removal & insertion in the bathroom only or in the car or in private.

      Brush / Waterpik in bathroom & clean up after yourself.

      1. AsPerElaine*

        I definitely agree about lots of aligner cases. I had the one that lived in the bathroom at home, the one that lived in my desk (with toothbrush and toothpaste, and for lunch in the office I would deal with them in the bathroom before/after), and the one that lived in a little pouch in my purse, also with toothbrush and toothpaste and a little thing of hand sanitizer. If we were going to a restaurant I usually tried to pop into the office bathroom to take the aligners out first, although I did do it in restaurant bathrooms a time or two.

        If the aligners weren’t in my mouth, they were in a case (and the case was in the place where the case lived — desk, purse, home bathroom). I’ve heard WAY too many stories of people throwing them out accidentally in napkins.

        Basically, I figured that I didn’t want to stick my fingers in my mouth without washing them first, so I generally tried to take them out at a sink, and had a policy that, if at all possible, they only went back in after brushing them and my teeth. Occasionally if we we were on the go I’d settle for sanitizing my hands first, and tried to take them out discreetly/wipe my mouth after.

      2. SpaceySteph*

        I’d like to add to the etiquette– please don’t use the sink in the lactation room at work. The number of times I’ve entered the lactation room (we have a sink in an anteroom with 2 lactation stalls) to find someone spread out all over the sink counter brushing their teeth and washing their tupperware and blocking my access to the cabinets for pump storage is too much.

    5. Sleepy*

      I took mine off on a plane to eat and accidentally threw them away. I had to go dig through the plane trash. :|

    6. ILoveLlamas*

      I just finished my aligner regiment (and I am in my late 50’s). Definitely take them off discreetly (i.e. a bathroom or your desk with your back turned) and not in front of others because you could drool unintentionally. I know the aligner folks want you to wear them 22 hours a day, but don’t sweat it if they are out for 1-1/2 hours or 2 hours at a time for lunch. If it is some big, long lunch event, you can always excuse yourself to the bathroom. Lots of folks brush their teeth in the office bathroom. Just tidy up after yourself. I keep a little bag that has all my stuff. I only had 1 retainer case, but it stayed in my purse which went with me everywhere anyway. Waterpiks are amazing. Good luck! I was really happy with my end result.

      1. Velociraptor Attack*

        Seconding on the 22 hour thing. My dentist specifically told me that obviously as much as possible is best but as long as they were in at least 16 hours a day, you’re fine.

        1. JustaTech*

          Thirding! I had Invisalign when I went on a 3 week trip to Europe where I knew there was no way I would reliably find a bathroom to brush my teeth after lunch. So I explained it to my orthodontist and he said it was better to leave them out between lunch and dinner (and enjoy my trip! eat all the things!) than to put them back in over un-brushed teeth. He just added an extra week to how long I wore that particular set (also yay not having to bring along multiple sets) and it was totally fine.

          At work it was very NBD. Really the only thing that came of it was I drank less coffee and I learned that many of my coworkers brushed their teeth during the day (something I’d never noticed before).

    7. SFal*

      I’m currently doing Invisalign. I brush and floss after every meal in the bathroom and no one blinks a eye.

      I have a little kit bag I bring everywhere with floss, chapstick, toothpaste, travel toothbrush and a case. I have cases and chewies in multiple bags. Just turn your head when removing with a group, or move to a corner if in a big room and no one will notice.

      I have had to upgrade the number of chapsticks as my lips are crazy dry now that I started aligners.

    8. irianamistifi*

      Yes, it’s always good etiquette to take your aligners out in private. Here’s an excellent opportunity when you go out for meals with coworkers to say, “oh, let me go wash my hands before we eat” and then you can take your aligners out in the restroom and wash your hands immediately after.

      Same thing after you eat; “I’m going to go clean up and wash my hands.” Then you can pop your aligners back in. Always good to have clean hands when you’re putting things in your mouth, whether it’s food or aligners!

    9. Gene Parmesan*

      I recently finished Invisalign. For our occasional work lunches, I just excused myself to the restroom at some point before the food came and took them out at the sink (I also prefer rinsing them if possible, not just popping them into the case). I waited until I got back to the office to brush/floss (with our more private bathroom), but it would be simple to do it in the restaurant bathroom after eating.

      1. KTB1*

        I also recently finished Invisalign, and my trick was to excuse myself to the bathroom to pop out the aligners and stick them in their case. I didn’t always brush my teeth at work, because it was a PITA to bring all the stuff, but I did always have a container of floss with me.

        The funniest part about having Invisalign at work was suddenly finding out how many other people were ALSO doing Invisalign. It was a quirky little bonding experience, which I really enjoyed.

    10. Elizabeth West*

      Same. Someone at Exjob wore Invisalign. It seemed like she was always in the bathroom brushing, but it goes along with the treatment. No one was bothered really since she didn’t leave a mess.

      Hahaha re Alison’s retainer; I remember a ton of kids in my school doing the same thing.

    11. Kat Maps*

      Agreed! As a current wearer of Invisalign, I can say that you’ll probably adapt quickly to a routine of removing, eating, and brushing at work. I’ve found that you can be pretty discrete with the aligners. Sometimes I’ll just excuse myself to go wash my hands, and use the opportunity to remove the aligners. Just don’t remove the aligners while seated at your table — they get slobbery :)

  3. Escapee from Corporate Management*

    OP5, there times when I was with Big Multinational that it would take several weeks just to get the interview on a senior person’s schedule. In the meantime, the HR database would read the “position unfilled” tag and automatically repost the job. Please do NOT assume there are any concerns or deficiencies about you and come to the interview with a positive approach. Otherwise, any concerns you express will (1) sound weird to people used to dealing with bureaucracy and (2) may hurt you.

    1. Siege*

      I had a contract job once that was reposted twice while I was working it due to a glitch in the system. In addition, having been on many hiring committees by now (and worked out that my instincts are more correct than my boss’s) if I didn’t want to hire you, I wouldn’t invite you back for another interview. You are credibly in the running. And you could be like the last candidate we hired, who emailed us several hours after we interviewed her to tell us she’d accepted another job – them keeping the posting live means nothing at all about you and your candidacy.

      1. Greige*

        Exactly! Until someone accepts the job, the company has to keep candidates in the pipeline. Just like you shouldn’t stop applying to other jobs until you’ve accepted an offer.

    2. Staja*

      We are currently going through a similar situation to #5 at my company now. I am a peon on my team…but a tenured peon.

      Our hiring process drags. We posted the open position on our team in late June and heard “HR hasn’t pre-screened resumes” for 5 weeks. My manager decided to bring 3 people in for interviews regardless of pre-screening, after I mentioned in a few weekly meetings that it’s a job seeker’s market, and these candidates could very well have new jobs.

      We interviewed them a week and a half ago. And found out that HR pre-screened them (poor communication – one of my manager’s hallmarks!). Then, on Monday of this week, we got another 10 resumes. My manager wants to forge ahead with one of the 3 people we’ve seen. Her manager wants her to review the new resumes. My manager will not do that…because she doesn’t want to waste another two days looking at resumes. (Her words).

      I have so many issues with the hiring process and things that are red flags to her don’t worry me at all (someone moving jobs every two-four years, not having every “preferred qualification”, etc) – we have 3 team members who are all comfortable doing the job and she wants to bring in a new person to do the most complicated piece of it, while learning everything else, instead of moving one of us into that role. Us more tenured folk all work on a slightly easier version, which would be easier for a newbie to pick up AND increase the number of people that could help with training. But, what do I know? (See picture of Kermit sipping tea)

    3. Seeking Second Childhood*

      There are also situations where an employer* must interview X number of people…so if their Xth candidate backs out before the interview, they need to repost for more people to interview before they can hire anyone.
      (*Most commonly government)

      1. Spooky*

        I just posted about this below–I worked for one of those companies once! Public university, so government-funded.

        1. Relentlessly Socratic*

          And I worked for a private university–same requirement. What a waste of resources when one was actually trying to hire an internal candidate for their ideal role…..(rolleyes)

      2. Tesuji*

        The company might also have DEI requirements which haven’t been met yet, which necessitates them continuing to add candidates to the pool until they check off all their boxes.

    4. Lexie*

      At a previous employer there were dozens of people with the same title and it was a field with fairly high turnover so that particular position was posted almost continuously. They would try to hire several people to start at the same time so they could go through training together. So if you didn’t make it into the next training group after your interview you could still be considered for a future group but they might bring you back in just to make sure they still considered you a good fit. It could also give you a chance to meet different supervisors because they took turns handling the interviews.

    5. Ann Onymous*

      My large employer also often intends to hire multiple people from the same job posting. They’ll post one job description for a Senior Llama Groomer, but multiple hiring managers will be pulling candidates from the applications that get submitted. So they might repost if they didn’t get enough candidates for all the open Senior Llama Grooming roles, or managers A and B have lists of finalists but manager C hasn’t found the right person yet, or they just found out about a new project and now have more open roles to fill.

    6. Spooky*

      FWIW, when I worked at a university, we had an asinine rule that we had to interview a set number of candidates, at minimum. Let’s say that number was ten. That meant that if we posted a job, got nine applicants, and we loved one of them, we legally could not offer the position to them until we got a tenth applicant to interview. The problems are obvious–wasting people’s time in obligatory interviews when they aren’t really being considered, massive delays on being able to make offers, etc. At one point, we had a role that we could never fill, because all our good candidates got fed up and left before we hit that stupid number.

      All this to say, you never know what kind of ridiculous hoops the hiring team is having to jump through.

    7. Former Gifted Kid*

      Definitely! There was one place I worked that wasn’t even that big (~400 people), but there was still a good bit of bureaucracy. HR was in charge of when jobs got posted and initial screening, but it was up to the department heads to actually schedule interviews. HR often wasn’t completely in the loop about where the application process was.

      As other people pointed out as well, at that place there were some positions that had the same general job description but were in different departments. They often did put which department it was in so that they could just use the same job posting and sometimes they would hire for multiple departments off of one posting. In fact, when I showed up for the interview with that job they told me I was actually having two different interviews that day because they were hiring for that position in two different departments.

      It is really really hard to know what is happening internally with any given company from the outside.

    8. Just Your Everyday Crone*

      Another possibility is that they filled 1 Llama Groomer position and then another Llama Groomer quit and they posted that. My shop posts the same position sometimes because we have 40 people in that position, and people move, get promoted, etc. And if so, don’t think you were considered inferior to the person who got the first position. When there are good candidates, it’s really hard to decide among them, or the person being replaced in role was super strong in llama toenail maintenance and the person they hired for that role had the same strength that they wanted to keep on the team.

      1. ThatGirl*

        When I applied for my current job, I had seen it posted previously and thought “wow, are they having trouble finding people?”

        well, as it turned out, it was one part that they were actually hiring multiple people for the job over the course of the year as the department expanded and one part that someone had recently accepted an offer and then backed out at the last minute, so they reposted it.

    9. WonkyStitch*

      Yup. When I was a recruiter, we used a service that automatically reposted jobs until cancelled.

      At the very most, I could see saying “I noticed the job had been reposted. What is the timeline for filling it?”

    10. El l*

      This is a good thread – lays out how hiring processes vary and are opaque.

      General lesson: Don’t assume you know what’s going on in your hiring process unless you really know the organization.

      And general comment to OP: While I know how rough job search anxiety is, it certainly sounds like you’re taking this personally. Don’t. Find a way to dial back on taking this as a comment on how much they like you.

      I mean, for perspective, how many great movie roles are there where they were the second, third, or fifth choices? (Sean Connery as James Bond, Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, Bruce Willis as John McClane, many more)

    11. Ama*

      When I worked at a large university our HR was notoriously disorganized (not helped by the fact that they restructured the entire department at least 4 times in the 8 years I was there – even long time employees never quite knew who was supposed to do what because they kept changing it).

      I was at the time the office manager/receptionist for a grad school that was growing rapidly and had several faculty positions posted. Every time we filled a position it took months for HR to take down the posting — one time it was up for over two years after the new hire started. We’d remind them, they’d say they’d take care of it and then a few months later I’d get an email from someone who wanted to know if the position was still open and I’d have to remind HR again.

    12. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      And the bigger the org, the more likely this kind of thing is to happen, especially if there are multiple positions with the same title. We had a Senior Analyst zombie posting because someone Buttle/Tuttled an internal code so our Senior Analyst position number kept pulling up another division’s description. The problem is a Senior Analyst in the finance department is a whole different beast from a Senior Analyst in the birth defects screening program at a lab. It took a while they could sort out why we kept getting forwarded resumes from MBAs and finance was confused why so many geneticists kept applying. That posting came up and down at least 20 times before we got it sorted

    13. OP5*

      I’m OP5 – thanks for this! I have never ran into this before so was super confused. I manage my organizations website and we never re-post jobs and take them down pretty quickly.

      Also, for context I didn’t include in the letter, one of the people interviewing me next week posted about the job re-post on his LinkedIn encouraging candidates to apply so I had really gotten the message of them wanting different applicants. They also had promised a super fast interview process, so it just all threw me off.

      1. H.C.*

        There’s also the possibility of an additional opening for the same role (due to one person leaving after the other in a relatively short time frame, that particular division growing, etc.,) and they just are reopening to a new batch of external candidates rather than just use the existing pool (which could be their hiring policy).

      2. MurpMaureep*

        I’d echo everything said above. I am a hiring manager who frequently reposts jobs while vetting/interviewing candidates. Our hiring process takes a really long time and it would be counter productive to pin all our hopes on one candidate, no matter how great!

        I’ve had very strong candidates in the running and reposted when the posting expires because one simply never knows what will happen. A candidate could withdraw at any point – they might get a better (or counter) offer, our offer might not be good enough, they might have a situation that requires them to relocate, etc., etc.

        In terms of why someone on the hiring committee posting the job on LinkedIn, this is very normal. He may be very hopeful about who’s in the current pool, but want to make sure his organization gets a broad set of applicants from which to chose, again, in case something doesn’t pan out.

        I’d also caution against putting too much faith in how long anyone says the hiring process takes. Many times it’s entirely outside the control of the hiring manager or committee.

        Bottom line, listen to all the above advice and don’t read too much into any of this. If they are still talking to you, they are still interested! Good Luck!

  4. Jj*

    #4 – I actually interviewed someone from Texas for a remote job today. The job was for a company HQed in Oklahoma and I live in Texas. She was also moving soon and basically said “the reason I’m changing jobs is because I am looking for something remote. My husband and I are hoping to move to (state or state or state) where we have visited and enjoyed.” Some of the states were equally red so I don’t know if that motivated her move, but I just took her reasoning at face value and was able to share that we have people in 10 states and no concerns with anything she mentioned.

    On a side note, I’m quite liberal but Texas is the right state for me to live in right now (family, husband’s job, kids in school, etc). I think even if you have a good rapport with someone in an interview I wouldn’t mention your real reason for leaving Texas. I know that even though it is reasoning I’d 100% sympathize with, a willingness to bring it up in an interview would give me pause about whether you might make our Texas employees feel uncomfortable about their home state – a state they may feel tied to for many reasons. Maybe that’s obvious, but I wanted to note it.

    1. Double A*

      I live in California and the person running to represent me in Congress openly trashes this state. I know I don’t want to hire him for the job!

    2. #4*

      Thanks for the note! I don’t plan to mention my personal motivations, but I hadn’t thought through that particular reason not to. It’s a good one!

      And total respect (to you, other readers, and potential future coworkers!) for living in Texas. There are a lot of things I love about this state, and that I will miss whenever I leave. It’s just not working for me right now, and I think I can make a better life for me elsewhere.

      1. Workerbee*

        I didn’t think you were trashing the state, for what it’s worth. People can get an odd, almost visceral pride reaction when someone mentions unpalatable things about their state. (Rather like when families pile on the person saying, “Hey, Uncle Roy is harassing me” instead of trying to stop Uncle Roy from being a harasser.) We should try to see clearly and fix things for others even if we’re all cozy and content ourselves.

        1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          When I say I want to live somewhere with enough water some people act like I made a personal attack on AZ. I like many things about AZ, even love some, but I also like enough water. People can be weird if you don’t love things the same way they do

          1. TeaCoziesRUs*

            We just moved from TX (military sends us where they wish) and my TX relatives came to visit… bringing $40 of fresh, hot Tortillas that are now enjoying space in my freezer. Happy dance!!!

      2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        We are in a sort of similar position and looking to move from a cheap red state to a more expensive blue state which blows people’s minds. When people ask me why I want to move, I pick my response on the situation. Sometimes my answer is, “I really want to live somewhere with good public transit”. Sometimes, “It is closer to family”. Sometimes, “We want to live somewhere that has enough water” and other times I completely uncork about the wingnuts driving our state in a direction I don’t want to go. The LW might want to come up with a few pat responses to put out when asked about the move

        1. Elizabeth West*

          I generally just say I want to be closer to the coast. I can’t say “good public transit” because right now it’s a shitshow, lol. “I would like a complete change of scenery” is also on the roster.

        2. Georgia*

          Come to Georgia! We are relatively cheap, have plenty of coastline, and are finally starting to turn purple. Come make us more purple!

          1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

            I’m in AZ so if turning a state purple was enough I’d just stay here. I am sticking around until 2024 though :)

        3. Artemesia*

          I did my career in the US South and on retirement moved to Chicago where we have been blissful for the last 11 years. We love it. And I am looking out at the larges body of fresh water in the world as I type. Sure we could have done it more cheaply where we were and my condo fee is higher than most people’s rent — but we love it, wonderful city for culture, architectural beauty and to make new friends. And all that water.

          People do find it odd though that you move from a cheap southern city at retirement to an expensive northern one — including comments about the weather. The weather has been fine and with global warming it may eventually be even better.

      3. snowyowl*

        I actually recently accepted a job offer in Texas…and am feeling weird about how red the state is! But the city I’d be moving to went blue during the last election, which makes me feel better.

        And that being said, I’ve been living in an extremely conservative part of California for the past little while, so moving to a liberal part of Texas seems par for the course.

        (I’ll also be leaving a toxic work place for a location that from my site visit seems more functional — although to be honest at this point I’d accept different dysfunction!)

        But yes, let the hiring manager know, even if it’s a ways off, and it might be worth looking into some extra information about the states you’re looking to move into specifically from an employers standpoint. Some state laws can interfere more with employers, so I know there can be times when someone being in a particular state might decrease a remote employer wanting them because more paperwork/more hoops for them.

        1. Artemesia*

          Texas is one of those states that would be blue if it were not for voter suppression. Maybe you can make a difference and get neighbors registered and to the polls.

          1. Red*

            This is a pretty loaded statement, and not really true. I think I’ll leave the comment section now. It’s pretty blatantly unfriendly to conservatives.

          2. SpaceySteph*

            I’m liberal but I’m not sure this is true. Democrats really need to do some deep soul searching about the trend among mainly Latinx voters in the Rio Grande Valley if they ever want to turn Texas (or several other states with large Latinx populations) blue.

        2. Velociraptor Attack*

          I will say, moving from a red part of a blue to state to a blue part of a red state is likely to feel very different. As Artemesia said, Texas has a whole lot of potential to go blue but with who is in power, it feels very deep red so it probably won’t feel very par for the course.

          1. TeaCoziesRUs*

            I’m still a TX voter and have to vote in the Republican primaries (I’m a moderate independent… which means right now neither party really speaks my language… although I never thought I’d see the Liberatarian party as more moderate than the GOP – but I digress). Why? Because a vast majority of state and local offices are decided at the Republican primary. Although I am glad they finally got rid of the straight ticket option when voting!

            That being said it breaks my heart when people feel they MUST move because of politics. TX is actually purple – is just that the red is RED and the blue is more indigo / purple-blue. That being said, fleeing a state because of its politics only takes away hope for those who can’t leave and gives the opposition one less voice to silence. I can absolutely understand the impulse (and the desire behind it to find people of like minds) even as it breaks my heart.

      4. Catwoman*

        You may have already had the conversation with your current employer (or your current job functions just may not allow for it), but it’s worth bringing up with your current employer whether you can go remote if you move out of state. You can also frame it as a hypothetical or in the context of “my husband got this offer, and we really don’t know if we’ll take it, but just wondering…”. You might be surprised. I had one job that was very enthusiastic about me going remote when I moved out of state, and another that was a no-go.

    3. Simonkitty*

      If memory serves, you’ll need to mention which states since the company to find out if they have a presence in the state since this will affect tax status. The company may not be willing to set up the tax status just for you.

      I agree with Jj about the politics. Don’t mention it in the interview.

  5. The Real Fran Fine*

    Re: letter 2

    I had a similar experience to this OP when leaving my last employer to come to the company I work for now. My former manager, who had been with the company for 7 or 8 years, was making $87,000 a year (I know because I saw her salary on her computer once when she asked me to look at some insurance benefit info for her she didn’t understand – I came from the insurance field prior to that role). I was leaving for a lateral move in title, but ended up with an offer for $82,000 a year. I had only been in our field and job function for 17 months, so I know that stung her a bit when she found out. Then again, I was going to a new company in a much more lucrative field (tech), so it shouldn’t have come as a complete shock.

    I proudly told everyone how much I’d be making, and I heard through the grapevine that after I left, three more people on my team did as well for better jobs with much higher pay (we were severely underpaid for our job function – I had only been making $55,500/year). I don’t know if my salary was the catalyst that got those people out the door, but I hope it was. And I also hope the company I left re-evaluated the pay scale and increased everyone who remained’s salary because a lot of people were barely making it (we had employees stealing the company-provided paper plates and utensils and taking them home, that’s how bad off things were compensation wise).

    1. KateM*

      What a weird thing to steal. Didn’t they have any plates at home or water to wash the plates or why?

      1. The Real Fran Fine*

        Who knows. They also stole toiletries and other things that ended up needing to be locked away. It was quite sad.

      2. Hlao-roo*

        I think in a case like this it’s often less about stealing things that are necessary/valuable, and more about trying to re-balance the perceived dynamic a little bit. “This company is taking advantage of me by paying me low wages — well, I’m going to take advantage of them by stealing their paper plates and plastic spoons!”

        1. just another queer reader*


          also, some people (possibly including myself) just lose their minds around free stuff

        2. Lydia*

          The part in Better Off Ted where Linda has a drawer full of stolen creamers because it’s her way of getting back at the company resonated on a level I’m almost ashamed to admit to.

      3. Miette*

        Eh, you save money where you can when you’re in that situation. I couldn’t make ends meet at my first job out of college, and the money I saved by swiping a few rolls of TP and packets of coffee here and there from Massive Multinational Corporation meant I could afford other staples like pasta and fresh veggies.

        1. EdgarAllanCat*

          I stole toilet paper while in college; had enough spending money to purchase a couple Slurpees/week. Sure as &*($% wasn’t going to buy toilet paper instead.

          1. WantonSeedStitch*

            I did that for a year while studying abroad in college. Our college had stacks of those huge industrial rolls in the bathrooms. My flatmates and I would stick one in our backpacks from time to time. It kept down the arguments about whose turn it was to buy some.

            1. Gracely*

              When I studied abroad, my host mom gave me and my host sister each one roll of TP to last two weeks.

              We definitely resorted to stealing TP from our uni’s bathrooms.

        2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          Back in the day I pretty much took anything that was free and wasn’t nailed down. Toilet paper, tissue, napkins, abandoned condiment packs, etc.. It might just be a few dollars but when you are trying to make $20 cover a week groceries (in 1990s-early 2000) anything helps

      4. Uranus Wars*

        Off topic a little but this makes me think of a friend of mine who is single and uses all disposable dishes and cutlery so she doesn’t have to wash dishes. I don’t agree with it, but maybe these people did that?

        1. The Real Fran Fine*

          Man, sometimes I really wish I did this, lol. It was more pronounced when I lived in a studio apartment that didn’t have a dishwasher (I have one now, and still feel like this from time to time though). Dishwashing is such a hassle.

        2. JustaTech*

          My in-laws use (plastic!) disposable plates, even though they have a perfectly good set of lovely dishes and two dishwashers (and the money to run them).
          I know for some people it’s a disability accommodation, but I’ve never quite figured it out for my MIL. I think it’s an “instantly clean” thing, maybe?

    2. Anon this time*

      LW2, I started a new job early this year and because I was working pretty closely with one of my coworkers and were in similar life stages she and I got pretty friendly. She had been at the company for 15+ years and had a certification I was lacking and a higher job title. We kind of organically talked salary (discussing childcare costs and percentage of our income spent on them), I disclosed mine and found out I was making quite a bit more despite being in a more junior position and honestly she was pretty cold to me initially. But she ended up looking for and finding a new job paying way more and thanked me and told me I was the catalyst and she probably never would have left otherwise. So give your manager some time!

  6. Lavendertea*

    #4- I would keep it in mind that your geographical location or future potential location could impact the pay. I have interviewed a few remote candidates that mentioned moving. We decided not to move forward with them, because they wanted to move to HCOL areas. We didn’t have it in the budget to pay a HCOL salary and thought the candidate might leave shortly after they move to a job that paid better in their new area.

    1. Ana*

      This is kind of messed up to admit. You don’t know their financial situation and punishing them/denying them an opportunity for living in HCOL place is unethical. This is just one example of how companies are overthinking remote work. Pay a salary for a job, disregard where the person lives. Simple. Companies seem to just want to continue to pay as little as they can get away with

      1. Anonym*

        The employer may have a policy of paying higher in HCOL areas. I believe that’s how my company operates – there are something like 4 or 5 buckets for locations across the US. They’re not allowed to pay someone the same for living in the NY metro area as for somewhere where the cost of living is much lower, because they’d be underpaying relative to market and that has ethical and potentially regulatory impacts.

        The recent discussion here on the subject was fascinating – there are definitely diverse opinions on the fair and right way of doing things. Personally I’m glad my company doesn’t let people opt in to being severely underpaid in that way. (Not that hiring is anywhere near perfect, but they have a number of policies designed to avoid discrimination which are research-based and I believe on the right track.)

      2. RussianInTexas*

        That’s a reasonable thing to add in to the calculation about hiring, no?
        If the company invests the considerable amount of money in to the hiring, onboarding, and training, they would want to hire someone who will not jump ship immediately.

        1. RussianInTexas*

          You can’t ever 100% predict it, but I can’t imagine many employers want to hire the flight risk.

    2. #4*

      Ooooooh, yeah. FWIW, COL is approximately equal, or possibly lower, in the areas I’m looking to relocate to. But definitely a good thing to keep in mind as I head into these negotiations.

      1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        Please send in an update because I am going to be you soon and I’d love to hear how it goes

    3. Generic Name*

      My company has an apparently unwritten rule that we won’t hire remote workers in New York or California due to their labor laws. :/

      1. recovering admission counselor*

        This is unfortunately extremely common. We need more federal labor protections!

      2. Curmudgeon in California*

        So they want to be able to exploit people? I live in California, and our labor laws aren’t that bad unless you want to mistreat people.

        1. Mid*

          Yup. When I see a “No New York/California (or very rarely Colorado)”, I read that as “we don’t want to be transparent or fair about compensation, pay overtime, or otherwise treat employees fairly.”

        2. pissy pessimist*

          We’re living in late stage capitalism. Of course 99.9% of companies want to exploit and undervalue their employees. All hail the mighty dollar.

      3. J*

        My NY employer has said the same about IL, which is hilarious given how their laws are. I’m a remote worker in the midwest and they’ve said I can move to any adjacent state but IL if I need to go elsewhere.

  7. Anon for this*

    I feel this. I’ve lived in Texas my whole life and for most of my youth felt a lot of pride in my state. As an adult I’ve just watched it crumble to bits and while I don’t think we’ll move due to a number of factors, it is really hard to watch what’s happening here.

  8. Emmy Noether*

    I want to confirm what Alison said to #5: it’s really common to just automatically repost jobs on a regular schedule until they are filled. It makes the posting look fresh on the site and therefore more attractive. The person whose job it is to repost 50 jobs every 15th of the month does NOT look where the hiring process is for each, they just repost until it is marked “filled”. Some may even be reposted automatically by software until they are actively pulled.

    Also, it’s not unusual for the process to take a long time. It’s vacation season right now! Might just be a decision maker being on vacation for two weeks, then another person who is supposed to interview is out for a week, so having to wait to schedule, then the HR person is sick for a few days and doesn’t get to it…

    To sum up: do not read anything into this. This is not a romantic relationship where we read the signs to see if “he’s just not that into you”.

    1. Fikly*

      However, if you’re looking for reasons to be personally offended during the hiring process, you’re just not that into them.

      I’m trying and failing to imagine circumstances where candidates, after one interview and a skills exercise, and just a few weeks, would be notified that a job got reposted.

      1. Emmy Noether*

        I do think there are a lot of misconceptions about how hiring works. It’s a lot less personal than one tends to assume, especially now that a lot of it is managed via software.

      2. Siege*

        I read it that they got an alert from the posting site that X Job had been posted and matched their skills, and OP2 recognized the posting, not that the company sent him a message saying they were reposting it.

        1. Koalafied*

          I believe that was in response to this part of the letter: “It feels odd that they did not communicate anything about the job reposting.” Fliky is saying it would actually be unusual for them to have communicated anything about it.

    2. New Job Blues*

      My current job was reposted weekly for months. Even after I accepted a was waiting to start. The first time I saw it reposted after my interview stung but ultimately I got the job so data point for it not meaning you won’t get the job!!

      1. Mockingjay*

        It’s likely something as simple as scheduling. Say, HR posts new listings/takes down filled only on the 1st. So if you are hired and start on the 15th, the listing could be up for another two weeks.

        Also, OP5, I have the impression you aren’t entirely sold on the job. That’s okay! That’s the whole point of interviews, to figure out if a position will work on both sides. I have asked a similar question; it opened up great conversations about my experience. Only a fraction of your experience can fit in a resume and cover letter. Use the question as a mechanism to bring up other pertinent info about your qualifications.

      2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        Or they are hiring for that position in multiple departments. Or there are expectations that there is going to be a lot expectations of growth so they want to hire multiple of that position in advance of that growth.
        Or yeah – HR reposted the position on accident and hasn’t pulled it down.

        I just really don’t think this is a red flag, without any other problems in the process (that haven’t been mentioned in the letter). But if you’re not sold on a company after just one interview, maybe this is more a this isn’t the best fit for you for reasons not tied to the job being posted again.

      3. Uranus Wars*

        When I was still in recruiting we did this, too, because there was never a guarantee someone would show up on their first day or even accept the offer. These were skilled positions so we tried to keep a full pipeline going until we knew for sure. Had absolutely nothing to do with the top candidates as much as our need to be sure we didn’t have to start from scratch if our top candidate didn’t accept or changed their mind.

      4. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        I had a job that automatically reposted every month for 6 months after I started. It was a new HR system and someone set something up wrong. I didn’t even notice till I looked at our listings to forward one to a friend. Obviously at that point I wasn’t miffed but amused

      5. OP5*

        I’m OP5 – thanks for this! I have never ran into this before so was super confused. I work at a small organization where hiring is done super differently. And I manage my organizations website and we don’t take down and then re-post jobs on there, so I got confused and startled.

    3. hbc*

      And even being “not that into you” isn’t a huge problem. Maybe they were hoping for a unicorn, maybe they’re making peace with the fact that someone isn’t going to come in the door knowing everything that the departing 20 year veteran does, maybe they have a lot of people with a background in X and were aspiring to have someone with Y. None of that means that you won’t be given a fair shot if you’re hired.

    4. Insert Clever Name Here*

      Another reason could be a company’s rules about what happens when you offer a position to a candidate. At my company if your first choice candidate doesn’t accept the offer, you can’t always just offer it to the second choice — you frequently have to repost and go through the whole process again.

    5. ferrina*

      I’ve also seen it happen where a job was posted, the company started looking at resumes, then realized that the hiring manager that they had originally planned wasn’t going to be the right manager for this role (any number of reasons- expertise, additional responsibilities of the role, that hiring manager is exposed to be absolutely horrible and is being forced out of the company….)
      It took a while for them to figure out who the new hiring manager would be, then they started re-reviewing resumes and also reposted the job (figuring that some of the best candidates from earlier may have already been snapped up by other jobs).

      1. The Real Fran Fine*

        Damn, you stole my reply! Lol. I was coming to post exactly this. It’s possible the hiring manager OP interviewed for will not be the hiring manager anymore either due to the reasons you listed, or even leaving the company themselves. That would explain the company asking OP to re-interview – the new hiring manager probably wasn’t part of the initial interview team and wants to verify for themself that OP is the right fit for the role.

  9. WoodswomanWrites*

    #1 – Your co-worker’s personal life and events that happened before you worked together are not anyone’s business but his own. You mention that he found out about the affair and already divorced your ex-manager, so there is no relevant secret you’re holding.

    I suggest you imagine if it were you in his position. Think about how you would feel if you were going about your workday, and a co-worker you barely know out of the blue brought up the person who cheated on you and that you divorced, and wanted to explain that they knew about before you did. I imagine just having to hear the topic being brought up would be awful enough, but you’d also have to engage in a conversation and respond somehow.

    At best, this would destroy any professional relationship with your co-worker. At worst, he could complain to his manager or HR that you behaved inappropriately by digging into his private life.

    Alison’s response is spot on. Find a way to process your feelings about what happened–and remind yourself that your choice about how to respond made total sense–and don’t involve your new colleague in that process.

    1. Bagpuss*

      Aslo, OP said it was a huge place – unless he was directly involved in hiring her, there’s no reason to think he would even know where she previously worked, let alone that he knows she knew about his wife’s affair.

      LW1 – where is the tension you mention coming from? If it’s just that you feel awkward because of the background, try to relax and act as you would ifyou’d never heard of him before eyou started the current job.

      If it’s coming from him, don’t assume that it is anything to do with the affair – it’s more likely that if he realised you worked with his ex, he’s cautious in case she bad mouthed him or she’s a friend of yours.

      Just be friendly and professional towards him as you would to any other coworker.

      1. ferrina*

        Seconding- it’s unlikely that he even knows you’re the person that worked with his ex. I don’t know any of the people my ex worked with. I know a few first names from his stories, but no last names. I certainly couldn’t pick them out in a crowd. Maybe I work with one of them right now and have no clue!
        Even if I did, I would rather not know. I don’t need reminders of my ex at work.

      2. Observer*

        If it’s coming from him, don’t assume that it is anything to do with the affair – it’s more likely that if he realised you worked with his ex, he’s cautious in case she bad mouthed him or she’s a friend of yours.

        Exactly! Which is why Alison’s advice is so good. If you make it your business to be professionally warm and cordial, that will lay that kind of concern to rest FAR more effectively than any conversation you could have with him.

    2. Rain's Small Hands*

      If it were to ever come up – which I agree it isn’t likely to have words like “oh, yeah, your ex was a piece of work” or something else equally vague and yet condemning of her behavior ready.

      1. WantonSeedStitch*

        I would really be careful about that–it’s not particularly professional. “The environment at Initech was very uncomfortable for me towards the end of my time there. I’m so much happier here at Acme!” would probably be better.

        1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          Eh, I’d skip that. I’d stick to, “Yep, she was my boss for a while. Anyway, about that TPS report…”

    3. Elizabeth West*

      Absolutely, and please do NOT tell anyone else. He deserves a fresh start without something like that hanging over his head at work.

  10. Shira*

    Alison, quick note on LW1 to avoid confusion- I understood “Bob” in the letter to refer to the affair partner, not the (ex-)husband, but your answer names the husband as “Bob.”
    Also, I can totally understand feeling awkward in this situation!! But I agree that it doesn’t sound like you have anything to worry about, and just acting normal and nice will hopefully be the smoothest path moving forward. Congrats on leaving a terrible environment and best of luck in the new job!!

  11. Allonge*

    LW1 – all this is water under the bridge now. Your now-colleague addressed the issue of cheating by getting a divorce (good for him!) He almost certainly knows there were people who knew before him, but that is not something that in this relationship you need to address – it could be pretty awkward to, to be honest. It’s something he needs to come to terms with himself, as you need to with your own feelings.

    Both of you are well rid of your ex-boss, congratulations!

    1. ILoveLlamas*

      Exactly — move on from this. The other important advice I would offer is DO NOT tell any of your work colleagues. Do not offer any information that you know the guy, his wife, etc. Let that all stay in the past. If someone connects the dots, I like Rain’s Small Hands advice of a breezy “oh, my past boss was a piece of work” and leave it at that.

      1. Observer*

        This is right. This is past history that has no relevance to the current job.

        A breezy “She was a piece of work” is perfect, because it’s true (not just the cheating, but making all of you essentially complicit and using her power to keep you from doing anything. Ugly stuff.) But at the same time, it doesn’t get overly dramatic, and it avoids rehashing a situation that is just not something that makes a difference in your current workplace.

    2. El l*

      Yes – and even if now-colleague figures out exactly who you used to work for, he cannot reasonably have the expectation that (a) you knew about the affair and (b) should’ve told him, a then-stranger.

      Sounds like it’s best for both of you to forget about that period in your lives!

  12. LilBean*

    OP1, It may actually help you to take a more self-centered perspective here: Your ex-boss put you in an uncomfortable position and then threatened to punish you for it. She’s the one who did something wrong, not you. Remind yourself, whenever you feel the urge to apologize to your coworker, that the only one who owes apologies is your ex-boss, to everyone.

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      And maybe have a “past job had a lot of challenges, and I learned a lot, but now I’m focusing on new job and all the things I’m learning and doing here” style comment tucked into the back pocket if you get cornered and have to make a comment.

      And you did learn a lot at that job – even if in the sense of these things are horrible and no professional should do them at work.

    2. Observer*

      Remind yourself, whenever you feel the urge to apologize to your coworker, that the only one who owes apologies is your ex-boss, to everyone.

      This. x 1,000

  13. Luna*

    What does it matter if someone married having an affair has children? Just a general question becuase I don’t see how that makes it ‘worse’. The children are not part of the affair and it doesn’t matter, since the cheater is still cheating and breaking the vows of marriage.

    Either way, LW1, don’t say anything. For one thing, it doesn’t make a difference. Chance is high that he doesn’t know that her affair was a ‘well-known secret’ to everyone at her job, so you bringing this up would be weird. Telling him would serve nothing except somehow alleviating some sort of guilt that you are feeling. It wouldn’t help him, at all.

    1. UKgreen*

      Because splitting up a household of two adults is somewhat less ‘complex’ than splitting up a household with two adults and some children?

    2. Nova Star*

      Same as when the news reports that someone died and left behind a spouse and x number of children. Always makes me wonder if when a single person dies, they’re tempted to report that “the deceased died alone and childless”.

        1. Nova Star*

          To clarify, I was referring to media reports, not to print obituaries submitted by survivors.

          1. MK*

            Me too. In my country whenever a single and childless person dies, the media usually reference/interview the closest relatives and friends. As in, instead of “they left a spouce and children”, “they left x siblings/ were a beloved uncle or aunt or teacher or involved in z”.

            1. doreen*

              Which kind of deaths are you talking about? I’ll see the type you’re talking about when the person is the reason the death is newsworthy – they are 105 years old, they taught 4th grade at the only school in town for 40 years, they are a celebrity (even local) of some sort. When it’s the manner of death that’s newsworthy such as a fire, car accident , crime victim , the media usually stick to “they left behind a spouse and two children”. Sometimes parents and significant others are mentioned, but not friends, siblings, nieces or nephews or professional or other accomplishments unless this person’s death would be newsworthy no matter what the circumstances were.

              1. The OTHER other*

                This is a bit off subject, but obituaries and death notices did not usually give a cause of death, this changed in the 80’s with AIDS. People started listing other causes of death, especially for young men, to disassociate the deceased from the pariah disease, and in some cases papers refused to print notices that mentioned AIDS. This was a taboo that was hard to break.

      1. Emmy Noether*

        If the children are minors, then there usually will be a big impact on the surviving family unit (beyond the grief). It’s not about the deceased! The deceased no longer cares. It’s about who they leave behind that depended on them.

        Should be the same if the deceased cared for an elderly family member, for example, but those kinds of caring relationships are unfortunately less talked about in general.

        1. MK*

          It may be a cultural thing, but where I live, surviving elderly parents are always focused when a person dies, even if they did have children.

          1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

            Same here because, at least in my culture, it is considered even more sad if someone’s kids die before them, especially if they are elderly

      2. turquoisecow*

        I mean children are usually dependent on their parents up to a certain point so they’re more directly affected by death or divorce. Siblings and friends and parents likely live separately from the individual so while they’re sad, their day to day life won’t be as affected. Also, the relationship someone has with their parent is often much different than one has with a friend.

        1. NotRealAnonForThis*

          That last statement and taking it a little further – we can all dismiss a friend’s cheating spouse as someone we choose not to associate with any longer.

          The children do not necessarily have that ability, depending on many factors including age of said children.

    3. MK*

      You seriously don’t understand that an affair hurts not only the spouses of the cheaters, but also the children that go through living in a dysfunctional family unit where people are dishonest to eachother and probably an acrimonious divorce? Or that others might feel more empathy towards these children, who are certainly innocent?

      1. Meyla*

        Just some food for thought: my family was much more functional after my parents got divorced. I agree that a divorce impacts the children too, but I don’t know if it is a universal experience that not-divorced-parents are more “functional” than divorced ones.

        1. comityoferrors*

          I agree with you but I don’t think that’s what MK was saying. The thread is about a comparison between affairs involving people with no children vs. people with children. It adds context to note that a cheater didn’t just wreck his marriage, but also destroyed a family unit with children. There’s no judgment being passed about divorce.

        2. Observer*

          Yeah. The problem here is not the the divorce happened per se, but the events, actions and relationships that lead to the divorce. Although for a lot of kids, even when divorce really is a better option, the divorce is still difficult.

          The bottom line is that ex-boss acted in a way that not only hurt her spouse, but her children to whom she really has some responsibility.

        3. Crooked Bird*

          This food for thought is the conventional wisdom now. It’s said by multiple people every time divorce is brought up. Everyone wants us to know how much better off kids often are after divorce. I have absolutely no doubts it’s sometimes true, but the air is now saturated with it and the fact that kids are sometimes worse off after a divorce has become a dicey statement that will suck at least a quarter of the air out of the room. Why is there a need to repeat the PSA here where it’s not even relevant? MK said affairs wrecked a child’s experience of family, not divorce.

          1. Observer*

            And there are lots of studies that actually show that most often divorce leaves children worse off. Yes, there are definitely cases where children are better off, but it’s not the norm and it’s not as common as some people would like to claim.

            And, as you point out, in this context it’s not the divorce per se, but the affair and wrecking of trust that really hurts.

      2. Luna*

        The only time I consider it’s ‘important’ that a cheater has children is when they are forcing the children to be ‘part’ of the illicit affair, as in the children know about the affair and have been told to keep things secret or lie. That’s something I find wrong because those are your children, they have nothing to do with your romantic or sexual relationship life aspect. (Beyond that you created them with their other parent)

        I will say that my own memory of my parents’ divorce when I was elementary-school aged is extremely vague by now, if not intentionally repressed, so I cannot say, “Well, my brother and I never got much sympathy” or “It was a horrible time”.

        It’s just… call it a pet peeve? Cheating on your partner is a problem between the cheater and the cheated-on partner. The children are… bluntly put, they are ‘collateral damage’ to the far side, like pets or even furniture with sentimental value. The main core issue is between the two initial partners. Everything else is something to worry about later, and should not be brought up immediately.
        I dunno if I’m doing a good job explaining myself here…

        1. Rain's Small Hands*

          But they are collateral damage. I am married to someone who at 56 years old, still is carrying the harm of his parents divorce that happened when he was 12. This is after therapy.

          And parents are supposed to protect their children, not cause them damage. And yes, exiting a bad marriage may be best for the kids, even short term. But doing such by cheating isn’t only a betrayal of your spouse, its a betrayal of the commitment you made to try and protect your kids.

        2. Observer*

          The children are… bluntly put, they are ‘collateral damage’ to the far side, like pets or even furniture with sentimental value.

          Wow! Collateral damage, yes. Like pets or FURNITURE?!

          What an incredibly callous and dehumanizing attitude.

          1. Crooked Bird*

            It’s precisely true if one is looking at them as objects to be divided up in the divorce. Objects without feelings. “The romantic or sexual side of the parents’ relationship has nothing to do with the kids” (even though it’s the only thing capable of producing their literal siblings, either inside or outside the family, which of course should be entirely irrelevant to them! and even though affairs mean one parent has one foot outside the family emotionally and people sense that even when they don’t know) is just one step away from “what I do with my body in my spare time has nothing to do with my spouse, I use protection so it doesn’t affect him/her at all.”

        3. LaDiDa*

          “furniture with sentimental value”
          WHUT?? They are humans with emotions and thoughts. They will be affected by divorce and if the affair comes out they will have feelings and confusion about it. They will be angry and make moral judgments about the parent. The parent who was cheated on may also tell the kids details they don’t need to have.

        4. Katiekins*

          “I dunno if I’m doing a good job explaining myself here…”

          You’re not.

          (Children are collateral damage like furniture?!)

      3. SoloKid*

        Seems unnecessary when writing in to an advice column. Do you think it should change the advice at all?

    4. Emmy Noether*

      The cheating itself isn’t morally worse, if it never comes out. It’s that there’s the risk of leading to a separation if it does and the fact that the separation will impact the children as well. It will hurt more people, so it’s worse.

    5. Ellis Bell*

      I used to belong to a support group for people who had been through affairs and a lot of time the kids were just as affected if not more so. It was actually a really common thing for the kids to find out first and then be in the position of deciding whether or how to tell the betrayed parent. It’s still pretty awful if you don’t have kids! I was child free and it was devastating…. But I could divorce him without having to do child custody agreements, which is no small thing.

      1. Falling Diphthong*

        Plenty of kids wind up in LW1’s shoes, knowing about the affair but threatened with reprisals by the cheating parent if they alert their other parent.

        1. Ellis Bell*

          Yep, I’ve heard from more than one son or daughter who was told to keep their mouth shut. Plus that letter from the daughter whose apartment was being used for the affair by her roommate is a more typical example than people think of kids getting dragged in. Kids being used as cover stories is common. It’s also common to only hide stuff from the spouse and to be completely indiscreet with kids. Don’t even get me started on when the affair partner becomes a step parent and expects all to be forgiven.

          1. turquoisecow*

            I know of someone whose cheating spouse used to meet their affair partner at the park while their kids played together. I think the kid was too young to understand what was going on but a few comments about the parent’s special friend made the other parent start looking into it. I could see an older kid understanding and struggling with loyalty to one parent vs the other – do I keep daddy’s secret or do I hurt mommy with the truth or would she want to know?

      2. Person from the Resume*

        I don’t think it’s worth comparing the moral badness of cheating on a partner, a spouse, or a spouse while having children. The cheating is the bad/immoral act. The level of fallout don’t make the act more minor or worse.

        OTOH a couple without children can divorce and never see each other again. Totally never have to interact again once they’re leaglly and financially seperated. A couple with kids are almost always stuck coparenting into to their child’s adulthood (weddings, life events, shared holidays). That’s a huge difference.

    6. Cheat's Daughter*

      Well, when you are eleven and your dad is cheating on your mum, you can end up in a situation where he takes you to local library then goes shopping while you get your books, you go back to the car to wait for him, then his mistress recognises the car and comes over to start banging on the windows demanding to know where he is, calling you names, threating to kill your mother and more delightful stuff. And then your dad can emotionally blackmail you into not telling your mum what happened.

      So yeah, sometimes it is worse. For the kids. Thanks for asking.

      1. BatManDan*

        Much sympathy. The level of short-sightedness that people have around their CHILDREN absolutely blows my mind.

    7. FashionablyEvil*

      “Worse” in the sense that there are more people directly impacted by the dissolution of the marriage, and, especially if they’re minors, with fewer coping skills to understand what’s happening and adjust.

    8. Irish Teacher*

      Personally, I think it is worse as they are harming more people. Not that it’s OK to have an affair if you don’t have children, but the children will be hurt if the information about the affair comes out and it does affect them, both by the possibility of their parents splitting up or even just arguing and there being tension in the house and by the other partner potentially entering their lives.

    9. Mina, the Company Prom Queen*

      It isn’t worse. It’s just as devastating whether the cheater has kids or not. I do think it says something else about the cheater’s character if they have kids, though. Just adds to the whole situation.

      1. Mina, the Company Prom Queen*

        To add to my above comment, the cheater’s children are very much affected by the affair. If the affair breaks up a family, that definitely says a lot about the cheater’s character as well.

      2. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        I think it is because there is an element of betrayal to your kids. Part of the job description of being a parent is not hurting your kids. Affairs often hurt kids

    10. Lynca*

      It’s worse because there are more people directly involved in the emotional fallout.

      If you have children together you still have to co-parent, interact, etc. It’s not just contained to the adults in the relationship. Finding out your parent had an affair can lead to a lot of trust issues and change how they feel about the parent.

      My uncle divorced his then wife due to an affair. The kids literally needed therapy because of how toxic my uncle became towards his ex-wife and how absolutely dysfunctional their family got. His ex-wife wasn’t a bad person and is a great mom. I have a better relationship with her than I do my uncle.

      1. Luna*

        My parents haven’t interacted with each other much past their divorce, I think the last time they were in the same place together for a while was my highschool graduation. And that was years after the last time they even remotely indirectally-interacted with each other.

        1. Yikes*

          Really? No custody arrangement? No support payments while you were growing up? Then you are in a very small minority and shouldn’t generalize your experience.

          1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

            Both of those could have happened without any direct interaction. Sometimes folks only speak through lawyers or, if everyone sticks to the support agreement, there isn’t any reason to talk. Also, if the custody arrangement is pick-up/drop-off at school the parents wouldn’t have to interact. I can see this actually being more common than we think because we don’t hear about it. No loudly announces that they didn’t talk to someone

            1. Emmy Noether*

              Mh, I’d imagine that the first time something didn’t go to plan, that system wouldn’t work anymore. Let’s say the kid gets sick and can’t go to school: you’d have to notify the other parent somehow not to go pick them up at school! Or if they forgot something at other parent’s house, or you receive the invitation to the best friend’s party, but it’s on other parent’s weekend, or, or, or. When does childrearing ever go to plan?

              I guess if the kid is old enough, all communication can go through the kid, but that does put a lot of responsibility and work on the kid that should be the parent’s job.

    11. KoiFeeder*

      I don’t know how common it is for someone to know their partner is having an affair and then have a child to “keep the marriage together,” but I know it’s common enough that it’s happened a few times that I personally know of. It’s only anecdotal evidence, but those seem to be particularly traumatic for the kid/kids involved.

  14. UKgreen*

    Ugh, I really wish we could get over the ‘it’s weird to brush teeth at work’ thing. It’s really a no weirder thing to do than using the sink to wash your hands or face and yet it’s considered ‘unusual’. I’ve been working for over 20 years and I’ve always brushed my teeth after lunch – I still regularly get comments. Perhaps from people who secretly admire my dental hygiene and low dentist bills?!?

    1. Academic Fibro Warrior*

      I think there may be some cultural aspects regarding dental hygiene in the workplace too. I used to work with a number of people from all over the world and it was surprising to me that we Americans were about the only people in the department who did not brush after every meal (in some cases after every snack). But I only knew because I’d go in the restroom to wash my hands and fix makeup after meals and see it. That totally normalized it for me and I’ve since adopted the habit, especially since my workplace still requires indoor masking if more than one person is in the room.

      I agree people shouldn’t be weirded out by it. So long as it’s kept reasonably private…don’t walk around the office brushing, take aligners out out of sight, etc. I mean, you’re not brushing at them or anything.

    2. Hit my head on glass ceiling*

      Spitting in public is generally viewed as gross and unclean in the US. Mixing toothpaste with saliva doesn’t make it less gross.

      1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        So are peeing and pooping, which is why all of these activities are confined to a bathroom and it is common practice for folks to flush the remnants either down the sink or down the toilet

  15. A Becky*

    Re#3, tell me you had unmanaged ADHD without telling me: the “you’re looking through the garbage until we find your retainer” trick *didn’t work*. The only thing that stopped my retainer brace getting lost in the garbage was not finding it the last time

  16. Lily Potter*

    My read on the timeline for #5 is that he interviewed fairly recently, like within the past couple of months. Should be an interesting interview if the interviewer(s) is/are the same from the first time. Either they’ll acknowledge the weirdness head on (“well, here we are again!”) or they’ll ask exactly the same questions as they did 8-10 weeks ago.

    1. Emmy Noether*

      I read it as being invited for the second round of interviews, not another go at the first round. Not weird.

      1. Lily Potter*

        Ah, I see that. My read was that the re-post meant that they’d started the whole search over from scratch, and #5 had “earned the opportunity” to be considered all over again (yuck!)

        1. Emmy Noether*

          That’s not usually how it works in the private sector in my experience (starting over from scratch). Or else #5 would have had to re-apply to the new post to be reconsidered if it was a totally independent search. More likely it’s just an automatic repost that is meaningless to the internal process (the hiring manager may not even know it was reposted).

        2. ecnaseener*

          I think that’s what LW5 might have thought was happening, but nah “reposting” truly means nothing more than “posting the opening online again so it gets a recent date.” Nothing on the “back end” with the actual candidates.

  17. Ellis Bell*

    OP1, I say this as someone who was betrayed in their marriage AND was really angry at a lot of people who knew about it… Give yourself some grace! Not only was this your boss but you actually pushed back at her…and left your job! I would have been kind of amazed and grateful if someone had done that, because it was above and beyond, quite honestly. It was not on you in any way at all to defend this person’s marriage, mostly because there is nothing you could have done. I would never have told you in that moment to risk your livelihood for the sake of helping your boss’ spouse, but getting yourself out of a situation that made you uncomfortable was probably the right thing for you overall anyway. I encourage you to recentre your energies on how *you* were treated by your boss here. I remember a woman who had a serial cheat for a husband, and everybody who knew her was telling her to leave him and she would say: “When he’s not with me he’s at work so it’s fine”. I will always remember her being told: “Anybody who is counting on their spouse’s coworkers to keep an eye on their spouse is going to be disappointed because that’s not a thing”. It’s doubly not a thing when it’s the boss! Feel the benefit of doing more than expected, and let the ex husband be the one to raise the issue if he ever wants to, since it was his divorce and his betrayal.

    1. Despachito*

      Although I understand that a betrayed person may have a whole array of angry/otherwise unpleasant feelings, I actually think that they have no right to be angry at people who knew bud did not tell them. I would be very hesitant whether to tell a good friend if I found their partner was cheating on them, and I would definitely never tell a coworker’s partner. Because:

      1) I do not know their situation – maybe they have an open marriage, maybe the cheated person prefers to close their eyes because otherwise they would have to react – am I really entitled to trigger such a drama in a family I barely know?

      2) different people have very different opinions on whether they would like to know should this happen. Some of them say “if you knew and did not tell me, I will never forgive you”, some of them have rather a “shoot the messenger” attitude. So you, as an innocent bystander, could well be trapped between a stone and a hard place, and whatever you do can be wrong and make the cheated person hate you.

      Because of both the above, if I ever found out someone was cheating, I’d zip it up and pretend I never knew (but my opinion as to the cheater will plummet). Because after all, it is not my business and I definitely do not want to be a victim of other people’s drama.

      1. Despachito*

        So, as to OP1 – resist the urge and definitely DON’t tell, you’d make the situation very awkward with no positive outcome either for you or your coworker.

      2. MK*

        I think it can be argued that one has an obligation as a friend to tell, if they find out their friend’s spouce is cheating, the same way they should disclose other shady behaviour, like getting into debt or doing something criminal, anything that would impact their decision to stay married or had to do with their safety. But a stranger or someone you are only acquainted with, no.

        1. Despachito*

          I disagree with you as to the obligation of a friend to tell, it can be VERY nuanced. Does the friend really want to know (some people prefer not to)? And what if the cheating spouse is your friend too? (would you tell on your friend if they were cheating on their partner who is a stranger to you? A lot of people would consider this a betrayal of the friendship. But if BOTH the cheater and the cheated one are your friends… you have no real way out)

          But I wholeheartedly agree on your take of definitely not telling a stranger or an acquaintance.

          1. MK*

            Eh, I hear the “some people don’t want to know” a lot, but unless the person has actually said they don’t care about infidelity and would prefer not to be told, who are you to decide for them, if they “really” want to know? And I am only talking about a situation when the one being cheated on is a friend, otherwise I agree there is no obligation. If they are both friends, while I agree it’s a difficult position to be in, I don’t see how you “have no way out”. Staying silent isn’t a neutral decision; if you are knowingly allowing a friend to be hurt because you don’t want to risk the cheaters friendship, well, you basically picked sides.

            1. Despachito*

              For me, it would definitely not be “not risking the cheater’s friendship”, because my feelings of friendship would be already damaged if I knew this person is capable of cheating.

              I am thinking along the lines “for all I know, and strongly disapprove, this can only be an affair which will fade out, cheater-friend may realize it was a mistake, return to their partner and the partner may never find out (and therefore will not be hurt). While if I tell, it is likely that drama will ensue with much worse ending for all the involved, including me.

              I would never provide alibi for a cheating friend, but if it was just “I saw my friend Fergus passionately kissing Anne while I know he is married to my friend Sue”, I can very easily pretend that I did not notice anything.

              1. MK*

                I guess I believe that someone being cheated on is being hurt now, by having their freedom of choise about the relationship they want to be in taken away. Even if they don’t find out, they are living a lie.

              2. Curious*

                I would say it is also a question of duty: if Sue is a close friend, I may have a strong duty to protect her interests, while if the (possibly, some facts unknown) injured spouse is an acquaintance or a stranger, I may not.

            2. Allonge*

              The cheat-ee’s friendship can also be at risk though. You will always be the one who broke the news and some people will find it hard to consider that a friend-ly thing.

              1. MK*

                I wouldn’t prioritize a remote possibility of a friend holding it against me (I get that such people exist, but I think most people, and all reasonable people, would appreciate their friend trying to look out for them) over the certainty of the friend getting hurt.

                1. Allonge*

                  I see that this is your preference (I hope you did not have to test it in the real world!) but I disagree that this is a remote possibility. Nobody is reasonable all the time, let alone someone who is in pain.

              2. Irish Teacher*

                And they may not even believe you. There’s a possibility the cheater will claim you were lying or mistaken and their partner may believe them over you. Not necessarily a reason not to tell but I can see why people would be concerned.

          2. Thought Food*

            Despachito, you are more concerned about looking out for yourself than your “close” friend. You can always ask if they would want to know, why assume they wouldn’t?

            I don’t think it is nuanced at all. I have a friend who was given an STD by her cheating husband, if I had known I would have definitely told her so she could protect her health. And I would have wanted her to do the same.

            Sorry, no way to be Switzerland here. If I found out a friend knew my spouse was cheating and didn’t tell me, I would no longer consider them a friend, as they have no loyalty.

            OP, let it all go.

        2. Allonge*

          As a friend you are also more likely to know whether there is an open marriage or if the person would want to know or not. But even then, shooting the messenger applies sometimes. No easy answer, here.

        3. Clisby*

          I tend to agree, but in this case there’s no nuance to consider. The ex-boss and her former husband are divorced. There might possibly have been a benefit to the husband learning about the affair earlier than he did, but now? What benefit is it to him to find out a co-worker knew about the affair while it was going on?

        4. Mewtwo*

          One of my ex-friends admitted to me that she wouldn’t tell me if she knew a hypothetical partner was cheating on me, even when I explicitly said I would want her to tell me. She actually pushed back and said she would be hesitant and gave some bizarre and ambiguous reasons. This was the beginning of several instances of me learning that she was kind of just a terrible person with bad judgement. I eventually faded her out.

          1. Mewtwo*

            But to be clear, this is in regards to someone I once considered a really close friend. I definitely would NOT expect a coworker or direct report to say anything if they knew.

      3. Falling Diphthong*

        I actually think that they have no right to be angry at people who knew bud did not tell them.
        Eh. This often seems to lead to affair partners proclaiming “Obviously I got into this affair for complicated right-now emotional reasons, not because I thought long and hard about the impact on other people and wanted to be sure no one was harmed” and then it’s “How could Cheated On name me in the divorce suit? It’s like they’re reacting emotionally in the moment, and not thinking about how this action might harm other people!”

      4. Ellis Bell*

        Well, the whole open marriage thing and “do people really want to know” thing doesn’t apply. I’m talking about people who knew me extremely well, from childhood, not an acquaintance. They knew I didn’t want to be betrayed, and they certainly knew I didn’t want to be deceived on top of it. I was not a “marriage at all costs” person, they knew I would rather have the right intel so that I could free myself, but they were friends with my spouse as well and decided to support him while he was undecided. But you’re right in the wider sense that it can be a difficult call. I think the people who didn’t tell me had every right to make their own call, and I may have made a similar call before I knew what it felt like. I think whatever call you make in that situation, the friendship is at risk; for example if I’m ever in this situation, I may choose to tell someone who it turns out doesn’t want to know. I’m not trashing them as people or calling out their morality with the word “anger”. I was angry because I threw years of my life away on a lie. That said, even though I understood their difficult situation, it destroyed the friendship because they became part of the deceit and that evaporated any good stuff, or their ability to support me. I don’t get to choose certain feelings when they’re big enough and devastating enough.

        1. Ellis Bell*

          I hope this summarised why I certainly wouldn’t expect a coworker to make this sort of a call.

          1. ecnaseener*

            It did. Sorry people are derailing so hard on whether your previous emotions were valid or not, it’s not warranted when you were just sharing it for context to make LW feel better!

            1. Ellis Bell*

              Thank you, that is very kind. I get it though. People like to theorise what they would do in that situation, and I did once too! The fact is that the reality of any given situation is not likely to match advance theories.

    2. Bagpuss*

      “It was not on you in any way at all to defend this person’s marriage” I think this is key. OP was not the affair partner, she didn’t do anything to assist or condone the relationship – she even spoke up about it being conducted at work.
      So, OP, if you are feeling any guilt for not saying more / not having tol the husband (or the other person’s spouse)

      And I don’t think thee is a single wright answer for whether you say anything if you are in the situation of learning this about someone’s spouse or partner – I think it’s very nuanced and it depends hugely on your relatinhip with the peropl concnered.

      Also, people who are hurt and angry are not always rational.
      Someone who might say they would want to be told may still react with anger and blame the person who takes them at their word and tells them.

      I think it is very selfish of people to put others in this position – if you are chosing to have an affair, don’t drag others into it or expect them to cover for you.

      1. Observer*

        I think it is very selfish of people to put others in this position – if you are chosing to have an affair, don’t drag others into it or expect them to cover for you.

        Very much this. Old boss was a jerk for this, if for no other reason.

  18. Samantha*

    #3 – I did invisalign in my mid-twenties while working full time in an office. The bathroom was pretty busy and only had one sink, so many times I’d have to move aside while brushing to let a colleague wash their hands. I only ever got a nod and smile, or general office chatter. If anyone thought it was weird, they were polite enough to not say so. A few people noticed the aligners and asked about them, but only in a friendly and interested way.

    I recommend getting yourself a nice little bag to keep your aligner case / tooth brush / toothpaste etc in, one that you won’t mind carrying around in a restaurant and at work.

  19. Lexi Vipond*

    I wonder where LW5 is based (or their background) – for a lot of jobs in the UK, the usual process is to advertise a job with a closing date, shortlist, interview on a set date or dates (which might already have been listed in the advert), and appoint. Readvertising in a process like that does tend to mean starting from scratch – the second advert will often say ‘previous applicants should not apply’, although sometimes they say ‘need not’, which could be taken as a suggestion that they might revisit the first batch.

    1. Bagpuss*

      I would say that it is one common way of doing things, but not ‘the usual process’
      I think maybe is it more common in bigger organisation and possibilty in the public sector.

      It’s not standard in my field.

  20. Michelle Smith*

    I was a strong candidate for a job (I withdrew to accept a different offer in the same organization whose process was faster and the team I rejected was super disappointed and told me that). They flat out told me during my second interview that their process was moving slower than they’d like because they had to repost the job. Apparently HR has a requirement that they interview X number of qualified people before making a decision and they didn’t get a sufficient number of qualified applicants to even choose from (imagine the position was for an experienced surgeon job at a hospital and they got tons of applications from people who hadn’t gone to medical school, people who had but weren’t board licensed, people who had never done a surgical residency, RNs, etc.). They were clear to me that the job would be reposted (and therefore I might see the post), but that it didn’t mean they weren’t really interested in me. Perhaps you are in a similar situation, just with less transparent interviewers. I’ve also learned that some sites will autopost the jobs again after a certain time frame until the posting is formally closed. I applied for a job once that looked like a new posting, but actually it closed a couple days later when they officially hired my then-coworker who had gone through a several month interview process I knew nothing about! I’ve also been in processes where the job closed and was reposted and I was encouraged to reapply, with a note that the description (responsibilities and/or requirements) had changed. So compare the new job description to the old one to make sure it’s really a repost and hasn’t changed at all.

    I say all this to say, don’t shoot yourself in the foot or get an ego about this company’s process, especially when you don’t know all the details about the repost. If you like the job and the people you’ve met that you’d be working with, accept the interview. If this is just a last straw from a company you’re not that excited about joining, exit the process.

    1. KRM*

      Also, keep in mind that the company may be hiring for multiples of the position across different departments! If six departments need 10 people that fit that job description but only 4 have been filled, 4 are in process, and 2 still need applicants, they’re going to repost the job! It’s not personal!

  21. SJ*

    In re the last letter — all of our positions got put on hold recently because the recruiter themselves had given notice and they needed to reassign them. Very frustrating but yet again no reflection on the candidate.

  22. Medium Sized Manager*

    LW3: I survived Invisalign in a call center environment – nobody seemed to notice that I was brushing my teeth. I did get a couple weird looks because of how badly they affected my ability to say the letter s, but the lisp (and looks) faded after a day or two.

  23. toolittletoolate*

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with gently letting the person who contacted you know that you have previously interviewed for the position “I’m excited about the opportunity for a second interview. I previously interviewed with XYZ people. Who will I be meeting with this time?”

  24. Falling Diphthong*

    OP1, imagine you had heard this news about your new coworker via the grape vine. “Oh, so sad, his wife was cheating on him for a year. Left him home to watch the kids.” It would be awkward to know, but might also give you some helpful context (e.g. excise “So, are you married?” from your small talk queries). But knowing the awkward thing wouldn’t mean you needed to talk to him about the awkwardness you are feeling.

    I maintain that people having affairs should not rely on everyone around them to cover up the affair they are failing to disguise. Flip side, unless the cheated on person is a close personal friend of yours you are not obligated to alert them. You do not need to endanger your job because you know a coworker or manager or customer or supplier is cheating on their spouse.

  25. SockKnitter*

    For #5 – I work for an organization that has multiple positions with the same job title. Maybe the group you’re applying to does as well and they’re trying to fill more than one position. It could also be that the position you applied for is getting filled (hopefully by you), so they closed it, but then someone else (with the same job title) announced that they’re leaving. Don’t give up!

  26. Gojira*

    LW4, best of luck leaving Texas!!! My family is in the same position and it’s terrifying to be stuck here a while longer. You’re making a good decision and I hope you both get great jobs quickly.

  27. Delta Delta*

    #1 – Stay out of it. You have no idea what happened in the context of your coworker & ex-boss’s marriage/home/private life. Probably no good will come of saying something. When you see coworker, politely say hello or chat about the weather or the new policy about cover sheets on TPS reports, and leave it at that.

    #5 – I’m sure this isn’t personal. Not unlike my thoughts on #1, you really don’t know what happened within the company that led to re-posting. If you interview with them, do your best and hope it goes well.

  28. le teacher*

    I just finished Invisalign! I felt so weird when I first started, but after about one month in I was popping those suckers out and brushing my teeth everywhere. I had a solid routine at work, and over the course of a year I learned how many of my colleagues brush their teeth after lunch! It is way more common than you think. My mom did Invisalign and even after she finished, she kept brushing her teeth mid-day because she got so used to it.

  29. Lizy*

    #4 I got my current job specifically because we were in the same situation- we were planning on moving in the next few months – year but that was all we knew. I was open and upfront about it in interviews and it honestly made me more comfortable knowing that the job wouldn’t be pulled because of where I chose to live.

  30. Katie from Scotland*

    #3 – My enthusiasm for the “brush every single time you take them in and out” and the “wear them every single moment of the day unless you’re actively eating” wore off around 8-12 weeks in. Now I wait 20 mins or so after eating, and check my teeth are visibly clean before sticking them back in. Always do that in the bathroom, so I can rinse the braces. Thorough cleaning of teeth and braces morning and night at home, so overall keeping to the same hygiene routine I had before as much as possible. It’s still a faff tbh, but I’m very excited about the results! Also recommend getting spare cases so you can keep them in a few likely spots.

    1. Julia*

      Haha finally, I found my people. Every comment is like “I did invisalign and diligently brushed after every meal for the entire 80 years!” Yeah, brushing lasted about a month and then I started rinsing off the trays and swishing water in my mouth.

      1. PhyllisB*

        This reminds me of when my son was wearing a retainer. He was forever leaving it in weird places. One time I caught the dog with it. I grabbed it, washed and disinfected it, and poured mouth wash all over it. Later when he put it in he asked me why did his retainer taste sweet?

    2. fhqwhgads*

      My whole sequence was only 16 weeks, so yeah, I was that diligent. Although I also had old-school braces as a kid, was not dilligent then, which is why I ended up with Invisalign as an adult so I’m pretty not wanting to deal with this ever again affected my personal Rule Following in this case. I’m guessing a lot of people are similar.

  31. Lacey*

    LW5: It’s true what everyone is saying about how they might be reposting the job just bc it hasn’t been filled yet. But, I will say, I know I wasn’t the first person offered the job I’m in right now – but they were still very enthusiastic about me as an employee and it’s still a great job and absolutely no one is wishing that they’d hired someone else.

    1. OP5*

      OP5 here: Thanks for this! I think I’ve been so stressed by job hunting that I found this more upsetting than I should.

    1. A Simple Narwhal*

      My husband had braces as an adult and wore a retainer all day for the first couple months after they were removed – he had to return to multiple restaurants and dig through several trashcans to retrieve them after forgetting them/accidentally throwing them out! A “fun” revisit to childhood, along with finding those rubber elastics everywhere, even years after he had stopped using them.

      Life got a lot simpler after he was cleared to wear the retainer only at night.

  32. Miette*

    #5: Something similar happened to me years ago. I was interviewing for a position and it got to the offer stage. They undercut my salary requirement, I pushed back, and they ghosted me. Months later, they contacted me for another interview and I accepted (I was still unemployed ugh). When I met with the (new) hiring manager, I learned that a.) the original hiring manager had left in the middle of the hiring process; b.) HR at that company was a joke, but that’s a story for another time; and c.) she was a woman of integrity (who is still a friend years later). We hit it off instantly and when she learned of my experience, she offered me the job right away and at the salary I required.

    The moral: these things often have very little to do with you. They called you again, so you get to ask them about what happened last time. Perhaps it was a glitch in their system or maybe the hiring manager left. Good luck with the do-over!

  33. Fern*

    #5. I am on a search committee where we had to fail the search because the pool wasn’t big enough/strong enough to go through two rounds of interviews, but there was one candidate that was really strong and we wanted to interview. So we had to re-post the job and reach out to the candidate and ask them to re-apply. So it could be something like that and nothing to do with you. Re-apply!

  34. Cringing 24/7*

    Oh my goodness, OP4, are you me?! My spouse and I are literally planning our Texit within the next year or so and trying to figure out the logistics of remote work within new states (we’re both in-person right now with our jobs).

    I appreciate Alison’s advice because I’ve been torn between either having to find in-person work in that state from out of state (ugh) or having to find remote work and then figure out when to mention I’ll be leaving the current state I’m in.

    Good vibes and best of luck to you and your partner!

    1. Hlao-roo*

      I looked for in-person jobs in a different state earlier this year and was successful! In my case, I was moving to be closer to family (instead of away from state politics) so that gave me a concrete destination and an easy sentence on my cover letter to explain the move. It wasn’t fun, per se, but I didn’t find it any worse than an in-state job search. Just want to share that it is possible.

      Good luck to you and your spouse!

  35. RuralGirl*

    Could the manager who is upset about the salary be mad that the LW shared her new salary with others because it points out that other companies pay more? Not necessarily upset about her own salary, but worried her other employees will come ask for an increase?

    1. A More Brilliant Orange*

      I suspect it’s sour grapes.

      The manager probably busted their tail for years getting to her current position and salary. Now she’s confronted with the fact that it was all for naught. She could have made more by simply switching jobs.

      She’s jealous of her subordinate’s new found success, and her subordinate’s presence makes her question her choices. She’s probably more angry at herself than the LW, but she’s handling it by turning that internal anger towards the LW.

    2. The Real Fran Fine*

      That’s possible. I know that when I shared what I would be making at my current company with colleagues from my old one, many of them – including the HR rep conducting my exit interview – made comments about how they were going to start looking right away (the HR rep even jokingly asked if the company was hiring for an HR generalist, lol).

    3. Observer*

      Could the manager who is upset about the salary be mad that the LW shared her new salary with others because it points out that other companies pay more?

      Could easily be. But it doesn’t make her reaction any better.

  36. Cat Lady in the Mountains*

    LW4, I hire for a lot of remote/location-anywhere-in U.S. roles so I see this a ton from the company side. A few notes:
    – Bring it up early and be as specific as you can about your plans. This is because not only is there legal complexity in different states, but there can be work-related complexity – like, if you want to work Eastern time there might be different expectations around flexibility if your whole team is on the west coast. In my context, moving anywhere wouldn’t be a disqualifier, it would just mean we have to have a conversation about logistics and I’d want to do that ASAP in case our logistics are a disqualifier for you.
    – Not all companies can accommodate super-fast moves. We usually tell candidates (and staff) that it takes a minimum of 2 months to get a cross-state move processed. (Sometimes we can make it happen faster, but there’s no guarantee — it depends on our HR capacity.) So for us, it’s way easier if you move before you start. If you want to move after you start — even if we know about it in advance — and your plans aren’t specific enough to start the paperwork when you accept the offer, you may not be able to move as fast as you want.
    – If you can possibly avoid moving right when you start a new job, that’s ideal. I’ve seen SO many candidates get a remote offer and decide to relocate during/right before/right after their first couple weeks. Cross-country moves are hell, and starting new jobs is stressful — it’s not a good combination and even if you REALLY have it together, it can lead to not looking like you have it together before you’ve established a track record for reliability. Like, if your wifi doesn’t work yet your first day at a new remote job, that’s gonna be pretty hard to recover from.

    1. KatEnigma*

      I second this.

      We moved after Christmas. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the moving pods didn’t get delivered (not even the next day, as we had left an extra day to get them before hiring a crew to load them) so the people and pets moved, but we had to schedule a new moving company ASAP and my husband had to fly back 10 days later to supervise the movers. That many days off work at the start of any job, let alone a remote job, isn’t great. He had already worked remotely for 18 months at that point, so it was okay.

    2. #4*

      This is SUCH valuable information, and stuff I never would have guessed. In fact, I had been assuming that moving faster and moving closer to the start of a job would be preferable for the company!

      Honestly, a slower move would be easier on me financially (more time to keep saving up for it), and I’d definitely prefer to separate the stress of moving from the stress of new job too. I feel more confident asking for those things now, when I was assuming I’d just be at the company’s whim to like, drop everything and move in two weeks or something.

      Thank you for your insight!

  37. Erin*

    #3 I have always brushed my teeth after lunch. I always carry a travel toothbrush & small toothpaste in my handbag/work bag, and nobody has ever had a negative thing to say about it. Quite the opposite tbh…several people in my last company started brushing after lunch as well.

    The post-lunch brush is quite refreshing!

  38. Saberise*

    Re: #1. Maybe it’s just me but I would have been pissed if a co-worker went to my boss and told her that she was making “all of us” uncomfortable with her affair. Someone that is willing to carry out an affair so boldly is not going to react well to being confronted like that. If you want to go to her saying it make you uncomfortable that is your right but don’t drag me into it resulting in my job being threatened. I guess it’s possible every one of her co-workers asked her to speak up but I would be very surprised if that were the case.

  39. KatEnigma*

    #1- You didn’t know this man well enough to even know where he worked. It would have been really inappropriate for you to tell him his wife was cheating on him. No sane person would expect it. IF he is treating you strangely, it’s probably because he assumes you know about that aspect of his personal life that he otherwise kept out of the office. Keep your lips firmly zipped and I expect things with him will improve.

    1. thursday already*

      Exactly – even if her job hadn’t been threatened, it wouldn’t make sense to get involved like that. It would have been really weird to track him down to tell him what was going on.
      Let it go – he’s moving on, and it will be fine.

    2. Courageous cat*

      Yeah… yikes. I don’t really see the dilemma here unless one is looking to stir something up. It’s none of their business and it’s definitely not their place to bring it up to him. There’s no way it could end well.

  40. KatEnigma*

    #5 Besides what Alison mentioned, sometimes they start out looking for 1 person in a role and then someone else quits or they otherwise realize they need to hire multiple people in that role. If you want this job, don’t torpedo your chances by being defensive or weird about it.

  41. SHIELD Agent Playing Galaga*

    OP#3–in 2016, I had two dental implants put in, which necessitated my wearing a retainer with two false teeth to hide the gaps until I was ready to have the crowns put in. I had to follow similar rules re eating and drinking, so I just kept my retainer box with me at all times. I don’t remember a single person having an issue with either the retainer or that I had gaps in my smile when I was eating or drinking. We’re all human, not robots. (At least not yet.)

  42. ABCYaBye*

    LW2 – This is a perfect example of what I seem to be telling people more and more. Someone’s reaction to you is most often a WINDOW you see them through and not not a MIRROR you see yourself in. You get to see your boss for who they are. Their reaction is not a reflection of, or on, you. You get a clear picture of who they are at their core, but that reaction is theirs and not yours. Your boss could be upset for any number of reasons, but their reaction to your increase in salary in your new position is their reaction and has zero to do with you. Don’t let it weigh you down. Congrats on the new role! Super exciting!!

    1. Kate in Colorado*

      “Someone’s reaction to you is most often a WINDOW you see them through and not not a MIRROR you see yourself in.”

      Whoooa. I just read that like 3 times and I’m totally writing that down.

  43. 1,000 Snails in a Lady Skin*

    OP 4 –

    Just noting that my company has a list of approved states we’re allowed to hire from. We don’t share this publicly on our postings at all — but if I get someone from a non-approved state, I’m supposed to reject them right off the bat. (I think this is a terrible policy fwiw.)

    So just saying if you already know what state you’re moving to, it might be easier to have that state listed on your applications so you don’t waste time going through an interview process to learn that they won’t be able to hire you because of your location.

    1. Nevian*

      YES! Thank you because our company has the same rule. It’s Massachusetts and California, btw. All current employees who apply to be full time remote cannot be in California/Mass. If they say they’re going to move there, their application is denied.
      No idea what would happen if someone chose to move there after getting full time remote approved, but I expect they’d be on the next round of layoffs.

      California especially has a lot of special rules and taxes for employees and my smallish company just doesn’t want the hassle.

      1. KRM*

        I mean, I can see that for a company–it might be really easy to set up in a state which has same/similar laws. But for a state with vastly different ones it isn’t going to be worth it for them to do all the paperwork, especially if it would only be one/a few people.

    2. #4*

      So weird, but good to know. I can’t express how much I wish this stuff were more transparent… I know we’re kind of all figuring it out still, but that’s such an easy thing to throw on the bottom of a job posting. Sigh.

  44. PersephoneUnderground*

    #2- It might help to express sympathy with your manager, saying you’re shocked that she doesn’t make more than that because she deserves better etc. Obviously it’s harder to find a natural time to bring it up after that initial conversation, but if you are in fact surprised or sympathetic, expressing that would probably remind her you’re on the same “side” in this situation. Even more so in case her changed behavior isn’t deliberate but more just a gut reaction of feeling jealous or uncomfortable.

    I have started sharing salaries with coworkers over the last few years, and while it felt odd at first we’ve all benefitted. One of my coworkers has been a great support for my push to get a raise, making sure I know how he was treated during his past raise process for comparison because I’m a woman in tech and we know how easy it is to get disparities in our situation. So please don’t let this put you off the practice!

  45. Mewtwo*

    I did Invisalign a few years ago while working in the office full time! I brushed and flossed in the bathroom before and after meals and it was no big deal (though kind of a pain). Ironically, I WFH now so the treatment would have been so much more straight forward if I did it now.

  46. calvin blick*

    I don’t think people know how job reposting works. I remember I applied for an internal promotion, didn’t get it, saw the position get filled…but saw that already interviewed for, already filled position as one of my “suggested jobs” on LinkedIn for like two months after. For a while LinkedIn would even bombard me with emails telling me to apply for this position.

    I mentioned it to our HR person (water cooler talk, not a complaint or anything), and from what she said the whole job posting procedure is a lot less organized than you would think.

    1. Eldritch Office Worker*

      This reminded me to go check if I have any old job posts still up…

      Yes, a lot less organized than you might think. And probably one of a million things the person in charge of the post is handling. A passive one at that – you don’t check your posts very often once they’re up – so it’s easy to forget.

  47. OP 3 from https://www.askamanager.org/2022/08/can-i-bring-my-dog-on-a-business-trip-manager-made-up-fake-reasons-for-a-firing-and-more.html**

    For OP 5: Honestly, as myself never anybody who is involved with hiring decisions, it’s a pet peeve of mine when certain “bad signs” are even automatically interpreted as such. I’ve literally seen jobs reposted multiple times during my period going through more than one phase of consideration as a candidate. One such opening, from 2015, was an inconsistent case of regularly being refreshed when other jobs for the companies weren’t, and as I went through more an HR phone call, an assessment test, and an in-person interview during those periods, the reposting literally didn’t mean that I was out of consideration.

    Off the top of my head, the only other commonly misinterpreted “bad sign” that I can think about is something along the lines of still interviewing or having calls with other candidates, etc. Going beyond how it’s my second-hand understanding (seemingly just common sense too) that some people will literally say that if they didn’t literally finish talking to everyone they’re scheduled to talk to, I have been told exactly such with interviewing other candidates and gotten job offers in the end of the process…

  48. Nameless in Customer Service*

    LW #1, you might feel that you were complicit in your then-boss’s affair because you didn’t bring it to light. But, one, she threatened to fire you, and two, you were dealing with her and not her husband — you would have had to seek him out to tell him. Also, it was her misdeed, not yours.

    However you feel about that awful situation (FWIW, I think you shouldn’t blame yourself) the now-ex-husband is not the person you should ask for forgiveness. Only you can give that to yourself. Good luck with this.

  49. A. Tiskit & A. Taskit LLC*

    LW2: Your manager’s reason for her sudden chilliness towards you has nothing to do with you as a person or as an employee; the reason is plain old jealousy! She’s seen you as a subordinate – a most valued and competent worker, to be sure, but nonetheless as someone inferior to herself. Now your new salary puts you at HER pay level and she doesn’t like that one little bit!

    Petty? Definitely! Human nature (not at its best)? That too!

  50. Lady Pomona*

    LW2: Your manager’s reason for her sudden chilliness towards you has nothing to do with you as a person or as an employee; the reason is plain old jealousy! She’s seen you as a subordinate – a most valued and competent worker, to be sure, but nonetheless as someone inferior to herself. Now your new salary puts you at HER pay level and she doesn’t like that one little bit!

    Petty? Definitely! Human nature (not at its best)? That too!

  51. JustMe*

    LW 3 – that’s incredibly common. The director of my office has invisalign and brushes her teeth/flosses after every meal she has while at work. Honestly, no one is going to fault you for having good oral hygiene at work.

  52. Observer*

    #2 –I feel that it was a mistake sharing my salary, and that my doing so might have ruined our relationship, and effectively burned a professional bridge. Was I wrong to share my salary? Is there any way to repair my relationship with my manager?

    No, neither you nor your action ruined your relationship. Your relationship may or may not be ruined, but if it is, it is totally your (s0on to be former) manager who is doing this. There is nothing shameful or in any way wrong in the salary you are getting, and her being angry at you over it is HER issue, not yours.

    You were not wrong to share your salary! If she doesn’t get over it, that tells you something very important about her. And it’s better that you find this out now rather than when the lack of knowledge could hurt you more. Because if she stays angry, she is clearly the kind of person you can’t really trust – she’ll try to keep you down even while “being happy” for you, *as long as you stay below her*.

    Which means that there really is nothing you can do to repair the relationship. Either she’s a decent person and she’ll get over this, or she doesn’t get over this, in which case you don’t want to be too close to her anyway.

  53. Yep, me again*

    “If you bring my and Bob’s relationship to light, you will no longer have a job.”

    What a delightful person to work for.

  54. Salary Woes*

    LW 2 reminds me of the time I tried to gently inform a co-worker she was being underpaid (I was making $10K more than her in a similar role with similar experience). She got mad at me! She said she didn’t care about the money (lol), suggesting I was shallow for caring.

    Anyway, this is all to say I think sometimes people don’t know what to do with information that they are being taken advantage of and so lash out at the messenger. Not your fault.

  55. Database Developer Dude*

    The manager being mad at the OP’s new paycheck size is just crazy. She’s free to go out and get herself a job too…. it’s well known that hiring budgets are bigger than retention budgets.

  56. RetainerGirl*

    Sorry if it’s too off topic but your comment about lost retainers reminded me of the poem that was printed on all the retainer cases my orthodontist issued. “In cafeterias and McDonald’s, how are they lost? Wrap them in a napkin and put they are tossed.” My family used to recite it all the time bc we found it funny so thanks for the tiny bit of nostalgia.

  57. OP5*

    I’m OP #5 – thanks so much for answering my question, Alison!

    I’ve said some of this in response to other comments, but to reiterate – thanks all for the context! I work at a small organization where hiring is done super differently, so I was pretty confused. We don’t take down and then re-post jobs unless we are hiring multiple positions or don’t like our candidate pool, so I figured it was the latter here (I know it’s just for one position). And we’re also pretty open with candidates about exactly what is going on (since we are small and have fewer candidates, we can be). In my head, it seemed like since folks would update on “FYI we are interviewing a few more people and then will get back to you in about 2 weeks” why wouldn’t they update on “hey, FYI you might have seen the job re-post, we’re continuing to accept applications…” to me those two types of updates felt the same. But again, that’s coming from my background in Tiny Organization World.

    I also saw one of the people who is going to interview me sharing online about the job re-post and their post made it really sound like they wanted a new pool of candidates, so that threw me off more.

    Thanks for the reality check and encouragement!

    1. Escapee from Corporate Management*

      Good luck, OP5. Remember, 95%+ of what happens in most companies is completely unrelated to you as a person.

    2. Churpairs*

      I’ve reposted a position before because after interviewing a few people, I realized we didn’t craft the position description well enough and we may have missed out on reaching the right pool of candidates. I chose to reach out to candidates to let them know, but that’s not really the norm or required of me. One of them did reapply and ended up advancing to the final round in the new posting.

      1. OP 3 from https://www.askamanager.org/2022/08/can-i-bring-my-dog-on-a-business-trip-manager-made-up-fake-reasons-for-a-firing-and-more.html*

        I would also add that one time during the initial phone call, the manager registered that the location wasn’t the most clearly written to an outsider, as what was posted for location was the major city, and not the suburb where the building is truly located. The posting went on to be corrected, was reposted, and at a later point I was invited to come onsite for an in-person interview. Keep in mind that if one doesn’t literally see anything different with the job description or if it doesn’t appear to be a company regularly refreshing job postings in a certain time period, it’s my second-hand understanding that sometimes someone in HR who’s completely uninvolved with the hiring process might just check openings and randomly repost any openings that might be seen as there for too long – and perhaps also not notice other older vacancies based on their manner of checking openings.

  58. Kit*

    > Just don’t wrap them in a napkin and throw them away, like I did repeatedly with my retainer as a kid until my mother finally made me climb into and dig through a school dumpster to find it, buried in the remnants of other people’s lunches.

    Ah, the universal retainer experience. Mine was a Wendy’s dumpster. We took every bag of trash home in our pickup truck and I had to dig through them in the back yard.

  59. Not So NewReader*

    OP 1. Good news you are free to use a clean slate. It’s great that he’s a nice person this makes everything easier. Treat him the same as the rest of your cohorts.

    Here’s the thing, probably a good number of your cohorts who are divorced dealt with something.
    You just happen to know what this guy’s something is that he had to deal with. You don’t know about what other people have behind them.

    From his perspective he probably just wants to move on. NO sad puppy eyes, no apologies, just an attitude of “let’s be decent coworkers to each other”. We can’t change the past, but we can make the present and future better for those around us.

  60. T'Cael Zaniidor Kilyle*

    #3 – I’m doing Invisalign right now. (Orthodontist told me that he had a surge in business during the pandemic due to people deciding to take advantage of masks obscuring their faces, interestingly.) I always take the aligners out in private, preferably near a sink, but aside from that it’s not a big deal. (If I’m going out to a restaurant, I usually deal with all of that at home/office instead of bringing them along… I figure the extra hour of not wearing them can’t be THAT consequential.)

  61. Emily Bembily*

    Re LW4 – I got my current job in exactly this situation! I was looking to move to New England, was up front with employers that I was planning to relocate regardless, and ended up landing a job where I started remotely for a few weeks, then moved permanently.

  62. Artemis*

    The reason I didn’t get Invisalign was having to take them out all the time, but even with traditional braces I’m still brushing my teeth/changing elastics at the office or work lunches. But nobody cares! Half the people don’t even seem to notice I have braces at all.

  63. The Friendly Comp Manager*

    LW #2, good/healthy managers are happy when their employees are successful, even if it’s elsewhere. I (somewhat) recently had an employee leave for a huge increase – I promoted them often and gave them large raises while they worked for me, but there are some people whose skills increase so dramatically, it is hard for their salary to keep up internally. In any event, they left for ~35% increase, and got a great stock options package too. I am THRILLED for them. :)

    What is coming from your manager is likely envy, or something else – this has NOTHING to do with you. Congrats on the new job!!

  64. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    #5 ) If you’re being called in again and again (and again) for the same position – that is, every time you’re going in, you’re starting over again ….. there’s a problem with that place, in all likelihood.

    One thing you MUST resist is if they’re using you as a point of reference – “(s)he’s good, now let’s do better”. Albeit it might be other factors – as was said above, by AAM, but look out and ensure you’re not their “stake in the ground.”

  65. I try and pretend they’re a hip-hop style grille*

    @LW3 – fellow Invisalign wearer here. Also a management consultant, so spend lots of time talking to clients. It’s been great apart from a very slight lisp when I first started wearing the braces.

    It is very easy to be discreet and your colleagues are remarkably uninterested in what you do in the bathroom. Just style it out.

  66. Mrs. Hawiggins*

    I don’t wear invisalign but I do brush, floss, and mouthwash after work in the office (I work in healthcare so people are nonplussed about wellness, really). In fact they often say, “Oof! I forgot my toothbrush.” And believe me after a garlic filled pizza party you’ll be glad you did.

    I don’t leave a mess anywhere and my dental bills are pretty low in comparison to some conversation starters it’s created. It’s a non-issue, trust me.

  67. OP5*

    OP5 again here! I’ve asked two different friends about the re-posting of jobs thing, and neither of them had heard of it being common and both assumed the same thing I did. One works in the medical field, one in academia. It made me feel better to know it’s not just “I’m so out of touch” but that some fields/organizations just hire differently. Thanks again for the feedback and letting me know the norms!

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