update: my interviewer sent me an email saying my scars are triggering

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

There will be more posts than usual this week, so keep checking back throughout the day.

Remember the letter-writer whose interviewer sent her an email saying her scars were triggering? Here’s the update.

I didn’t expect to have an update on this, but here we are. Happy update season, everyone!

First, a huge thank you to both yourself and the commenters. I’m a daily reader of your blog, so I figured the advice would be that this is annoying, but ultimately not my problem.

My interview with Marcia was my first in-person interview, but I’d two prior phone interviews with someone in HR, and then a second interview with the HR director. Both went very well, and so I sent an email to the director with Marcia’s email attached. In short, I said that I had withdrawn my candidacy in no small part due to my interview with Marcia, and that the email she sent after the fact only confirmed that I had made the right decision. I also said that I was not looking for anything specific from them, but that Marcia’s comments toed the line of discriminating based on a disability and religion (thank you for that little tip!) and that I would not want any legal trouble to befall the company in the future. I again thanked them for the opportunity and wished them well in their search.

Less than an hour later I was on the phone with Bob, who said he oversaw HR and had been forwarded my email. He wanted to speak to me about what happened. I recounted the story, and he seemed genuinely appalled. Bob apologized profusely, asked if I’d like to throw my hat back in the ring for the position. I thanked him but declined, citing that this experience had soured my views on the company. He said he understood, thanked me for bringing everything to their attention, and wished me well. I presumed that would be the end of it and I wouldn’t have much of an update to send.

I was incorrect. That evening I got a phone call from an unknown number. I didn’t answer and truthfully forgot about it until later that evening when I saw the icon on my phone for a voicemail. It was from Marcia. I listened to it on speakerphone while I washed dishes. According to the voicemail my “baseless threats to sue [COMPANY]” had resulted in her termination. She “couldn’t believe she had wasted prayers on me” and “was only trying to help.” Marcia made sure to inform me that I was “totally unsuited” for the position I had applied for, and that a “heathen sinner like me” didn’t deserve gainful employment. I blocked her (but kept the voicemail) and emailed Bob one final time to notify him of the interaction (not that he could do much, but I had to tell someone). He thanked me for the additional info, and that was the last I heard from either of them.

A few other little bits –

The tart I was making was for Passover, so the irony in all of this was PALPABLE.

Some people asked – it was a blood orange custard tart, and it was delicious.

I actually decided to stay at my current job. I’d mentioned I was only casually searching because I wasn’t necessarily unhappy, but I wasn’t happy either. Well, I had my yearly review and had 1) some of the tasks I disliked removed from my desk, 2) picked up a substantial project to manage on my own, and 3) got a 10% raise, plus a very nice bonus. So yay!

I debated putting this part in, but in the spirit of the letter overall – there were a couple commenters who seemed to agree with Marcia, that I should cover these scars forever and ever because people might “think things.” Your opinion is of course your own, but I’d encourage you to think about the biases you have here. Scars are scars, they are part of life. People acquire them for all kinds of reasons, in all kinds of places. They aren’t really indicative of anything other than living life.

Thank you again to Alison and all the wonderful commenters!

{ 296 comments… read them below }

  1. Eldritch Office Worker*

    Oh I wasn’t sure we’d get an update on this one! I’m so happy about how this turned out. Thank you for writing in OP. And thank you in particular for your last paragraph.

    1. cleo*

      Yes! I was coming to say the same thing about the last paragraph.

      “Scars are scars, they are part of life. People acquire them for all kinds of reasons, in all kinds of places. They aren’t really indicative of anything other than living life.”

    2. ariel*

      Yes, I’m glad you included that, OP. We’re allowed to be in our bodies. Glad Bob and the company acted quickly and that your work situation has improved!

  2. Kermit’s Bookkeepers*

    Truly the most satisfying update — with the exception of the unsettling fact that Marcia has your phone number and is apparently unafraid to use it. Hopefully that’s the last you hear from her!

    1. Robin Ellacott*

      Yes! She took it home with her or accessed it after being fired? Yikes.

      I’m glad the company took it seriously and that OP’s job situation worked out!

      1. tw1968*

        Yes, very scary!!
        OP, I think this is worthy of contacting the police since she contacted you using information she should NOT HAVE BEEN USING, since she was fired, by her own admission. If this had been a man in an HR position that did the same thing, you would have been rightfully freaked out by this. Anyone who claims to be religious and does things like this, is someone that needs to be reported, arrested and put away where they can’t threaten other people.

        1. AMW*

          The police will not want to and/or not be able to do anything about this. Marcia will certainly not be arrested. Unless there is serious escalation I don’t think this is good advice. I am speaking from experience, unfortunately.

        2. Just me*

          I understand and respect the discomfort, and I strongly agree that there’s something pretty seriously wrong with Marcia. I even agree that it might be worthwhile to report the situation to the police in order to start a paper trail in case Marcia escalates in the future. I’m not sure the police would be helpful, but I don’t think it would hurt anyone to try.

          But I can’t agree that anyone like Marcia should be “arrested and put away where they can’t threaten other people.” How would that play out? Marcia should be incarcerated — for how long? If temporarily, how would the time in jail or prison improve her mental health and make her safer to be around after she’s released? If not temporarily, then she should be incarcerated until she dies? There’s got to be a better way.

          Anyhow: OP, thank you for the update, and congratulations on your improved working conditions! The tart sounds amazing.

        3. somanyquestions*

          So you’re advocating a world in which people who make somewhat creepy but non-threatening phone calls should all be put in jail.

        4. RoDav*

          Wow–that’s an unnecessary and unhealthy escalation. I hope you reflect on how outrageous that would be, and maybe seek some help for yourself.

          1. time_ebbs*

            We don’t know if this is the type of situation which could escalate (more harassment via phone/email, other stalking-related behaviors, etc). The recommended practice in a lot of places is to make an in-person report with the police after every incident you experience (bringing evidence with you if you can) so if you have to file for some sort of protection order down the line, you can “prove” that you’ve been harassed by the other person.

            If this was just a one-off from Marcia, I think having a record of it (the saved voicemail, the email to Marcia’s former workplace with it attached, etc) is probably fine and you don’t need to start creating a formal reported record. If the OP were to experience any more harassment, then they should definitely consider going to the police with a list of incidents (or seeing what the recommended best practice is for their area).

            1. kr*

              No, it is not recommended practice to make a police report after a single instance of a phone call. Most people would consider that a huge overreaction and police are very unlikely to be interested. If it continues, then sure.

        5. Vio*

          I don’t see what the religious part has to do with anything. Her being Christian, atheist, Muslim, Satanist or anything else is completely irrelevant. Yes she should be reported, no she shouldn’t be locked up, but there definitely needs to be a record in case there’s other incidents and ideally she’d get some kind of warning.

      2. scurvycapn*

        With BYOD being commonplace these days, there are boatloads of people out there with access to data they shouldn’t have any more. My work cell is owned by me. If I left my employer, they could lock me out of my company email, but I’d still have my call history, text messages, etc.

        My wife works in county government and they never developed a real solution for phone calls for WFH. Their solution was for employees to set up Google Voice on their own personal Google accounts and just forward their office line to the Google Voice number. So my wife how has text transcripts of voicemails of citizens calling in rattling off SSNs and other PII stored on her personal account that her employer can’t revoke. It’s a mess, but we aren’t going to ruin a good thing when she is immune compromised.

        Control over data is lacking these days.

    2. Foley*

      I hope that company puts some processes in place to protect the information of job candidates. I’d never thought of something like this happening. But if she has a phone number, an address could lead to another different kind of person stalking a candidate.

      1. Something something*

        In general, sure that’s a good idea. But it’s entirely possible that Marcia didn’t have to go dig up the information on LW. She was the hiring manager, so she might have called LW directly to set an interview up (so the info would have still been on her phone), or printed out the resume while WFH one day.

        There’s limits to how much you can do from a data protection perspective in a case like this. This is reasonable information for a hiring manager to have.

    3. DG*

      My first thought after reading about the voicemail was that I hope OP didn’t provide their address at any point during the application process or that this was a remote job with a company based far away from OP.

      The last thing we need is Marcia throwing any god-honoring eggs at OP’s house.

      1. Seashell*

        If you have someone’s full name, phone number, and a general idea where they live, it’s probably pretty easy to find their address with a Google search. Let’s hope Marcia got enough of the crazy out of her system that she won’t contact OP again.

      2. ADHSquirrelWhat*

        …. god-honoring eggs.


        I mean, you wouldn’t want to throw /devilled/ eggs – they’re delicious!

    4. KC*

      This part made me wonder how Marcia was put into a position of relative power at her company in the first place! How did her employers not notice lack of judgement THAT obvious?

      1. Florida Librarian*

        I am imagining the employees at the place all rejoicing that Marcia finally did something fireable on paper as they all knew she should not have her job but workplace was unwilling to manage her out.

          1. MigraineMonth*

            They should invite her to the party, especially if she’s willing to make that delicious-sounding tart again (hopefully without mishaps).

            1. Worldwalker*

              I’d be happy with just the recipe. I’d probably eat old shoes if they were soaked in blood orange juice. I even grow a tiny little blood orange tree in a container (I get about 3 golf-ball-sized oranges a year) so I can have really fresh ones.

    5. JSPA*

      1. Hypothetical comparisons only work if the facts being changed are not germain to the likely outcome. “If this had been a man,” statistically, there would have been a higher likelihood of escalation to violence, thus more reason to be freaked out. And even then, “I’m sorry I prayed for you” isn’t a threat (actual or implied). It’s a (ludicrously mistargetted) guilt trip.

      2. Regardless of the genders involved…the police are interested if there’s a direct threat or a significant, ongoing pattern of harassment. By design, not accident, there’s a large zone of bad and upsetting personal interaction that nevertheless does not rise to the level of criminality (and thus police involvement). Calling someone an unemployable heathen isn’t a threat. Trying to lay a major guilt trip on someone…not illegal.

      3. If the problem interviewer were making that call as an employee, the company would be liable (in a civil suit, not criminally) for the religious harassment, if they turned a blind eye. But… the company already fired her! And that phonecall (thanks to OP relaying the information) provides the perfect nail in the coffin, if she tries to sue the company over her dismissal.

      4. Having a different standard of behavior (!) on who needs to be locked up for the safety of society (!) based in whether or not someone “claims to be religious” would 100% be discrimination on the basis of faith (as well as, coopting the police and the courts to promote one’s own specific religious or philosophical bias). I can’t entirely blame you for normalizing that sort of bias (if only because it’s been maddeningly normal for a fair percentage of our history as a country). But its always been evil and bad. Our shared goal ought to be, pushing back, hard, against letting that sort of thinking seep into our own norms.

  3. The Happy Graduate*

    God what a satisfying update – so sorry you had to deal with it but I’m so glad genuine actions/consequences occurred!

    1. MigraineMonth*

      Just think: if Marcia had even an ounce of professionalism, OP never would have known that she was fired, so all of us wouldn’t have either.

      1. Cait*

        And it’s almost certain that Marcia will NOT be getting a shiny recommendation from this company either. No idea how long Marcia has been with that company but, if it’s a long time, she’s going to have a hard time explaining why she can’t give any recommendations from anyone there. Maybe she can pray for one.

        1. EGD*

          Ha! If she’s praying for a good job reference, she’ll be waiting until the heat-death of the universe!

      2. Vio*

        If Marcia had even an ounce of professionalism she probably wouldn’t have done something fireable in the first place

  4. a tester, not a developer*

    This whole thing feels very Galatians 6:7 – …”for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” :)

    I’m glad you got a positive response from the company, and that your tart was delicious!

    1. FrogEngineer*

      A shame Marcia didn’t learn that verse, or its modern equivalent: “F*** around and find out.”

      1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        I prefer play stupid games, win stupid prizes. But yes – Marcia certainly played a stupid game, and the company declined (very wisely I think) to not let her keep sabotaging them.

      2. goddessoftransitory*


        The “I can’t believe I wasted prayers” thing really summed up Marcia. Prayers are not wasted, they sometimes simply aren’t answered the way you’d hoped.

        1. NeverWasAManager*

          Mrcia’s prayers might not have been answered but I’ll bet that some other people’s prayers were answered!

        2. Firefighter (Metaphorical)*

          Yes! That was the point at which I just… turned into the living embodiment of the scream emoji. “Wasted my prayers??????”

          1. Elenna*

            I guess in Marcia-land there’s a finite supply of Prayers Per Day (PPD) which she unwisely spent on LW???

            1. I&I*

              I think her idea is that if you pray for someone else, they’re supposed to worship you. A kind of spiritual pyramid scheme.

        3. INFJedi*

          “The “I can’t believe I wasted prayers” thing really summed up Marcia. Prayers are not wasted, they sometimes simply aren’t answered the way you’d hoped.”

          It really showed how christian she is, (she isn’t one).

    2. A Nonny Moose*

      I’m having some kind of a reaction to this comment and am realizing it is 100% mine.

      I’m glad I have not reaped everything I’ve sown; I would be in a lot of trouble.

      I am also aware that many (most) petty, crappy, abusive, and even evil people never reap what they sow (or at least not in a way that makes any difference to those they’ve hurt).

      So comments like these, especially when they refer back to religion, initially make me feel a bit defensive, and then just deflated and sad.

      1. Academic library staff*

        Yeah, as a gay non-christian woman the christian religion is incredibly triggering, thanks to being targeted by its followers my entire life (and seeing the majority of humans targeted as well). Generally speaking, if you look at the context of most popularly-quoted verses, they in some way refer to hate or violence toward non-believers (also called ‘sinners’ in the bible, which also covers sexual minorities, sexually-independent women, followers of non-bible religions, etc.) and folks should really refrain from using them out of religious settings.

        1. sb51*

          Also it’s a little odd to post it in comments when the letter writer specifically mentions Passover!

            1. inko*

              I thought it was because Marcia framed her whole approach to LW as overtly Christian, with the prayers and what-have-you. Not because the biblical take is supposed to be meaningful to LW herself.

      2. Nugget*

        I think it’s less about a 1:1 (I’ll take it out of the religious speak) fuck around : find out and more a — IF you fuck around, THEN YOU MIGHT find out.

        Or – Actions have consequences, usually a range of them, but the least appetizing possibility is always a possibility.

        1. Wendy Darling*

          Yeah I always take it in a “well well well if it isn’t the consequences of your actions!” way.

          And people don’t always suffer the just and fair consequences of their actions, but sometimes they do and the relative rarity makes it delicious.

      3. Cedrus Libani*

        I’m with you on this quote specifically. It’s satisfying when bad people get the comeuppance they deserve, but that’s just not how the universe works. If ten people f*** around, maybe two of them will get found out, along with three innocent bystanders. Luck is everywhere and touches everything.

        But in general, there’s a lot of proverbs that are…problematic, but also useful. My hack: imagine Loki from the MCU, and pretend he said it. Loki gets to be as obnoxious and patronizing and victim-blamey as he wants; he’s a god, what am I going to do about it? But that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

    3. Gerry Keay*

      Marcia sowing: Haha fuck yeah!!! Yes!!
      Marcia reaping: Well this fucking sucks. What the fuck

      1. Ali D*

        I have NEVER laughed out loud reading anything EVER as much as I am by your comment. My busy, kids & cat think there is something fundamentally wrong with me because I can’t stop laughing.

  5. Goldenrod*

    Amazing update! I remember the original letter well and (like the vast majority of commenters), I was appalled at what OP had to experience from this ignorant woman.

    Sounds like Marcia learned nothing from the experience whatsoever (no big surprise) but I’m so happy it had a positive and empowering outcome for OP!!

    And I agree – we all have scars, of one kind or another. That’s life, and nothing to be ashamed of.

  6. curmudgeon*

    Holy cow, Marcia’s behavior is just straight up bonkers. I shouldn’t be surprised by her absolutely mad phone call after her comments to you but WOWOOWOWOW. My gast is well & truly flabbered.

    I’m glad this really worked out in your favor, nonnie!

    1. H.C.*

      The company also dodged a bullet by not having Marcia on their payroll anymore; sounds like this is probably part of a pattern of wildly unprofessional & inappropriate behaviors.

      1. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

        Right. I suspect this was just the last straw they needed to boot her to the curb.

      2. goddessoftransitory*

        I’m sure Bob realized what a rain of bullets he dodged talking to the OP. “My God, what else has she been doing/saying that I didn’t know about?”

      1. linger*

        “Be my gast!”
        “OK, I’m a ghast…”

        Etymological note: Gast was a form of the Old English verb gǣstan ‘terrify’. aghast, ghastly derive from the same root; the variable “h” spelling, influenced by the related form ghost, became standard in the 17th century. The precise origin of flabbergasted is unclear, though it is very likely related.

    2. California Ltd*

      Bonkers and dumb! She put it in writing! She left a recording on voicemail! Which either shows a lack of insight or a wild degree of entitlement/privilege or both.

  7. stk*

    oh holy moly! i’m glad you were able to deal with the ridiculousness so well, OP: clearly Marcia was already making some dubious choices and your experience was the cherry on the yikes sundae.

  8. Frank*

    I am so thrilled with this update! But how about that Marcia? She has the stamina to pray, show concern, condemn you to hell and call you names all in one voicemail. As Jan would say, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”

    We all have scars. Some are more visible than others. Bringing attention to other peoples scars says a lot more about them than the person with the scar.

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      We all have scars. Some are more visible than others. Bringing attention to other peoples scars says a lot more about them than the person with the scar.

      100% this!! That update about Marcia was wild but wow I’m glad the company did the right thing after you also did the right thing, OP. Also, not that it really matters, but I don’t think anyone who was a good person would ever say “I wasted my prayers on you.” Yikes on bikes! I love how Marcia’s response to the firing was to go all-out “You don’t want to sleep with me? Well, I actually don’t want to sleep with you because you’re ugly” on you.

      1. Clobberin' Time*

        To someone who is devout, prayers can’t be “wasted”. Maybe Marcia is confusing prayers with spell slots.

      2. ThursdaysGeek*

        And since I have empathy for the Monicas too, I suspect that her scars are pretty significant.

        Also, yay for the OP and it’s really good to hear of a company acting this well.

      3. emmelemm*

        Yeah, “I wasted my prayers on you?” That might be the least Christian thing I’ve heard in a while.

        (Caveat: I’m not actually Christian but that seems very unChristian to me.)

        1. Slow Gin Lizz*

          I was raised Catholic and while I do have some minor scars from that (nothing bad ever happened to me, I just have objections to some of the teaching of the church), I can definitely say that no priest ever taught that prayers are a waste of time if they aren’t answered the way you want them to. Marcia obviously attends some wackadoo church or else isn’t listening when she attends a non-wackadoo church. (Of course the real story is that SHE is a wackadoo, but that’s obvious, right?)

  9. Ms. Hagrid Frizzle*

    So glad that this is such a positive update, OP!

    And thank you for the note about scars in general. As someone with many, for many reasons, I’ve finally reached a point that I accept them myself and no longer feel a need to manage others’ perception. It’s so freeing to be able to wear the (professional) clothing I feel comfortable in and not think about what is or isn’t showing on my skin.

    1. Squirrel Nutkin (the teach, not the admin)*

      Yay! — I really liked that point from OP as well. When I wear certain clothes you can see an old scar from a youthful cooking accident. It’s not indicative of anything much other than that I was careless reaching over the stove that one time but lived to tell the tale. I like OP’s point about how our scars show we’ve been living!

  10. Hadespuppy*

    That is a fantastic update. I’m glad the company took action, even if LW didn’t want to pursue the application any further.

    What I want to know now is where I can find a recipe for blood orange custard tarts, because those sound delicious.

      1. Robin*

        The only difference between the two is that custard gets milk while curd gets flour. So custard is a bit thinner and has more liquid. You could probably use either and get a lovely tart. You are likely seeing curd because blood orange needs help being thick, unlike, say, pumpkin (pumpkin pie filling uses eggs and milk, like a custard would). I would just find a custard recipe you like and use that as your filling instead while keeping an eye on how thick it is to make sure it “sets” properly inside the tart shell when baking.

        1. Robin*

          Also realizing that OP probably used custard BECAUSE it does not use flour, since this was a Passover tart, which only makes me want the recipe more because what did OP use for the tart shell???

          1. AnonEmu*

            Yeah that’s what I am wondering, what was the crust made out of? I have relatives who would love that recipe. Maybe almond or coconut flour? Do tapioca and or rice count as chametz? I could see like a GF flour base or an almond meal base maybe but idk if those are kfp.

            1. Astor*

              Almond and coconut flour are both traditional substitutes, yes!

              Tapioca and rice are not “chamatz”, since that specifically refers to the five grains (wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats) that has been exposed to water for too long. However, rice is prohibited (or traditionally avoided) in many Jewish communities during passover – a good search word is “kitniyot”. And while tapioca is probably okay for some people who otherwise avoid kitniyot, I bet there are others who have rules about it.

              There’s no way to know without checking with the person or people you’re baking for. And you have to do that even if your ingredients are right, because they might need to be certified (as kosher for passover and/or gluten free depending on your goal here).

              And just repeating what I said above: you cannot count on a GF flour base being kosher for passover because a lot of GF products are not KFP for a lot of people.

              And there’s a lot of nuance that I’m not going into here.

              1. AnonEmu*

                Thank you, I realize I was getting chametz and kitinyot mixed up. I knew there was a word for it, just grabbed the wrong one, oops. And I wasn’t sure if rice or tapioca would be kitinyot or not, so I appreciate the clarification. I do know they make gf matzo, because my sibling made me gf matzo brei once (it was amazing).

                I’m Catholic, but one of my siblings is Jewish and I have a lot of fond memories of hanging out and cooking together back before I moved overseas (I have celiac so we’d have to adapt recipes sometimes). So I know some stuff but I’m also aware that there’s specifics I’d need to triple check first too. Thanks for the clarification and explanation!

                Also it’s not kosher for passover but in the USA, the GF Jules gf flour has enough structural integrity to make really good GF hamentaschen. It’s hard to find gf flour that will hold shape properly but that’s what we used to use.

                Now I really want to hunt down that recipe though, it sounds great and my sib would probably really love it.

                1. Astor*

                  ooh, I’m not in the USA but I have a friend there who would definitely love a good GF hamentaschen recipe! She has the same problem as you described – they just won’t hold shape properly like her glutened ones would. Thank you!

                  (And, yeah, so many triple-checks. People who need gluten-free food might need for it to be prepared in a kitchen that is only used for gluten-free foods, and then sealed for transport. Or they might just need to make sure that the ingredients themselves don’t contain gluten. Or other considerations. And then the same with kosher food, but there’s so many details like do they care about a hechsher, and how specific it is? Will they eat re-wetted matzah and/or kitinyot? Do they care about vanilla as much as they do about rice? It’s easy for someone who knows these rules to make something that everyone can eat, but it’s even easier to accidentally miss something in a new setting even if you were raised using the rules.)

              2. Kit*

                Tapioca, like potatoes, are not kitniyot – tapioca is made from the root of the cassava plant. As long as it’s processed without any kitniyot at the facility (some manufacturers use rice flour or corn starch to make certain tapioca products) tapioca is a pesadike ingredient, permissible under an OU hekhsher without needing to be marked as unsuitable for Ashkenazim.

            2. kendall^2*

              I’ve also seen suggestions for Passover baking to use coconut macaroons shmushed (that’s a technical term :-) ) into pie crust shape, then proceed with whatever pie filling.

          2. Comment+Period+Has+Closed*

            Probably almond flour. You won’t get a flaky crust but definitely the best passover option.

          3. sb51*

            Not the letter writer but there’s a bunch of options! I found Passover graham cracker crumbs in a shop last year and made a grapefruit tart with them, but if I hadn’t found them I had several nut and/or matzoh meal options I’d found. (Recipe: take your favorite key lime pie recipe, add a little citric acid to the grapefruit juice to make it as sour as lime juice. Note: dairy, not pareve.)

            Also potato starch is acceptable and can thicken curds and other stuff nicely, though it’s not a one-to-one substitution. There’s also a ton of recipes out there aimed at people going gluten free that make good Passover ideas.

          4. Astor*

            Flour itself is allowed for passover, it just has really strict rules about how you prepare and bake it. So a really common substitute is to use matzo meal, which is flour baked into matzah (by following the kosher for passover rules) and then ground up so that you can use it in other preparations. (But note that it’s not an approved substitution in all Jewish communities or for all people.)

            There’s a few options, but my guess is that most tart shells would then be made from some combination of matzo meal, nut flour, and/or potato starch. It won’t be like a traditional tart shell, but there’s a lot of good styles you can make out of it.

            I also want to note that gluten-free and kosher for passover are not interchangeable, and that’s true in both directions. Matzah, by definition, contains wheat flour, and many kosher for passover foods are made using wheat in specific ways and so wouldn’t be safe for someone who has a gluten intolerance. And in many Jewish communities you cannot eat rice nor legumes during passover, which are in many gluten-free substitutes. Plus there’s a large variation in rules that communities and individuals follow. There’s a lot of interesting overlap between kfp and gf, but you have to be very careful about assumptions about what recipes are okay for individual people.

            1. AnonyChick*

              All 100% true!

              BUT, there’s a hack: anything marked “non-gebrokts” IS gluten-free, because it doesn’t contain any of the legal matzo grains (which by definition includes all the gluten-containing grains: wheat, rye, and barley)!

              Kosher For Passover ≠ Gluten Free
              Non-Gebrokts = Gluten Free

              (NOTE: this does NOT work in the other direction; stuff marked gluten free is NOT necessarily kosher for Passover!)

              1. fluffy*

                You can’t guarantee that non-gebrokts will have been prepared in a gluten-free facility, though, so it’s not necessarily safe for someone with Celiac.

          5. TheraputicSarcasm*

            I can imagine this being awesome with a toasted walnut or pecan crust. Also maybe a marscapone layer… hmmmm.

              1. Kit*

                Um… plenty of Sedarim take place without consumption of meat? My family’s is ‘mixed’ in that fleischig options are available for those who eat it, but I always have a milchig meal myself, it means I get the delicious spinach-feta kugel my cousin-in-law makes! (With a layer of matzo and more cheese on top, it’s kind of like spanakopita, and therefore delicious.)

        2. Annsy*

          Huh, none of the curd recipes I’ve ever used have flour in them – just eggs, sugar, fruit or fruit juice, and butter. Now I’m curious about those that do!

          1. Louisiana Purchase*

            I’ve seen some that do, or they might have corn starch or tapioca or something else instead. It’s just a couple tablespoons, typically. It leads to an interesting problem bc there is an enzyme in egg yolks that dissolves starch, so if you add starch to your curd or custard recipes, you have to make sure you cook the curd/custard to a high enough temperature for long enough to denature that enzyme. Otherwise, your pie will turn to soup.

          2. Not A Raccoon Keeper*

            Yeah, as a Celiac (read: strict label-reader) and former food scientist, I can confirm that no curds I’ve encountered have flour. A quick google is confirming that curds are thickened through coagulating milk proteins with acid, wheres custards are thickened through slowly cooking egg proteins*. Other characteristics (fruitness, tartness, thickness) vary on purpose; neither usually have gluten/flour.

            *in-depth discussion of different methods of protein-based thicknening available upon request

            1. Louisiana Purchase*

              “A quick google is confirming that curds are thickened through coagulating milk proteins with acid,”

              Google is not a chef :). Curds in this context do not have dairy (as opposed to cheese curds or curdled milk)–they are fruit juice, sugar, egg, butter, and optionally a thickener like flour or corn starch. They are cooked on the stove. Custards have a dairy and egg base and might have fruit juice or puree, and again have optional thickeners.

              1. Louisiana Purchase*

                “[Curds] are cooked on the stove.”

                Oops, forgot to add that custards are typically cooked in the oven.

                1. Mississippi*

                  Which part are you referring to? I’m sure there are things called custards that do not have a dairy+egg base, and sometimes custard goes by a different name. And custard can be cooked on the stove top! However, remove either the dairy or the egg from the base, and you no longer have a custard.

            2. Emz*

              Yeah, this is baffling for me as someone who’s made curd a lot and never thickened with flour. That said, I’ve also tried many custard recipes and none have used flour — only a few times cornstarch.

      2. Louisiana Purchase*

        I googled orange custard and got lots of hits! You could also look for a lemon custard recipe, replace the zest and juice with orange, and adjust the sugar content.

  11. Momma Bear*

    Sometimes when you look around you have a better idea of where you stand with what you have. Sorry for the experience with the interviewer but glad you seem to have come out on top.

    1. anon24*

      Yeah, it’s really unfair of OP to talk about something that sounds so delicious and not share how we can have that in our lives as well :)

  12. leeapeea*

    “Scars are scars, they are part of life. People acquire them for all kinds of reasons, in all kinds of places. They aren’t really indicative of anything other than living life.”

    <3 <3 <3

    1. Hotdog not dog*

      Exactly. Scars are only proof that you’re stronger than whatever tried to hurt you. My scars are a badge I wear proudly!

    2. Jujyfruits*

      Yeah this is an awesome quote from OP! I love it.

      OP, I hope you’re enjoying your raise and new project!

    3. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      My dad taught me when I was young that scars are just physical reminders of a lesson we learned. They are there to remind us what went wrong last time so we can be more successful next time.

      1. Former Young Lady*

        I like the intent here but I’m not sure this is universal.

        Sometimes a scar happens because someone else failed to learn a lesson. I have one on my eyebrow because someone I love was being very stupid while she drove a car one night.

        Sometimes a scar is a sign that everything went right. An emergency C-section that saved mother and baby’s lives? A dysplastic mole that was cut out before the melanoma spread elsewhere? Those aren’t failures; they’re quite the opposite.

      2. MigraineMonth*

        Some scars are from bad decisions/lessons learned. Some are accidents that couldn’t have been prevented. Some are a necessary part of healing.

      3. Lellow*

        Sorry, but that feels like an absolute millstone to stick onto my self-harm scars. That’s *maybe* a nice thing to tell a child to make them feel better, but absolutely not one to try and put onto other adults.

      4. fhqwhgads*

        The vast majority of my physical scars are from my internal organs having some problem best resolved by removing them. Not sure how to be more successful at not needing surgery due to illness? So, this platitude really rubs me the wrong way.

      5. Lily*

        And if the scars are from child abuse and neglect?
        I’m sure your dad meant well, but this take is icky.

      6. Appletini*

        I have two scars on my back from the single worst beating my parents ever gave me. I’m still not sure what I’m supposed to learn from them under this rubric.

      7. Chirpy*

        A lot of my scars are from minor scrapes/cuts, and most of the big stupid injuries didn’t leave visible marks. Not sure why “be more careful walking during a teenage growth spurt” should be a bigger “lesson” than “don’t fall out of a tree you were planning to jump from”.

  13. ragazza*

    If Marcia keeps it up, I think you would be totally justified sharing those calls and her name on social media.

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      Fortunately it seems OP blocked Marcia’s number, so hopefully will not need to take this step.

        1. Slow Gin Lizz*

          Oh dear, I was not aware of that. I have had the blessing of never having to block a person on my phone, just random spammers who of course would call again with a different number anyway.

    2. PettyPattyCakes*

      It would be with an extreme force of will that I refrained from LinkedIn stalking Marcia and sending to any future employers evidence of the kind of trouble they just invited into their company.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        Honestly, Marcia seems like the kind of person who might reply to “why did you leave your last job?” with the truth. She clearly doesn’t think she did anything wrong.

    3. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

      I would take screenshots, remove any private information (handle, username or phone number), and post on LinkedIn with the title “don’t to this”.

  14. bunniferous*

    Holy crapbeans!

    I am horrified on the OPs behalf but glad she was willing to bring the issue to the attention of the company. I mean, the first action she took was not appropriate but it could have been argued it was misplaced (VERY misplaced) concern….but that phone call??? Nopity nopity nope.

    On behalf of my presumably fellow members of a certain faith, I am SO SORRY. This is why we are commanded to pray for wisdom!

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Yeah – I’m betting that she probably doubled down with HR in the company when they came to ask her about her email. She doesn’t seem to be the sort of person who can take on feedback and change when wrong.

      Betting the doubling down is what actually got Marcia fired, and not that initial (and wildly inappropriate) email.

      1. Rain's Small Hands*

        Had her response been along the lines of “my sister committed suicide and it had such an impact on my life that I’m afraid I did REALLY overstep here. I’m not sure what came over me, but I was completely in the wrong. And my comments about church and prayer obviously have no place in a professional relationship. I can only plead my own stress over the topic and ask forgiveness. I will never do anything like this again.” she’d probably still have a job.

  15. EPLawyer*

    WOW. Marcia really let loose when called out didn’t she? Something tells me this was not the first time she did something like this. And using your application to get your phone # to call you to yell at you? SOMEONE is unprofessional here and it is not OP.

    You were right to withdraw even after Bob clearly acted on your information. Marcia might have been a single wasp buzzing around. Or there could have been a whole nest of them infesting the place.

    BIG CONGRATS on the raise and the new project. Sounds like your current employer is supportive.

    I also second the call for the tart recipe.

  16. Long time reader*

    My guess is that yours wasn’t the only complaint they’d received about Marcia. She’s probably even more of a problem with those she has a longer relationship with. You probably did her coworkers and the company all a great service by speaking up. Her subordinates may not have been in the position to do so for fear of retaliation. Well done.

    1. curmudgeon*

      Right? If Marcia feels emboldened enough to make those types of comments to an interview candidate, I can only imagine what she would say to coworkers!

      1. Toads, Beetles, Bats*

        LOL not just emboldened to make comments…but to put them in writing on company letterhead.

  17. oh no*

    Oh man. I’m glad we got an update on this. My cat has made some marks on my arms that look suspicious to the average eye (completely separate from my actual self harm past, which has long faded on my thighs!), and it is very satisfying to me that OP came out the winner here. OP, thanks for standing up for those of us who do have pasts we’d rather our employers not judge us for. May your tarts always be delicious!

        1. Sybil Rights*

          A classic Irish blessing, “May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back. May your tarts always be delicious and your rolls never be cheap-ass. And may you be in heaven an hour before the Devil knows you’ve passed.” I think that’s how it goes…..

    1. Rain's Small Hands*

      My youngest had puppy scratches that their high school theatre director decided were self harm marks – and then helped spread that rumor among the other drama kids – even after I said “oh, no, we got a new puppy, those are puppy scratches” he did nothing to stop the self-harm rumors. So my geeky kid became known as the strange loner who self harmed.

      1. Koifeeder*

        I’m sure you’ve been told this before, but that director was a horrible person and acted wrongly- even if they had been self-harm scars, gossiping about them with the other students (?!) is a hideous thing for a teacher (?!) to do.

    2. arthur lester*

      I also have cat-induced scars that could look a little suspicious to someone nosy. Here’s to delicious tarts!

    3. arthur lester*

      I also have cat-induced scars that could look a little suspicious to someone nosy. Here’s to delicious tarts!

  18. to varying degrees*

    Damn Bob didn’t play around, did he! Good for the company for taking this so seriously and not tolerating it at all.

    Marcia needs to re-read her bible a bit, cause she got confused somewhere.

    Good for the LW for standing up to this and for herself. And a blood orange custard tart sounds wonderful.

    1. Ann Onymous*

      I’ve often wondered if there’s a widely circulated misprint of the Bible that says “judge thy neighbor” instead of “love thy neighbor”. It would explain a lot.

        1. Cthulhu's Librarian*

          While the Bugger Alle bible was a bit of a joke (possibly riffing on the Printers Bible, where Printers replaced Princes in a psalm, and thus it read ‘Printers have persecuted me without reason’), many of the various misprints mentioned at the same time weren’t – The Adulterous Bible, for instance (“Thou Shalt Commit Adultery”) was a real thing, published in 1631. The Unrighteous Bible was published in 1653 (“The unrighteous shall inherit god’s kingdom”), and a host of others.

          Anyone interested in the topic can look up bible errata – it’s a rather fascinating topic.

      1. I+went+to+school+with+only+1+Jennifer*

        Well, humans mostly make rules in reaction to what actually happens. (For example, making something illegal does not mean that it never happens. Rather, it means that it does happen, but shouldn’t.)

        1. Kay*

          Well… I agree with the general idea, but Indonesia did just ban sex outside of marriage.. so I feel compelled to take issue with the “shouldn’t” part. :-)

  19. SereneScientist*

    It’s really unfortunate that Marcia took out her emotions on the LW, instead of reflecting on her own behavior…but I suppose if that was a possibility, we may not even be here at all.

    Still, pleased that the organization moved quickly to deal with this situation!

  20. Phillippe II*

    Based on the response you got from the company and Bob, when the time comes to move on from your current job, they might be a good place to apply again. Not because they fired Marcia, but because they took your complaint seriously, accepted your decision to not toss your hat back in graciously, and obviously investigated and took action.

    Guess I’ll buy a tart pan in anticipation of the recipe being shared, that sounds yummy!

  21. Miss Muffet*

    My GOD what an update! It has everything! Good things for the OP, bat guano crazy over the edge person getting their comeuppance and brilliant wisdom at the end. Everything a girl could ask for.
    Except the recipe for that tart….

  22. night cheese*

    My only problem with this update is that I do not currently have a blood orange custard tart heading toward my mouth.

    Otherwise, bravo!

  23. learnedthehardway*

    I’m going to guess that this wasn’t the first time that Marcia had said or done something totally inappropriate, and that Bob was thankful that THIS TIME, he could get rid of her. I’m sure it helped that the OP said that the incident had turned her totally off from being interested in the company.

    1. Ama*

      I do wonder if this was maybe the first time they actually had airtight, written evidence of her comments through the email she sent to OP. I could see Marcia just making verbal comments to coworkers and then hiding under being “misunderstood” if anyone complained.

      1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        Count me in the “first time they had it in writing” group as well. It’s amazing how much more can be done when you don’t have a their word against my word situation.

  24. Michelle Smith*

    Yikes OP! I am really sorry that you got unsupportive comments on the original post and I’m glad that you’re calling out that poor advice in this update. I’m so glad that Marcia was terminated for her outlandish behavior and I’m sorry that she didn’t seem to learn anything from it. And I’m glad you’re doing well and happier in your job. All around a great update! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  25. Warlord*

    I was willing to give Marcia the benefit of the doubt in the first letter, but this is just wild. Who raises these people? Do they really think this is how Christ wants them to represent Him? How awful.

    OP, I’m sorry this happened to you, and I’m sorry that woman is out there representing my religion like this.

    At least Bob did not come to play.

    1. Gerry Keay*

      I mean I’m pretty sure other Christians raise people like this. “There’s no hate like Christian love,” after all.

      1. Curmudgeon in California*

        Yeah, as an AFAB, non-binary, disabled female I get a lot of crap from a lot of Christians. I was raised Christian, and lot of people I knew in my church then were just like this, and thought their religion gave them not just a pass to be jerks, but a mandate to be rude and offensive to anyone who didn’t believe exactly as they did.

        Who raises these people?

        Other Christians just like them. Hate must be carefully taught.

        Obligatory “not all Christians” – I know some lovely people who are Christian. I can count them on both hands and have fingers left over.

  26. Zak*

    Agree with everyone else saying that this is deeply satisfying to read after such a horrifying original letter. But I just have to say that the detail of the tart being for Passover is just…so excellent. People like Marcia who assume others’ religion (or lack thereof) and/or foist their own religion onto others are a special kind of awful, particularly in a professional setting.

  27. CTA*

    Shame on Marcia for misusing your contact info so she could call you and harass you. I’m glad you forwarded that voicemail to her former employer. IDK if they would have provided Marcia a reference after she was fired before the voicemail. But after that voicemail, they definitely won’t now.

    I’m sorry to hear other commenters told you to cover your scars.

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      Yeah, I’m also sorry about the commenters who said that. Come on, commentariat, y’all know better. (And I know most of y’all do, I’m just ashamed of the few that don’t.)

  28. Sara without an H*

    OP, I’m glad you shared the content of Marcia’s (unhinged) voicemail with Bob. While it’s true he couldn’t actually do anything with the information, it should erase any doubts he may have had about firing Marcia. He can now look forward to facing 2023 without a loose cannon on his deck.

    Thanks for keeping us updated.

    1. Kyrielle*

      I’m pretty sure Marcia already destroyed that reference with her previous actions, but she certainly gave them another reason to give her a bad reference by following up that way – using a phone number she would not have had except for the company’s hiring process.

  29. Sad Desk Salad*

    *deep breath*


  30. OxfordBlue*

    This was a wonderful update and I found your final paragraph especially moving, thankyou.

    For those asking about the recipe for the blood orange custard tart I thought you might be interested in a couple of UK recipes that you might not otherwise see. This one is from BBC Good Food and does not include gelatine https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/blood-orange-tart. This one is by Lani Greenhalgh and the tip in point 9 is well worth knowing if you ever make pastry https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/blood-orange-chocolate-tart-recipe.

    1. Hannah Lee*

      Oh my gosh, thanks so much for that great british chefs link. That tart looks amazing!

      And then I clicked the “great italian chefs” link on the site that sent me down a rabbit hole of delicious looking recipes, and made the yogurt I was having for lunch seem much less satisfying. I will be cooking some of those recipes in the near future I think :)

  31. A Simple Narwhal*

    I’m glad to hear that the company’s response was swift and serious! I also appreciate that they accepted “this interaction has soured me against the company as a whole” without issue, I can see many companies trying to insist that now that Marcia was gone she should still keep interviewing/etc.

  32. Blarg*

    The new information makes me wonder if OP “looks” Jewish or has a “Jewish-sounding” name that made Marcia go so hard on the ‘heathen’ part of her voicemail. Sigh, either way, what a nightmare. Obviously everyone should be able to support themselves, but it’s hard to see a job someone like Marcia could be able to do without inflicting her toxic-ness on colleagues or clients.

    1. NerdyKris*

      I think it was the part where she mentioned religious discrimination. Marcia made the leap that only a non christian would be offended by her prayer statements. Like how terrible people might assume that only a minority would report racial slurs, or only a woman would report offensive sexual behavior.

  33. GladImNotThereNow*

    Thanks for the update, and good to hear the resolution. I can see being concerned – for example, my wife had a nonobvious scar due to an abusive relationship in her past, so if it was more prominent I could see someone asking if things were okay – but I do agree that Marcia was way over the top. Glad to hear that things have worked out for you with your current job as well!

  34. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

    WOW, I’m sorry for you OP, but I’m glad the company did the right thing and fired Marzia.
    (This is why only HR will get my address and other personal information once I’m hired. My CV has only my email and nothing else)

  35. Danish*

    “not much of an update” indeed! Having head of HR call you back to be appalled is already a pretty good update, as far as they go; having her leave you an unhinged phonecall makes it an especially exciting (and a little worrying) update.

    Thanks for writing back in and congrats on the improvement to your job!

  36. Anonomatopoeia*

    Holy cow.

    (Er. I meant that as a generic exclamation of astonishment, but it occurs to me that as Marcia is doing the praying and all, it could be assume I meant it as Marcia is holy and also a cow; this diminishes cows, for which I apologize, but I mean.)

  37. Mark This Confidential And Leave It Laying Around*

    So happy to read this. I actually thought of this letter writer the other day as I was extracting a delicious and very hot torta from the over, recalling my own “pie scars” of yore. Cocoa butter and skin that doesn’t scar badly mean I can walk the world without having to explain what did the damage, but that you for that last paragraph.

    1. Robin*

      Literally currently have a burn from ~2 months ago because I apparently refuse to learn that it is better to pull the lower oven racks *out* before lifting the dish and instead try to carefully maneuver the dish from within the bowels of the oven. Unsurprisingly, I keep touching the top of my forearm to the VERY HOT upper rack. Go me XD

      1. Sorrischian*

        I’ve got a fun little trio of scars on one arm from repeatedly making that same mistake, it’s not just you.

      2. stacers*

        I do the same EVERY time. People have stopped asking ‘what happened,’ since the answer is always ‘me using the oven.’

      3. Not A Raccoon Keeper*

        Haha I used to have this scar bilaterally!! After 5+ years they’ve all finally faded. I didn’t actually learn this lesson though, I just have less time for baking now.

      4. Firebird*

        I finally got silicone covers for the end of the oven racks. I’m getting more to put in my (adult) kids’ Christmas stockings.

      5. MeepMeep123*

        Both my forearms have lovely scars on the top from doing exactly that, at different times. One is from a while ago and still hasn’t faded. Sigh.

    2. AnonEmu*

      It’s barely there now, but for a while I had a 2 inch scar on my arm from a sample drying oven in a lab that looked like a really angry weal. It’s faded, but that’s what happens when the oven door catches you right at the edge of the heatproof gloves. And for the first 6 months after I got it, it looked freshly seared. Like it wasn’t a burn so much as the hot metal seared the skin where it made contact. But I have other weird scars I have had to explain. People just need to mind their own business!

  38. Lurker No. 1*

    This was the update I was waiting and hoping for. This is awesome OP. I’m so glad for you and also proud that the company immediately took action.

    Good luck in future job searches!

  39. SleeplessKJ*

    Just wondering if Marcia would expect her Jesus to cover up his scars? Hmm. Fantastic update! Recipe?

    1. Former Young Lady*

      I reckon she’s the type who would be unpersuaded by the argument that he couldn’t possibly have caused all the stigmata on his own…

    2. goddessoftransitory*

      “That crown of thorns makes me uncomfortable.”

      “…not as uncomfortable as it made Me.”

  40. Susie*

    The audacity of her to call you at home! I have a scar on my left arm, about 3 inches down from my wrist. I got it at a job that I worked at more than 20 years ago. I would be a little perturbed if someone saw it and immediately jumped to self-harm.

  41. MassMatt*

    Wow, that was a humdinger of an update!

    I know lots of people that baked professionally and can confirm burns and scars are very common from working the ovens. People really shouldn’t jump to such conclusions.

    And even if these scares WERE evidence of self-harm, how is her reaction (no eye contact, mumbling, refusing to shake hands, etc) supposed to help? Oh, I can really feel the love!

    May all your tarts be delicious.

  42. CLC*

    I hate when people lose their jobs, but let’s face it, Marcia deserves it. I hope she eventually learns from the experience and makes changes, but for some reason I’m thinking that might be a long shot.

    1. AnotherLibrarian*

      Yeah, I’m always sorry when people get fired, because it has major consequences often for health care for family members, who haven’t done anything wrong. (USA healthcare system has… problems.) However, her behavior is so unhinged that I can’t justify any other response. The email alone was deeply troubling, but the phone call really highlights how unhinged she clearly was. Unfortunate all around, but good for OP for speaking up.

  43. MicroManagered*

    She contacted you after she was fired for contacting you about the scars?! OP that’s really scary. It’s stalking. I don’t think you should simply block her number — I would file a police report. This needs to show up on a background check when Marcia goes to her next job.

  44. MEH Squared*

    Wow. Marcia is…ah…extra extra, isn’t she? I’m glad Bob turned out to be eminently reasonable, but it’s concerning that Marcia called you at home after all this went down. And said she wasted her prayers on you! Absolutely wild. I’m glad that you said your piece and that Bob listened to you and took actiion.

    Also, thank you for your penultimate paragraph on scars. I was one of the people in your original lettel arguing strenously that even if they had been self-harm scars, Marcia would have still been in the wrong to lecture you about them. They are, quite frankly, none of her damn business.

  45. CheetoFingers*

    I love that you didn’t let a few burns stop you from getting at that delicious tart. Well done.

  46. Mehitabel*

    Scars are scars and they are indeed a part of life.

    One of my forearms is laced with a half-dozen long scars that were the result of trying to crate a cat who didn’t want to go to the vet. (He didn’t go to the vet that day, but I went to the ER). He left a couple of big old puncture wounds as well. I’ve never made any attempt to hide the scars because they don’t bother me in the least. In fact, I remember him with great fondness every time I look at them. I have been told by more than one well-intentioned person that they look like I was trying to do some serious self-harm. Not my perception, not my problem. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    1. MeepMeep*

      I have a similar story. She did go to the vet that day, but I went to urgent care the next day. Probably shouldn’t have waited. Either way, more scars to my collection.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        I remember in the original thread we were all comparing scars and how we got them. The main conclusion was “life happens, Marcia.”

    2. Warm Gooey Cheap Ass Rolls*

      Awww, I have a scar on my chest that reminds me of a dear departed kitty, too. It’s funny how grateful I am to have something closer than a photograph.

      1. ENTJane*

        Reading this gave me an irresistible urge to go to the bathroom and look at the all the scars I have that remind me of beloved animals: two on my arm from childhood pet rabbits, one on my lip from the world’s most simultaneously affectionate and bellicose cat, and another on my ankle from a nasty fall when I was crouching down to greet one of the campus cats at my alma mater. And now I’ve got happy tears in my eyes at work from seeing the permanent evidence of how many wonderful animals I’ve been blessed with.

  47. Dawn*

    I’m so glad everything turned out well for you.

    I really feel like the cherry on top of all of this, as if she hadn’t made enough missteps, is that she either lifted your phone number from your resume for personal use after the fact of her firing, or she’d already lifted it for personal use prior to.

    Marcia should never hold a position of responsibility anywhere, ever.

  48. Little Marshmallow*

    Thanks for putting that last line in. I have actual self-harm scars from when I was very young and I used to cover them but no longer do. I do intend to eventually get a scar cover up tattoo but I won’t cover that either and will absolutely share what the tattoo is for. It’s a good reminder for everyone out there that scars are indeed just scars and judgements shouldn’t be made no matter what caused them. Since I’m fairly mentally healthy now (and this am able to be open safely), I feel it’s good to help where I can to destigmatize mental illness.

    Mostly people don’t ask about them. They’re weirder about it when I try to hide them so….

  49. Taking the long way round*

    Oh, a wonderful wonderful update! And I so agree with your sentiments at the end.

    Recipe for blood orange tart? That sounds like it’d be Nigella…

    1. Sheworkshardforthemoney*

      I love AAM. Come for the outrage. Leave with a delicious new recipe. This update is a win/win.

  50. Jessica Ganschen*

    Whew, what an update! I’m glad you’re happier at your job, and I hope that you have an amazing Chanukah.

  51. Happily Retired*

    Flat-out lie, right there. Martha did not, and probably will not, learn anything from this.

  52. Summer*

    I am PSYCHED that Marcia lost her job. Anyone who thinks that “heathen sinners” don’t deserve to be employed is someone who should never be in charge of hiring or managing employees. I can’t stand people like Marcia. I won’t hold my breath hoping she learns her lesson because people like that never do. I’ll just take solace in the fact that the company did the right thing and booted that loon out the door.

  53. Sheworkshardforthemoney*

    Well, Marcia certainly erased any doubts about whether firing her was a reasonable response. The voicemail message was just the icing on her cake of egregious actions can have consequences.

  54. CS*

    OP, you handled that with grace! Wow!

    I too have some (surgical) scars. I’ve found the lyrics from the band Switchfoot helpful as scars “are where the light shines through”. Ymmv.

  55. Office Gumby*

    Anyone claiming to be a Christian who thinks that they’re “wasting prayers” on another human being is not being a good Christian. A Christian’s attitude should always be beneficent toward another human, regardless of who that other human is, or what they believe.

    Marcia’s got a whole lotta repentance in her future with an attitude like that.

  56. Luna*

    I keep hearing people saying stuff like “I was only trying to help/be nice” and they seem to think it’s a get out of jail free card. No, it doesn’t matter what your intention was, you got an answer, and you need to move on.
    And yes, “No.” is a complete, not rude sentence. ‘Do you need some help?’ ‘No.’ is not impolite or aggressive. (I saw this recently, and the one rejected was all offended because, hey, she was only trying to be nice.)

    Marcia needs to chill. The fact that she was terminated after the company heard what happened makes me think that this is *not* the first time she ever did something that was appalling or offensive, if not bordering on illegal, in the name of what she considered ‘helping’.

    On the subject of scars, I find them interesting. They tell stories. Could be all sorts of stories, ranging from “I survived this” (an accident), “my pet was a little too enthusiastic while playing” (scratch scars), and even “Yeah, I got this scar this one time when I said ‘Hold my beer and watch this'” (‘stupidity’ induced scars).
    You may not know them, unless the person who has them willingly tells you themself, but they are there. It’s like a mole or freckles. I see no point in covering them up.

    1. Taking the long way round*

      Yes, an old friend of mine always used to say “your intentions don’t matter, your actions do”. Rules to live by.

  57. That-ptsd-chick*

    @Alison, can we do a “favourite update” category on the site?

    Also – I am a badass professional and I rock my self-harm and other scars. I will *occasionally* cover them if the context is sensitive, eg a traumatised client, but I will absolutely never be ashamed of my survival. For anyone wondering if you *can* be a pro in government, domestic violence and academic spaces with self-harm scars, I stand as absolute proof. You got this.

  58. Becka*

    Oh my goodness, I am covered in scars and burns on my arms and hands because I’m obsessed with cooking and baking and spend most of my free time doing it. Sometimes I’m super self conscious but there’s this song by Nora Jane Struthers where she talks about her dad being afraid for her to leave the family farm to pursue music in the city and she says, “your hands will not be branded by the proof you’ve done your part” and I just think of my cooking marks as that. It’s called Beyond the Farm and I highly recommend giving it a listen !

  59. Warm+Gooey+Cheap+Ass+Rolls*

    Thank you so much for your update! Ah, what satisfaction.
    May Marcia find the strength for self-reflection.

  60. Looking for Librarian Work*

    For some people, covering scars would not be feasible. For example, I have surgical scars on my head, but would it be appropriate to require me to wear a hat year-round?

    1. Elenna*

      I have a couple fading burn scars on my hand from incidents with hot fat – I guess in Marcia-land I just have to wear a glove all the time like a Victorian maiden??

    1. Hlao-roo*

      The OP hasn’t posted their recipe (last I checked) but plenty of other commenters are linking to recipes that they have made in the past or are planning to make now that they know blood orange tarts are a thing.

  61. That One Person*

    So glad you didn’t answer that call OP, best she just leave an unhinged voicemail (thus proof of her crazy) and hopefully she moves on. Also while Bob can’t do anything about it, it’s nice to know – definitely offers an angle of “shouldn’t be trusted with such information” if she’s going to abuse it outside of work or use it to exact verbal reprimands/revenge.

  62. digitalnative-ish*

    “The tart I was making was for Passover, so the irony in all of this was PALPABLE.”

    I lost it XD I’m so happy you spoke up! And things got better at the current job? Win, win, win.

    Hanukkah Sameach!

  63. Tart Queen OP*

    Hi all!

    Wow, I didn’t expect this to be posted so quickly, or get so many comments. Hopefully some of you see this :)

    First, a few people asked if I looked Jewish or had a Jewish sounding name. My name is as vanilla as they come, think Mary Anne Smith. And I don’t look stereotypically Jewish, so I don’t think that really came into play at all.

    Second, the tart! It’s a very old recipe (my great grandmother’s) that has been adapted and then readapted and then tweaked and then fiddled with. After reading some comments, and Googling, I think the recipe is actually for a curd, not a custard. There’s no milk in the recipe, it’s basically juice, eggs, and butter.

    The filling:
    1.5 cups blood orange juice (can be subbed for citrus juice of your choice)
    2 whole eggs
    4 egg yolks
    A whole stick of butter
    Sugar to taste (I start w/ 1/2 cup and work from there)

    1. Boil the juice, reduce heat to medium and let it reduce to 3/4 cup. Let cool a bit (not fully)
    2. Combine eggs, extra yolks, and sugar in clean pan until thoroughly combined / nothing is grainy on the bottom
    3. Stream in the room-temp juice. Whisk until your arm falls off, then switch hands.
    4. Add butter (cut into chonks). Whisk some more.
    5. Curd will be thiiiiiick. Strain through fine strainer.
    6. Pour into cooked tart shell and bake for like 10 minutes.
    7. Cool. 2 hours minimum (I prefer overnight).

    A few tips:

    There is no rule that says you cannot keep the curd in a mason jar and eat it with a spoon.

    Blood Oranges have a wide color range. Try to pick ones that are all purple or all orange for juicing. Otherwise, your curd turns a mucky pink-gray.

    Use duck eggs, if you can. They elevate the curd.

    The tart shell is an almond flour tart shell recipe I got off Pinterest. The recipe card we have just says “make tart shell” with no further insight. My mom got the family recipe box just before the pandemic, so we’ve been sifting through them to make an official family cookbook. There are some real gems, along with a few “we’re not making this ever” recipes.

    Thank you again for all your kind words! If you make the tart, I hope your tarts are all delicious :)

    1. Greg*

      Ha, I was half-jokingly going to post demanding another update to explain how you get a kosher-for-Passover tart shell. But now I see you’ve already answered that question. Thanks!

  64. Rainy*

    The breed standard for my dog’s breed says “Scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault” and really, those are just words to live by, in my opinion. We are humans with bodies, and those bodies’ repair processes sometimes leave a mark. If someone has a problem with that, it’s definitely a them problem.

    I wish I were surprised that Marcia doubled down, but I’m not.

  65. ENTJane*

    Sooooo glad this turned out this way, particularly the “people believing the OP and there being actual consequences for Marcia” part.

    I have a forearm full of decade-old accident scars, and one of my worst nightmares— which very ironically comes from reading too much Ask a Manager as a young child!— is that someone would assume they’re self-inflicted, spread that around, and there will be absolutely no hope of the truth prevailing, because the higher-ups all believe it too and not only won’t quash the rumors but also start treating me as if I’m fragile and emotional and encouraging everyone else to do so as well. (If you know what the ENTJ in my username stands for and are giggling at my precocious AAM readership and bizarro inferior Fi nightmare scenario, rest assured I am giggling too.)

    Also those tarts sound amazing, and I snorted so loudly that they were for Passover. Can’t make these things up!

    And as a Christian, the only wasted prayer is one prayed in sin. Praying for your football team to win? Not a waste. Praying for the other team to get into a bus crash? A waste. Praying for someone’s healing, albeit on mistaken premises? Never a waste, the prayers probably just went to someone else who needed them instead.

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