update: my boss is abusive and blames it on PMDD

Remember the letter-writer whose boss was abusive and blamed it on PMDD? Here’s the update.

I have an update for my boss who was blaming her abusive behavior on PMDD. It ended how I was starting to suspect it would.

After your response, my husband and I started working on moving our kids onto his health insurance. Katherine’s behavior was getting worse and I’d started having heart palpitations along with the weight loss and dangerously high blood pressure. Your response and the comments opened my eyes that HR and Corprate weren’t actually working on a solution for this problem. I started applying for new jobs almost immediately after you posted and got to a few final round interviews, but never got an offer.

By Halloween our team was down to 7 people. By Thanksgiving the HR generalist assigned to our department quit because of Katherine’s behavior had gotten much worse. They hired a new HR generalist to sit and watch Katherine but he didn’t do anything other than laugh at Katherine’s outbursts and play on his phone all day. We used to share workspace with another department, but they were moved not long after my question was posted. This movement fueled a lot of rumors that there would be company layoffs by February. The rumor was true, but Katherine’s final outburst hastened the layoffs by a month.

One morning just after the holidays, Katherine went off without warning, doing her usual throwing things and screaming.The only other senior employee left told her to leave or we’d call the police. That seemed to hold a suspicous amount of weight with her and she left without a peep. As a team we asked the new HR generalist why he didn’t anything and he said “female issues” were out of his pay grade and the “department’s days were numbered anyway.” When everyone cooled down, which was less than 20 minutes after the incident, we went to HR as a group.

Katherine beat us there and told HR a different version of what happened, saying my colleague threatened her for asking about the progress of an important project. HR tried to do a weird mediation kind of thing with us all and we were all mostly speechless as we have security cameras in our work space.

I had your response open on my phone during the mediation and used it as talking points during the conversation. Katherine kept denying that she’d ever behaved in a way that was unprofessional and even backtracked saying, “I’ve never mentioned anything about having any medical diagnosis, let alone something as private as PMDD.” It became pointless to continue after that and we all knew it, even HR.

HR thanked us for our candor and sent us back to work. An hour later, we got an email from corporate saying our department was being closed and that we were laid off. We were told we could apply to other departments if we wanted, but we’d have to do it competitively as outside candidates and our company time and grade would start over from entry-level, we’d lose all accrued sick and vacation time, and our salaries would be knocked back down to entry-level (like a $30K a year pay cut).

The rumor going around is that that allegedly corporate stopped trying to find a solution to Katherine’s behavior almost a year ago when they realized they’d have to lay people off due to company finances. They saw our department’s high turnover as an opportunity and told HR to stall so the department could be phased out once enough of us quit. Other departments had been distributing our duties amongst themselves for months. Corporate wanted Katherine to drive people out so they wouldn’t have to pay severances which is weird because they paid a lot of severances when Katherine fired people without cause. What’s even worse that Katherine wasn’t fired but moved to another department, still in a management role. If social media and LinkedIn are any indication, that caused a ripple of more people quitting. It was pretty obvious that Katherine was just a symptom of a bad company in general.

On a positve note, my husband’s employer apparently took major strides to improve their healthcare so our kiddo’s medical needs now have better coverage than before. I made a career change and am much happier with outcome.

{ 285 comments… read them below }

    1. BLA*

      It was so much more chaotic than I could have imagined. And I’m sorry to say I don’t think Katherine has learned any sort of lesson that will carry over to her next employer.

      1. FrivYeti*

        Katherine doesn’t even have a next employer, she’s still at the previous one! I wonder if they’ve decided to use her to wipe that department out, too.

        1. Miette*

          Well that certainly is a strategy to take instead of mass layoffs. If you’re assigned Katherine as a manager, you know the department is on its way out and should start looking immediately.

        2. tw1968*

          ooh you should let her new department know that! ” lets her abuse coworkers because then they’ll quit and won’t have to pay severance when they close down your department. In fact, any department they move her to is on the chopping block!”

      2. goddessoftransitory*

        It wasn’t even chaotic; it was a plan. Katherine was weaponized to drive out as many employees as possible in order to make closing the department easier, and she was rewarded with continued employment (probably with the same end in mind with each transfer to a new department.)

        LW, thank God you are out of there!

          1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

            I don’t know about HR, but I am convinced that Katherine is a million evil bees in a trenchcoat!

            1. Wombats and Tequila*

              Not lovely, pollinating bees; tarantula hawks.

              If you don’t like bugs, don’t look that up.

        1. "Meritocracy" My Big Brown Business*

          IMO it’s a sign that they’re just gutting sections of the company. Maybe the plan is to do it for the whole company.

        2. ferrina*

          This makes it so much more horrifying that it was an intentional plan. I feel a little worse about the world now.

          I’m glad OP was able to move on and is now in a better job!

        3. Lab Boss*

          Aside from how obviously terrible this is, it seems like a heinously risky plan. When the original letter was posted I remember being surprised that given LW’s multiple examples of Katherine physically assaulting employees, nobody had responded physically. With her behavior escalating AND being seen as condoned by management (because obviously now everybody knows how it seems she’s being used), how long is it likely to be before a flipped table or thrown stapler results in a fistfight or worse?

    2. AnonInCanada*

      Ditto. It looks like this company is using Katharine as their Big Red Button to nuke the company and its reputation.

      OP: thank you for the update. Let’s hope you and your laid off/resigned due to Katharine colleagues Glassdoor this company into oblivion. They and Katherine deserve each other.

    3. Avi!*

      It is a complete failure on us as a society that actions like this company took aren’t completely #$%&ing illegal.

    4. Elizabeth West*


      The C-suite at this company is a bunch of drunk donkeys sitting in a field full of bees.

      1. Former Employee*

        I actually laughed out loud picturing a bunch of drunk donkeys in suits lolling about in a field.

    1. Person from the Resume*

      The rumor really makes no sense. As in nonsensical; the logic does not flow; I can’t see the cost being less than the sensible solution of firing Katherine for her terrible, abusive, and dangerous behavior. Lots of people will go to great lengths to avoid difficult conversations, but this still makes no sense.

      1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

        I thought the end game was to wait out layoffs so that Katherine would be let go with her group. This, as my preschool niece will announce, “makes none sense.”

      2. Le Sigh*

        Having worked for a company where nothing management did made any sense (unless you count CYA and protecting their position/salary), I both agree with you and don’t have a hard time believing it.

      3. Fluffy Fish*

        It makes sense for a dysfunctional awful company.

        If people are willingly leaving because of problem, and you are in the market to get rid of some people, not addressing the problem is a good way to 1. not have to deal with said problem and 2. shrink a department.

        For any ethical not terrible company, it of course is ridiculous.

      4. Dust Bunny*

        If anyone here was going to make any sense, they would have fired Katherine ages ago and possibly not tanked the company, but I think all AAM readers know that that’s not always how it rolls.

      5. Nonprofit Lifer*

        Hanlon’s Razor applies very well here: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by unawareness.” It’s often adapted to read “that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” Laziness also applies.

        Ignorant apathy can create as much or more damage than actual malice.

        1. Potoooooooo*

          Enwiki attributes the phrase to “Murphy’s law, book two : more reasons why things go wrong” in 1980, where it appears in the stupidity form. I do think unawareness is probably a better phrasing for this situation, though.

      6. Skitters*

        They weren’t even brave enough to lay these people off face to face. In an email.
        That entire company is being “run” by cowards. The letter writer is well to be done with that kind of place.

        Yes, she needs to write a Glassdoor review.

      7. Project Manic-ger*

        No logical company would let a manager throw staplers at subordinates, so I feel that trying to understand their management decisions is an exercise in futility. They are diabolical, not logical. Crazy often confirms crazy, so to them, this is the best way to get what they want (reduced headcount) with the least amount of work possible (let Feral Katherine abuse employees until they leave).

  1. ZSD*

    Well, this is all absolutely insane. Keeping on a terrible manager intentionally for the purpose of having her weed people out? And then moving her to another department so that she can keep doing it?
    And inviting you to apply to other departments, but with the loss of all the pay and benefits you’d earned by already working for the company?!
    Completely bananas.

    1. dot*

      I bet they kept her on specifically to do this all over again, to try and get people to quit instead of doing layoffs. This is insane.

      1. Lana Kane*

        Corporate: Effective immediately your department will be reporting to Katherine.
        Department: We’re next on the layoff list, I see.

        I hope no one quits and they’re able to hold on to that bucking bronco until they get laid off with severance. (If they can’t find something better).

          1. Lab Boss*

            The HR Generalist is the dead giveaway, playing on their phone and doing nothing. Management have everyone involved with Katherine in a special box, and that box is NOT a box from which they expect actual work to emerge. Convert your cubicle into a stapler-proof fort, refuse all meetings in rooms with flippable tables, job hunt at work, and watch the fireworks.

        1. the cat's ass*

          WHOA. So, constructive discharge with a side order of sheer lunacy!?! Dang, OP, you are well out of it, with better health coverage to boot.

        2. darsynia*

          I’d be with you if she didn’t throw things like a stapler. That’s so terrifying! Not worth it, IMO :(

        3. "Meritocracy" My Big Brown Business*

          Yeah if you can get away with being fired with severance:
          * Just go outside and get a coffee every time she starts screaming or throwing things. Maybe file a police report if applicable when you get back.
          * Drop calls when she starts screaming down the phone.

          AND if they did write-ups (they didn’t say they did) only sign them if they contain ALL the facts and then talk to a lawyer (probably requires money admittedly).

          If the company is going to engage in such unethical practices, make the company work for it. Make it cost them as much money as possible.

        4. Not on board*

          Honestly, I hope someone gets smart and starts recording her antics on their phones and then files police reports. Then sees a lawyer about working in an unsafe environment. Then all the other victims can band together and file a class action. Wishful thinking.

      2. Ann O'Nemity*

        It’s like the saying, “No crisis should go to waste.”

        Manager terrorizing staff and causing them to quit? Senior leadership probably saw Katherine as the perfect way to lower headcount without paying severances while the work got redistributed.

        1. MM*

          But OP said they did end up paying plenty of severance because Katherine was firing people, not just driving them to quit with her general radiation.

          1. The glass is half empty*

            By that logic, paying severance to some is less than paying severance to all. The company “saved” on the ones who did actually quit.

            1. Lab Boss*

              Right, her wild firings only were a true “cost” if the termination rate was >100% of the department’s base staff (which she could only reach by repeatedly firing people, then firing the replacements). Otherwise it’s not a cost, just a reduction in savings.

    2. Antilles*

      That seems especially wild because I just don’t see how that math works. The idea that corporate decided to dodge layoffs by just stalling for a year is wild to me. There’s no way that paying salaries/benefits/etc for a year (!) is cheaper than simply ripping the band-aid off and paying severance upfront.

      That said, part of me is chuckling at the sitcom-esque idea that corporate has landed on the idea of using Katherine like a stink bomb to clear out overstaffed departments. Accounting is overstaffed? Quick, transfer over Katherine for six months, that’ll clear the place out!

      1. Richard Hershberger*

        True,but it can also be true, that the C-suite nonetheless thought this way. I suspect many of the victims figured out that waiting her to fire them without cause and take the benefits was the smart way to go.

      2. Rose*

        I know at some companies (i.e. in consulting) they would rather weed people out than admit to needing to do layoffs. Like in some firms they’ll just PIP their bottom 10% of performers even if they’re doing fine to avoid anyone saying they laid off 10% of their staff. It’s crappy and stupid. This would be even crappier and more stupid. My mind is truly boggled.

        1. The Riddlee*

          Yeah it might make sense if there is an “audience” that would react to layoffs, such as if the company stock is publicly traded.

          1. goddessoftransitory*

            Yes. It makes front page news when a big company lays off a significant percentage of its workers, and it doesn’t do their stock price any good. I can see somebody with no moral compass deciding that PIP-ing the “lowest” 10% was easier and on the down low.

            1. I Have RBF*

              A well known, once popular web portal did forced stack ranking with quarterly performance reviews, then sacked anyone in the bottom two categories for two quarters. If you got a 1 or a 2 for two quarters out of four, you were gone. People who were older (like over 40) or asked too many questions were targeted. Ended up canning more than 10%. Then they kept doing it, and had layoffs anyway. The whole thing was a dumpster fire.

        2. JustaTech*

          I’ve seen it the other way around, where everyone knows there will be layoffs about every year, so rather than actually *manage* your employees, or fire the ones who aren’t working, you just ignore them until layoff season comes and let them be the ones you have to lose so you get to keep the folks who are actually doing anything.

          This almost kind of makes sense if you know that the PTB will demand that every department lose 5 people regardless of the number of people in the department – if they’re not going to count Barry who you fired three months ago and so you have to lay off Larry who gets stuff done, you might keep Barry until layoff season to save Larry.

          But it’s also a way for bad/lazy managers to avoid managing.

          1. goddessoftransitory*

            It can also make sense for budget allocation: if you know that the fiscal year starts, say, in March, you’d want to hang onto everybody until after that date to get the budget for a fuller staff, then lay off your underperformers.

          2. MassMatt*

            It is terrible, I worked for a company much like this many years ago and the thing about layoffs is that often your best people smell the change in the wind and bail immediately, so you are left with some good employees, some bad ones, and many mediocre ones. After multiple rounds the number of good employees dwindles and you just have a pool of people with either no will or no skill, or both.

            It got so bad that when rumors of a fresh round of layoffs came up people would hope they were on the list.

          3. Lab Boss*

            Ablative personnel shielding… it’s brutal, but it’s a logical response to an environment requiring layoffs regardless of performance. I was once given the task to lay off 1 person from my department, and as I was doing my due diligence on who it should be someone put in their notice. I had to fight tooth and nail to have that count as the layoff- the company tried to say since it wasn’t a “real” layoff I should start a hiring process to replace her, while laying off one of my experienced employees.

    3. Toast*

      Also they didn’t factor in that she could be a huge liability if she injured someone during one of her rages!

    4. Festively Dressed Earl*

      +100. The company is using Katherine as a human constructive dismissal? That’s diabolical, like an entirely new level of bees diabolical.

    5. Lily Rowan*

      It’s really bananas, but I worked at a seemingly functional place that was VERY CONCERNED about the high turnover in my department, but the turnover was 100% due to the boss of the department. Get rid of that boss and turnover would have gone way down! But they never fired anyone, for fear of adding to the turnover rate.

  2. singularity*

    Oof, if it were me, I’d be very tempted to expose all of this shenanigans via a review on Glassdoor, and maybe see if some of your former colleagues would be willing to do it to, just to forewarn people from applying to this company. :/

    Glad you found something better!

    1. ragazza*

      Yes! And publicizing this situation may actually shame the company into doing something. But I wouldn’t count on it.

        1. Margaret Cavendish*

          Yeah, I wouldn’t bet a lot of money on the shame factor here. These people are a new level of awful.

          1. MassMatt*

            The HR person assigned to “watch” Katherine laughing as she screamed and ranted while playing on his phone was what got me. All around incompetence.

        2. goddessoftransitory*

          I would guess a pack of bonobos disguised as frat boys higher than a giraffe’s butt on paint thinner and cocaine would have more shame than this company.

      1. Magenta Sky*

        All it would likely shame them into doing would be to post an angry, possibly defamatory response to the review on Glassdoor.

        1. WellRed*

          I disagree. The company has been unwilling to do anything about any of this. Can’t see them getting it together enough to protest but if they did, GD is anonymous.

    2. Shopping is my cardio*

      I was thinking the same thing but instead of Glassdoor, which is a great idea, I was thinking that releasing some videos of this behavior out into the world would shame the company into doing something. Of course, this is very devious and I would never advocate it but I bet it would force a company to do something.

        1. Gumby*

          If their workspace already has video monitoring, consent has already been given. Pretty sure anyway. Assuming the workspace security cameras are active and not props.

          1. Magenta Sky*

            Only if they also record audio, which isn’t common with security cameras. Because it isn’t recording the video without permission that gets you in trouble, it’s recording the audio (which is the default on your camera app).

            In California, for instance, it’s a felony.

            (Note: The odds of it actually going to trial are pretty slim regardless, but who needs the hassle?)

          2. Antilles*

            Not necessarily.
            The company could have an HR form signed that allows the company to do recordings and they’d be in the clear. However, such consent typically would not automatically devolve down to individual employees like OP acting on their own.

        2. LWH*

          The legality of filming/recording people is SO location (and usually detail) specific and so many people don’t understand that that I think there needs to be a blanket ban on suggesting it to LWs.

    3. DeskApple*

      For glassdoor, all you need to do is link the original letter and this follow up. “Dear potential applicants, this letter was written from this company, do with it what you will”.

    1. NotBatman*

      Right? Among other things, I can’t imagine how much energy it must take to *be* Katherine. I’m exhausted just at the thought of yelling at multiple people in one day, much less spending 10 days in a row getting into multiple daily shouting matches. Her poor family. Her poor kids’ teachers. That poor other department. But also: that poor woman. Imagine being that angry 50% of days. What a miserable, terrible human being.

  3. A Poster Has No Name*

    “Katherine wasn’t fired but moved to another department, still in a management role. ”

    W. T. A. F. F.?

    1. Mim*

      I can only assume that they need to do layoffs in that other department, too, and are using the same tactics as before? eek.

      1. A Poster Has No Name*

        Ugh, man, probably. At some point she’s going to actually hurt somebody (or trigger someone’s PTSD or something like that) and the company’s going to be on the wrong side of a lawsuit that I hope drives the company straight into the ground.

        It’s not like they can’t pretend they didn’t know she was like that.

        1. CatWoman*

          Or…someone may one day decide to “accidentally” step into the path of whatever this fool is throwing, receive a concussion, and sue this moronic company right into the ground.

    2. Kes*

      …maybe they need to do more layoffs?
      I dunno, I agree that was the most mindblowing part to me, although it had a lot of competition like the fact that they think this is a good way to do layoffs in the first place. Wow. I’m so glad OP is out of there

    3. Portia*

      Katherine has obviously turned out to be useful in her own way, and the people in her new department should assume their jobs are going to vanish as well. Katherine’s business cards can be updated to “Harbinger of Doom.”

    4. RagingADHD*

      The company demonstrated that they never had a problem with her behavior in the first place. If they had, they would have done something about it a long time ago.

  4. cxxxb*

    I would be so tempted to take this whole situation to an attorney. What kind of documentation do you have regarding the actual physical abuse Katherine inflicted on you vs. the Company’s lack of action.

    1. anonymous anteater*

      that was my thought as well. Being laid off 20 minutes after you went to HR as a group does have a whiff of retaliation. I hope you got a good severance at least, if you aren’t planning to get legal advice.

      1. Snow Globe*

        This! The company laying everyone off the same day a group went in to complain about working conditions? Plenty of attorneys would like a case like that.

        1. HonorBox*

          And the company is going to absolutely say that they’d been planning for a period of time to close the department (the work being moved to other departments, etc) but it would seem that they’d have to do a lot of work to prove that it was that and not retaliation for making a complaint to HR. Not a lawyer, but I know lawyers and I know they’d salivate at the opportunity to go through this piece by piece and hold execs’ feet to the fire to prove no wrongdoing.

          1. Ann O'Nemity*

            The HR generalist did tell the group the department wouldn’t be around much longer, and that was before they stormed HR. So unfortunately the company probably does have documentation that the layoffs were premeditated and not just retaliation.

      2. Dek*

        Yeah, like, even if they were planning on it, the whole thing has little flashing “Legal Shenanigans!” lights all over it.

        The important thing is OP is out, but it really feels like there should be some kind of legal recourse, both for the abuse and the retaliation.

    2. ABC*

      My reaction to like 99% of “you should sue!” comments is “Nah, nothing there,” but I would be very interested to hear what an attorney has to say about this situation. A well-written nastygram may be surprisingly effective here.

      1. ABC*

        But isn’t constructive dismissal only relevant when the employee quit (because of the working conditions)? It doesn’t sound like the company is claiming that anyone quit. It seems like (accurately or otherwise) it’s being called a layoff.

        Now, if the company fought the employees’ unemployment claims, that’s a whole other ball of wax…

      2. Garblesnark*

        Constructive dismissal means they forced you to quit to avoid firing you.

        They laid LW off. There may have been one or more legal violations – what they were or how many depends on the state and other factors – but no, this is not constructive dismissal, and furthermore, constructive dismissal is only illegal if it’s done because of some other illegal thing.

      3. Ann O'Nemity*

        I think the employees who quit before the layoff could claim constructive dismissal! Especially for something like unemployment benefits, since that bar isn’t high.

        The OP was laid off, which is a different category, and eligible for unemployment benefits.

    3. Observer*

      I’m generally not a “sue them” person, but yes, the strongly screams of retaliation for protected activity. The fact that you went as a group helps. And the “rumor” is just that – I think a LOT of juries are going to look at that and say “Really? You’ve been planning this for a *whole year* but somehow were only able to push the button the minute someone complained?”

      I would not expect them to go to trial. But I would hope you get a settlement and have a TON of legal expenses from this.

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        I agree with this. Lawsuits are not something I advocate for except as a last resort, but I think an entire team going to HR over ongoing, previously reported verbal and physical abuse and then being fired is a very, very bad look that is at least worth some go-away money for all of you who made the trek to HR and were then laid off the same day.

        Depending on how good your jurisdiction’s labor/employment department is (and your local employee protections), I think they’d be interested as well.

        1. CM*

          Yes — also the HR person being specifically there to monitor Katherine’s behavior, and then dismissing it as “woman problems.” Combine this with the abusive and unsafe environment, and the OP’s health issues as a result (which would be documented by her medical records), and you’ve got a lawsuit.

  5. Falling Diphthong*

    I am agog at the two job roles described here: The employee so awful that you can move her in to destroy any division you want gone, and the HR guy who is paid to sit and watch her do this while he plays on his phone.

    I guess it’s a poignant reminder to get out of the mindset “But surely if someone with power realized that this unreasonable thing is happening, then they would put things right.”

    1. sometimeswhy*

      And the HR guy dismissing the abusive behavior as “female issues” is just breathtakingly inept.

        1. Ann O'Nemity*

          Bare minimum to placate the terrorized department while the company transitioned work to other teams.

        2. Not A Bear*

          For his ability to just calmly sit on his phone and repeat the higher level of HR’s “firing her would be discrimination” excuse, no matter how intense the situation got?

          Because I’ve worked in civil service jobs where no matter a person’s behavior, none of our best genuine efforts would be able to produce a civil conversation with them, but our office/agency was still legally obligated to find *someone* to go make an attempt at offering services, and that’s where people like HR Guy came into the picture: They were the stereotypical worst unmotivated, apathetic, slack-off, impossible to fire civil service employees, but all those qualities turned into invaluable assets when the time came to find someone who could “grey rock” in the face of a client who was as volatile as they were inert.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        I don’t think he was inept so much as instructed to not interfere; him throwing in that “female issues” garbage was probably his own little poop cherry on top of that shit sundae, though.

  6. WellRed*

    I’m guess I’m lucky that I can’t fathom the number of letters we get where employees are subject to both hours long screaming and/or ducking objects being thrown at them.

    1. AnonORama*

      You are indeed. I’ve worked for several screamers, including ones who swore, used slurs and made nasty comments about their employees’ physical appearances and attractiveness. I’ve personally never dodged a projectile, but I’ve worked for people who have thrown things at others. (I did have a boss throw something I’d written on the ground and stomp on it for several minutes, and at the time I was just thankful he wasn’t throwing things, as he was known for that as well.)

      1. Be Gneiss*

        yep, I have absolutely worked at a place where people yelled, screamed, swore, called names, and threw things. And when those people are near the top, and the people at the top really don’t like to deal with anything difficult…
        LW’s company is unbelievably terrible and I absolutely believe it’s 100% true.

    2. NotAnotherManager!*

      I mean, I worked in BigLaw, poster child for toxicity and poor work-life balance, for years, and even the rainmakers were not allowed to throw shit at people. Even the HR lady who had an excuse for all sorts of verbal abuse drew the line and physical violence.

      1. zuzu*

        Yeah, that’s for smaller firms, especially boutiques.

        I worked at one of the most toxic BigLaw firms with the worst reputations, and despite how awful it was psychologically and spiritually, they did not tolerate physical violence. One of the counsel I worked for was known to be boxed out of partnership not just because it was next to impossible to make partner in our practice area but because he’d shoved an associate at trial, in a courtroom, in front of a whole bank of plaintiffs’ counsel (though not the judge).

        It became known as “The Million-Dollar Shove.”

  7. Pita Chips*

    Wow. Congratulations on living through all that! Today’s letter makes you sound much happier and I’m glad your kids are getting better care.

    I am utterly bewildered at the company’s “strategy” for dealing with the layoff needs and with HR for letting Katherine run wild.

  8. nycnpo*

    Consult with a lawyer. This seems so ridiculous and over the top that you should have any number of cases. You deserve the $$$ – go for it.

  9. ChemistryChick*

    I…wow. OP, your old company is absolute garbage and I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

    Glad you and your family are in a better place now!

  10. ThisIsNotADuplicateComment*

    Glassdoor time baby! Let people know how awful this company will be to its employees (for an entire year!) when they’ve decided you’re already out the door.

    1. el l*

      Yeah. This place is not worth the legal fees spent on it.

      Don’t say this often, but – the layoffs were a blessing. OP can do so much better.

  11. Yup*

    In case anyone needs a reminder that companies don’t care about people if profit is on the line, even if they completely burn those people out.

    I’m glad you are moving on.

  12. Brain the Brian*

    Usually, companies transfer managers into a troublesome department to help guide them toward better performance. This — the opposite of that — is not good. Yowza.

  13. Csethiro Ceredin*

    OP, I am so glad you escaped this hellhole of callous insanity.

    But that’s cartoonishly evil of your old company, and I can’t believe it actually even saved them money so I think it’s unbelievably stupid of them too. Phew.

    1. AnonORama*

      Eh, I’m satisfied that OP has moved on, and that her husband’s insurance has gotten better in terms of supporting their kid with health issues.

      The company is a dumpster fire for sure. And while Katherine is clearly *a* bad guy here, imagine knowing that you’re being moved from department to department because you’re so odious that everyone leaves when they see you coming!

        1. Momma Bear*

          I agree. They knew how abusive she was and they just moved her around to do their dirty work. Wow.

        1. Margaret Cavendish*

          Totally. Normally I’m not on board with Worst Boss nominations throughout the year, because you never know what kind of forced-organ-donation/ leaving-notes-at-a-gravesite/ boss-is-dating-my-dad-and-wants-us-to-go-to-couples-counselling shenanigans are coming up next.

          But in this case – I’ll make an exception. Katherine and her buddies may not win, but I’m confident they should at least be on the short list.

  14. Sara without an H*

    As Alison said, not long ago, “What the actual double-fried f*ck?!”

    Congratulations on getting out and here’s to a happier future for you and your family.

  15. Duckles*

    I am in this situation now. Is there any way to beat this tactic of “demoralize employees until they quit” that I’m missing? I would obviously rather have severance/unemployment but not enough to try to wait them out in this game of chicken.

    1. Dana Lynne*


      You either have to just get out, or detach yourself completely emotionally, and just do the bare minimum to get by and get paid.

      There is no solution.

      1. pally*

        Exactly! Better off just getting out of there.

        Most times it takes a fair amount of sleuthing to figure out their endgame and then a fair amount of guile to position oneself such that they must deal favorably with you in order to achieve their desired ends. Easier to get out with one’s sanity intact.

      2. goddessoftransitory*

        This. You can’t “solve” this problem in that your horrible company will suddenly not be horrible. All you can do is document, quit caring, do the bare minimum, actively job search and make damn sure they pay you every single dime (including unused PTO) they owe you.

        It may help mentally to picture your bosses gnashing their teeth in frustration every day that passes and you don’t quit/don’t seem to be affected, just for inner strength purposes.

    2. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

      I’ve heard of people who will apply for a job every time X ridiculous thing happens at work. It’s your own mini-rebellion.

      Working crappy retail jobs, I used to pretend I was acting in some sort of weird play. Helped compartmentalize, I think. Though I can’t say whether this is really a healthy way of dealing.

      1. Laser99*

        I did something similar. I pretended I was an alien sent on a sociological mission to observe human behavior.

    3. Double A*

      If you can detach entirely, do the absolute minimum, and apply for jobs and leave on your own terms, then you have beat them at their own game. Do a lot of job applying on the clock.

    4. Tex*

      Apply for your dream jobs and be deliberate about your next move. That way you control your own timeline and won’t feel tempted to take the first available job that will pay the bills.

      You also have the time to casually network and see if you can uncover hidden opportunities that may never be advertised. There’s a lot less pressure for informational interviews, career exploration, coffee get together if you don’t need anything but a conversation from the other party.

    5. Purple Cat*

      Yes, you “beat the tactic” by getting out. Hit the pavement HARD with your resume to land a job and then quit with no notice, or you quit with nothing to preserve your sanity and then search hard. You have a choice.

    6. CM*

      If you think you can find another job within a reasonable amount of time, you can start filing official complaints with HR about your working conditions now. They probably will not do anything to fix them, and may retaliate against you (in which case you continue complaining, in writing). Then if they put you on a PIP or threaten to fire you, or whenever you are ready to leave, tell them they need to pay you severance and you’ll drop your complaints.

    7. Goose*

      Check the workplace health and safety laws in the country and state you live in. For eexample, in Australia workplaces have a responsibility to ensure that workplaces are psychologically safe as well as physically safe. Working in an environment like this and having appropriate documentation could be grounds for a worker’s compensation claim.

  16. Ellis Bell*

    I am not an uncynical person, but in the original letter, I genuinely thought the company’s lack of action was just an outsized empathetic response, coupled with a lot of ignorance on accommodation of medical conditions and maybe some cowardice in dealing with this rampaging manager. I must just not have enough villainy in me to predict that someone would actually sic a violent employee on their staff rather than to bother going through the layoff process.

    1. NotAnotherManager!*

      I am usually a Hanlon’s Razor kind of person (assume incompetence over malice), but I’m leaning towards malice on this one.

  17. CubeFarmer*

    And another glaring example of how HR protects the company, not the employees.

    Glad that LW moved on.

    1. NotARealManager*

      Except that a good HR will protect the company from liability, which usually involves treating employees well or at minimum, treating them legally. This HR has left the door wide open for a lawsuit.

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        Yes. I do think my current HR person is unusually good but even the craptacular one that preceded her was risk-averse enough to deal with this next-level shit before anyone sued.

    2. Ellis Bell*

      I think HR can only be as good as the head of the company wants them to be. I think it’s significant that the original HR person quit.

  18. WARN Act*

    If you are in the US, it could be worth looking into the WARN act. They have to give a specific amount of notice for layoffs. I was laid off by a company; they followed the WARN act. It also included severance as part of the layoff. If your company gave severance to others because of Katherine, you could have standing to push for it in your case, even now. You still get the severance even if you find a new job at a different company. In my case, it was a calculation – #of years at the company x some pay rate. I ended up getting severance for a good number of weeks due to the length of time I worked there.

    1. Observer*

      They have to give a specific amount of notice for layoffs.

      It depends on how many people you are laying off. Which may be part of the reason they were trying to cut down the size of the department

    2. FrivYeti*

      The WARN act doesn’t apply if fewer than fifty people are laid off at a given site, or if fewer than five hundred people are laid off and that total is less than a third of the people at the site (some states are more restrictive, but I don’t know if any of them apply it to fewer than fifty people being laid off.)

  19. Pretty as a Princess*

    Yikes. That does smack of retaliation. I’m so sorry you had to experience all this nonsense, LW.

  20. birb*

    That’s… one way to solve one problem with another, I guess. I wonder if this company is located somewhere that “layoffs” have special protections.

  21. Professor Plum*

    >> I had your response open on my phone during the mediation and used it as talking points during the conversation. <<

    Now that’s badass-ery at its finest!

    But totally bananas that this situation came to that. So glad to hear that OP is in a better place.

  22. H.Regalis*

    Does Katherine literally know where bodies are buried? Is the company truly so callous and horrible as to use her as a weapon to force people to quit? I’m leaning towards the latter, but ugh. I’m just glad you’re out, OP. I hope the health your health is improving.

    1. Mouse named Anon*

      I don’t understand how horrific managers like Katherine always seem to land on their feet. I worked for horrendous manager, who was responsible for over 10 people quitting in less than a year. Somehow she is still at that company. I will never understand how companies can just brush terrible manager behavior under a rug.

      1. AnonORama*

        I’ve always wondered the same! I had a super-abusive manager whose 5-person team turned over 100% each year (I stayed for two, mostly because I was brand new in town and didn’t have much of a network). She was ok but not great at her primary job and was a horrific boss, but she was totally protected by our CEO. Hell, she’s still there as far as I know, and I left 6 years ago. We used to make jokes about blackmail pictures, but I guess the abusive boss was good enough at “kiss up and kick down” that the CEO didn’t see a problem with all the staffing changes. She didn’t have to hire, onboard or train them!

  23. some days you're the bug some days you're the windshield*

    While I am so very very glad you are somewhere better and your healthcare situation is sorted, I’m completely appalled that you had to go through all of this and 100% agree that you and your former colleagues should lawyer up.

    Also, it’s beyond me how a company wouldn’t see someone like Katherine as more of a liability expense than just letting her go. I truly hope someone takes them to the cleaners and that you all go to glassdoor with this!

  24. I send no compliments to your mother*

    LW, I am so sorry. What a horrible, dysfunctional, clustercussy way for EVERYONE at every level to treat you and your colleagues. I’m so glad you were able to get your health care coverage sorted out and that you’re in what I hope will be a much better career path!

  25. Ex-prof*

    Wow. What a nightmare. Sorry you went through all that, OP. And then were laid off to add insult to injury.

    This all sounds almost lawyer-worthy.

    1. Ex-prof*

      Oh, and also, that HR generalist who said Female Problems weren’t within his pay grade…. yikes on bikes.

      1. Observer*

        Yes. But at this point I wonder if that was deliberate. Given everything else, it seems right on target that they are going to hire someone who will explicitly not even TRY to have the faintest mitigating effect on the problem.

        Bonkers? Yes. Horrible behavior? Absolutely. But the rest of it is so bad that this would be all of a piece.

      2. JustaTech*

        That Guy! In this day and age, how can that guy, from HR, even get up the gumption to say that out loud?

        He needs to be sent down to remedial “how to not be a terrible person” training. What a schmuck!

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          Honestly, if it turns out they told him to say that I would not be surprised at this point.

      3. Ann O'Nemity*

        I’d be more sympathetic if he was like, “Dealing with screaming managers is above my pay grade, and this isn’t what I signed on for.” Because, yeah, that’s fair. But blaming this bad behavior on “female problems” is just beyond the pale. And laughing about it, ugh.

  26. Phony Genius*

    I’m trying to figure out what an HR generalist is. The LW mentions that they went to HR as a group; does that mean they went over the generalist’s head? Or is the hierarchy different than what I am imagining?

    1. Person from the Resume*

      An HR Generalist is a human resources professional who understands and can perform a broad range of HR functions rather than focusing on just one field. Therefore, they can handle all kinds of human resources tasks at an entry level.

      Usually entry level because often as one moves, one specializes. But just someone in HR not specializing in particular areas.

    2. Person from the Resume*

      Oh, and, yes, that was my interpretation as well. They spoke to the HR generalist who did nothing and then went above his head to someone else or higher up in HR.

    3. BellyButton*

      They tend to have an undergrad degree in HR (not a masters, MBA, or even an HR professional certification like SHRM)- meaning they are a generalist, they know generally about HR things, but are not an expert in one area of HR. They tend to be the most junior level HR employee.

  27. Observer*

    Wow. I did say, when you first wrote in, that your situation had all of the signs of a bad company. But this is a lot worse than I imagined. I guess, as someone else said, I’m just not villainous enough.

    I’m so sorry you went through this nonsense. And I am really happy to hear that you are in a better place.

  28. Margaret Cavendish*

    WOW. I know a lot of swear words, but none of them seem strong enough for these people – we may have to invent some new ones!

    Glad you’re out of there, OP.

  29. FanciestCat*

    Generalist usually just refers to someone who handles HR tasks without focusing on a specific area of HR. So some departments might have a specialist for work comp claims or accommodations who’s really versed in the law, and that’s all they do and then generalists to handle everything else, like conflict resolution. Kind of like a general practice doctor vs. a specialist doctor but within an HR department.

  30. Turtlewings*

    Just bizarre the lengths companies will go to to avoid dealing with, or even go out of their way to hold onto, a bad employee that is driving all the good employees out! In this case, driving employees out seems to have been part of the goal (also bizarre) — but then to lay everyone else off AND KEEP KATHERINE?

    I’m speechless.

    1. Sloanicota*

      Yeah, I’ve heard rumors of other industries driving out employees because they over-hired and now want to cut weight, but it only makes sense (and is still mean and crappy) if you have some way of targeting the people you don’t want any more. If you just keep on bananapants managers, you lose your *best* people, the ones who have options elsewhere, and keep only the workers who have no other options. It might have almost made sense if they wanted to close that whole department/branch/whatever (and wanted them to leave without having to pay severance), but in that case retaining and moving Katherine to a new department is a weird play.

      1. JustaTech*

        The best employees are going to be the ones with options, where the ones who will stay are the ones who don’t have (or don’t feel they have) other options.

        My mom’s last employer (higher ed libraries, what a fascinating group) did that unintentionally. The highest ups announced a re-org and then did nothing for *18* months. At which point all of the very best specialists (the kind of specialists where there are maybe 10 in the country and 20 places that want them) had left for greener pastures because they didn’t want to deal with the uncertainty.
        And the university was left with the difficult people, the very junior people, and the people sticking it out until retirement.

  31. HonorBox*

    LW I’m glad the situation with your husband’s health insurance has improved. And I’m really glad you’re out. Those are incredibly important things here.

    I will echo others and suggest talking to an employment attorney. There may be more that the company can do as far as severance is concerned. And certainly this reeks of retaliation, given the timing of your HR complaint and the layoff message. As I noted above, the company may try to say that things were in the works already, but it may tough for them to get away with saying that.

  32. BellyButton*

    WOW. I feel like there would be grounds for a retaliation lawsuit since everyone who went to HR was laid off 20 minutes later. It is insanity.

    Everything about this company should be exposed on Glassdoor, social media, and through a lawsuit.

  33. Not Tom, Just Petty*

    I think they REALLY have no concept of what is going on. Look at replacement generalist. He’s sitting back, doing nothing.
    Where did he get the idea it was just “female issues” (as in the staff doesn’t respect a woman or a woman leading naturally pisses people off or some iteration of “female employees’ personality issues”)
    He didn’t come in without any preconceived idea of what he was walking into. He didn’t review with a neutral mind the outbursts and the reactions and determine this.
    He got this line straight from the C suite.
    They aren’t worried about injuries. They don’t believe it.

      1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

        I got the impression description of how as well as what the HR generalist replied, he was told that she claimed PMDD, but well, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, you know how women are.

        I think the executives, HR staff and new generalist interpret her claim of PMDD as “personality issues.” Either she doesn’t like women or the women on the staff don’t like her. And they figure the men are leaving because they are “fed up with female drama.”

  34. MagicEyes*

    In addition to the Worst Boss of the Year, we need a contest for the Most Dysfunctional Company. This one is a top contender.

  35. Lady Knittington*

    Dear goodness and I thought this blog had featured some spectacularly dysfunctional workplaces. They’re nothing compared to this.
    OP, I’m so pleased that you’re out of there before it literally killed you.

  36. TeapotNinja*

    I would consult an employment lawyer, because this is very, very close to being illegal. All of it.

  37. Jaybeetee*

    I know that 90% of the time on this blog, if someone asks, “… is that legal?” the answer is yes, in the US, it’s legal. In the sense that there are relatively few federal worker protection laws in the US, and if it isn’t specifically illegal, it’s legal.

    That said, this all sounds illegal as hell. For one, there are documented instances (hopefully on camera?) of Katherine throwing things *at* people. Illegal. The layoff after complaining, which smacks of retaliation even if it was “planned”. Evidently knowing what a loose cannon Katherine is and keeping her on, while apparently punishing her employees (you’d go back to entry-level pay if you applied for another position within the company? What if the position is already lateral to what you already do?).

    And Katherine’s reactions to all this – okay, wherever the PMDD thing came from, imma just say this is no longer about that. Maybe she has it, maybe she doesn’t, but she’s abusive, full stop, manipulates, and tries to minimize or deny the things she does. PMDD may lead to rage, but her behaviour with HR isn’t PMDD, it’s her covering her rear end.

    HR *knowing* she behaves that way, and protecting her, is despicable.

    LW, it’s your call of course, and it sounds like you’ve moved on, but I’d strongly suggest you or one of your former colleagues consulting with a lawyer. Even with the relatively lax labour laws in the US, I can’t imagine there’s *nothing* actionable here. That company deserves to pay, and you deserve the pay-out.

  38. Veryanon*

    I often wonder how some companies stay in business when they treat their people like refried crap. Ugh.

    1. goddessoftransitory*

      Maybe they were planning to be bought out and used this as a method of “dumping” the employees/salaries on the books to be more attractive?

      …I mean, this is so nuts, there really isn’t much I’d put past them.

  39. MuseumChick*

    I was hoping we would get an update to this letter. And I am so sorry OP that you have had to go through all of this.

  40. Elle Woods*

    LW, I am so glad you’re no longer at this place and that your family is covered. I am so sorry you had to experience all this. There is simply no excuse for it.

  41. 2 Cents*

    Any chance OP can tell us what this former company rhymes with? I’m job hunting and I don’t need a Katherine in my life.

  42. Gray Lady*

    “We’ll give an abusive boss free rein so more people will quit because that’s easier than laying people off” is certainly a management approach.

  43. Michelle Smith*

    What in the actual hell did I just read. Holy mother.

    I’m so glad you got out of there OP, but my goodness. I’m speechless too.

    Thank you for the update.

  44. RagingADHD*

    And here we have yet another example of the principle that if something makes absolutely no logical sense (like HR’s insistence that they can’t do anything), it’s probably just a lie. They could have done a number of things. They chose not to.

  45. BellaStella*

    Wow I am glad you are out of this circus OP and the healthcare situation is better for your child and family. Good luck and thank you for the update.

  46. WhyAreThereSoManyBadManagers*

    Katherine & other toxic managers (& nonfunctional HR staff) are why we desperately need workplace anti-bullying laws in the US. Canada has them in almost every province now in some form, and so do other countries. But as usual the US is lagging far behind in any kind of enforceable protections for workers.

      1. ABC123*

        I’m pretty sure Katherine’s behavior, at least the throwing objects would fall under workplace violence, which should be enforcable under OSHA.

  47. Kindred Spirit*

    I’m so glad you escaped that hell hole OP. I’m confused about one thing– and forgive me if I have missed this in the comments.

    “Corporate wanted Katherine to drive people out so they wouldn’t have to pay severances which is weird because they paid a lot of severances when Katherine fired people without cause.”

    Is this in the US? There are no state or federal laws that require a company to provide severance pay. Were they providing it to the people Katherine fired without cause in exchange for an agreement that they wouldn’t take some legal recourse against the company for her behavior?

  48. Mango Freak*

    Folks are taking the wrong lesson from this. It’s nothing as sane as “companies care more about profits than people” or “HR is there to protect the company.”

    This is pure Peter Principle stuff. More evidence on the pile for, “People are bad at running complex operations. Incompetent, irrational, incapable of pursuing their stated goals or protecting their obvious interests.”

    Seriously: how many humans do you know who are *really good* at more than one or two things? Running a department, much less a company, involves being really good at several. Homo sapiens sapiens has been promoted past our collective competence.

    1. Observer*

      I think you are right. This whole mess is horrifying. But even from a pure profit perspective this was seriously stupid. And I have very little doubt that this is going to continue to haunt them. The OP says that it looks like others are also getting out of dodge. And the problem for the company is that as this goes on, they are not going to be able to control who leaves, so they are going to lose their best people. And they might lose enough people at once in a department that they weren’t planning to shut down, to tank that department.

      Alison has mentioned EvilHRLady (Suzanne Lucas), and even had her on here. I follow her blog and a couple of days ago she had a post about a company that she thinks is in its death throes. The entire production team resigned at once because the company management was bad. Not even this level of crazy but a similar type of not recognizing that unreasonable behavior is towards staff is going to cost you because you can’t run a business without good staff.

    2. Lana Kane*

      “Homo sapiens sapiens has been promoted past our collective competence.”

      This really sums up a lot of my meandering thoughts about the State of Things.

  49. Mimmy*

    That is just bananacrackers!! OP, so glad you are in a much more stable job and that your family member has better insurance for his healthcare needs. I hope your health has begun to improve as well.

  50. Support Project Nettie*

    Wow, what a nightmare! I am so glad you are out of there. The dysfunction amazes me. I hope you all recover from this.

  51. Bookworm*

    While the resolution isn’t exactly great (referring to Katherine’s promotion/move!) I’m SO glad to read that you’re out of there, OP.

    It’s amazing to see how organizations will look the other way because it’s easier than dealing with an employee like this. Glad the child’s medical care is better covered, though!

  52. Another Ashley*

    I think K was told to drive her employees out of her department. She purposely acted like a raging lunatic to because this company wanted people to quit instead of laying off folks. Why they would decide to go this route is beyond my understanding.

    1. goddessoftransitory*

      And the more insane/unexplainably she acted, the harder it would be for the employees to describe her actions without coming off as unhinged, or at least exaggerating. It’s the “Men In Black” method of making sure nobody believes anyone who spots them.

    2. RVA Cat*

      If their actual plan was for Katherine to abuse people into quitting, did it ever occur to them that somebody could respond with violence?

      Hell, a company this batshit might try to cash in on a tragedy with “peasant insurance”…

  53. Purls of Wisdom*

    There’s so many yikes in this update. I hope there are enough bikes to get them where they need to go.

    But what really stuck out to me was the HR generalist playing on their phone laughing at the situation. I guess that’s the true definition of phoning it in…

  54. Purple Cat*

    Wow. This is such a spectacularly bad update. I mean – good for OP, she got out. But the awfulness of this company… And to then keep Katherine on at the end of all that – WHY?!? at least I was taking comfort that they were getting rid of her too.

  55. ChipDust*

    In 52 years of employment, I saw many Katherines. And they always seem to land on their feet. It made me far less invested in being gung ho company.

  56. Tiger Snake*

    The fact that LW tells us she thinks her business said “Ooh good, if people quit because of Katherine we don’t need to pay for firing them”, and yet no one’s gotten a lawyer involved and successfully sued for the negligence and harm to mental health, upsets me. I want this to be a very expensive and painful lesson for the business, and it’s not happening.

  57. SamIAm*

    At previous job I worked with my current manager’s wife. The people who report to her have days marked on their calendars and they plan to be out in the field those days (a local government environmental group, so field work is normal.) After I changed jobs, I noticed current manager tends to stay late those days.

  58. Moonstone*

    I’m so happy that you are out of there LW but my jaw literally dropped when I got to the part about the company KEEPING THAT MENACE ON STAFF! In a management role! What an absolute cluster$&?! of epic proportions. I honestly don’t understand companies like this – they drive out employees and allow/encourage the abuse of them while keeping on someone who is clearly deranged. I don’t give a damn what her medical issues are; nothing gives you the right to abuse people like that. She makes me sick and I feel terrible for her kids. How is she still married?? Why hasn’t her husband divorced her yet??

  59. ThatsCraaaaazy*

    I’m not normally a run to the cops person, but given that Katherine is still there, and seems to have been weaponized; it might be worth the person who had the stapler thrown at them and witnesses go to the magistrate and try to make a complaint.

    Generally if they find probable cause they will mail a summons for Katherine to show up in City Court.

    Would love to hear what she (or the company’s attorney) trys to say in court.

  60. Elbie*

    Wow. You were all laid off together immediately after going to HR to report concerns. Could this be considered retaliation for a wrongful dismissal? I am guessing that you all signed paperwork for your severance saying you would not sue, but the whole deal with how this all went down sounds shady to me!

  61. Honeycocoa*

    She responded quickly when someone threatened to call the police.
    Let’s all think about that for a moment.
    How is this woman functioning when she’s not at work? How many times has she been arrested?

    What kind of liability is the company assuming if they knowingly employ someone with a record of assault?
    So very glad you made it out OP.

  62. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s a damned shame that the person she threw the stapler at didn’t file a police report right then and there? I can’t help thinking that the reaction of the police when they came to investigate might have shocked someone into realizing Katherine was a serious detriment to the company? Okay, maybe not, but an old lady can dream.

    What I really wish is that the LW or one of her coworkers or a group thereof had consulted an employment lawyer before everything came to a head. Sometimes a carefully worded letter from a lawyer can have amazing results.

    I’m happy for the LW, since she ended up in a much better situation, but it gripes me that Katherine doesn’t ever seem to have suffered any repercussions for her outrageously horrible behavior. Not a very satisfying update, because of that.

  63. Mister_L*

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone in the new department would set up some sort of recording device, get the contact information from a few people from the old team as character witnesses and wait for Katherine to physically attack them.
    With the pattern of behavior this has to be a payday waiting to happen.

  64. Mouse named Anon*

    I sincerely hope that someone eventually decides to pants off this company. I really think at some point Katherine is going to hit someone with something and seriously injure them. Of course I don’t want that to happen. Lets be real though its only a matter of time.

  65. CommanderBanana*

    Katherine wasn’t fired.

    KATHERINE WASN’T FIRED. And she’s still managing people. Just let that sink in for a moment.

    1. Dek*

      It’s like a campfire horror story. “And they say…she’s still out there…managing people…to this very day…”

  66. Freelance Bass*

    ….woah. Glad you’re out of there, even if it wasn’t on your terms.

    Even though it’s over, make sure to take extra good care of yourself right now. I’ve found that it took time to recover from toxic bosses after I’d left the job, and they weren’t even close to throwing things the way yours was.

  67. Squeeble*

    Among other things, the sexism reflected in the way HR handled Katherine is incredible. PMDD isn’t an excuse for this kind of behavior, and if these folks truly believed that it is, or that their hands were tied and they couldn’t do anything about it, that’s just bad for anyone else on the team who menstruates!

  68. So very tired*

    This outcome for the department is completely vile. Abhorrent, disgusting, shady af. And yet unsurprising.

  69. Anon for this one*

    My fan fiction is that the new “HR Generalist” wasn’t HR trained at all – he the nephew of someone in leadership and needed a job!

  70. sdog*

    OMG, I am so dissatisfied by this update (though, OP, I am glad you were able to get out). Have you given any thought to discussing your options with an attorney?

  71. Not Jane*

    Soooo I read this, story and thought, wow. Just wow. Then I realized, my employer is currently doing this to us! We all know the micromanaging bully has been put in to “shake things up” but I hadn’t considered that it might be to get rid of us completely.

  72. Bill and Heather's Excellent Adventure*

    I find it very interesting that Katherine immediately stopped being violent when threatened with the police. Either she lied about having PMDD (which makes it worse for people who do suffer) or she weaponised her diagnosis so she could get away with this behaviour and HR knows it. Very glad you’re out of there.

  73. FunkyMunky*

    I’m actually shocked nobody posted videos of her online or called the police and got a restraining order, or I dunno, sued the employer?! especially with all the cameras

  74. Absurda*

    I wonder if the PTB at this company still think having Katherine around is a great idea when she actually manages to injure someone with a thrown stapler or otherwise assault them in a fit of rage. If that happens, I hope the employee involved files all kinds of complaints with state regulators and files a very large lawsuit.

Comments are closed.